Monday, November 30, 2009

EPA Issues Rule to Reduce Water Pollution from Construction Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a final rule to help reduce water pollution from construction sites. The agency believes this rule, which takes effect in February 2010 and will be phased in over four years, will significantly improve the quality of water nationwide.

Construction activities like clearing, excavating and grading significantly disturb soil and sediment. If that soil is not managed properly it can easily be washed off of the construction site during storms and pollute nearby water bodies.

The final rule requires construction site owners and operators that disturb one or more acres to use best management practices to ensure that soil disturbed during construction activity does not pollute nearby water bodies. In addition, owners and operators of sites that impact 10 or more acres of land at one time will be required to monitor discharges and ensure they comply with specific limits on discharges to minimize the impact on nearby water bodies. This is the first time that EPA has imposed national monitoring requirements and enforceable numeric limitations on construction site stormwater discharges.

Soil and sediment runoff is one of the leading causes of water quality problems nationwide. Soil runoff from construction has also reduced the depth of small streams, lakes and reservoirs, leading to the need for dredging.

More information:

Spiny Waterflea Lkae Champlain Projects

Grand Isle, VT - The first of five Lake Champlain projects funded through an appropriation in the Great Lakes Fishery Commission budget was initiated this week. Senator Patrick Leahy secured a $500,000 appropriation to be transferred to the Lake Champlain Basin Program and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat and to remove hazardous materials from Law Island, a popular recreation area near Colchester, VT. This project, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will result in a preliminary barrier design to reduce the spread of the spiny water flea, a small predatory crustacean, from New York's Great Sacandaga Lake to Lake Champlain.

Senator Leahy in a statement said: "I am pleased that the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are moving quickly to prevent the spread of the spiny water flea into Lake Champlain. Invasive species, like water chestnut and the alewife, can do massive damage and may be impossible to eliminate once they become established. This is truly a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

The spiny water flea was found in Great Sacandaga Lake in October, 2008. The invasion of Lake Champlain by this species would be ecologically harmful, because it competes with native species near the base of the food chain. They are also a serious nuisance in recreational fishing because their bodies collect on and foul fishing gear. Resource managers and anglers are very concerned that this species could spread to Lake Champlain from the Great Sacandaga Lake through the Champlain Canal.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sampled for the presence of the spiny water flea in both the Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain several times through the summer of 2009. Fortunately, no specimens were found.

Dave Tilton, Manager of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Program in the region, is pleased with the selection of a contractor. "Thanks to support from Senator Leahy and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, we're able to obtain bioengineering services to review the biology of the spiny water flea as it relates to its potential to travel from Great Sacandaga Lake, down the Sacandaga River to the Hudson, and through the Feeder Canal into the Lake Champlain Canal to Lake Champlain," said Tilton. "Our engineering contractor will also assess design criteria for a filter or other facility and develop construction cost estimates."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hiring HDR Engineering to complete the work. HDR Engineering, which has a branch office in Syracuse, New York, will determine advantages and drawbacks for each alternative to deter the spiny water flea. Work is expected to be completed early in 2010.

"We're working as quickly as possible to prevent the spread of the spiny water flea," said Tilton. "We hope the results of this first contract will help prepare the cooperating State and Federal agencies to implement the chosen alternative in the next year or two.

For further information about the spiny water flea projects contact Dave Tilton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 11 Lincoln Street, Essex Junction, Vermont (802) 872-0629. For information on additional projects scheduled for 2010, log onto<> or call (802) 372-3213.

Source: Hilary Smith, APIPP

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NPDES Permit Writers' Course now on-line

NPDES Overview Course for Permitees – Now Available On-line

EPA is now offering segments of its very popular "NPDES Permit Writers' Course" on line. In response to diminishing travel budgets and to reach a broader audience, EPA's Office of Wastewater Management is developing web-based presentations that cover some of the material presented in the live course.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program is authorized under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of pollutants from industrial and municipal point sources to waters of the United States. The "NPDES Permit Writers' Course" is a five-day training course covering the key elements of NPDES permit development. The course is taught by experienced EPA staff and contractors and has been very successful in training new EPA and State NPDES permit writers.

These recorded presentations are not intended to replace the "live course," but should enable permit writers who attended the NPDES Permit Writers' Course to review the material on demand in a self-paced environment. The Web-based presentations should also be useful for those who have not attended a live course, but wish to become familiar with important concepts of the NPDES permit program.

The first installment in this Web-based training, "Establishing Water Quality-based Effluent Limitations in NPDES Permits" is now available at

This web site provides links to the presentations, as well as introductory text describing the training materials, and explanations of how to navigate through the presentations. Additional training materials will be posted to the site in the coming months.

Questions or comments should be directed to David Hair in EPA's Water Permits Division at 202-564-2287 (

Source: Waterheadlines

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Literature Reviews Related to Recreational Water Quality Risks

EPA conducted two literature reviews to help inform development of new or revised recreational water quality criteria by 2012. The first document, "Review of Published Studies to Characterize Relative Risks from Different Sources of Fecal Contamination in Recreational Waters," describes the existing information available to characterize the relative risks of human illness from various sources of fecal contamination in recreational waters. The second document, "Review of Zoonotic Pathogens in Ambient Water," provides a summary of information on waterborne zoonotic pathogens that come primarily from warm-blooded animals.

Both documents are available on EPA's Web site at:

Source: Waterheadlines

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Web Seminar - What's Below the Surface of Your Reservoir

YSI has announced a free web seminar entitled What's Below the Surface of Your Reservoir? - Using Water Quality Monitoring & Mapping Systems to Find Out More About Your Source Water

July 30 1PM-2PM EDT

If you are interested in: 
• Early warning of taste- and odor-causing algae
• Monitoring low dissolved oxygen and stratification
• Tracking the impacts of storm events
• Monitoring water quality at intakes
• Calculating volume of reservoir

Join the webinar to learn about:
• Automated vertical profiling of water column
• 3-D mapping of water quality
• Bathymetry and volume mapping
• Case studies from source water manager

For more information, contact YSI at:
Tel: +1-937-767-7241  US: 800-897-4151

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interagency Funding Guide for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - Focus on invasive spp

An Interagency Funding Guide has been developed in order to provide one-stop-shopping for applicants interested in applying for over $250 million in grants and project agreements which would be expected to be available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (if the full $475 million for the Initiative is appropriated). These grants and project agreements are intended to jump-start achievement of the Initiative's long term goals: safely eating the fish and swimming at our beaches, assuring safe drinking water, and providing a healthy ecosystem for fish and wildlife. The Interagency Funding Guide is available at:

Note that pp 3-5 of the document describe funding opportunities for research, control and prevention of invasive species.

