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Water: Watersheds

Watershed News November 2012

Watershed News Index

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. Community-based Restoration Program funded by NOAA and American Rivers
  2. National Service Agency Announces AmeriCorps Funding Opportunities
  3. Nonpoint Source Grant Guidelines Available for Comment
  4. Des Moines Register releases collection of articles on Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
  5. Register for Webinar on "How’s My Waterway? and Other Water Quality Apps"
  6. Updated Data Now Available in EPA’s Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT)
  7. New Nutrient Video Posted on YouTube
  8. "Don’t Let Trash Ruin Your Scene"
  9. Watershed Spotlight:  Friends of the Los Angeles River

Funding Opportunities

Community-based Restoration Program funded by NOAA and American Rivers Exit EPA Disclaimer

Since 2001, American Rivers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have supported the Community-based Restoration Program, which provides financial and technical assistance for river restoration projects benefiting diadromous fish species in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest, and California.  Projects located in the South-Atlantic are also eligible to receive partnership funds from American Rivers. [Diadromous fish migrate between freshwater and saltwater during their life cycle. Examples include alewife, American shad, American eel, salmon, steelhead and shortnose sturgeon.]

Applications are being evaluated based upon the following priority criteria: (1) ecological merits of the project, (2) technical feasibility of the project, (3) timeliness in completion of funded phase; (4) benefits provided to the local community, and (5) financial clarity and strength of the application.  Grants are provided for three distinct project phases: Construction, Engineering Design and Feasibility Analysis. The maximum award request is $150,000.

Applications are currently being accepted for 2013 project funding with a deadline of December 7, 2012. Applications for projects must be received by the deadline for consideration in this funding cycle. Potential applicants must contact American Rivers to discuss projects prior to submitting an application.  For more information, visit American Rivers and NOAA Community-Based Restoration Program River Grants Exit EPA Disclaimer

National Service Agency Announces AmeriCorps Funding Opportunities

The nation’s leading federal agency for service says national, state, and local organizations now have the opportunity to apply for funding that would put AmeriCorps members on the ground to help them tackle challenges facing communities across the country.  In October,  the Corporation for National and Community Service released the notification of possible funding. The grant competition is designed to help national service programs achieve greater impact by targeting resources on a core set of challenges, including environmental stewardship and healthy futures. The 2013 competition also provides a new opportunity for state and local officials to work together on public-private partnerships. Specifically, a governor and a mayor may identify a pressing challenge and partner with local nonprofits to apply for grant funding to address it. 

The AmeriCorps program engages more than 70,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through 15,000 national and local organizations. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Though the actual level of funding is subject to the availability of annual appropriations, CNCS anticipates it will award new, recompeting, and continuation AmeriCorps grants for fiscal year 2013. CNCS expects the 2013 competition to be highly competitive. Applications are due on January 23, 2013. Successful applicants will be notified by no later than June 14, 2013. Potential applicants are encouraged to utilize the technical assistance made available by CNCS, including FAQ, webinars and a schedule of the agency’s upcoming assistance calls. More information on technical assistance, as well as contact information for specific questions, can be found at National Service Agency Announces AmeriCorps Funding Opportunities.

Nonpoint Source Program Grant Guidelines Available for Comment

On Nov. 8, 2012 EPA released draft Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories for review and comment by states, territories and interested stakeholders. When final, these guidelines will replace guidelines that have been in effect since FY 2004. These revised guidelines provide states and territories with a framework to use section 319 Clean Water Act grant funds to effectively implement their state nonpoint source management programs. The revised draft guidelines were developed over the past year with an extensive state/EPA work group process. These revised guidelines provide updated program direction, an increased emphasis on watershed project implementation in watersheds with impaired waters, and increased accountability measures. These guidelines also emphasize the importance of states updating their nonpoint source management programs to ensure that section 319 funds are targeted to the highest priority activities. The draft guidelines are posted at Clean Water Act Section 319. EPA is requesting comments from states and territories, and any other interested stakeholders, by Dec. 7, 2012. Comments should be sent to 319grants@epa.gov

Des Moines Register releases collection of articles on Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Exit EPA Disclaimer

Aerial Photo of coastline

Environmental writer Perry Beeman of The Des Moines Register traveled in July to Terrebonne Parish in coastal Louisiana, a center of the $400 million U.S. shrimping industry. It has been shaken by a succession of blows: hypoxia caused largely by runoff from the Upper Midwest, the 2010 BP oil spill, high diesel prices, lower shrimp prices and the loss of large swaths of coastal wetlands.  Multiple articles and videos are available.

