Friday, April 18, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  

Water Quality -
  • LEAD STORY: Federal scientists report that Mississippi Basin water quality is declining despite conservation; highlight challenges (USGS background information:
  • Analysis: Why farm groups are concerned with a major EPA-Army Corps regulatory proposal  that won’t change anything on the farm
  • Although pollution has lessened, Franklin, Tennessee, families still ask if Harpeth River is safe
  • An Earth Day appraisal finds number of impaired Wisconsin surface waters has grown nearly 63 percent since state began the list in 1998
  • West Virginia has updated its advisories for eating fish caught in state lakes and rivers
  • 17,000 gallons of untreated sewage released into the Mississippi River at LeClaire, Iowa
  • Cleanup focus shifts to restoration following 20,000 gallon oil-spill from pipeline into Ohio nature preserve
  • Overview of first-in-nation formula to estimate evapotranspiration benefits from trees to include in stormwater crediting system (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)
  • Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Seek To Curb EPA Mine Waste Disposal Authority
  • Minnesota’s 2014 proposed Impaired Waters List has been submitted to the USEPA and
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • IG: EPA's "no net loss" of wetlands report each year based on faulty assumptions regarding future restoration projects (Read the Inspector General's report here:
  • Rising Mississippi River prompts Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, to activate its flood fight procedures (Also see: High river prompts Corps of Engineers to activate levee inspection program
  • City says Wichita, Kansas, wouldn’t have survived 2013 drought without controversial $244 million groundwater recharge project
  • Officials are monitoring Wisconsin’s rivers after this weekend’s heavy rainfall caused flooding throughout the state and
  • Land acquired for long-discussed Comite River Diversion Canal project (diverting floodwater from Amite, Comite rivers to Mississippi River)
  • Army Corps and TNC discuss $19 million Emiquon East Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project (Illinois River)
History and expansion of herbicide
resistance across the U.S. (click to
Agriculture -
  • Update of environmental rules for livestock feedlots on April 22 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency board agenda
  • Map shows progression of resistant weeds across U.S. farm country (map to right)
  • Scientists frustrated by factory farms, as scientific evidence of their non-sustainability mounts
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement pushes state leaders to shut down large livestock operations that have repeated spills
  • Farmer's past pollution cited by opponents of plans for a Wisconsin large-scale dairy farm
  • How to Get Started with Cover Crops: A new way of thinking for a new way of farming, with advice from the experts
  • Sign-up began Tuesday for USDA Disaster Assistance Programs restored by 2014 Farm Bill
  • Open Source Seed Initiative releases 'open source seeds' free of legal restrictions at University of Wisconsin, Madison event
Climate and Weather -
Click to enlarge
  • NOAA drought update: improvement from eastern Iowa into Wisconsin; dry pattern continued for northwest Iowa; drought deepens, expands in Kansas
  • This week in climate history: April 14, 1935, "Black Sunday Storm," one of the worst dust storms in U.S. history (photo to right)
  • Dry conditions persist for most of Iowa; continuing drought is reflected in lower stream flows across majority of state
  • United Nations science panel issues sobering climate wake-up call to world policymakers  (And here's a satirical look at how the world's leaders are responding (courtesy of John Oliver and The Bugle
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Mississippi River mayors focus on invasive species; Asian carp one of top concerns
  • Asian carp that infest the Illinois River could be rebranded as cuisine
  • Flint Hills pasture burning may be harming lesser prairie chickens (now a threatened species)
In the Cities
  • Wisconsin municipal officials meet with DNR secretary to discuss concerns over phosphorus water quality limits
  • Storm water experts focussing on the South Side of Pittsburgh for new ways to keep sewage out of rivers
  • Solving Allegheny County's (Penna.) aging sewer infrastructure problems will require a regional
    Part of “The Captains Return” statue lowered by crane onto
    flatbed truck on the St. Louis Riverfront on April 17
    approach, officials say
  • Frequent high water along St. Louis riverfront forces relocation of city's Lewis and Clark statue  (photo to right)
  • Indianapolis’s Cultural (pedestrian and bike) Trail provides a demonstration of green infrastructure for stormwater control
  • Natchez, Mississippi mayor hopes to restore Mississippi River riverfront between the boat ramp and Roth Hill
  • Army Corps disagrees with Natchez mayor over status of riverfront project
  • Largest urban (Davenport, IL) wetland on Upper Mississippi River between St. Louis and St. Paul receives tree donation
  • Recent flooding highlights urgency to address Jackson Mississippi's longstanding problems with flooding, aging sewer system
In the States -
  • Ohio state Senate bill to create a fertilizer certification program touted as a first step toward cutting phosphorous runoff from farms
Louisiana Coastal Region-
  • Louisiana Republicans accuse administration of denying state recovery funds related to 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • NPR: As Louisiana Coast Recedes, Battle Rages Over Who Should Pay
  • BP ends its "active cleanup" of Louisiana's coast, nearly four years after 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster
  • Coast Guard says that BP is wrong to imply there isn't significant work left to be done to restore the Gulf Coast
  • Louisiana's Senate approves bill to void local flood control board's coastal damage lawsuit filed against over 90 energy companies
Forestry -
  • Bipartisan House coalition calls on Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to quickly overhaul U.S. timber management, forest health policy
Resource Development -
  • Government Accountability Office report: when the Environmental Protection Agency is late in issuing its annual Renewable Fuel Standards, it increases costs for refiners
  • Article analyzes central United States' historic oil transportation realignment in response to the recent shale oil boom
Federal Budget -
  • Congressional Budget Office's Updated Budget Projections: 2014 to 2024 (PDF file)
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • Free April 23 USEPA Webinar on the Water Quality Mobile Website "How's My Waterway"  - Register for the Webinar here:
  • Upper Mississippi River (UMRBA and UMRR-EMP CC) meetings scheduled for May 13‑14 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri
  • 16th Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference Ft Worth, Texas, July 27 - August 1, 2014
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
    Other news-
    • The Wetlands Initiative to kick off trail project in July at Dixon Waterfowl Refuge (north-central Illinois along Illinois River)
    • Army Corps of Engineers seeks volunteers to operate Lower Mississippi River Museum and Interpretive Site (Vicksburg)
    Politics and People-
    • Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.-6) announces his retirement from U.S. Congress
    Last Word -
    Ottmar Edenhofer
    "We cannot afford to lose another decade. If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization." - Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of a United Nations panel that found governments are not doing enough to address climate change.

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