Be sure to regularly check for invasive species funding updates and full RFP's as they become available.

Source: Holly Menninger
Senior Extension Associate and
NY Invasive Species Research Institute Coordinator
Department of Natural Resources
Cornell University

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Water Quality Video Contest Winners Inspire Stewardship for the Nation’s Waters

The two winners of EPA’s first-ever water quality video contest made videos that will help educate the public about water pollution and give simple steps that people and communities can take to improve water quality.
“We are delighted by the number and quality of contest submissions,” said Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Michael H. Shapiro. “This is another illustration of how new Web technologies allow people to express their passion for water quality in new and exciting ways.”

In the 30 or 60 second category, “Protect Our Water - Check Cars for Oil Leaks” submitted by Lucas Ridley of Trenton, Ga. was the overall winner. His video illustrates one easy step you can take to protect your watershed through proper motor vehicle care.

In the 1-3 minute category, “Dastardly Deeds and the Water Pollution Monster” submitted by Nora Kelley Parren of Hinesburg, Vt. was the winner. Her animated video, made entirely out of discarded paper, illustrates how polluted runoff threatens ecosystems and offers tips people can take to protect water quality. The two winning filmmakers will each receive a $2,500 cash award, and their videos are featured on EPA’s Web site.

EPA received more than 250 video submissions that covered a wide variety of topics including low impact development, wetlands, marine debris, watershed management, water quality monitoring, polluted runoff, and other water-related topics. EPA received many other highly creative videos, and 22 videos were recognized as honorable mentions.

Thanks to the 1972 Clean Water Act, there have been great improvements to our nation’s waters over the past 37 years; however, there is more that we can do. Educating citizens about actions that they can take to reduce their impact is vital to improving the nation’s water quality.

To view the winning videos and honorable mentions:

Source: Waterheadlines

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

VT TNC Distributes Vermont Monthly Invasives Update as e-newsletter

The Vermont Chapter of Nature Conservancy's Wise on Weeds! program distributes a well-produced Monthly Invasives Update chock full of usefull information covering terrestrial and aquatic invasive species. This newsletter should be of interest to residents throughout the Northeast and not just Vermont. If you would like to like to receive the newsletter, or have something to contribute, please contact Sharon Plumb at

Here's the June 2009 Table of Contents to give you an idea of what you can expect:

1. Species Spotlight: Japanese Knotweed

2. Vermont Aquatics Nuisance Bill
3. The Conservancy's Wise on Weeds! Program Receives EPA Educational Grant
4. The Conservancy's Wise on Weeds! Program Receives Wellborn Ecology Grant  

5. Managing Invasive Plants in Your Forests
6. Invasive Plant Management for Road Crews Workshops
7. Invasive Plants 101! Landowner Workshop at Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park  

8. Get outside with The Nature Conservancy and Pull it Up!
9.      Burlington Parks & Rec Invasive Plant Removal Program
10. Volunteers Needed to Assist in European Frogbit Management    

11. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for the 2009 "Pulling Together" Initiaitive
12. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals for the 2009 Native Plant Conservation Initiative (NPCI) grants cycle  

13. Wild Ones Promotes Native Plants
14. Invasive Species Middle School Curriculum
15. Goutweed Soup

Aquatic Invasive Speces Rapid Response Plan Approved for Lake Champlain Basin

Thanks to the dedicated work of the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) Aquatic Nuisance Species Subcommittee and Rapid Response Workgroup, the Lake Champlain Basin Rapid Response Action Plan for Aquatic Invasive Species has been approved by the LCBP Steering Committee. This plan is intended to ensure that appropriate protocols, trained personnel, equipment, permits, and other resources are in place to contain and potentially eradicate newly detected nonnative aquatic invasive species as they are reported in the Basin. The plan envisions a task force comprised of members from Quebec, New York, and Vermont to implement and oversee rapid response actions.

This plan will be very helpful should hydrilla (for example) be found in Lake Champlain. Hydrilla has rapidly spread since it was introduced into Florida waters by an aquatic fish dealer and is now found in Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts. The aggressive invasive poses a looming threat to Lake Champlain as it is very adaptable and difficult to control once it has established a population. The Rapid Response plan will limit its impact on the Lake and prevent hydrilla from clogging waterways.

For more information about hydrilla or other aquatic nuisance species, visit

Source: Lake Champlain Basin Program

$10 million Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program

EPA is announcing the availability of up to $10 million in "Climate Showcase Communities" grants for local and tribal governments to establish and implement climate change initiatives. EPA requests proposals which create replicable models of sustainable community action, generate cost-effective and persistent greenhouse gas reductions, and improve the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community.

How many grants will be awarded?

The agency expects to award a total of approximately 30 cooperative agreements ranging from approximately $100,000 to $500,000.

Approximately 5% of the fund ($500,000) are set-aside for tribal
governments. EPA expects to award 1-3 grants under the tribal set aside.

Who is eligible for the grant program?

Eligibility for the program includes local governments (a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority, school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments, any other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government), federally recognized Indian tribal governments, and inter-tribal consortia.

(Ed. note: Are you an eligible party with an idea but need help developing a succesful proposal? can help by connecting you with leading scientists & researchers in the field of climate change. Email Michael at >>

Are applicants required to provide matching funds?

