Watershed News: August 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.
In this month's newsletter1) Chesapeake Bay Grants available from "Bay" License plate sales
2) Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
3) U.S. Department of Interior Watershed Intern Program
4) National Science Foundation (NSF) Water Sustainability and Climate Grants
5) Federal Agencies Partner to Revitalize Urban Waterways In Communities Across The U.S.
6) Office of Water's Acting Assistant Administrator Blogs on Bristol Bay, Alaska
7) New and Improved EPA Website on Nitrogen & Phosphorus Pollution
8) Delaware Native Wins Prestigious EPA Award for Protecting Wetlands
9) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
10) Chehalis River: Watershed-wide Implementation of Management Practices Restores River
11) American Water Works Association: Water Security Conference (WSC) 2011
12) Southern Region Water Conference: "Innovations and Partnerships for Clean Water"
13) 84th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference
14) 31st International Symposium of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) - Diverse and Sustainable Lake Management
The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Advisory Committee is accepting grant applications to conduct Chesapeake Bay-related education and restoration activities. The grants are funded with monies from the sale of the special Chesapeake Bay license plate "Friend of the Chesapeake." This year $307,971 in grant monies will be awarded to eligible applicants. During this past year, 58 grantees received $311,776 in grant funds. Since 1996, nearly $6 million has been awarded as a result of the sale of the "Bay plate." The deadline for submitting a proposal for 2012 support grants is October 1, 2011. Grant funds will be awarded in May-June 2012. To be eligible for receiving a grant, applicants should submit proposals emphasizing environmental education or restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay. Projects focusing on environmental education should increase public awareness and knowledge about the Bay, and projects of a restoration and conservation nature should be action oriented. Grants are awarded for one year, except in special circumstances.
More information is available online for the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, including the application, grant guidelines, and a catalogue of past projects. You can also obtain information, applications, and guidelines by contacting the Division of Legislative Services, General Assembly Building, 910 Capitol Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, (804) 786-3591.
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. Applications are due September 30, 2011.
This program supports 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.
This NSF Water Sustainability and Climate Program seeks to understand and predict the interactions between the water system and climate change, land use (including agriculture, managed forest, and rangeland systems), the built environment, and ecosystem function and services through place-based research and integrative models. Studies of the water system using models and/or observations at specific sites singly or in combination that allow for spatial and temporal extrapolation to other regions, as well as integration across the different processes in that system are encouraged, especially to the extent that they advance the development of theoretical frameworks and predictive understanding. Eligible applicants include universities and colleges, non-profit, non-academic organizations, for-profit organizations, and other federal agencies and federally funded research and development centers. NSF expects to give out 26 awards. Applications are due October 19, 2011.
U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, Council for Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a new federal partnership along the Patapsco River in Baltimore on June 24th where they participated in environmental education activities with Baltimore students. The partnership aims to stimulate regional and local economies, create local jobs, improve quality of life, and protect Americans' health by revitalizing urban waterways in under-served communities across the country.
The Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP), an innovative federal union comprised of 11 agencies, will focus its initial efforts on seven pilot locations: the Patapsco Watershed (Maryland), the Anacostia Watershed (Washington DC/Maryland), the Bronx & Harlem River Watersheds (New York), the South Platte River in Denver (Colorado), the Los Angeles River Watershed (California), the Lake Pontchartrain Area (New Orleans, LA), and the Northwest Indiana Area. Each of the pilot locations already has a strong restoration effort underway, spearheaded by local governments and community organizations. Lessons learned from these pilot locations will be transferred to other cities in the country.
Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Water, Nancy Stoner, recently posted a blog on her trip to Bristol Bay, Alaska. In the blog, Ms. Stoner shares her experience visiting the communities and the ecosystem in which they live.
Over the last 50 years, the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution entering our waters has escalated dramatically, and is becoming one of America's costliest and most challenging environmental problems. In many parts of the country, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution negatively impacts human health, aquatic ecosystems, the economy, and people's quality of life. EPA has developed a new and improved website about nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to provide the public with information about this type of pollution-- where it comes from, its impacts on human health and aquatic ecosystems, and actions that people can take to help reduce it.
EPA's new website also includes updated information on states' progress in developing numeric water quality criteria for nutrients as part of their water quality standards regulations. EPA recognizes that states and local communities are best positioned to restore and protect their waters, and the agency is providing technical guidance and tools to help states develop numeric nutrient criteria for their water bodies. To facilitate state and local efforts to reduce nutrient pollution, EPA released a new Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (See Watershed Tool of the Month for more information).
Stefania Shamet, a resident of Marlton, N.J. and attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, received the Edward T. "Red" Heinen Wetlands Award, EPA's most prestigious national award recognizing superior work to protect wetlands. The award is named after a highly respected leader from the formative years of EPA's wetlands program. It is presented annually to the person from EPA's nationwide wetlands program who best exemplifies the high standards and personal dedication to wetlands protection that characterized Red's years with EPA's wetlands program. It acknowledges those special people who are a source of inspiration to others in the program, and whose work and attitude best contributes to our environmental and public service goals. "Stef is not only a leading voice on the legal issues involving wetlands here in the mid-Atlantic region, but her expertise is also sought out in the development of national wetlands regulations," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "She's advised and represented the agency in some of the most environmentally significant, legally complex, and politically sensitive water and wetlands matters, and her counsel on all these has been invaluable."
Watershed Tool of the Month
The goal of the tool is to support states, other partners, and stakeholders in their nitrogen and phosphorus analyses by providing downloadable data layers and key information on the following:
- the extent and magnitude of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in our Nation's waters;
- water quality problems or potential problems related to this pollution; and
- potential sources of these pollutants.
Where available, the data layers in this data access tool are national in scope. In some cases, data sets are available only in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (e.g., US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated loadings of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution).
This data access tool and data layers represent the best information currently available, and by making these data layers viewable and downloadable through this data access tool, EPA does not draw any conclusions or make any recommendations or determinations as to sources of nitrogen or phosphorus to our nation's waters. With this comprehensive data, EPA, the states, and other stakeholders will be able to more quickly gather additional, less-accessible data and develop effective source reduction strategies for nitrogen and phosphorus.
Fecal coliform (FC) bacteria from agricultural runoff and leaking septic systems impaired shellfish harvesting and primary contact recreation uses in the Chehalis River watershed. As a result, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) added 93 segments of the Chehalis River to the state's Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters between 1996 and 2004. To address the problems, farmers installed numerous agricultural best management practices (BMPs), and local governments increased efforts to identify and upgrade septic systems. FC levels decreased across the watershed. Ecology removed two segments from Washington's impaired waters list in 2008. Data show that another 76 segments are consistently meeting FC water quality standards; Ecology expects to propose removing those segments from the impaired waters list in 2012.
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
September 11-14, 2011 in Nashville, TN.
Southern Region Water Conference: "Innovations and Partnerships for Clean Water" (PDF) (1 pg, 78K, About PDF)
September 13-16, 2011 in Athens, GA.
October 15-19 in Los Angeles, CA.
31st International Symposium of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS)- Diverse and Sustainable Lake Management
October 26-28, 2011 in Spokane, WA.
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