Watershed News: March 2012
Watershed News is a publication of EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds. It is designed to provide timely information to groups working at the watershed level.
In this month's newsletter
1) Wetland Program Development Grants
2) EPA Announces Availability of Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance to Selected Partner Communities
3) EPA Seeks Nominees for Smart Growth Achievement Award
4) EPA Releases Permit Writer's Manual for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
5) Blog Spotlight: Bring Back the Water Fountain
6) Draft Fiscal Year 2013 National Water Program Guidance Released for Comments
7) EPA Launches Updated Green Infrastructure Website
8) EPA Unveils New Website on Nutrient Pollution
9) EPA Releases New Technical Document- Identifying and Protecting Healthy Watersheds: Concepts, Assessments, and Management Approaches
10) Watershed Central
11) Watershed Planning and On-the-Ground Implementation Improve Water Quality in Dardenne Creek, Missouri
12) AWWA 2012 Sustainable Water Management Conference & Exposition
13) Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice 3rd Annual Workshop
14) National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) 8th National Water Quality Monitoring Conference
15) New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) 23rd Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference
16) Council for Watershed Health- The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation
Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct and promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution. Implementation of wetland protection programs is not an eligible project under this announcement. States, Tribes, local government agencies, interstate agencies, and intertribal consortia are eligible to apply under this announcement, as further described herein. Universities that are agencies of a state government are eligible, but must include documentation demonstrating that they are chartered as part of a state government in the proposal submission. Non-profit organizations are not eligible to compete under this RFP.
The closing dates for applications are:
- Region 4 March 19, 2012
- Region 9 March 15, 2012
- Region 6 March 23, 2012
- Region 8 March 26, 2012
- Region 1 March 26, 2012
- Region 3 April 2, 2012
- Region 10 April 9, 2012
- Region 7 April 12, 2012
EPA Announces Availability of Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance to Selected Partner Communities
EPA is accepting letters of interest from communities interested in receiving direct assistance for projects that facilitate the use of green infrastructure to protect water quality. Technical assistance will be provided through EPA contract support, and will be directed to watersheds/sewersheds with significant water quality degradation associated with urban stormwater. The total EPA assistance available is approximately $950,000, and will be distributed among 10 to 20 projects. The value of the assistance available to each project will be approximately $50,000 to $100,000. Letters of interest must be received by April 6, 2012..
EPA has announced the start of the application period for the 11th Annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. This competition is open to public- and private-sector entities that have successfully used smart growth principles to improve communities environmentally, socially, and economically. Winners will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in December 2012. The deadline to apply is April 6, 2012.
EPA has released a technical manual for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to provide states, producers, and the general public with general information on Clean Water Act and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program requirements for CAFOs, information to explain CAFO permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act, and technical information to help states and producers understand options for nutrient management planning. It is EPA's intent that this is a living document that will be updated periodically to incorporate new and emerging approaches to CAFO management, including those focused on manure reuse and recycling and use for energy generation. Interested parties are encouraged to bring to EPA's attention questions and suggestions concerning the content of this manual at any time. EPA will consider this input and update this document periodically to ensure that this manual is as helpful as possible.
Nancy Stoner, acting Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water, blogged about water fountains in public places. In the blog, Ms. Stoner discusses the benefits in services provided to people in cities in access to clean drinking water as well as the cost savings in choosing tap water over bottled water.
The draft FY 2013 national water program guidance has been made available for review and comment. Issued annually, this draft guidance, posted on February 17, 2012, provides the priorities, implementation strategies, and performance targets for the national water program for fiscal year 2013. The comment period is open until March 19, 2012, and comments and suggestions will be considered by the Office of Water for the final version of the guidance to be released in late April. When providing comments, please use the official form (DOC) (1 pg, 32K) and submit the form to Vinh Nguyen (email@example.com) and Ian Achimore (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Office of Water, as well as to Daniel J. Hopkins (email@example.com), Marc Vincent (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Benita Mahanta (email@example.com) in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
EPA's Green Infrastructure Program is pleased to unveil a new website that expands upon the previous website to showcase EPA's research on green infrastructure and to serve as a gateway to the wealth of resources developed by governmental agencies, academia, non-profits, and the private sector. Stakeholders will be able to consult our website for up-to-date information on green infrastructure publications, tools, and opportunities.
EPA is pleased to unveil a new website on nutrient pollution policy and data to help individuals access information on EPA actions to reduce nutrient pollution, state efforts to develop numeric nutrient criteria, and EPA tools, data, research, and reports related to nutrient pollution. Visit the Nutrient Pollution Policy and Data website. Nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, and is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water. EPA is also pleased to unveil a new website on nutrient pollution for homeowners, students, and educators. The site features information explaining the problem of nutrient pollution; the sources of the pollution; how it affects the environment, economy, and public health; and what people can do to reduce the problem. The site also features an interactive map of local case studies in reducing nutrient pollution. Visit the Nutrient Pollution website.
EPA Releases New Technical Document- Identifying and Protecting Healthy Watersheds: Concepts, Assessments, and Management Approaches
EPA recently released a new technical document entitled Identifying and Protecting Healthy Watersheds: Concepts, Assessments, and Management Approaches. This document provides state water quality and aquatic resource scientists and managers with an overview of the key concepts behind the Healthy Watersheds Initiative (HWI). The HWI is intended to preserve and maintain natural ecosystems by protecting our remaining healthy watersheds, preventing them from becoming impaired, and accelerating our restoration successes. The HWI encourages states to take a strategic, systems approach to protecting healthy watersheds and preventing future water quality impairments. This new technical document provides examples of approaches for assessing components of healthy watersheds, integrated assessment options for identifying healthy watersheds, examples of management approaches, and some assessment tools and sources of data.
Watershed Tool of the Month
Watershed Central has been designed to assist users to develop and implement effective watershed management programs. The site includes guidance, tools, case studies, and data sets to help you share information, analyze data, and identify opportunities to initiate or strengthen your watershed efforts. Watershed Central includes a feature called a wiki, which is web site that allows the user to submit and edit content so that the information is constantly updated by the watershed community (just like Wikipedia). The wiki includes case studies, information on watershed organizations and various watershed management tools.
Watershed Planning and On-the-Ground Implementation Improve Water Quality in Dardenne Creek, Missouri
Studies conducted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) between 1998 and 2002 showed poor aquatic habitat and elevated levels of sediment deposition in Dardenne Creek. Based on the study results, in 2002 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed the creek on the Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters for failure to meet water quality standards for the aquatic life designated use because of unknown pollutants. A broad coalition of landowners and other stakeholders addressed runoff and erosion through both education and implementation of best management practices (BMPs). Recent data show declines in inorganic sediment levels and improvements in aquatic habitat, prompting MDNR to remove a six-mile-long segment of Dardenne Creek from the 2010 CWA section 303(d) list for sediment impairment.
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
March 18-21, 2012 in Portland, OR
April 16 to 18, 2012 in New Orleans
April 30 to May 4, 2012 in Portland, OR
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) 23rd Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference
May 15 & 16, 2012. Portsmouth, NH
June 25 to June 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA
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