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) Bureau of Reclamation Announces Three WaterSMART Grants
2) NAWCA U.S. Standard Grants
3) National Environmental Education Training Program
4) Environmental Training for Youth
5) Watershed Intern Program
6) EPA Releases Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations
7) EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW) Celebrates Lakes Appreciation Month
8) EPA Seeks Public Comment on Strategic Plan of Agency Priorities
9) NCSU Rainwater Harvester Computer Model
10) Healthy Lakeshores Through Better Shoreline Stewardship July 15th
11) The T.R.U.E. Blue Program: Teaching Rivers in an Urban Environment
12) Ask the Bioretention Researchers Summit
13) International SWCS Annual Conference
14) EPA Region 6 to Co-Host the Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure Workshop
16) Watershed Management Conference
17) National NPS Monitoring Conference
The Bureau of Reclamation announces the availability of three WaterSMART Funding Opportunity Announcements: System Optimization Review Grants; Advanced Water Treatment Pilot and Demonstration Project Grants; and Research Grants to Develop Climate Analysis Tools. The WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) program is intended to address the most significant challenges facing our water supplies in the 21st century, including population growth, climate change, rising energy demands, environmental needs, and aging infrastructure. The closing date for applications is July 2, 2010.
Through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife. The standard grants program is competitive and requires that grant requests be matched by partner contributions at no less than a 1-to-1 ratio. Funds from U.S. Federal sources may contribute towards a project, but are not eligible as match. These grants support projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico that involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats. The application deadline is July 30, 2010.
The EPA funds the National Environmental Education Training Program to deliver environmental education training and long-term support to teachers and other education professionals across the U.S. to enable them to teach effectively about environmental issues. EPA awards one cooperative agreement to fund this 5 year national program. U.S. institutions of higher education, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, or a consortia of such institutions are eligible to apply. The funds are expected to be awarded for this program by September 30, 2010. Applications are due by July 26, 2010.
USFWS 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 Mountain-Prairie Region states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. The closing date for applications is September 30, 2010.
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.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released to the public a guidance document, "Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations – CAFOs That Discharge or Are Proposing to Discharge," that the Agency has developed to assist in implementing the 2008 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) rule. In 2008, EPA promulgated revised regulations for CAFOs to require that CAFOs that discharge or propose to discharge must seek coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The rule also clarifies that a CAFO proposes to discharge if it is designed, constructed, operated, or maintained such that a discharge will occur. Developing guidance that provides additional explanation for how to implement regulations is a routine part of how EPA fulfills its responsibilities to carry out Clean Water Act programs. This guidance will assist EPA and States with program implementation.
Following the release of the National Lakes Assessment (NLA) in April 2010, EPA has begun a variety of outreach efforts to disseminate the results of the NLA. During the month of July, EPA will join the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) in celebrating Lakes Appreciation Month. Get involved and volunteer to protect your local lakes by participating in the Secchi Dip-In , a volunteer monitoring program to give states data on the health and water quality of lakes. Follow OWOW on Twitter (@epaowow) all month long to get tips and information on healthy lakeshore management.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on its draft FY 2011-2015 strategic plan, which helps advance Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's priorities and the mission to protect human health and the environment. Administrator Jackson's seven priorities are: taking action on climate change, improving air quality, protecting America's waters, cleaning up our communities, assuring the safety of chemicals, expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice, and building strong state and tribal partnerships.
The draft plan identifies the measurable environmental and human health benefits the public can expect over the next five years and describes how EPA intends to achieve those results. The public comment period begins June 18 and closes July 30. EPA will use stakeholder feedback to prepare the final strategic plan, which will be released by September 30. Comments on the draft strategic plan (http://www.regulations.gov) may be submitted.. The Docket ID number is EPA-HQ-OA-0486. The agency will use the feedback provided (https://blog.epa.gov/strategicplan) as it implements the cross-cutting fundamental strategies and takes actions to change the way EPA does its work.
