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) Bronx River Watershed Initiative
2) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program
3) Region 9 Wetlands Program Development Grants
4) Shell Marine Habitat Program
5) Upper Mississippi River Watershed Fund
6) Smart Growth Implementation Assistance 2009 Request for Applications
7) Economic Recovery Funding for Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
8) Green Jobs Training Opportunities Catalog
9) Call for Entries - National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
10) Vote in the River Network-MillerCoors Watershed Protection Grant Contest
11) USDA Establishes The People's Garden and Announces goal of creating community gardens at each USDA facility worldwide
12) 17th annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
13) Call for Abstracts - Watershed Science and Technical Conference
14) Green Infrastructure Webcast on March 3
15) MSGP (Multi-Sector General Permit) Monitoring Webcast scheduled for March 19
16) Green Infrastructure Webcast on March 24
17) Pond/Wetland Management Guidebook
18) Christina River, Pennsylvania and Delaware
19) 5th National Conference for Nonpoint Source and Stormwater Outreach: "Achieving Results with Tight Budgets"
20) World Environmental & Water Resources Congress
21) Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference
22) River Network's National River Rally
23) StormCon '09
The Bronx River Watershed Initiative (BRWI) has $1.5 million available for stormwater retrofit projects, including Low Impact Development initiatives, to address the root causes of pollution from stormwater outfalls to improve water quality and river ecology along the Bronx River. The funds come from a $7 million settlement generated by the New York State Attorney General's Office and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation resulting from violations associated with discharges of raw sewage into the Bronx River from storm sewers. Applications due March 13, 2009.
Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution. States, tribes, local government agencies, interstate agencies, and intertribal consortia are eligible to apply under this announcement. Universities that are agencies of state government are eligible. Non-profit organizations are not eligible to compete under this RFP. Projects for awards under this RFP must occur within the states and other areas of EPA Region IX; specifically Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and other unincorporated U.S. Pacific possessions. Applications are due by March 30, 2009.
The Shell Marine Habitat Program is a partnership between the Shell Oil Company and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The purpose of this partnership is to provide grants for projects that benefit marine and coastal habitats in and around the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the North Aleutian Basin, North Slope Borough, and Northwest Arctic Borough areas of Alaska. The National Oceanic and the Atmospheric Administration recently joined Shell and NFWF in their efforts to support projects that benefit the habitat for living marine resources in the Gulf of Mexico. Applications are due April 1, 2009.
The Upper Mississippi River Watershed Fund (UMRWF) is a partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This partnership provides grants that benefit the stewardship of the forests and the restoration of watersheds in the Upper Mississippi River drainage. Eligible applicants include non-profit 501 (c) organizations and local and state units of government. During past funding cycles, the Foundation emphasized a match ratio of 2:1, which posed a barrier to some organizations interested in applying to the program. To reduce this barrier and encourage proposals from a larger pool of prospective applicants, the Foundation has reduced the minimum match requirement to 1:1 for the current funding cycle. Pre-proposals are due April 15, 2009.
The Development, Community, and Environment Division in EPA's Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation is seeking applications for technical assistance from communities that want to incorporate smart growth in their future development to meet environmental and other community goals. Eligible entities are tribal, local, regional, and state governments, and nonprofit organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a governmental entity. EPA has identified some key areas in which communities are likely to benefit from technical assistance: climate change (both mitigation of and adaptation to), green job development, corridor redevelopment, green building development, suburban retrofitting and disaster resiliency. Applications are due by April 23, 2009.
The economic recovery plan signed by President Obama will create quality, sustainable jobs to help protect our country's public health and our environment. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 specifically includes $7.22 billion for projects and programs administered by EPA. These programs will protect and promote both "green" jobs and a healthier environment. As part of the plan, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund projects have been funded $4 billion for assistance to help communities with water quality and wastewater infrastructure needs and $2 billion for drinking water infrastructure needs. A portion of the funding is targeted towards green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, and environmentally innovative projects. The Agency is developing grant guidance to assist states in managing the Recovery Act funding. Announcements of grants will be posted on the web to ensure transparency. The state-by-state distributions for clean water and drinking water state revolving funds are also available firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smart growth development serves the economy, the community, and the environment. Smart growth approaches to development create clear environmental benefits, including improved air and water quality, preservation of critical habitat and open space, and more cleanup and re-use of brownfield sites. Interested parties are encouraged to submit applications for smart growth activities that have shown significant activity between April 23, 2004, and April 23, 2009. Applications are due on April 23, 2009.www.rivernetwork.org
USDA Establishes The People's Garden and Announces goal of creating community gardens at each USDA facility worldwide
On February 12th Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "broke pavement" on the inaugural USDA The People's Garden during a ceremony on the grounds of USDA commemorating the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. The Secretary declared the stretch of pavement permanently closed and returned back to green, and encouraged other Administration officials and the general public to join in to protect the Chesapeake watershed.