A 50% cost-match or cost-share is required for this program with the exception of tribal governments and intertribal consortia which are exempt from matching requirements. The cost share and/or match can be in the form of cash or as in-kind contributions, such as use of volunteers and/or donated time, equipment, expertise, etc.

What is the application deadline?

Proposals are due by July 22, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. EDT. An optional notice of intent to apply is requested by July 1, 2009.

Who will administer the grant program?

The Grant program is administered by EPA's Local Climate and Energy Program, an initiative to assist local and tribal governments to identify, implement, and track policies and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their operations and surrounding communities.

What resources will be available to grant recipients?

Over the course of the grant program, EPA will offer peer exchange, trainings, and technical support to grant recipients. Each grant recipient will be profiled online and in EPA materials. EPA will share lessons learned from the grant program with communities across the nation.

For more information:

To view the Request for Applications:

Source: Anne Weinberg & NPSINFO listserv (see NPSINFO Resource Center for more information)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rain Gardens - Inexpensive & attractive treatment of stormwater runoff

A rain garden is a shallow depression in the ground that captures runoff from your driveway or roof and allows it to soak into the ground, rather than running across roads, capturing pollutants, and delivering them to nearby lakes and stream. Rain gardens are placed between stormwater runoff sources (roofs, driveways, parking lots) and runoff destinations (storm drains, streets, lakes, streams). Plants and soil work together to absorb and filter pollutants and return cleaner water through the ground to nearby streams.

Rain gardens are an inexpensive and attractive way to improve water quality and enhance the beauty of your yard or business.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension has developed an outstanding Web site that is dedicated to all aspects of building rain gardens. The website address is

Bridget Munger, Stormwater Outreach & Education Coordinator
N.C. Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources, Raleigh, NC

NC Cooperative Extension Rain Garden website

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wetland Program Development Grants Request for Proposals

On Friday May 29, 2009, EPA announced the release of the FY09 National Wetland Program Development Grants Request for Proposals (RFP). The total amount of expected federal funding available under this announcement
is approximately $550,000 and the federal portion of the awards will range from $25,000 to $225,000. Grants are awarded through Section 104(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act and are made to
build the capacity of all levels of government to develop and implement effective, comprehensive programs for wetland protection and management.

This year the RFP lists five national priority areas:
1) State/Tribal
Technical and Meeting Support;
2) Regulation;
3) Monitoring and Assessment;
4) Voluntary Restoration/Protection; and
5) Water Quality Standards for Wetlands.

The RFP will close at 7pm EDT on July 15, 2009, with decisions expected by the end of the fiscal year. The RFP can be viewed on the EPA wetlands website:

Source: Waterheadlines

4th Annual Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week is July 5 -11

The 4th Annual Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week is July 5 -11.  Awareness Week provides an opportunity to raise attention to invasive species and ways to stop their spread.  Groups across the region host activities locally which help to broaden the reach of our collective message. 

We're requesting that activities be submitted by June 24th so that we can alert media in advance.  Activities will be posted online at  

Need ideas?  Consider...
Plant pulls
Earthworm watches
Plant paddles
Forest pest trapping
Tips and tricks for I'd
Milfoil boat tours
Native plant landscaping
Free boat washing
River walks
Didymo dunk station
And more... 

We hope you will join in the effort during Awareness Week to protect the Adirondack region from invasive species. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Thank you! 

Hilary Smith
Director, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program
The Nature Conservancy - Adirondack Chapter
PO Box 65
Keene Valley, New York 12943
518-576-2082 x 131 (tel)
518-576-4203 (fax)

Presidential initiative provides volunteers for your lake & watershed stewardship programs

SUBJECT: President's new service initiative provides opportunity to get new volunteers for your program - act quickly

Dear Watershed Organizations and Volunteer Monitoring Program Coordinators:

President Obama will soon be announcing a Summer of Service campaign which offers a new and exciting opportunity to help you build up your roster of volunteers and raise awareness about volunteer monitoring and watershed stewardship. This week the President will be encouraging nonprofit organizations with a need for volunteers to register at

On June 22, the President and his Cabinet will officially launch the Summer of Service and encourage Americans to volunteer for their communities. The President will direct potential volunteers to to find local opportunities for service.

EPA is using this opportunity to promote volunteer monitoring and watershed stewardship. It is our hope that this Presidential initiative will encourage many more people to work to protect their watersheds.

Please consider registering your. program at You may get contacted by a number of volunteers eager to help your organization.

Think through what opportunities you might have for this summer, including monitoring workshops and events, debris cleanups, riparian restoration, community education, storm drain marking and other activities. If you want to sign up, you should do so as soon as possible, as a surge of web traffic is expected starting this week by
both organizations and individuals looking to get involved in volunteering this summer. However, if you're not quite prepared for a whole new cadre of volunteers, or for reporting the results of your summer volunteer activities at, you may not want to sign up at this time. One of the goals of this effort will be sustainable volunteerism, so if you're not ready to sign up this summer, you can always do so later on.

Please go to to register your program or for more information.
Thanks for all you do, every day.

If you have questions about this initiative, feel free to contact Alice
Mayio at

Thursday, June 04, 2009


June 2, 2009 Lake George, NY - Again this summer, lake stewards will be at boat launches around Lake George to educate boaters about invasive species spread prevention and to inspect boats.

Stewards will be located at Norowal Marina and Dunhams Bay Marina in the south end, and Mossy Point, Hague Town Launch, Gull Bay Town Launch, and Rogers Rock in the north end on various weekends.

"We have a great group of stewards working for us this summer. They all grew up in the area. They love Lake George, and want to give back by helping protect it this summer," said Emily DeBolt, the Lake George Association's Education and Outreach Coordinator.

DeBolt and the LGA coordinate the Lake George Lake Steward program on behalf of the Lake George Watershed Coalition. Training for the stewards, as well as data collection methods, are done in coordination with the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smiths College and the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Already, the lake stewards are off to a great start this season, removing 6 plants from boats over Memorial Day Weekend at Norowal Marina. 3 were native plants, and 3 were invasive plants: Eurasian watermilfoil, Curly-leaf pondweed, and Water Chestnut.

