Watershed News: June 2009
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 newsletter1) Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act: National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
2) Region 7 Wetlands Program Development Grants
3) Wetland Program Development Grants Request for Proposals
4) President's new Summer of Service initiative solicits non-profit organizations interested in building their roster of volunteers
5) President Obama Nominates Peter Silva for Assistant Administrator for the EPA Office of Water
6) 2010 Integrated Report Guidance Now Available
7) Administrator Jackson Appears on The Daily Show
8) Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay to be Chaired by the EPA
9) "Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In" Video Now Available with Spanish Sub-titles
10) Year of Science Celebration
11) EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds is now on Twitter
12) Diamond Lake Oregon
13) 3rd National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration (NCER '09)
14) StormCon '09
15) Center for Watershed Protection Institute
16) Southeast Stormwater Association Annual Conference '09
Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act: National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides states with a means of protecting and restoring the valuable resources of wetlands. Projects can include: (1) Acquisition of real estate property interests in coastal lands for long-term conservation or (2) restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetlands for long-term conservation. Eligible applications are any agency or agencies designated by the Governor of coastal states. Applications due by June 26, 2009.
Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that 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. States, tribes, local government agencies, interstate agencies and intertribal consortia are eligible to apply. Projects for awards under this RFP must occur within the states and other areas of EPA Region 7. Applications are due by June 30, 2009.
On Friday May 29, 2009, EPA announced the release of the FY09 National Wetland Program Development Grants Request for Proposals (RFP). The total amount of expected federal funding available under this announcement is approximately $550,000, and the federal portion of the awards will range from $25,000 to $225,000. Grants are awarded through Section 104(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act and are made to build the capacity of all levels of government to develop and implement effective, comprehensive programs for wetland protection and management. This year the RFP lists five national priority areas: 1) state/tribal Technical and Meeting Support; 2) Regulation; 3) Monitoring and Assessment; 4) Voluntary Restoration/Protection; and 5) Water Quality Standards for Wetlands. The RFP will close at 7pm EDT on July 15, 2009, with decisions expected by the end of the fiscal year. The RFP can be viewed on the EPA wetlands website: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/pdf/HQrfp09.pdf (PDF) (25 pp, 168K, About PDF)
President's new Summer of Service initiative solicits non-profit organizations interested in building their roster of volunteers
President Obama will soon be announcing a Summer of Service campaign which offers a new and exciting opportunity to help organizations build up their roster of volunteers and raise awareness about volunteer monitoring and watershed stewardship. The President is encouraging nonprofit organizations with a need for volunteers to register at www.serve.gov. On June 22, the President and his Cabinet will officially launch the Summer of Service and encourage Americans to volunteer in their communities. The President will direct potential volunteers to www.serve.gov to find local opportunities for service.
Please consider registering your watershed or volunteer monitoring program at www.serve.gov. Think about what opportunities you might have for this summer, including monitoring workshops and events, debris cleanups, riparian restoration, community education, storm drain marking and other activities. If you want to sign up, you should do so as soon as possible, as a surge of web traffic is expected starting this week by both organizations and individuals looking to get involved in volunteering this summer. One of the goals of this effort will be sustainable volunteerism, so if you're not ready to sign up this summer, you can always do so later on. Please go to www.serve.gov to register your program or for more information.
President Obama Nominates Peter Silva for Assistant Administrator for the EPA Office of Water (Flash) (About Flash)
The Obama Administration announced Peter Silva to be the nominee for the EPA's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water. Silva is a civil engineer with 32 years experience in the fields of water and wastewater management. Silva most recently served as a Policy Advisor for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and previously served six years on the California Water Resources Control Board. As the US EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water, Silva would be responsible for the implementation of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and other provisions and laws that prevent water pollution and help reduce the risks to humans and ecosystems. Silva's confirmation hearing was held on May 12, 2009 by the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works.
2010 Integrated Report Guidance (PDF) (11 pp, 122K, About PDF) Now Available
On May 5, 2009 Suzanne Schwartz, Acting Director of the Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds issued guidance to assist with the preparation of 2010 Integrated Water Quality Reports (IR) in accordance with the CWA Sections 305 (b), 303 (d) and 314 that are to be submitted to the EPA by April 1, 2010. The major goal of the 2010 reporting cycle is to achieve 100 percent on-time submittal of IRs, timely submittal and reviews are needed to meet the State's and the EPA's responsibilities under the CWA. The document offers suggestions for the appropriate use of a rotating basis approach, suggestions for the appropriate use of category three, circumstances and exemptions for "partial approval/further review pending" determinations (deferral) on CWA Section 303 (d) Lists, and using and reporting on Statewide Statistical Data in ATTAINS and the National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress.
