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Water: Watersheds

Watershed News: July 2011

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.

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In this month's newsletter

1) Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
2) U.S. Department of Interior Watershed Intern Program
3) EPA Releases Annual Beach Report
4) EPA Launches Newcomb Avenue Streetscape Model Block Improvement Project in San Francisco, CA
5) Office of Water's Acting Assistant Administrator Blogs on Waters of the U.S.
6) Office of Wetlands Oceans and Watershed (OWOW) 2010 Annual Report Now Available
7) EPA Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) Program Releases Rolling Easements Primer
8) Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox Upgrade Released
9) Washington Department of Ecology, NRCS, Ducks Unlimited, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington State Department of Transportation Implement Best Management Practices to Reduce Bacteria Levels
10) National Ground Water Association Conference: Groundwater: Cities, Suburbs, and Growth Areas - Remedying the Past/Managing for the Future
11) Call for Posters for the Chesapeake Watershed Forum

Funding/Technical Assistance

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Act authorizes the Secretary of Interior to provide direct technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in restoring, enhancing, and managing fish and wildlife habitats on their own lands. This announcement is not a solicitation for grant proposals. It is a goal of the program to secure at least 50 percent of project costs from non-Service sources, but this goal applies to the national program as a whole, and does not have to be achieved on a project-by-project basis. Funding above $25,000 for an individual project must be approved at the Washington Office level. If you are interested in pursuing a project under the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program you must contact your local coordinator. A listing of coordinators by state is available. Applications are due September 30, 2011.

U.S. Department of Interior Watershed Intern Program

To assist watershed groups by providing funds for watershed organizations to hire interns to work on specific projects. The project must clearly enhance the sustainability of the watershed organizations, and must contribute directly to the remediation of acid mine drainage. Private nonprofit institutions/organizations, public nonprofit institutions/organizations, established watershed organizations in the following States are eligible to participate: Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Undergraduate and graduate students, throughout the United States, interested in helping to clean up the environment are also eligible. Applications are due September 30, 2011.

News

EPA Releases Annual Beach Report

For the sixth consecutive year, in 2010, the nation's coastal and Great Lakes beaches were open 95 percent of the time during the beach swimming season. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the 2010 swimming season statistics in its annual beach report. The report summarizes state, territorial and tribal data on beach closures and health advisories from the previous year's swimming season.

As authorized by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000, every year EPA provides grants to coastal and Great Lakes states, territories, and eligible tribes to help local authorities monitor their coastal and Great Lakes beaches and notify the public of beach conditions that may be unsafe for swimming.  The states use their EPA grant funds to gather and share beach water quality information with beachgoers to help them make more informed decisions about swimming at the beach.

EPA Launches Newcomb Avenue Streetscape Model Block Improvement Project in San Francisco, CA

The City of San Francisco and EPA broke ground on the Newcomb Avenue Streetscape Model Block Improvement Project, a first of its kind project on the 1700 block of Newcomb Avenue to transform the street block into one of the most sustainable streets in San Francisco.  The pilot streetscape improvement project will replace significant areas of concrete with new landscaping, street trees, introduce stormwater planters and permeable pavers to allow rainwater to permeate into the ground.  The $1.6 million project is funded through grants from the EPA's San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Community Challenge grants, in addition to an appropriation from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

Office of Water's Acting Assistant Administrator Blogs on Waters of the U.S.

Acting Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Water, Nancy Stoner, recently posted a blog on Waters of the U.S.  In the blog, Ms. Stoner discusses her experience growing up near the water and EPA's work to protect the nation's waters by proposing a draft guidance that identifies waters protected by the Clean Water Act.

Office of Wetlands Oceans and Watershed (OWOW) 2010 Annual Report Now Available (20 pp, 5.6MB, About PDF)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW) has released its 2010 Annual Report titled "Sustainable Communities, Healthy Watersheds" (20 pp, 5.6MB, About PDF). Sustainable Communities and Healthy Watersheds are two major themes for EPA's national water program.

The report contains information about EPA's work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the development of new draft guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act (also known as the Waters of the U.S. Draft Guidance), progress in better protection of water quality in Appalachia from the harmful effects of surface coal mining operations, and advancement in the work of the National Ocean Council.  The report also includes information about OWOW's response to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill through data monitoring evaluation, design monitoring plans and other efforts. Information about efforts to address nitrogen and phosphorus pollution through the development of a recommended Framework for states as well as a new guidance document that addresses polluted runoff from federal land management activity in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are also included in this publication.

