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Watershed News

August 2010

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.

multiple graphics of water scenes

In this month's newsletter

1) Environmental Training for Youth
2) Watershed Intern Program
3) Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Environment Grants
4) Obama Signs Executive Order for the Stewardship of Our Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes and National Ocean Council
5) EPA Announces Next Step Toward Establishing Rigorous Pollution Diet for Chesapeake Bay
6) EPA Issues Federal Register Notice Seeking Stakeholder Input on Requests to Revise the Performance Standards for Marine Sanitation Devices (Clean Water Act § 312(b))
7) Submit Slogan Ideas for EPA’s Lakes Shoreline Protection Outreach Campaign
8) Socrata—BP Oil Spill Data Tool
9) Re-Visioning Landscapes with LID The Houston Experience Webcast
10) Reston Virginia Uses the Soft Approach to Address the Hard Line of Shoreline Management
11) Watershed Management Conference
12) Groundwater Protection Council "Water and Energy Sustainability Symposium: Water and Energy in Changing Climates"
13) Restore America’s Estuaries Conference "Preparing for Climate Change, Science, Practice, and Policy"
14) National NPS Monitoring Conference

Funding/Technical Assistance

Environmental Training for Youth

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering an opportunity for youth to be introduced to natural resource careers through "hands-on" work with natural resource professionals employed by the USFWS. On-site activities will be located at a variety of field stations, including wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries, and ecological services offices. Each selected individual or group is given the opportunity to serve a seasonal on-site assignment, usually between April 1 and November 1. The USFWS invites submission of proposals from all potential sources willing and able to cooperatively administer a program for identifying and recruiting youth for assignments at field stations in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. The closing date for applications is September 30, 2010.

Watershed Intern Program

United States Department of the Interior

The Office of Surface Mining within the U.S. Department of the Interior will assist watershed groups by providing funds to hire interns to work on specific projects. The project must clearly enhance the sustainability of the watershed organizations and contribute directly to the remediation of acid mine drainage. Private nonprofit institutions, public nonprofit organizations, and 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. The closing date for applications is September 30, 2010.

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Environment Grants Exit EPA Disclaimer

The Mott Foundation accepts grant proposals year-round, but applications received September 1 through December 31 are considered for the following calendar year. Grants include "conservation of freshwater ecosystems," Great Lakes protection efforts, and special environmental initiatives identified by the Mott Foundation. Individuals are also encouraged to submit letter of inquiry for unsolicited requests. Recently freshwater ecosystem grants were awarded to Alabama Rivers Alliance, Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

News

Obama Signs Executive Order for the Stewardship of Our Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes and National Ocean Council

On July 19th, 2010, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes (National Policy) and creating a National Ocean Council (NOC) to strengthen ocean governance and coordination. The Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force prioritize actions for the NOC to pursue, and call for a flexible framework for coastal and marine spatial planning to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes.

The President stated, "The ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes provide jobs, food, energy, recreation, and tourism opportunities, and play critical roles in our Nation’s transportation, economy, and trade, as well as the global mobility of our Armed Forces and the maintenance of international peace and security." The Executive Order established for the first time a comprehensive, integrated National Policy for the stewardship of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes, and sets a path toward comprehensive planning for the preservation and sustainable uses of these bodies of water.

EPA Announces Next Step Toward Establishing Rigorous Pollution Diet for Chesapeake Bay

On July 1, EPA announced draft allocations for nitrogen and phosphorus as part of a rigorous pollution diet for meeting water quality standards in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, and restoring local rivers and streams throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed. EPA proposed watershed-wide limits of 187.4 million pounds of nitrogen and 12.5 million pounds of phosphorus annually, and divided those allocations among the six watershed states and the District of Columbia, as well as the major river basins. EPA will assign draft allocations for sediment August 15. In addition, EPA is committing to reducing air deposition of nitrogen to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay to 15.7 million pounds per year. The reductions will be achieved through implementation of federal air regulations over the coming years.