Water Chestnut has widespread negative impacts on Lake Champlain, but the invasive weed is not currently found in Lake George.Last summer, the stewards inspected 2,964 boats at launches around the lake between Memorial Day and mid-August, removing a total of 61 specimens of aquatic invasive species.

In addition to inspecting boats and providing information about invasive species, the stewards ask boaters a number of questions as part of a survey, which will be used to gain a better understanding of how invasive species are spread and to gauge the public's knowledge on the issue.

As part of the survey, stewards ask what body of water the boat was last in. Last year, boaters reported having come from 159 different waterbodies in 19 different states before arriving at Lake George. 

Some of those boats, 25 to be exact, reported having last been in Great Sacandaga Lake, where the first invasion of the spiny waterflea in an inland waterbody in New York, was discovered last fall. The spiny waterflea is a tiny zooplankton that could disrupt our fishery, and it, along with many other potential invaders, are on the stewards' radar for this summer.

The stewards will also be spreading the message about the new DEC firewood regulation, which limits the movement of untreated wood to 50 miles in an effort to protect our forests from insect invaders, such as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), which have devastating impacts on tree populations in the Great Lakes and the Northeast. One of the prime methods for spread of these pests is through the transportation of firewood. EAB has been moving from Michigan to Ohio, Pennsylvania and Quebec. ALB has been found in the New York City area, as well as Worcester, Pennsylvania.

By definition, invasive plant and animal species are non-native, yet are well adapted to the conditions and face no natural controls in the form of predators. When established, invasive species reproduce quickly and outcompete native species for necessary resources, such as food, space, oxygen, and sunlight. Eventually, native species can be completely displaced by the invader. Invasive species also have the potential to cause significant economic impacts and impacts to human health.

Some funding for the program has been provided by the New York State Department of State and by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

For more info about the Lake Steward program, or ways you can get involved in helping protect Lake George, contact the LGA at 668-3558 or go online to

Source: Lake George Association - P.O. Box 408 - Lake George, NY 12845(518) 668-3558 - Fax (518) 668-4702 -

Monday, June 01, 2009

Help Protect Adirondack Waters from Invasive Species

Early detection of invasive species increases chances of successful eradication. Get on-board with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program's 8th annual aquatic invasive plant training and learn aquatic plant identification tips and survey techniques. Volunteers are asked to conduct an annual survey on an Adirondack lake of their choice to search for aquatic invasive plants. 

To-date, 371 aquatic enthusiasts have spent over 4,000 hours surveying 216 Adirondack waterways. From the Fulton Chain to Lake Champlain, volunteer efforts are making a difference! 

The training is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP by June 8th to Tyler Smith, Aquatic Invasive Species Project Coordinator, at or 518-576-2082 x119. 

Select a training location that best suits you. All sessions are from 10am-2pm. 
• June 16, Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Bolton Landing
• June 18, Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, Tupper Lake
• June 23, Hudson River-Black River Regulating District Field Office, Mayfield 

Returning volunteers are encouraged to attend the plant identification portion as a refresher.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lake Stewardship:A Resident’s Guide to Understanding, Protecting, Restoring and Managing Lake & Pond Water Quality

I am writing a book on lake stewardship based on my 20+ years of experience managing lakes and working with lake stewards across the United States. I've included an excerpt from the introduction that tells a bit more about the why and what of this book. There are several good references out there that provide the nuts and bolts, and I intend to provide some of that as well. More importantly, I hope to distill my experience into a valuable and unique resource for those of you out there who live on and care about lakes. As the book progresses, I will likely share portions on-line here. Meanwhile, feel free to write me, the Wandering Limnologist, and tell me what are your main questions and concerns so that I can continue to provide answers on this blog (see Ask the Wandering Limnologist post) and further refine the book so it meets your needs.

Managing your lake or pond is going to be the most demanding socio-politico-economic-environmental undertaking in your life. Say goodbye to summers spent swinging in the hammock and hello to squabbles with seasonal friends and neighbors, endless meetings, . . . Well, it’s not all bad. Your lakefront property is an investment that needs protecting, an economic investment related to your retirement, a legacy to leave your offspring. While complicated at times and fraught with the real potential for conflict, acting as good stewards of your lake is one of the most rewarding ways you can spend your valuable free time.

The purpose of this book is to get you up to speed on lake stewardship by sharing my lake management knowledge accumulated through more than two decades of experience working on literally hundreds of lakes and ponds across the eastern half of the United States. You will learn important aspects about lake ecology and water quality. You will learn how your presence on the shore of a lake impacts lake ecology and water quality. You will learn the things you can do to preserve your lake. And you will learn about the things you can do if you need to restore your lake to a more pristine condition. While the science of applied limnology, the study of freshwater systems, and lake management can be complicated, I will do my best to present this material in a way that helps you understand what is going on beneath the surface of your lake.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pulling Together Initiative seeks proposals that will help control invasive plant species

The Pulling Together Initiative has issued a Request for Proposals that will help control invasive plant species, mostly through the work of public/private partnerships such as Cooperative Weed Management Areas. PTI applications are accepted from private non-profit (501)(c) organizations, local, county, and state government agencies, and from field staff of federal government agencies. Individuals and for-profit businesses are not eligible to receive PTI grants, but are encouraged to work with eligible applicants to develop and submit applications to PTI.