Watershed Webcast

Register for Webinar on "How’s My Waterway? and Other Water Quality Apps"

Question Mark

Join EPA for a free Watershed Academy webinar entitled "How’s My Waterway? and Other Water Quality Apps” on Nov. 28, 2012 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST.  These new apps have great potential to let users quickly learn about waterways anywhere. EPA recently launched a new app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer.  The How's My Waterway app and website uses mobile device location or a user-entered zip code or city name to provide information about the quality of local water bodies. This app was released on the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which Congress enacted on October 18, 1972, giving citizens a special role in caring for the nation's water resources. Forty years later, EPA is providing citizens with a technology-based tool to expand that stewardship.

The webcast will also highlight the SwimGuide app Exit EPA Disclaimer, which helps you find your closest beach and provides beach status information. Finally, the webcast will showcase the Riverview app SwimGuide app Exit EPA Disclaimer, which lets you share pictures of your favorite river and share information on its condition.

To register for this webinar, please visit Watershed Academy Webcast Seminars.

Updated Data Now Available in EPA’s Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT)

Screenshot of NPDAT

EPA has added updated data in the NPDAT, a tool intended to help states develop effective nitrogen and phosphorus source reduction strategies. The latest on Facilities Likely to Discharge Nitrogen/Phosphorus (N/P) to Water data layer now provides information on N/P discharges from 2010 facility monitoring reports (previously 2008 information was the most current information available through the EPA’s data access tool) and corresponding nitrogen and phosphorus limits from EPA’s Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool.  Also, the Waters Listed for N/P Impairments and Waters with N/P TMDLs [Total Maximum Daily Loads] data layers now reflect data pulled from the Assessment TMDL Tracking and ImplementatioN System (ATTAINS) as of May 2012 (previously the layers reflected November 2011 ATTAINS data). NPDAT and the updated data layers are available at Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool 

New Nutrient Pollution Video Posted on YouTube

EPA posted a new video about nutrient pollution on it's YouTube Channel, The Choice is Yours:  Green or Clean Water.  The short video illustrates what impacts an algal bloom can have on recreational uses of a waterbody.  Another video, Nutrient Pollution, provides a basic overview of nutrient pollution, including its impacts on our nation's water resources.  To learn more about the problem and what people can do to help solve it, visit: www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution.

 "Don’t Let Trash Ruin Your Scene"  Exit EPA Disclaimer

Screenshot of the video

Check out several new Public Service Announcements developed by the City of Santa Barbara.  The theme is “Don’t Let Trash Ruin Your Scene” and each of the three involves a reenacted iconic movie scene that takes place at the beach or in a creek.  From Here to Eternity shows the classic kiss being marred by a cigarette butt getting in the actress’s mouth and Jaws shows a plastic bag stuck on the shark’s fin, with some campy directing in each.  Hunger Games is designed to appeal to the younger crowd.

Contact Santa Barbara’s Outreach Coordinator Liz Smith (lsmithATsantabarbaraCA.gov) for more info or if you would like to use higher resolution video.

Watershed Spotlight:  Friends of the Los Angeles River

Photo of the group

Last month, the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), Miss Me, Inc. and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a donation of close to one million dollars to the City of Los Angeles that will complete funding of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) massive, multi-year LA River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. Prior to the Miss Me gift, given to FoLAR to donate to the City of Los Angeles, the City had fulfilled its 50% cost-sharing commitment for the study totaling $4,850,000. The donation was announced at a press conference at North Atwater Park in Los Angeles, overlooking the Los Angeles River. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council in Environmental Quality, a participant in the press conference commented, “The restoration of the L.A. River exemplifies the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which include expanding access to outdoor resources, restoring the health of our rivers, and promoting green spaces in urban communities. Meeting the goals of this restoration effort will provide valuable outdoor assets to Angelinos and promote the health and economic vitality of Los Angeles communities.”

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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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