Watershed News: April 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) National Water Research Institute Announces Three Fellowships for Graduate Students
2) USFWS Youth Conservation Programs
3) National Sea Grant College Program Special Projects 2012
4) Release of Draft National Water Program 2012 Climate Strategy for Public Comment and New Climate and Water Website
5) White House Rural Council Sponsors "Working Lands and Healthy Watersheds Roundtable
6) EPA Initiates Website to Mark 40 Years of the Clean Water Act
7) Blog Spotlight: Southern Hospitality Can Host Great Partnerships for Water
8) Template for Construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans Available Online
9) EPA Joins the U.S. Water Partnership
10) WaterSense Interactive Water Budget Tool
11) Delaware's Gravelly Branch: Removing Agricultural and Residential Bacteria Sources Improves Water Quality
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) River Network and Waterkeeper Alliance River Rally 2012
16) New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) 23rd Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference
17) Council for Watershed Health- The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation
For the 2012-2013 academic year, the National Water Research Institute is offering three different types of fellowship funding opportunities to students enrolled full time at a Master's or Ph.D. program at a U.S. university conducting research in the areas of water resources, treatment, and policy. The deadline for fellowship applications is April 25, 2012.
Through on-site activities located at a variety of field stations, including wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries, and ecological services offices, youth will be introduced to natural resource careers through “hands-on” work with, and training by, natural resource professionals employed by the USFWS. Our goal is to help develop a new generation of youth, who are enthusiastic and effective conservationists and ecologists. Each selected individual or group is given the opportunity to serve a seasonal on-site assignment, usually between June 1st and September 30th. During the assignments, individuals or groups are introduced to various real-world conservation and rehabilitation activities such as invasive species management, habitat restoration, and public education. The USFWS invites submission of proposals from all potential sources willing and able to cooperatively administer a program for identifying and recruiting youth or youth groups for assignments at field stations in the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland. Applications are due June 30, 2012.
National Sea Grant College Program Special Projects 2012
The purpose of this notice is to request proposals for special projects associated with the National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) strategic focus areas, and to provide the general public with information and guidelines on how Sea Grant will select proposals and administer Federal assistance under this announcement. This announcement is a mechanism to encourage research, and innovative projects that are not normally funded through Sea Grant national competitions. No funding has been dedicated to supporting applications submitted to this Federal Funding Opportunity, but funding may become available during the year. Awards will be made under this Opportunity only if funds have been announced as available. Applications received when no funding has been announced as available will be considered unsolicited and held for consideration when and if appropriate funding is announced for which the application is eligible. If no such funding is announced within six months, the application will be discarded. Applications are due June 30, 2012.
Release of Draft National Water Program 2012 Climate Strategy for Public Comment and New Climate and Water Website
EPA has released the Draft "National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change," which describes how EPA's water-related programs plan to address the impacts of climate change and provides long-term visions, goals and strategic actions for the management of sustainable water resources for future generations.
The 2012 Strategy, which builds upon EPA's first climate change and water strategy released in 2008, focuses on five key areas: infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal and ocean waters, water quality, and working with Tribes. It also describes geographically-based strategic issues and actions. EPA will accept public comments on the draft strategy until May 17, 2012.
To read or submit a comment on the draft "National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change," visit: Climate Change and Water.
In March, the White House Rural Council sponsored a Working Lands and Healthy Watersheds roundtable. The Rural Council, established last June, provides a forum for discussing how to support conservation work and create jobs in rural America. This roundtable brought together folks from across the country with experience in farming, ranching, conservation, and water quality to share their experience in how to more effectively and efficiently invest resources to improve water quality for rural communities.
The roundtable was an opportunity to celebrate some of the good work already happening and to share innovative ideas for continuing progress. Leaders from three states discussed how they successfully used EPA Section 319 grant program and USDA Farm Bill conservation programs to improve water quality in critical watersheds. Stakeholders discussed what they need most to carry out new and long-term on-the-ground efforts, and how EPA and USDA can improve their support for those efforts at the local scale.
2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. This year EPA and others will highlight the tremendous progress in reducing pollution since 1972, the many milestones along the way, the ways that the job is far from over and the tough challenges we face today and in the future. EPA has set up a webpage –Clean Water Act: 40th Anniversary – as the central location for information, activities, news and networking.
Nancy Stoner, acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water, blogged about her visit to Mobile, Alabama, where she witnessed the efforts of state and local officials, utilities, universities, environmental groups and others to work to improve their drinking water sources and reduce pollution. In the blog, Ms. Stoner cites the work of different partners and their holistic effort in making improvements possible.
EPA has posted a new template for construction operators to use in developing stormwater pollution prevention plans, which are site-specific documents required as part of EPA's new 2012 Construction General Permit. The template is designed to help construction operators develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan that is compliant with the minimum requirements of the new permit. The template allows operators to customize the document to the needs of the site, and includes tables and other fields that are easy to fill out. For questions about the template, or the permit in general, please send inquiries to CGP@epa.gov.
EPA is one of 22 new members that have joined the expanded U.S. Water Partnership, announced on World Water Day, March 22, 2012. The U.S. Water Partnership is a U.S.-based public-private partnership established to unite American expertise, knowledge, and resources, and mobilize those assets to address water challenges around the globe, especially in the developing world. By bringing together the U.S. public sector, non-governmental organizations, science institutions, and the private sector, the U.S. Water Partnership will serve as a central synthesizer and force multiplier, making information easily accessible, connecting people and resources, and leveraging the assets of partners to offer a range of integrative solutions.
Watershed Tool of the Month
This month as part of the Clean Water Act 40th anniversary EPA is celebrating water conservation. WaterSense® created the Water Budget Tool as one option to help builders, landscape professionals, and WaterSense irrigation partners meet the criteria for the 2009 WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification. The tool will help you determine if your landscape meets EPA’s criteria for efficient outdoor water use in your area. The water budget tool is comprised of three sections (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), each on its own worksheet:
- Part 1: Baseline & Landscape Water Allowance (LWA): Collects basic information and calculates the landscape water allowance (LWA).
- Part 2: Calculates the landscape water requirement (LWR) or how much water the landscape will need
- Part 3 Results: Displays the results of the tool.
There is also a Water Budget Tool Quick Start Guide (PDF) (4 pp, 793K, About PDF) to help users familiarize themselves with the features of the tool.
Delaware's Gravelly Branch: Removing Agricultural and Residential Bacteria Sources Improves Water Quality
Excessive nutrient loading from agriculture operations and failing septic systems led to elevated bacteria levels in the Gravelly Branch subwatershed. As a result, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) added a 6.5-mile-long segment of Gravelly Branch to its 1996 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list for bacteria. Project partners developed nutrient management plans for local farmers, implemented agricultural best management practices (BMPs), and connected failing septic systems to a central sewer system. These activities significantly reduced bacteria levels in Gravelly Branch; as a result, Delaware removed this segment from its 2008 CWA section 303(d) list for bacteria 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
May 4 to May 7, 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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