PTI grants provide an opportunity to initiate working partnerships and demonstrate successful collaborative efforts such as the development of permanent funding sources for Weed Management Areas. To be competitive, a project must:
  • prevent, manage, or eradicate invasive and noxious plants through a coordinated program of public/private partnerships; and 
  • increase public awareness of the adverse impacts of invasive and noxious plants. 
Successful PTI projects:
  • Focus on a particular well-defined area, such as a watershed, ecosystem, landscape, county or Weed Management Area. 
  • Target a specific and measurable conservation outcome.
  • Are supported by private landowners, state and local governments, and the regional/state offices of federal agencies. 
  • Have a project Steering Committee composed of local cooperators who are committed to working together to manage invasive and noxious plants across their jurisdictional boundaries. 
  • Have a clear long-term weed management plan which is based on an integrated pest management approach using the principles of ecosystem management. 
  • Include a specific, ongoing, and adaptive public outreach and education component.
Special consideration for funding will be given to projects that:
  • Address invasive species threats impacting one of the NFWF Keystone Initiative focal topics including for example:
• Eastern North America Early Successional Habitat (Wildlife and Habitat, Birds)
• Prairie Couteau Grasslands (Wildlife and Habitat)
• Sky Islands Grasslands (Wildlife and Habitat)
• Gunnison sage-grouse (Birds)
• Southeastern Grasslands (Birds)
• Seabirds (Birds)
• Shortgrass Prairie (Birds)
• Colorado River Fishes (Fish)
  • Address invasive plant management through an Early Detection/Rapid Response approach.
For additional information about each of these Keystone Initiatives, visit

Application Procedures

PTI Applicants must complete the online pre-proposal application form at

The pre-proposal form deadline is June 30, 2009.

Applicants that are invited to submit a full proposal will receive instructions via e-mail for accessing the full proposal form. Full proposals are due on September 30, 2009.

Project Timetable
  • June 30, 2009 • Pre-proposal deadline.
  • September 30, 2009 • Full proposal deadline. 
  • January 29, 2010 • Formal announcement of award recipients.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Free "Wetlands – Reconnecting Youth with Nature." Webcast May 28th in celebration of American Wetlands Month

EPA’s Watershed Academy is sponsoring a free May 28th Webcast Seminar entitled "Wetlands – Reconnecting Youth with Nature" in celebration of American Wetlands Month. 

As more Americans dwell in cities and suburbs, our society has become increasingly distanced from the natural world. More sedentary lifestyles, a reliance on electronic devices for creative play and entertainment, more structured "free-time" and less opportunity to explore outside have only added to this separation for children. The absence of everyday connections with nature can have a very negative effect – if our youth don't have meaningful experiences with nature, how will they come to care for and appreciate it and spearhead the next generation of environmental stewardship? 

Join us for a special American Wetlands Month Webcast as we explore this issue, hear about their efforts to change these trends, and discuss the unique role wetlands can play in reconnecting young people with nature. The Webcast will feature Richard Louv, distinguished author and Chairman of the Children and Nature Network; Suzanne Pittenger-Slear, President and CEO of Environmental Concern Inc.; and Davon Kenneth Johnson, Earth Conservation Corps. 

To register for the free Webcast, please visit

Thursday, May 21, 2009

EPA's WaterSense Program Revises Draft Specification for Single Family New Homes

The WaterSense program has refined its draft labeling specification for single-family new homes (initially released in May 2008). The revised draft specification addresses efficient plumbing fixtures, hot water delivery systems, appliances, landscape design and irrigation.

The revised specification will ensure that future WaterSense labeled homes still use 20% less water than similar new homes, while reducing the burden and cost to the builders. The modifications to the previous draft specification have built in some additional flexibility; the changes include:
  • Hot water delivery systems - New performance standards no longer require specific types of hot water delivery systems or insulation of hot water pipes.
  • Landscaping - The revised landscaping criteria allow for a wider variety of landscaping options
  • Irrigation systems – Additional requirements for minimum distribution uniformity values and rain shutoff devices increase the efficiency of newly installed irrigation systems.
  • Water budget tool – An improved resource, the water budget tool, better reflects growing seasons and plant water requirements.
  • Inspection guidelines- An optional sampling protocol adds flexibility and streamlines the inspection process for production builders.
These changes reflect further research, stakeholder comments and industry best practices. Once the specification is finalized, homes built and inspected to the specification will bear the WaterSense label.

The updated specification for single-family new homes will be available for public comment through July 7, 2009. EPA anticipates releasing the final Water-Efficient Single-Family New Home Specification in late 2009.

EPA welcomes input on the revisions made to the specification, and encourages all interested parties to view the most recent documents and provide comments. In addition, EPA plans to hold at least one public meeting on the revisions in June 2009. 

Visit to learn more about the Water-Efficient Single- Family New Home Specification.

Source: Waterheadlines

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ask the Wandering Limnologist

Here is a question posed to The Wandering Limnologist by the owner of a newly-created 15 acre lake regarding aquatic plants:

Dear Wandering Limnologist,
I have a newly created lake that is full for the first time this spring and have been reading many sources regarding lake management. Some books say that the key to clear water is to have plants growing that stabilizes the bottom. One article besides dealing specifically with phosphorus gives the impression as many other conflicting articles do – that "all vegetation is bad". How do you keep a stable bottom with "good plants" and limit the bad?

Weedless in SE New York

Dear Weedless:

There are a certain amount of nutrients in a lake acting like fertilizer to make green things grow - green things being algae & phytoplankton and aquatic plants. If you have no aquatic plants then all those nutrients go into phytoplankton and algae growth, causing cloudy water (green, green-brown, or brown). What you have been reading could also be talking about stabilizing lake bottom sediments, shallow water sediments, and lake shorelines. Without plants, wave action will resuspend sediments into the lake causing cloudiness (brown).

Lake ecosystems & lake management are not simple things. If anyone tells you verbally or in something you read that "doing this one thing" fixes all your problems or even solves one problem, be very suspect. For instance, say you had too many plants. Someone tells you that grass carp will fix your problem. It is true that grass carp eat plants. But they preferentially select and eat tastier (to them) plants first and maybe you didn't want to get rid of the tasty plant but another more troublesome plant. Furthermore, no one knows how many grass carp is the correct number. Too few and nothing happens, so the tendency is to throw in too many (there is no correct magic number). So the grass carp eat up all the tasty plants, then all the 2nd tastiest plants and so on until they eat up ALL the plants. Now your lake has no plants. Yea! But then all that phosphorus that was in the plants comes out as fish poop and with no plants you get algae and plankton and your lake is a green algae mess. And with no plants the bass can find and eat up all the small and young fish and you get no more new fish that can grow up to be big fish. And so on.