The USDA People's Garden will eliminate 1,250 square feet of unnecessary paved surface at the USDA headquarters and return the landscape to grass. The changes signal a removal of impervious surfaces and improvement in water management that is needed throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The new garden will add 612 square feet of planted space to an existing garden traditionally planted with ornamentals. The garden will showcase conservation practices that all Americans can implement in their own backyards and green spaces. As a component of the garden, pollinator-friendly plantings will not only provide important habitat for bees and butterflies, but can serve as an educational opportunity to help people understand the vital role pollinators play in our food, forage and all agriculture. The garden plot is adjacent to the site of the USDA Farmer's Market.
Webcastwebcast (PDF) (1 pg, 252K, About PDF) on March 3 from 1:00 - 3:00 eastern will feature Steve Wise, Center for Neighborhood Technology discussing "The Many Benefits of Green Infrastructure" and Marc Cammarato, Philadelphia, discussing how the City is implementing green BMPs. Registration for this webcast is now open.
MSGP (Multi-Sector General Permit) Monitoring Webcast scheduled for March 19 (PDF) (1 pg, 274K, About PDF)
EPA will host a webcast presentation on March 19, 2009, 2:00pm - 4:00pm Eastern Time, entitled "Monitoring and Reporting for the 2008 MSGP." The webcast will discuss the monitoring requirements in the 2008 MSGP (which addresses industrial stormwater runoff), including how to collect samples, to submit the monitoring results electronically via EPA's eNOI system, and to complete the annual report. You must register in advance to attend this webcast.
The second in a series of six Green Infrastructure webcasts will be on March 24 from 1:00 - 3:00 eastern with Abby Hall, EPA, talking about "Revising Local Plans, Codes and Ordinances" and Chris Kloss, Low Impact Development Center and Bill Davis, Progressive Design and Planning, talking about "Water Harvesting." Registration for this webcast will open approximately March 10.
Watershed Tool of the Month
Pond/Wetland Management Guidebook (PDF) (80 pp, 4.1MB, About PDF)
EPA just released a new guidebook that describes maintenance and inspection practices for existing wet ponds and wetlands. The guide includes checklists for use during construction and routine maintenance of ponds/wetlands, and also includes a home owner pond inspection checklist. Maintenance profile sheets describe how to address eight different common maintenance issues.
Spotlight: Watersheds at Work
The Christina River Basin Clean Water Partnership in Pennsylvania and Delaware has made significant progress in reducing pollution from storm water runoff to the Christina River basin. A recent report by the University of Delaware and the Delaware River Basin Commission shows that, throughout the past four years, the Partnership, with the assistance of a $1 million EPA Targeted Watersheds Grant, has implemented numerous projects to reduce the harmful effects of stormwater runoff pollution on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife. For every federal dollar invested in the project, the Partnership leveraged more than two dollars, allowing them to exceed the original goals, some by more than 50 percent. Accomplishments include over 10,000 feet of stream restoration, 8,000 feet of stream fencing and nutrient management control plans on over 1,000 acres. A complete description of all of the projects that have been undertaken to reduce nonpoint source pollution is available in the December 2008 Christina Basin Targeted Watershed Grant Final Report (PDF) (213 pp, 13MB, About PDF).
Upcoming Conferences and Workshops
5th National Conference for Nonpoint Source and Stormwater Outreach: "Achieving Results with Tight Budgets"
May 11-14, 2009. Portland, Oregon. The 5th National Conference for Nonpoint Source and Stormwater Outreach will provide practitioners from around the country the opportunity to learn and share ideas on developing and implementing nonpoint source and stormwater outreach strategies that produce positive, measurable outcomes, comply with NPDES requirements, and can be successfully implemented with modest budgets. The conference will serve local, regional, state and federal professionals tasked with educating various audiences on nonpoint source pollution, stormwater pollution, watershed protection and promoting sustainable behavior changes in challenging economic times.
May 17-21, 2009. Kansas City, MO. Organized by EWRI and ASCE, this Congress' central theme is the great rivers of the world and the engineering challenges of balancing environmental and development issues while achieving a sustainable future. It is imperative that those working on the front lines - at the environmental/water engineering nexus - share insights from research and practical experience in the field to generate best practices for the future on issues such as river system management, environmental issues, watershed management and restoration, dam safety, hydraulic structures, and so much more.
May 18-20, 2009. Portland, ME. Organized by New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. The three-day conference brings together all those in New England and New York State involved in NPS pollution management, including participants from state, federal, and municipal governments, private sector, academia, and watershed organizations.
May 29-June 1, 2009. Baltimore, MD. Baltimore, Maryland will play host to the 10th National River Rally. And, like the nine River Rallies preceding it, River Rally 2009 is sure to be an event you won't want to miss. Highlights include:
- A series of intensive, 4-hour workshops on Friday afternoon
- Over 70 additional workshops covering topics of interest to staff, volunteers and board members of river conservation organizations
- Office hours, mentoring sessions and real life, in-person conversations with funders and exhibitors
- The River Heroes Banquet: a memorable and inspirational night of celebrating our own leaders
- Unsurpassed networking opportunities
August 16-20, 2009. Anaheim, CA. In addition to serving municipal and government professionals, StormCon offers sessions on sediment and erosion control practices for contractors, and techniques for special sites, such as airports and ports. StormCon offers non-technical stormwater sessions that will benefit those completely new to stormwater, as well as advanced sessions for seasoned professionals.