EPA Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) Program Releases Rolling Easements Primer   (179 pp, 6.1MB, About PDF)

This technical primer describes the ways in which the private sector and state and local governments can respond to sea level rise.  The report examines rolling easements, a collection of approaches allowing beaches and wetlands to migrate inland as sea levels rise, in cases where traditional protective measures such as the construction of dikes, seawalls, and other structures may prove economically or environmentally unsustainable.  EPA developed this primer to examine a full range of long-term planning approaches for communities to consider when preparing for rising sea levels and includes more than a dozen long term planning approaches.

Watershed Tool of the Month

Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox Upgrade Released

Screenshot: NPS Outreach Toolbox

EPA has released a significant upgrade to its Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox. This version includes two important new features, along with other improvements:

     
  1. A robust new search feature to help you find the most applicable TV, radio or print materials in the Toolbox's product catalog to meet your specific nonpoint source/stormwater outreach needs
  2.  
  3. Significant new content of outreach material—TV, radio and print ads on various nonpoint source and stormwater topics of concern

The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox is intended for use by state and local agencies and other organizations interested in educating the public on nonpoint source pollution or stormwater runoff. The Toolbox contains a variety of resources to help develop an effective and targeted outreach campaign.

Watershed Spotlight

Washington Department of Ecology, NRCS, Ducks Unlimited, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington State Department of Transportation Implement Best Management Practices to Reduce Bacteria Levels

Fecal coliform (FC) bacteria from agricultural activities and leaking septic systems impaired shellfish harvesting and primary contact recreation uses in western Washington's Willapa River watershed. As a result, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) added 15 segments of the river and its tributaries to the state's 2004 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters.

To address the problems, farmers installed numerous agricultural best management practices (BMPs), and local governments increased their efforts to identify and upgrade septic systems. All nine dairies in the Willapa River watershed developed and implemented farm management plans to comply with the state's Dairy Nutrient Management Act (DNMA), enacted in April 1998. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) used federal Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds to help dairy farmers with the initial costs of implementing the DNMA requirements. Grants paid for capital improvements such as manure containment and dry-stacking, which allows farmers to capture and use animal waste, decreasing nutrient runoff into surface water.

Multiple landowners and agencies (NRCS, Ducks Unlimited, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington State Department of Transportation) partnered on an eight-year effort (2000 to 2008) to remove a dike and restore 300 acres of estuary wetlands at Potter Slough in the lower Willapa River watershed. This project area provides wildlife habitat and has improved water quality by removing livestock from tideland pastures. Bacteria levels have declined across the watershed. Eight of the 15 segments now consistently meet FC water quality standards for bacteria, and Ecology will propose removing them from Washington's impaired waters list in 2012.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

National Ground Water Association Conference: Groundwater: Cities, Suburbs, and Growth Areas - Remedying the Past/Managing for the Future Exit EPA Disclaimer

August 8 - 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA. Greater metropolitan areas throughout the world struggle with a myriad of issues to supply their populations with potable drinking water supplies, as well as manage circumstances and situations that affect public health, safety, and the integrity of aging infrastructure.  This conference will address these and other global groundwater issues specifically pertinent to large metropolitan areas, from basic to complex levels, and from planning for protecting public health and safety to the implementation and execution of scientific and engineering practices.

Call for Posters for the Chesapeake Watershed Forum Exit EPA Disclaimer

In addition to workshops and seminars, new this year, conference organizers for the Chesapeake Watershed Forum are organizing an open networking poster session evening on Saturday evening, October 1st.  The goal of the poster session is for individual presenters to share their work in a visual format with conference attendees.  The ideal poster presenter will have completed a project, produced an analysis, or embarked on a pilot project related to restoration, protection, or citizen awareness or engagement in Chesapeake Bay activities.  Posters should be focused around answering a question or reporting on results of a project.
 
Individuals interested in submitting a poster presentation should submit via email to Jana Davis (jdavis@cbtrust.org) a word document with:

     
  1. Name,
  2.  
  3. Poster Title,
  4.  
  5. Poster abstract – no more than 200 words.

Deadline for poster submissions is August 1, 2011. Due to space limitations, not all poster presentations will be accepted.  Decisions will be made by August 15, 2011.


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Mention of any commercial enterprise, product, or publication does not constitute endorsement by EPA. Also, EPA does not endorse any group's policies, activities or positions on any federal, state or local legislation.

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