Friday, January 3, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  

Water Quality -
  • NPR: How mass-produced meat turned phosphorus into pollution
  • Consultant and lobbyist says farmers need to be active in solving water quality concerns (North Dakota)
  • Phosphorus standards for wastewater are cropping up in growing number of localities as standards become commonplace
  • Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposes limits on phosphorus and nitrogen amounts in state waterways
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • One thing Congress can agree on: Multimillion-dollar water projects
  • New Orleans' Jefferson Parish local officials are urging several changes to FEMA flood maps
  • The water is freezing earlier than usual this year on the upper Mississippi River, making navigation difficult
  • Illinois River valley flooding tops the News Tribune (LaSalle, IL) list of significant 2013 news stories
  • PBS Newshour: Can New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward ever recover from Hurricane Katrina?
  • Judge halts lawsuits seeking damages from federal government for Hurricane Katrina-related levee failures, flooding
  • Grand Tower, IL receives bad news on funding options for needed Mississippi River levee repairs
  • Federal budget deal failed to provide any clarity for operators overseeing Bureau of Reclamation water projects
Farm Bill-
  • GOP Congressman Steve King (IA): Farm Bill deal won’t necessarily be easy to strike in early 2014
Agriculture -
  • Rents on prime US crop land expected to stay high in 2014 despite drop in grain prices, raising risk of income losses
  • US farmers becoming gripped by anxiety even as they close books on their best financial year
  • Corn is heading for the worst year since at least 1960 and wheat is poised for the biggest annual loss in five years
  • Cover crops could help farmers improve soils, and the health of streams and rivers leading into the Gulf of Mexico
December 31 U.S. Drought Monitor
Map (click to enlarge)
Climate and Weather -

Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -

Endangered Species Act turns 40; critics say the law is costly, poorly administered and ineffective
Quad Cities area is a popular place for Bald Eagles, birdwatchers from December through February

Louisiana Coastal Region-
  • LSU and federal government to study the worth of Gulf of Mexico monitoring systems in a three-year, $750,000 project
Resource Development -
  • Operators of all oil and gas wells in Oklahoma must now report the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing
  • New Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute report: Renewable Fuel Standard Waiver Options for 2014 and Beyond
Federal Budget -
  • Congress is set to unveil a giant fiscal year 2014 spending bill next week
  • Omnibus FY 2014 spending bill takes shape as appropriations committees' staffs have worked through the holidays
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • 2014 Environmental Connection Conference (International Erosion Control Assn); Nashville, TN, February 25-28, 2014
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Watershed Network News - December 26, 2013
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council's December 27, 2013 Watershed News
  • National Academies' Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Winter newsletter
Politics and People-
  • U.S. House Republicans have scheduled work on legislation next week aimed at easing environmental regulations
  • In Congress: battle lines are being drawn for a series of upcoming clashes over new regulations on horizon in 2014
  • Former Rep. Grassley staffer now will run for US House in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2014 instead of Senate
  • Field of Louisiana Republicans hoping to unseat Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in 2014 grows to three
  • GOP state Sen. Whitver will not seek the seat being vacated by longtime Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa-3)
Last Word -
"The second week of January I would expect that we get a (farm) bill to the president."  - Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, speaking to reporters on Thursday about his hopes for passing a comprehensive farm bill in early 2014.

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