That is just on example how a "quick and easy fix" can cause more problems than it solves. So do yourself and your lake a favor, support your local lake expert. All kidding aside, don't be led around by simple statements and claims when it comes to your lake. Trust the experience of a certified lake manager when I say it is almost always more expensive to clean up a lake than it is to prevent it from getting messed up in the first place.

Oh, and the short answer is, yes you need plants in your lake to stabilize the shore and provide refuge for baby fish. You really just need to stabilize the shallow, near-shore area and there are plenty of plants that will only grow in shallow water and therefore NOT spread across the whole lake. You don't need or want plants covering the entire bottom of the lake because there aren't many deep water plants that only grow a few inches. They all want to shoot up to the surface.

So, as with the grass carp example, you have to be careful what you plant and introduce into the lake. As pretty as they are, AVOID WATERLILIES AT ALL COSTS. If you want some water lilies, plant them in buckets that you place in the lake so they won't spread everywhere! There are good sources for obtaining aquatic plants and I recommend that we create an aquatic plant planting plan for your new lake.

Visit the Wandering Limnologist at

Submit your questions to The Wandering Limnologist at

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NYS DEC and USDA Need Volunters for Emerald Ash Borer Surveys

While not strictly a lake issue, this is certainly a watershed issue - Michael -

DEC and USDA are calling all volunteers and interested groups to assist with their 2009 Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) trapping surveys. Your help is requested in the following ways:

1. hang EAB traps in ash trees (June) (this can range from 1 to many traps, depending on your interest/availability)

2. check the traps mid-season and send in any target beetles (July)

3. remove the traps at the end of the season and send in any target beetles (August) 

Training will be from 9-2 on Tuesday, May 26th at the DEC in Ray Brook. 

If you are unable to attend the training but are interested in helping, arrangements can be made to get you the information and supplies you need. 

Please email Tom or Jason with your interest:

Tom Colarusso,
Jason Denham,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that our "sister" site,, has over 200 links for composting toilets and information about lakes and of interest to lake residents as well as lake managers? There is also a section with links to information on critical lake and watershed issues.
Check it out at

Plus, you can support Lake Stewardship by shopping at the Lake Stewardship Store, where you can buy excellent books about lakes and lake management, as well as virtually any other items of which you may be in need. 

Michael: The Lake Stewardship Guy & The Wandering Limnologist

GE dredging of PCBS begins on upper Hudson River

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — Dredges have started removing PCB-laden sediment from the upper Hudson River, more than three decades after the oily chemicals fouled the waterway.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency held a ceremony Friday as the first load of contaminated mud was dredged from the river and unloaded onto a barge 45 miles north of Albany in Fort Edward. The agency called for dredging in 2002.

General Electric Co. discharged wastewater containing PCBs — a probable carcinogen — into the Hudson before the substance was banned in 1977.

Under an agreement with the EPA, GE will clean up 265,000 cubic yards of river bottom this year. Results will be studied before a second, much larger stage would begin. Fairfield, Conn.-based GE has not committed to the second phase.

Source: AP/Adirondack Daily Enterprise; Posted online May 15, 2009, published in April 16 Sat/Sun. edition

Saturday, May 16, 2009

EPA Promotes American Wetlands Month, May 2009: Learn! Explore! Take Action!

Throughout the month of May, EPA and its wetland partners across the country are celebrating the vital importance of wetlands to our nation's ecological, economic, and social health. EPA and a host of other public and private partners are planning a number of events as part of this. year's celebration. In particular, 2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of the National Wetlands Awards program (143 champions of wetlands conservation honored since 1989).

On May 12, the Environmental Law Institute, EPA, and other federal partners will, once again, honor a
diverse group of individuals for their extraordinary commitment to conserving wetlands at an award ceremony on Capitol
Hill (

Other highlights include EPA's Science Notebook focus on wetlands that will highlight the diversity of wetlands and wetland research being undertaken by EPA across the country using assorted multi-media tools such as blogs,
podcasts, interviews, and photo diaries and a National Webcast "Wetlands–Re-connecting Youth with Nature" on May 28th" that will explore the unique role wetlands can play in connecting young people with nature

EPA regional activities planned for the month of May include educational displays, discussions, presentations, special feature articles, wetland walks and celebrations, and an array of other outreach and communication
events. Information on national, regional, and local activities planned for May will be updated and posted throughout the month on
EPA's American Wetlands Month website:

Feel free to contact Kathleen Kutschenreuter (202) 566-1383 or Gregg Serenbetz (202) 566-1253 for more information.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

EPA Budget Aims to Create Jobs, Protect Human Health and the Environment

On May 7, Administrator Lisa P. Jackson released EPA's fiscal year 2010 budget blueprint. This $10.5 billion budget takes significant strides to ensure that our air, land, and water are safe and clean.

"EPA's new budget reflects the President's commitment to growing a clean energy economy while protecting human health and the environment,"
said Administrator Jackson. "These investments demonstrate that it is possible to work towards both a green economy and a green environment
by positioning EPA to lead the way in green jobs, in innovation and technology, and in action on global climate change."

Budget Highlights for Water: Maintaining and Improving Clean Water Infrastructure: To maintain and improve outdated water infrastructure and keep our wastewater and
drinking water clean and safe, EPA has budgeted $3.9 billion. The funding will support efforts around the country to build and renovate an estimated 1,000 clean water and 700 drinking water infrastructure projects, support green infrastructure and create thousands of
technical and construction jobs. Funding will also be available to help communities repair and upgrade the aging network of drinking
water and wastewater pipes that are overwhelmed and breaking down.

Restoring the Great Lakes: The budget includes a $475 million multi-agency Great Lakes Initiative to protect and clean up the largest fresh water lakes in the world through restoration efforts, invasive species control, non-point source pollution mitigation and critical habitats protection.

The budget also includes funding for crucial efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, Lake Champlain and other large waterbodies.

Strengthening Partnerships: Administrator Jackson emphasized that states, localities and tribes are the front line in many environmental programs, as they implement major portions of almost all EPA programs. The budget includes $636,317 for
categorical grants to states and tribes for water programs.

