Friday, August 16, 2013

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News of the Week

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • Environmental Science & Technology: Water Quality Remediation Faces Unprecedented Challenges from “Legacy Phosphorus”
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement: IA Dept of Natural Resources and EPA should sign strong Clean Water Act plan
  • EPA's Stormwater Calculator "should help reduce US water pollution and improve aquifer recharge"
  • Suit over when municipal stormwater dischargers are liable for permit violations could return to Supreme Court
  • Louisiana fishing industry representatives visit South Dakota ethanol plant to explore water quality issues
  • "This is why the ocean is full of dead zones"
  • NPR: "Agriculture is the central part of the story when it comes to algae blooms"
  • Mississippi River to be first of Minnesota’s five largest rivers to be focus of state's water quality monitoring effort
  • 13 outdoor sporting groups push Obama Administration to finalize Clean Water Act jurisdiction guidance
  • Industry backs conductivity standard in amicus brief in push to limit Clean Water Act jurisdiction guidance impact
  • EPA warns that industry's reading of ruling would exclude any CAFO pollutant carried to federal waterbody by rainfall
  • EPA success at integrating wastewater, stormwater infrastructure planning relies on Congress passing spending bills
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Conservation groups contend that water resources law should promote Upper Mississippi River environmental restoration
  • Izaak Walton League: Restoring America's River: Using the Water Resources Act To Mend the Upper Mississippi River
  • Southeast Louisiana officials urge FEMA to halt planned flood insurance rate increases
  • Missouri River water an option to refill declining Ogallala Aquifer or supply water for Kansas farmers, communities
  • Sequestration less painful than predicted for USGS National Streamflow Information Program; flood forecasting
  • Annual Ohio River lock tour offers Indiana farmers a look at River commodity transportation
  • Army Corps officials say federal cutbacks would drastically change how Mississippi River navigation and habitats are managed
  • Construction on massive, $3 B Ohio River Olmsted Dam will halt unless Congress increases project spending limit
  • Push to strengthen EPA's pending cooling water intake rule could also address freshwater resource demand concerns
  • Energy firm plans 80-mile pipeline to transport needed Ohio River water to fracking sites in West Virginia and Ohio
  • Union of Concerned Scientists warns that National Flood Insurance Program unprepared for climate change (Link to the report here:
  • Governor Quinn signs bill to help Illinois communities prevent flooding by "going green"
  • Amid legal doubts, key federal agencies extend talks on endangered species harms from Army Corps' nationwide permits
Farm Bill-
  • Declining US midsection bird populations are warning sign of larger ecosystem disruptions; warrants strong farm bill conservation programs
  • The Forum (Fargo, ND) editorial: “Make no mistake about it. House Republicans are to blame for the farm bill stall.”
  • Head of conservative Heritage Action organization calls for one-year farm bill extension
Agriculture -
  • USDA expects a record corn year, despite drought and floods; soybean growers less fortunate
  • Interactive map: US Corn Belt corn production (harvested acres) by state; 2013 projection with an historic context
  • Ethanol groups argue that USDA's new corn production report shows federal renewable fuel standard will not cause food price increases
  • EPA Administrator pledges to build trust with farmers who have been roundly critical of federal regulations and
  • Dearth of investment alternatives spur wealthy farmers to amass more acreage; farmland prices continue to rise (PDF file)
Climate and Weather -
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -

  • University of Minnesota butterfly expert aims to preserve monarch butterflies and their habitat
  • Fungus that causes lethal disease in bats found in two Minnesota state parks
  • Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee provides recommendations to federal agencies for listed species
  • As winters warm, the invasive and voracious rodent nutria may move north out of Louisiana's bayous
  • Iowa Great Lakes businesses want zebra mussels stopped; Iowa DNR evaluates threat
  • Asian carp control report released by Army Corps of Engineers for Eagle Marsh (Indiana)
In the Cities -
  • Quad-City mayors sign memorandum of common purpose with Army Corps to support preserving, promoting Mississippi River
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri mayor reflects on Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative's annual meeting
  • Creating Tennessee’s first green street: Deaderick Street in Nashville
  • "Omaha by Design" design contest: opportunity to develop and implement a creative design for open space in Omaha
In the States-
  • Minnesota will require its insurance companies to discuss how extensively they’re prepared for climate change
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Sweeping coastal destruction lawsuit in Louisiana against oil, gas and pipeline companies draws another opponent
  • New Orleans levee authority gets an earful from state lawmakers over massive lawsuit against oil and gas industry
  • Researchers warn that Gulf of Mexico stressed killifish population may be 2010 BP oil spill's "canary in a coal mine" (Original study publication here:
  • Sequestration cutting into funding available for Gulf coastal restoration and economic recovery under Restore Act
  • Proposed lower Mississippi River coal terminal has groups questioning Louisiana's coastal restoration commitment
Resource Extraction -
  • Frac sand mine raising  concerns along the Wisconsin River; Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board takes up issue
  • Franklin County becomes first Kentucky county to pass moratorium seeking to block proposed natural gas liquids pipeline
  • Conservationists try again for North Dakota ballot measure designating oil money for conservation
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • Missouri Coalition for the Environment celebrating 44 years with October 11 event
  • "Music Along the Mississippi River" new show At The Phoenix art gallery, Moline, Illinois (opening reception August 16)
  • Workshop -  Mapping the Food System and its Effects, September 16-17, The National Academies, Washington, DC
  • Mississippi River cleanup in Alma, WI, Buffalo City, WI, Winona, MN on September 7 (also see
  • Mississippi River Commission to conduct annual low-water inspection of lower River; hold 3 meetings; August 20-23
  • EPA Community Based Public Private Partnership Workshop for Urban Stormwater Retrofits; Sept 26, Annapolis, MD (pdf)
  • Save the date: March 28-30 2014 Midwest-Great Lakes Society for Ecological Restoration Chapter Meeting; Univ of Minneapolis, St. Paul, MN (Chapter website:
  • 2013 Clean Water Summit; September 12; 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.; U of MN Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
e-Newsletters, Publications and Journals -
Other news-
  • Interactive map: number of people in each state receiving food stamps over time through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Mississippi and Tennessee lead the country on a percentage basis; Louisiana has huge spikes following hurricanes)
  • Memorandum signing with Army Corps highlights National Great Rivers Research and Education Center's river research
  • MN DNR proposed Mississippi River land-use rule revision being greeted with skepticism in Twin Cities metro area
  • Petroleum groups formally ask EPA for relief from 2014 biofuel (ethanol) fuel blending mandate (Here is API's filed waiver request:
Political Scene -
  • Arkansas House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman announces 2014 bid for U.S. House 4th District seat
  • South Dakota state Rep. Nelson (R) announces campaign to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D)
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) says that League of Conservation Voters is on an “environmental jihad” against him  (as a reader service, here is an overview of what the word "jihad" actually means:
Last Word -
"Get real."  - US Senator Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) reaction after the Iowa State Fair’s iconic butter cow sculpture was painted red early Sunday, including red letters, reading, "freedom for all."  A group calling itself "Iowans for Animal Liberation" claimed responsibility for the rebranding.

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