Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~
This Week
If you don't care to wade through all of the news one-liners below, here is our concise, weekly, one-paragraph, summary of things that we've learned: "What We Learned This Week - Floods, Drought, Body Doubles and Jumping Frogs."

Next Week
There will be no "Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News" edition the week of July 7, as your FNB* (and friends) travel to the remote hills and valleys of northwestern Pennsylvania for some time in and near the headwaters of the Mississippi River Basin.  The Weekly News, and other Northeast-Midwest Institute Mississippi River Basin Blog posts will return the week of July 14.

In the meantime, the U.S. House and Senate both return next week from an eleven-day, July Fourth Holiday recess. Congress is then planning to be in session for four consecutive weeks, before recessing for the entire month of August, and the first week of September (House schedule here; Senate's here).  Here is a summary of the activities currently scheduled for next week that relate to Mississippi River Basin water resources.  They include several House hearings, and the possible Senate floor consideration of a comprehensive "Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014." (* "Friendly Neighborhood Blogger).

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • Nancy Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, USEPA: "Setting the Record Straight on Waters of the US"
  • EPA Administrator McCarthy to promote jurisdictional ("Waters of the US") rule in "heartland"  tour "into the Midwest"
  • GOP lawmakers: Waters of the US rule would "enable litigious environmental groups to jeopardize fireworks displays throughout the country"
  • U.S. Geological Survey study: emerging contaminants of concern making their way into Minnesota's shallow and deep aquifers; MPR story: (study found here:
  • Court rulings keep federal and state lawsuit alive against ExxonMobil Corp. over  Arkansas pipeline spill
  • Ohio DNR: Monroe County fracking well fire likely sent contaminants into nearby stream, killing fish, other aquatic life, as far as 5 miles away
  • Citizens from local and statewide groups support West Virginia's Kanawha River protection proposal
  • Bill Northey, Chair of Mississippi River/Gulf Of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force:  group making "significant progress"
  • USGS (in JSTOR): Appalachian waterways affected by mountaintop removal coal mining have fewer fish, less aquatic diversity
  • Missouri Public Service Commission approves Ameren Missouri’s plan to build coal ash landfill in Missouri River floodplain
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • A rising Mississippi River is threatening towns north of St. Louis area
  • By the weekend, the Mississippi River will be at major flood stage in much of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri
  • Rising flood waters expected to make 11 mid- and upper-Mississippi Rive locks and dams impassable, forcing river closure (The current Mississippi River lock closure status page (from the Army Corps of Engineers):
  • FEMA to assess Minnesota flood damage this week and
  • Environmental Finance Center: catalog of publications describing green infrastructure financing and established benefits
  • Sudden drop in Missouri River concerns anglers, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  • Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force proposes construction of four low water dams to spur development (Oklahoma) (plan: - see related article, below
  • Tulsa, OK city councilors and mayor make push for multi-million dollar construction project to "improve" Arkansas River -see related article, above
Agriculture -
  • USDA interim rule published requiring farmers to adopt  conservation practices before qualifying for federal crop insurance
  • Op-ed: Risky agri-business in the face of climate change: What if one bad year just leads to more and
    U.S. Route 66
    increasingly bad years?
  • Reminder: USDA-NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program pre-proposals are due by July 14 (Mississippi River Basin is a priority area)
  • Waterlogged fields wash out Minnesota corn, soybean crops, leaving farmers with limited options
  • USEPA wading through over 27,000 public comments on proposed registration of 'superweed' herbicide
  • @ChrisClaytonDTN explores how farming along Route 66 has changed since Steinbeck's day. and
Climate and Weather -
Click to enlarge
  • El Nino-like event likely to disrupt climate in 2014, UN World Meteorological Organization warns
  • BBC's science editor visits one of the most-impacted U.S drought areas: the Oklahoma Panhandle
  • State climatologist: preliminary data show Iowa has endured its third-wettest June on record
  • Weekly US drought update: Drought condition upgrade for Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas, northern Oklahoma due to plentiful rainfall
  • NOAA Climate Prediction Center July drought outlook River Basin drought relief expected except in southern Oklahoma; northeastern Tennessee
  • PLOS ONE - "Climate Exposure of U.S. National Parks in a New Era of Change"
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Indiana seeks to slow spread of Asian carp in state 
    Emerald ash borer larval damage to ash tree
  • Emerald ash borer effects will ripple through forest ecosystems, affecting other plants, animals and water supplies
  • USGS-led study: Intersex fish found in three Pennsylvania river basin, including Ohio River Watershed exhibiting effects of endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure
  • University of Missouri study: bisphenol A, or BPA, can alter a turtle’s reproductive system after exposure in the egg
  • U.S. honeybees have become a victim of the very food system that has come to depend on bees for a third of its output
  • PLOS Pathogens: Researchers pinpoint virus strain that causes bee deformities
  • Wisconsin's statewide 'Landing Blitz’ to educate boaters on invasive species
  • Obama administration releases final policy re: determining whether wildlife species deserve Endangered Species Act protection
  • June 30 Memorandum of Understanding renews Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee to identify priority areas for native plant preservation
In the Cities -
  • Clarksville, Missouri will no longer pay for temporary sandbag walls to protect its "quaint business district" from periodic Mississippi River flooding
  • Nuisance properties a headache for Des Moines' historic River Bend neighborhood
  • Permeable pavement coming to Davenport, Iowa
  • Reconfiguration of I-71 through Cincinnati provided city with long-planned access to Ohio Riverfront, accelerated environmental and health-related public infrastructure improvements
In the States -
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency publishes first-of-its-kind report on condition of Minnesota’s rivers and streams
Forestry -
  • Louisville, Kentucky receives $400K USDA grant to increase nature-based recreational opportunities in Jefferson Memorial Forest
Resource Development -
  • List of organizations opposed to St. Tammany Parish fracking (Louisiana) grows; seek denial of required wetlands permit
  • Iowa ethanol plant begins producing the Midwest's first commercial-scale quantities of cellulosic ethanol
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • The National Tom Sawyer Days are this week in Hannibal, Missouri (July 3-5) - frog jumping contest on Saturday!
  • National Academies meeting on Analysis of Costs and Benefits of National Flood Insurance Program Reforms, July 11 (public session), Washington, DC - preregistration requested
  • Cities Alive 12th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference Conference: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities; Nashville, Tennessee, November 12-15
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers' June News & Views
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council's June 26 Watershed News
  • The Nature Conservancy's June 2014 - Great Rivers E-news
  • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy's July 1 TUWaterWays e-newsletter
Other news-
  • New Orleans Advocate editorial: Our Views: Together for the River
  • St. Croix Watershed Research Station announces the Summer 2014 Artists-in-Residence at Pine Needles
  • New White House plan promotes streamlined infrastructure permitting by Federal agencies
Politics and People-
  • Conservative Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister (R-5-La.) recants his April pledge to retire
  • Conservative group files lawsuit against Mississippi Secretary of State and Republican Party over recent US Senate runoff results
  • Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: "Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology" - Polarized Wings; a Diverse Middle
  • Shrinking Congressional Battleground Map: Both parties have relatively few opportunities to pick up new seats in 2014 midterm election
Last Word -
Beer fermenting
Global warming: Take it seriously or your beer will suck.” - St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial, suggesting that, to get the climate change message across, we talk about beer.

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