Friday, August 1, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Hello From New Orleans . . .
Downtown New Orleans
. . . and the 2014 Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration ("CEER 2014").  The week-long conference has highlighted many Mississippi River Basin and Louisiana Gulf Coast studies and restoration efforts (there were 146 citations for the "Mississippi River," 21 for the "Louisiana coast," and 71 for the "Gulf of Mexico" in the conference abstract compilation). Tuesday's opening plenary session for the conference featured Louisiana coast- and River-centered remarks (transcribed here) by R. King Milling, CEER 2014 Honorary Chair, and Chair of Louisiana Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation.

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • USGS study finds significant levels of neonicotinoid pesticides in Midwestern streams
  • House votes 267-161 to strip U.S. EPA's ability to require permits for growers who spray pesticides over water
  • EPA says the GOP is making it "very difficult" for it to do its job of regulating carbon, small bodies of water
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Army Corps of Engineers will hold series of public listening sessions over next two months about WRRDA implementation
  • Army Corps continues Upper Mississippi River dredging to reopen river to commercial navigation following recent high water
  • Court rejects challenge to Army Corps wetland determination at Louisiana landfill site
  • For the first time in three years, the Platte River is still flowing south of Columbus, Nebraska into late July
  • USGS analysis: Streamflows in eastern portions of the Missouri River watershed increased over past 52 years, but decreased in the western part of the basin
  • Water conservation views in Kansas often depend on where people live (part of a special Salina Journal series on water:
  • New, Army Corps-constructed Illinois River island to be dedicated on Friday
  • Wetlands growth in Wax Lake, Louisiana shows what Mississippi Rver diversions could achieve, scientists say
Agriculture -
  • USDA published changes to conservation programs as an interim rule in Friday's Federal Register (rule effective Friday)  Comments accepted for 60 days.
  • Senate Agriculture Committee Chair urges EPA, USDA, Army Corps to provide farmers/ ranchers with regulatory certainty
  • Pickaway County, Ohio farmland will revert to the wild as newly christened Bartley Preserve
  • The last 25.5 acres of Minnetonka, Minnesota farmland sold to a housing developer for $6.22 million
  • USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service releases 2012 Census of Agriculture Congressional District Profiles for 113th Congress
Climate and Weather -
  • US drought update: pockets of abnormal dryness have begun to develop in a few areas of the Corn Belt
  • Most of the Corn-belt had below average rainfall in July
  • NOAA Climate Prediction Center monthly drought outlook for August: mixed improvement and persistence in River Basin 
  • Climate Change May Reduce Corn, Wheat Crop Yields
  • Australia's meteorology bureau cuts the odds of an El Nino event to 50 percent
  • White House releases a report that says inaction on climate change could cost $150 billion
  • NOAA Climate Program Office has released information on its annual Federal Funding Opportunity for FY15
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Science journal studies: Earth is in the midst of its sixth "mass extinction"
    Threatened species hot-spot map (click to enlarge) and
  • Federal, state agencies find no live Asian carp in Ohio River basin streams following last year's positive e-DNA evidence
  • White House says it will veto bill passed by House on Tuesday, saying it would roll back endangered species protection (bill here: -also see this article on the bill's passage:
  • Senate bill would remove lesser prairie chicken from Endangered Species Act list of threatened species until 2020
  • New Senate bill would require FWS to take into account the economic impact of proposed critical habitat designations
  • Fish and Wildlife Service agrees to study the effects of five common pesticides on endangered species nationwide
  • Helping pollinators survive: A landowner’s guide to pollinator-friendly practices
  • "Leaping out of the lakes: Invasive mussels spread across America"
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin's “bug derecho” signals a cleaner Mississippi River environment
In the Cities -
  • Highest average US wages, worst housing shortage: Williston, North Dakota, thanks to the
    Springfield, Missouri
    fracking oil boom (near the confluence of the Yellowstone River and the Missouri River)
  • Kansas City Groups to Receive $119,940 from EPA’s Urban Waters Small Grants Program for Focus on Middle Blue River
  • Springfield Missouri’s decorative storm drains and manhole covers highlight infrastructure, help satisfy MS4 permit requirements
  • St. Joseph, Missouri focusing on building more green infrastructure within the city to manage stormwater
  • After a dozen years on the state’s Impaired waters list, Wirth Lake (Minneapolis Metro area) has finally been removed
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • NOAA: Flooding frequency increasing along much of U.S. coast; rate of increase accelerating along Gulf of Mexico
  • Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council progresses in finalizing processes for implementing large-scale restoration projects
Forestry -
  • Real-time data provided by satellites could revolutionize forestry, agriculture and our understanding of land use change
Resource Development -
  • Tainted Legacy: Louisiana's Legislature has created obstacles to legacy oil and gas cleanups
  • Minnesota crossed by 50 oil trains a week, each loaded with more than 1 million gallons of North Dakota crude oil
  • WV Surface Mining Board rejects bid to halt mountaintop removal mining near Kanawha State Forest
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 Mississippi River will close from 12:30 to 3 PM Aug. 9 for the 28th annual tug of war between Port Byron, Ill., and LeClaire, Iowa (H/T @1 Mississippi)
  • Mississippi River Naturefest (Labor Day Weekend, August 29-31); Tara Wildlife Preserve, Eagle Lake, Mississippi
  • 5th annual One Water Leadership Summit, September 15-17, Kansas, City, MO
  • 2014 America’s Watershed Initiative Summit: "to improve governance of the Mississippi Watershed," Louisville, KY, September 30-October 2
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Strengthening the Social Impacts of Sustainable Landscapes Programs: A Guide for Practitioners
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's River Connections for July 2014
  • July 29 Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy TUWaterWays e-newsletter
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council July 31 Watershed News
Other news-
  • Public input sought on new Minnesota Great River Road Corridor Management Plan
  • Rep. Sam Graves' (R-Mo.-6) bill would shift money from Land and Water Conservation Fund to pay for federal lands maintenance
  • GOA says the EPA should do more to protect public and environment from fluids used/disposed in hydraulic fracturing (Report here:
  • As the U.S. destroys its old dams, preliminary data suggests species are streaming back into the unfettered rivers
Politics and People-
  • Small minority who fund American politics are much more politically polarized than vast majority of non-contributors
  • New study finds lack of minority representation in environmental groups.
  • Darth Vader is more popular than any potential 2016 US presidential candidate; Jar Jar Binks is more popular than Congress
Your Moment of Zen -
Polar bear 'Yuki' is given ice cubes to cool down as the summer heat continues at Tokuyama Zoo in Yamaguchi, Japan. Photograph: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

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