The jurisdictions are expected to use the allocations as the basis for completing Watershed Implementation Plans, detailing how they will further divide these allocations among pollution sources, and achieve the required reductions. The jurisdictions are expected to have all practices in place to meet the established limits by 2025, with 60 percent of the effort completed by 2017. EPA plans to issue a draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or pollution diet for a 45-day public comment period on September 24. The final Phase 1 Watershed Implementation Plans are due November 29, and EPA will establish the Bay TMDL by December 31. In 2017, the jurisdictions are expected to submit updated implementation plans to ensure that all the control measures needed to meet Bay water quality standards will be in place by 2025.

EPA Issues Federal Register Notice Seeking Stakeholder Input on Requests to Revise the Performance Standards for Marine Sanitation Devices (Clean Water Act § 312(b))

EPA received a petition for rulemaking and another separate request for rulemaking (collectively, "rulemaking requests") asking the Agency to revise its regulations establishing performance standards for marine sanitation devices (MSDs) (devices that treat vessel sewage) pursuant to the Agency's authority under section 312(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The rulemaking petition also requests that EPA establish monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements under the CWA to ensure compliance with the performance standards.

In order to help the Agency determine appropriate action in response to these requests, EPA is issuing a Federal Register Notice that:

  1. Notifies the public that EPA has received rulemaking requests asking the Agency to revise the performance standards for MSDs;
  2. Provides a summary of the requests;
  3. Seeks public comment on the rulemaking requests; and
  4. Solicits additional technical input and factual information that will be useful to the Agency as it considers how it might respond to the requests.

The Notice will be available for comment for 120 days after it is published in Federal Register.

Submit Slogan Ideas for EPA’s Lakes Shoreline Protection Outreach Campaign

EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds is launching its outreach campaign to share results and information from the National Lakes Assessment. The campaign is focusing on nutrient pollution and shoreline habitat loss as the two major challenges facing our nation’s lakes. Please submit your ideas for a slogan to Alli Gold (gold.allison@epa.gov).

Watershed Tool of the Month

Socrata—BP Oil Spill Data Tool Exit EPA Disclaimer

In response to the ongoing BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, EPA’s been analyzing environmental conditions, including air, water, sediment, and oily wastes. In an effort to honor the open government approach, EPA has been sharing the data with the public as soon as it is available. EPA launched a new tool called Socrata, which allows individuals to download water sample data.

Through Socrata individuals can:

Individuals can also download the data in several formats. Beyond the CSV and PDF formats EPA currently provides, you can get JSON, XML and XLS. In addition, you can build your own database tools using an API (application programming interface), meaning you can always have access to the latest data without having to download files.

You can also embed the data on your own site or blog because each dataset and each view has its own permanent URL. Just click the "Publishing" tab at the bottom of the screen to get the form, select the dimensions, and copy the code. If you create a free Socrata account, you can save your own analyses and link to or embed them. Your analyses will always show the most recent data and you can share your analyses with others.

Webcast

Re-Visioning Landscapes with LID The Houston Experience Webcast

August 11th, 1:00pm-2:30pm

Take a break from the summer heat to join us for the "Re-Visioning Landscapes with LID: The Houston Experience" webcast. During the past winter, the Houston Land/Water Sustainability Forum sponsored a national Low Impact Development (LID) Design Competition. The competition was created to educate design professionals, decision makers and the public on the economic, environmental and quality-of-life positive impacts of LID. The design teams, most of whom had no previous experience with LID, created designs for three real developments being planned around greater Houston—a green roadway, urban redevelopment, and a suburban residential design. This webcast will feature participants from all portions of the competition—competition organizers, competition winners, and design judges. This webcast will also feature a discussion of the competition’s ripple effect on Houston’s design/build community as well as the building ordinances in Houston. The competition is spawning interest beyond Houston on the benefits of LID. See for yourself what’s behind the buzz.

