Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News-Holiday Week Edition

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

2013 Retrospective
As so often happens as a calendar year comes to a close, we've looked back into the year that was 2013 to see what stories were particularly important from a Mississippi River Basin water resource perspective, and here, in our humble opinion, is a link to some of the 20 or so top stories and headlines from the past year, broken down month-by-month.

That's All Until 2014
This week's somewhat shortened missive is the year's last "Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News" issue. For those who may have missed, in their pre-holiday rushing about, last week's fuller news listing, here is a link to those best news bits.  Look for our next River Basin news issue to be posted on Friday, January 3. Cheers!

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • Federal judge rules that bill does not shield mine operators from West Virginia water quality standards lawsuits http://ow.ly/s0TEQ
  • EPA fails to deliver coal ash rules five years after catastrophic Tennessee River basin spill http://ow.ly/s0UBs
  • Tennessee Valley Authority to receive another $150 million to help pay for ongoing cleanup of the 2008 coal ash spill http://ow.ly/s0Vsi
  • Energy company will pay civil penalty to settle West Virginia Clean Water Act violations, restore wetlands, streams http://ow.ly/s0Ve5
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Controversial water demands across northwest Oklahoma feed oil and gas fracking from the Mississippi Lime Shale http://ow.ly/s0STh
  • New fracking technique could cut demand for freshwater; pilot approved for testing in North Dakota http://ow.ly/s0Uej
  • Winter Lake Shelbyville water level drawdown will be delayed due to expected low levels on middle Mississippi River ow.ly/s0WXY
  • Flood advisory is in effect for the Ohio River in Pittsburgh until Wednesday afternoon http://ow.ly/s0Xlg
  • Ohio River flood warnings extended through the end of the year, though levels expected to remain below flood stage http://ow.ly/s2Hdp
Farm Bill-
  • South Dakota’s senators worry about fate of reforms they fought to include in the Senate version of the farm bill http://ow.ly/s0Oa8
  • Farm bill likely to cut food stamp program by $8 billion over a decade; much less than demanded by GOP conservatives http://ow.ly/s0OjM
  • Provision which may end up in new farm bill could quash all new rules not based on "sound science" http://ow.ly/s0VOB
  • Small-acre crops and the farm bill: Sorghum illustrates complex politics and calculations behind the legislation http://ow.ly/s1yuf
Agriculture -
  • USDA removed about 1.6 million grassland acres from Conservation Reserve Program in 2013, clearing way for use by crops http://ow.ly/s1xRi
Drought Monitor Map
(click to enlarge)
Climate and Weather -
  • Here is the latest NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC national drought update: http://ow.ly/q3w3u
  • NOAA's Climate Prediction Center monthly drought outlook (January outlook will be published at the end of December) http://ow.ly/q3yAx
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Ohio River Asian Carp Task Force releases Draft Management Plan for comment http://ow.ly/s0X9p
  • Milkweed and the iconic monarch butterfly have diminished as cropland expansion has drastically cut grasslands http://ow.ly/s0TjS
  • Underwater carbon dioxide shows potential to act as barrier to Asian carp http://ow.ly/s0TU5
  • Report: Fish swim past electric barrier meant to block Asian carp http://ow.ly/s2JMf
Resource Development -
  • New pipeline from fracking fields stirs controversy in Kentucky over environmental, property, safety concerns http://ow.ly/s0URW
  • Little time left for Illinoisans hoping to influence new rules governing controversial practice of fracking http://ow.ly/s1jbB
Federal Budget -
  • President Obama and Congress will be plunged into another battle over the debt ceiling after the holiday break http://ow.ly/s1oj7
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • Annual Mississippi River Bald Eagle watch, educational programs, environmental exhibits; January and February events: http://ow.ly/s0YWs
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • New Center for American Progress report: Moving Coastal Communities Out of the Crosshairs of Climate Change http://ow.ly/s0P5l
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers News & Views - December 2013 http://ow.ly/s0OCC (PDF file)
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council December 19 Watershed News http://ow.ly/s0OSI
Other news-
  • Damaged wing of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa is now reopened http://ow.ly/s0XUV
  • Six Midwestern governors urge EPA to reconsider rolling back nation's renewable fuel targets http://ow.ly/s1wBJ
Politics and People-
  • USEPA Region 4 Administrator office remains chronically vacant, amid political, special interest, diversity concerns http://ow.ly/s1wbm
Last Word -
"A Visit From St. Nicholas"
handwritten manuscript
gifted by author Clement C. Moore
(click to enlarge)
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” - Last line from "A Visit from St. Nicholas," a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore. 

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