Watershed Tool of the Month
North Carolina State University developed a model to assist homeowners, architects, and planners in developing and installing effective rainwater harvesting systems. The model works to help facilities properly size cisterns to meet the average rainfall and water needs of the building. In addition, the model includes cost and usage estimates. The model can be downloaded for free. NSCU is continuously modifying the model and is open to feedback.
Join us for this exciting Webcast in honor Lakes Appreciation Month and lean about improving lakeshore habitat through better shoreline stewardship. EPA's first-ever assessment of the ecological condition of the nation's lakes, the National Lakes Assessment, identifies poor lakeshore habitat and high levels of nutrients as the leading stressors affecting the biological health of lakes. Experts from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Maine will share innovative local and statewide lakeshore protection initiatives, touching on both voluntary and regulatory measures. All those who care about lakes—lake and homeowner associations, natural resource agencies, state and local governments, anglers, realtors, and others—are invited to learn about threats to our freshwater lakes and ways to make a difference. Webcast participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance. Participants are encouraged to download presentations prior to the Webcast.
Watershed Spotlight: Local Leaders
Watershed education is a crucial component to watershed protection, and the Blue River Watershed Association's T.R.U.E. Blue Program addresses the need to incorporate sound environmental principles into school curricula. Since the inception of the program thirteen years ago, the group has visited hundreds of schools in the Kansas City area to deliver environmental education to 5th through 12th graders. During the four-lesson curriculum, a BRWA representative comes equipped with a Hach kit to train the students on how to conduct chemical tests for assessing water quality. After an overview of the testing protocols and safety procedures, volunteer water quality professionals from the area assist the students in water sampling of a local stream. The results of the stream sampling are thoroughly discussed at the end of the curriculum and classes are even encouraged to plan and implement water quality improvement projects. The impact of the T.R.U.E. Blue Program lasts beyond the four-lessons; many students continue to participate in stream cleaning and restoration activities with the BRWA. As exhibited in the Kansas City community, there is truly a strong relationship between environmental education and environmental stewardship.
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
July 15-16, 2010. Annapolis, MD. For the first time, three national experts in bioretention research are joining forces to present the "Bioretention Research & Design Summit: Ask the Researchers." Drs. Allen Davis (University of Maryland), William (Bill) Hunt (North Carolina State University), and Robert Traver (Villanova University) have a combined over 30 years of bioretention research among them. The three researchers will discuss many of the most pressing design issues associated with bioretention including: (1) choosing appropriate hydrologic and water quality design targets, (2) benefits of the bioretention bowl and internal water storage features on performance, (3) the importance of fill media and how to craft a media that infiltrates and removes pollutants, (4) optimal design configurations for TN, TP, TSS, pathogens, and thermal removal/mitigation, and (5) various construction methods to improve performance. In addition, the summit will feature a ½-day tour to local bioretention research sites upon which much of the presented-findings are based.
July 18-21, 2010. St. Louis, MO. Join your colleagues in St. Louis for the 65th annual international conference of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. The conference includes workshops, concurrent sessions, symposia, posters, plenary sessions, and technical tours designed to raise awareness of conference participants to recent developments in the science and art of natural resource conservation and environmental management. The 2010 conference will take place at the Hilton at the Ballpark in downtown St. Louis.
July 29 - 30, 2010. Fayetteville, AR. EPA Region 6, the Northwest Arkansas Stormwater Education Group, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, and the Beaver Water District are proud to announce the Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure Workshop to be held July 29 - 30, 2010. Green infrastructure (GI) is an approach to wet weather management that is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Participants will leave the conference with knowledge of tools and practices needed to effectively implement GI as well as different approaches to link GI with prevention and mitigation of water quality impacts. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) may be available.
August 1-5, 2010. San Antonio, TX. The 9th annual North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition, StormCon will be held in San Antonio, TX on August 1-5, 2010. This is an opportunity for stormwater managers, regulators, engineers, consultants, and contractors to learn about the latest stormwater innovations and technologies. StormCon features the largest exhibition of stormwater equipment and technologies in one place. Online registration is open.
August 23-27, 2010. 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.
November 16-18, 2010. 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.