More information on the FY 2010 budget:

More information on EPA's recovery act funding:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Loss of Peat Bogs Around the World Affects Climate Change

EarthTalk May 9, 2009 - Peatlands are wetland ecosystems that accumulate plant material to form layers of peat soil up to 60 feet thick. They can store, on average, 10 times more carbon dioxide (CO2), the leading greenhouse gas, than other ecosystems. As such, the world's peat bogs represent an important "carbon sink"—a place where CO2 is stored below ground and can't escape into the atmosphere and exacerbate global warming. When drained or burned, however, peat decomposes and the stored carbon gets released into the atmosphere.

A 2007 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study of the role peatlands play in human-induced climate change found that the world's estimated 988 million acres of peatland (which represent about three percent of the world's land and freshwater surface) are capable of storing some two trillion tons of CO2—equivalent to about 100 years worth of fossil fuel emissions.

As such, the widespread conversion of peat bogs into commercial uses around the world is serious cause for alarm. In Finland, Scotland and Ireland, peat is harvested on an industrial scale for use in power stations and for heating, cooking and use in domestic fireplaces.
But the problem is most urgent in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, where economic hardships force people to drain peatlands to create farms and plantations. Marcel Silvius of the Dutch non-profit Wetlands International says that "annual peatland emissions from Southeast Asia far exceed fossil fuel contributions from major polluting countries." He adds that Indonesia, now ranked 21st in the world in greenhouse gas emissions, would move to third place (behind the U.S. and China) if peatland losses were factored in. Wetlands International estimates that CO2 emissions from drained or burnt Indonesian peatlands alone total some two billion tons annually, equal to about 10 percent of the emissions resulting from burning coal, oil and natural gas. Similar amounts of CO2 are likely coming out of Malaysian peatlands as well.

The problem has worsened in recent years as surging global demand for timber, pulp and biofuel speeds up the conversion of otherwise-ignored peatlands to intensively managed tree farms and palm oil plantations. Silvius says that a ton of palm oil—Indonesia's top export and the key ingredient in biodiesel fuel—grown on drained peatlands emits 20 times more CO2 than a ton of gasoline. Yet, he says, protection of peatlands may actually be one of the least costly ways to mitigate global warming, as it would cost less than seven cents ($US) per ton of avoided CO2.

"Just like a global phase out of old, energy guzzling light bulbs or a switch to hybrid cars," says UNEP head Achim Steiner, "protecting and restoring peatlands is perhaps another key 'low hanging fruit' and among the most cost-effective options for climate change mitigation." For its part, UNEP is stressing that countries should be allowed to count protecting peatlands as among their creditable efforts to reduce their carbon footprints as the world braces for global warming.

Source: Earthtalk in

CONTACTS: UNEP,; Wetlands International,

SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; Read past columns at:

Friday, May 01, 2009

Adirondack Research Consortium’s 16th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Research Consortium's 16th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks is rapidly approaching, May 20-21, 2009 at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid. We have a very strong program this year. In addition to the community segment featuring development issues in the Adirondack Park and the Adirondack Assessment project, we are devoting blocks of time to sustainable forestry, including a forest management bus tour, and an energy future segment with Bob Catell, CEO U.S. of National Grid.

Much more information can be found on the ARC webpage at, or by calling 518-523-1814.

Taxonomy and Ecology of Algae Workshop

June 2, 2009  
Taxonomy and Ecology of Algae
By Dr. Linda Ehrlich and Dr. JoAnn Burkholder 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center
Winston-Salem, NC

This workshop will provide information on how to recognize algae in their various surface water habitats, understand why they may become nuisances, and select appropriate means of control in the source water. Fee includes an outstanding workshop notebook for further reference. This workshop is an excellent opportunity for all participants to get hands-on experience with the species that may be troubling their waters. Please check out the attached announcement and registration form or the registration page on our website at

You can pay for the workshop through the donations tab found on the Contact Us page. 

Revised registration fee is $130 registration for the Algae Workshop due to the sponsorship from Peroxygen Solutions.

Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program Earns Top EPA Award

Keene Valley, N.Y. - The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) was one of 26 projects across New York State to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's highest honor: the Environmental Quality Award. The award ceremony was held last week in Manhattan in conjunction with Earth Day.

"These exemplary environmental stewards have gone above and beyond for environmental change in local communities across New York," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou.

Founded in 1998 and housed by The Nature Conservancy in Keene Valley, APIPP is leading the charge to protect Adirondack natural resources from the damaging effects of invasive species by engaging partners and finding solutions through a coordinated, strategic, and integrated regional approach. Unlike many places, the opportunity exists in the Adirondacks to hold the line against invasive species and prevent them from wreaking havoc on natural resources and economic vitality.

"We are pleased that one of our very important partners has received federal recognition for their exceptional contributions in the fight against invasive species," said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis. "APIPP has been so successful that we have used it as a model to develop other regional partnerships for fighting invasive species. Especially in fiscally constrained times, effective public-private partnerships such as this one are critical to everyone's success."

"We are honored to be among the recipients of the EPA's Environmental Quality Award. This recognition is a testament to APIPP's many partners, community leaders, and volunteers working together to protect the Adirondacks from harmful invasive species," said APIPP Director Hilary Smith.

The threat of invasive species is far-reaching, impacting forest and freshwater resources throughout the world. Invasive species typically come from other parts of the world, and in the absence of natural checks and balances, reproduce and spread at alarming rates, putting native plants and animals at risk. Nationwide costs for controlling them are estimated to be in the billions; Adirondack costs in the millions.

Sharing in the EPA recognition are APIPP's principal partners-the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and NYS Department of Transportation-as well as more than 30 cooperating organizations. The program's accomplishments include innovative invasive species educational programs, systematic monitoring, controlling hundreds of infestations, and serving as a model for other regional partnerships. In 2008, the program received one of the first contracts for invasive species funding through New York State's Environmental Protection Fund.

