Watershed News: November 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 newsletter
1) National Conservation Foundation Conservation District Award Program
2) Fall 2012 EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study
3) 9th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet
4) White House Council on Environmental Quality Releases the Final National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate
5) EPA Develops New Planning Approach to Improve Water Quality in U.S. Cities
6) Tillamook Dairy Owner to Preserve Hoquarten Slough Wetlands
7) EPA Approves New Performance Standards for D. C. Stormwater
8) EPA’s Water is Worth It Facebook Page
9) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Webinar Series: Tools for Developing State Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Reduction Strategies
10) Implementing Agricultural & Recreational Best Management Practices Restores Rudd Pond
11) National Association of Conservation Districts 2012 Annual Meeting
12) AWWA 2012 Sustainable Water Management Conference & Exposition
13) New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) 23rd Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference
The National Conservation Foundation is excited to offer the National Conservation Foundation Conservation District Award, through which one winning conservation district will receive $10,000 to carry out a local project. The Foundation is seeking “on-the-ground” projects that touch local communities. The Foundation is partnering on this year’s award with the NACD Presidents Association. The Presidents Association is composed of individuals who are serving or have served as a president of a state or territory association of conservation districts. The National Conservation Foundation seeks to encourage and facilitate the implementation of unique programs and services by districts and other conservation organizations that advance the conservation, wise use and orderly development of the nation’s natural resources. Applications are due December 2, 2011.
Fall 2012 EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships program, is offering Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) undergraduate fellowships for bachelor level students in environmental fields of study. Subject to availability of funding, and other applicable considerations, the Agency plans to award approximately 40 new fellowships by July 30, 2012. Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer of their junior year. The fellowship provides up to $19,700 per academic year of support and $9,500 of support for a three-month summer internship. Applications are due December 12, 2011.
9th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3-People, Prosperity and the Planet Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Awards program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet, and improved quality of life for its people-- people, prosperity, and the planet the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability. Applications are due December 22, 2011.
White House Council on Environmental Quality Releases the Final National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate
In October 2010, the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force published a Progress Report to the President identifying freshwater resources as a priority area for greater attention. In June 2011, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released a draft "National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate," for public review and comment. CEQ has now released the final plan, taking into account public comment. The final national action plan is to be used as the foundation for federal agency efforts to manage freshwater resources as the climate changes. It is designed to help freshwater resource managers assure adequate water supplies, safeguard water quality and aquatic ecosystems, and protect human life, health and property. The draft National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate document is available online.
EPA announced a commitment to using an integrated planning process to help local governments dealing with difficult financial conditions identify opportunities to achieve clean water by controlling and managing releases of wastewater and stormwater runoff more efficiently and cost effectively. The integrated planning process, outlined in a guidance memo to EPA’s regional offices from EPA’s Office of Water and Office of Enforcement and Compliance, will help municipalities prioritize infrastructure investments to address the most serious water quality issues and provide flexibility to use innovative, cost-effective stormwater and wastewater management solutions. EPA will work with local governments to review the Clean Water Act requirements that each municipality must comply with and look for opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of solutions developed to meet those obligations. This integrated approach will identify efficiencies where more than one water quality issue can be addressed by the same solution and where competing requirements may exist, including how to best make capital investments and meet operation and maintenance requirements.
David Hogan, owner of Misty Meadow Dairy in Tillamook, Oregon, has agreed to restore and preserve over 20 acres of historic Sitka Spruce wetlands near Hoquarten Slough, to resolve a federal Clean Water Act violation. In this agreement with EPA, Mr. Hogan will place over 20 acres of forested Sitka Spruce wetlands on his property into a conservation easement for permanent protection. In 2010, Mr. Hogan placed fill in approximately 0.14 acres of wetlands to construct a dairy cow barn. The wetlands were filled without a Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. EPA and the Corps discovered the violation in March 2011 during a site inspection.
At least 85 percent of Tillamook’s historic estuarine wetlands have been lost to development. Protecting these remaining Sitka Spruce swamp wetlands in Hoquarten Slough will help slow this decline and support the ecological health of Tillamook Bay far into the future. These tidal swamps provide important rearing habit for native salmon and function as natural filters to keep pollutants from entering the Tillamook Bay estuary.
The U.S. EPA approved new performance standards for controlling urban stormwater runoff in Washington, D.C. The District’s renewed municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit requires sustainable storm water management techniques including green roofs, tree planting, and retaining rainfall on-site from redevelopment projects. “This permit includes a number of green performance measures for preventing stormwater, along with the pollutants and trash it carries, from washing into local waterways,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin, “Moreover, this builds on efforts the District has already undertaken and is a major step forward in reaching our goals for restoring the Anacostia River and Chesapeake Bay.” Under the Clean Water Act, urbanized areas like the District are required by federal law to have permits covering their discharges.
Watershed Tool of the Month
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water will be sharing news, events and information of interest through Facebook. Find out what EPA and partners are doing to protect human health and the environment. This page was created to spur discussion and awareness of just how valuable fresh water and water services are – to our country and in our daily lives. Share with us your thoughts and experiences as we explore the many ways that Water Is Worth It!
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Webinar Series: Tools for Developing State Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Reduction Strategies
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EST
This webinar will help states and others understand key tools they can use to combat this serious and growing environmental problem. Over the last 50 years, the amount of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) pollution entering our nation’s waters has escalated dramatically. For example, 30 percent of U.S. streams have high levels of N and P pollution. Also, reported drinking water violations for nitrates have doubled in the last eight years. The webinar will highlight tools that states can use to develop state N and P pollution reduction strategies. The webinar will demonstrate EPA’s new N and P Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT) that is designed to help states develop N and P reduction strategies. The webinar will also demonstrate the new, interactive SPARROW Decision Support System (DSS), designed by U.S. Geological Survey. The DSS can be used by water managers, researchers, and the general public to map long-term average water-quality conditions and source contributions by stream reach and catchment, as well as track N and P transport to downstream receiving waters, such as reservoirs and estuaries.
Phosphorus and sediment runoff from agricultural activities and other nonpoint sources impaired the primary contact recreation use in Rudd Pond, a 70-acre waterbody in Dutchess County, New York. As a result, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) added the pond to the state's 1998 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters. The Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) worked with farmers to install agricultural best management practices (BMPs) and worked with town and county officials to reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses from transportation and recreational activities. Rudd Pond supports a variety of popular fish species, including largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegills, black crappie and yellow perch. Water quality improvements led to the removal of Rudd Pond from New York's impaired waters list in 2010.
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
January 29-February 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada
March 18-21, 2012 in Portland, OR.
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) 23rd Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference
May 15 & 16, 2012. Portsmouth, NH on May 15 & May 16, 2012.
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