Watershed Spotlight: Local Leaders

Reston Virginia Uses the Soft Approach to Address the Hard Line of Shoreline Management Exit EPA Disclaimer

In Reston, Virginia, the homeowners association for the community, Reston Association (RA), has taken important steps to protect and restore lake shorelines through "soft" approaches. Lakes throughout Reston faced challenges with collapsing bulkheads that were originally installed by developers with CCA lumber. The bulkheads did not allow for natural shorelines, encouraged the frequency of lawns up to the shoreline, and contributed to high levels of arsenic in the water. RA decided to take action through education initiatives, demonstration projects, financial incentives, and restrictions on bulkheads on RA property. RA faced a great challenge in convincing homeowners that a "clean" edge at the lake was actually detrimental to the shoreline and lake water quality. Through the demonstrations of vegetative plantings, coir log installations, and rip-rap, RA has successfully encouraged homeowners to take action on their own properties and restore their shorelines.

*Spotlight based on information LakeLine Magazine, Spring 2009 Larry Butler and Nicki Foremsky "Reston, VA: Softening the Hard Line."

To nominate a group for our Spotlight feature, please contact Allison Gold (gold.allison@epa.gov).

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Watershed Management Conference Exit EPA Disclaimer

August 23-27, Madison, WI. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) is sponsoring the 2010 Watershed Management Conference: Innovations in Watershed Management Under Land Use and Climate Change. The conference will highlight innovative approaches for managing water resources under climate and land use change. Relevant topics include hydrologic measurement and modeling, integrated and/or adaptive water management, aquatic ecosystem restoration, risk-based design, and the use of regional predictions of climate change.

Groundwater Protection Council "Water and Energy Sustainability Symposium: Water and Energy in Changing Climates" Exit EPA Disclaimer

September 26-29, 2010, Pittsburgh, PA. The Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) will host the Water and Energy Sustainability Symposium: Water and Energy in Changing Climates on September 26 - 29, 2010 in Pittsburgh, PA. A host of radical changes has brought both water and energy management to the brink of crisis. Political, economic, and technological climates have undergone as much transformation as the natural climate. The ever-growing population and the increasing demands of that population on water and energy resources are adding to the challenge. Now, more than ever, water and energy planners need to share and learn from each other and from experts in their professional communities. Leaders from government, energy and water industries, academia, water organizations, and others will discuss the complex relationship between water and energy and pave the way for working together to deliver fresh water and clean energy that we can afford and sustain.

Restore America’s Estuaries Conference "Preparing for Climate Change, Science, Practice, and Policy" Exit EPA Disclaimer

November 13-17, 2010, Galveston Island, Texas. RAE's national conference brings together the best and the brightest in the coastal habitat restoration community—diverse stakeholders from across the country—all united in the search for solutions to the needs of our coastal ecosystems. The 2010 conference focus, Preparing for Climate Change, while a concern for all coastal regions, has particular resonance for coastal Texas and Galveston, still recovering from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ike in 2008.

RAE is committed to helping Galveston recover from the environmental and economic damage caused by Ike. Through the conference, RAE will work to restore resiliency to Galveston's shoreline through sea- and marsh-grass planting projects; stimulate the local economy through the business generated during the five-day conference; push Galveston's ongoing restoration needs to national attention through press work and through the attendance of senior federal officials; and increase the direction and momentum of new resources to aid the Galveston area.

National NPS Monitoring Conference Exit EPA Disclaimer

November 16-18, Milwaukee, WI. The Annual Nonpoint Source Monitoring Workshop is an important forum for sharing information and improving communication for controlling and monitoring NPS pollution issues and projects. The focus of the 18th National Workshop is on nutrients and what lessons we have learned that can be factored into the projects funded under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). A number of technical workshops and interactive learning sessions will be offered to build knowledge and skills, transfer technology and promote innovative evaluation/documentation techniques. This conference will bring together NPS monitoring and management personnel from state, federal, Tribal and municipal governments, private sector, academia, environmental groups and local watershed groups. Early bird registration ends September 17, 2010.

Be sure to check out EPA’s Watershed Funding Web site (http://www.epa.gov/owow/funding.html)

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