On Thursday, May 14, 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and talked about EPA's role in the new administration and global warming. Jackson who was appointed to head the EPA by the Obama Administration spoke about the new era for the EPA and the greater responsibilities for the Agency's 17,000 employees. Stewart and Jackson sparred about the proper approach to global warming. The full episode can be seen at thedailyshow.com. (Flash) (About Flash)
On May 12, 2009 President Obama signed an executive order to create a Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay that will be chaired by the EPA and six other federal agencies. The order calls for the agencies to coordinate and expand federal tools and resources to help speed up cleanup of the nation's largest estuary. Administrator Jackson also announced that there will be a bay-wide set of strict pollution caps backed by state action plans and federal consequences to assure progress. The seven agencies over the next 180 days will draft action reports that will be integrated into a draft federal strategy. The EPA plans to make full use of the Clean Water Act tools to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
"Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In" Video Now Available with Spanish Sub-titles (Flash) (About Flash)
EPA partnered with the US Botanical Garden to produce this nine-minute online video that highlights green techniques such as rain gardens, green roofs and rain barrels to help manage stormwater runoff. The video was originally released January 2009 and has been a great success. The video showcases green techniques that are being used in urban areas to reduce the effects of stormwater runoff on the quality of downstream receiving waters. The video is now available online with Spanish sub-titles.
The Year of Science 2009, sponsored by the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS), is national, year-long celebration of science and its value for society. The COPUS network includes more than 430 universities, scientific societies, government agencies, science centers and museums, educators, schools and others. The goal is to improve the public's understanding of how science works, who scientists are, and why science matters. The year-long month celebration includes monthly themes; June will be dedicated to Oceans and Water.
Watershed Tool of the Month
The EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds has joined Twitter. Twitter is the world's third largest social networking site and OWOW is now a part of it. With over 1,000 followers so far, the Twitter page is allowing OWOW to get important information, stories and events out to interested parties. Follow us on Twitter to get current updates about OWOW programs and initiatives.
Spotlight: Watersheds at Work
The danger of toxins from blooms of blue-green algae led officials to sometimes close Diamond Lake for contact use recreation. As a result, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) included Diamond Lake on the 1998 303(d) list of impaired waters for pH and algae. Excess algae resulted from a shift in the trophic levels after the introduction of tui chub, a nonnative fish species. After careful planning, project partners successfully eradicated the fish in the fall of 2006, and water quality conditions improved dramatically. Currently, all water quality standards are being met and ODEQ expects to remove Diamond Lake from the list in the next assessment cycle in 2010.
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
July 20–24, 2009 Los Angeles, CA. This conference provides an interactive forum for physical, biological and social scientist, engineers, resource managers, planners and policy makers to share large-scale ecosystem restoration experiences. There will be a focus on six themes: restoration at the watershed scale, planning approaches to achieving ecosystem restoration, science and engineering integration, urban ecosystem restoration, linking results and decision-making, and ecosystem goods and services.
August 16–20, 2009. Anaheim, CA. In addition to serving municipal and government professionals, StormCon offers sessions on sediment and erosion control practices for contractors, and techniques for special sites, such as airports and ports. StormCon offers non-technical stormwater sessions that will benefit those completely new to stormwater, as well as advanced sessions for seasoned professionals.
September 22–25, 2009, Clarion Hotel Downtown, Columbia, SC
This Institute, sponsored by the Center for Watershed Protection, will help practitioners learn how to:
- Utilize field and desktop methods to complete a watershed plan from beginning to end
- Interpret real data and integrate findings into a watershed plan; and
- Apply practical methods in your profession, including specific project investigations, such as urban forestry and wetland assessments.
Registration is limited to the first 100 participants. These slots fill up fast!
Registration: $600 (Regular Registration)
Special Discounted Rate: $350 (Discounted Non-profit & Local Government Registration)
September 30–October 2, 2009 Augusta, GA. This year's theme is "Coping with Change- Balancing Environmental Needs with Economic Realities." The conference will have informational sessions that deliver real world solutions; these sessions qualify for continuing education credits as well. There will be exhibits with the latest innovative stormwater products and services. Register online.