To date, hundreds of volunteers have monitored 216 Adirondack lakes, finding 53 infested with one or more harmful plants like Eurasian watermilfoil, curly leaf pondweed, or water chestnut.

Aquatic invaders are easily, and often inadvertently, spread from lake to lake when plant fragments "hitchhike" on boat bottoms, propellers, paddles, clothing or waders. Everyone who enjoys water sports can help prevent the spread by checking and cleaning equipment between uses. For those interested in doing more, APIPP offers free training sessions to help citizens learn how to identify plants and monitor water bodies. This year's sessions are as follows: June 16 in Bolton Landing, June 18 in Tupper Lake; and June 23 in Northville. Contact Tyler Smith, (518) 576 - 2082 x 119, or, for more information.

Land-based invaders-Japanese knotweed, garlic mustard, and others-have also taken root on private and public lands in the Adirondacks. Last field season alone, APIPP oversaw the removal of some seven tons of invasive plants at 33 Forest Preserve Campgrounds and 125 sites along 275 miles of state highways. There are volunteer opportunities for citizens to get involved in these efforts as well. Contact Steven Flint, (518) 576 - 2082 x 120, or for details.

"We've been at this for more than a decade and still the dedication of our partners and volunteers is stronger than the most persistent and harmful invasive species," Ms. Smith said. "We must be vigilant about detecting new infestations and responding to them quickly. With stronger-than-ever state programming, we are forging ahead with a more regional emphasis on aquatic invasives and forest pests like emerald ash borer."

EPA selects Environmental Quality Award winners from non-profit environmental and community groups, individual citizens, educators, business organizations and members of the news media, as well as from federal, state, local or tribal governments and agencies. The honor is given to those individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to improving the environment and public health in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and seven federally-recognized Indian Nations. More information is available online at

Among APIPP's past honors are NYSDEC's Environmental Excellence Award in 2007 and two from the Federal Highway Administration: Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative in 2004 and Environmental Excellence in 2001. Find out more about APIPP online at <> .

Contact: Hilary Smith, 518-524-8206, or

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EPA Conducts Studies to Improve Safety of Swimming at Beaches

EPA is conducting two health (epidemiological) studies to help determine when water quality is safe for swimming. These studies will be used by EPA to develop new water quality criteria. One study will be conducted at a beach in a tropical region and another study will be conducted in marine waters impacted by urban runoff in a temperate region. After careful scientific evaluation, EPA has selected BoquerĂ³n Beach, Puerto Rico as the tropical site, and Surfside Beach, South Carolina as the urban runoff site. EPA will conduct the studies this summer and will monitor beach water quality at the two beaches on the days the studies are conducted. The studies will help in the development of new or revised criteria for water at beaches. States, tribes and territories will use the new or revised criteria to adopt new water quality standards to protect people at beaches from illness associated with fecal contamination in water.

For more information visit the National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational Water website at

Source: EPA Waterheadlines

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Indiana Fish & Wildlife declare closed season on bass not needed

Despite some commonly expressed concerns, a closed season on largemouth bass fishing in Indiana natural lakes is not needed during the spring spawning period, according to the Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).

Biologists say ample numbers of young bass are produced each year to replace those caught and the current 14-inch minimum size limit provides adequate protection for bass that are mature (or large) enough to spawn.

In an eight-page document presented to the Indiana Lakes Management Workgroup (LMWG) in March, DFW biologist Jed Pearson addressed a series of concerns expressed by opponents to Indiana's policy of no closed season.

In 2007, the LMWG asked the DFW to summarize current information on bass populations in Indiana natural lakes and assess the need for a closed season. The group's request came in response to persistent complaints that catching bass "on the beds," a common term for fishing during spring spawning, harms bass fishing.

"Indiana's bass fishing regulations are not much different than in other states," Pearson said.Indiana, like Ohio and Illinois, dropped its closed season in the 1950s. Michigan, New York and Wisconsin recently relaxed their closed seasons. Minnesota is the only state that still bans statewide spring bass fishing but is considering changes. Like Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin have a general 14-inch size limit. Ohio and Illinois have no size limit except at selected waters. 

Pearson said the overall number of bass in a lake depends more on habitat and how many survive from year to year, than on the number of eggs laid or fry produced in the spring.

"Bass fishing during the spawning period is harmful only if fishermen take more than the lake can replace," he said. "It makes no difference when a bass is removed if the total number is too high."

Biologists generally say that over-harvest occurs when more than 40 percent of the adult population is taken annually.

"Based on dozens of fishing surveys we conducted from 1980 through 2007, bass anglers take close to 40 percent of the 14-inch and larger bass present each year, but only 7 percent are taken in April and May combined," Pearson said.   

The most compelling argument against a closed season, according to Pearson, centers on long-term trends in bass populations monitored by the DFW at more than 50 Indiana natural lakes since 1980.

"Bass are now more abundant, bigger, and are caught at higher rates than ever before," Pearson said.  "All of these improvements have occurred despite the fact we have no closed season."

A copy of the document "Bass Fishing on the Beds: an Indiana Perspective" is at

Source: Gwen White, Indiana DNR
From an Indiana DNR press release

For more information, contact Marty Benson, Indiana DNR (317) 233-3853 or

Monday, April 06, 2009

National Aquatic Nuisance Species Clearinghouse Now Part of NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse

The aquatic invasive/aquatic nuisance species database of the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Clearinghouse (NANSC) is now a part of the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse (http://NYIS.INFO). The database is a searchable, annotated catalog of the NANSC international library of research, public policy, and outreach education publications pertaining to invasive marine and fresh-water aquatic nuisance species that are found in North America. It is also the home of North America's most extensive library of publications related to the spread, biology, impacts and control of zebra mussels. The Aquatic Invasive Species Database can be searched via an extended outline search or via a powerful full text search feature.

Web site: http://NYIS.INFO     

Source: Charles "Chuck" R. O'Neill, Jr.
Sr. Extension Specialist
Cornell University/New York Sea Grant
Director, NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse
Director, National Aquatic Nuisance Species ClearinghouseCoordinator,
Cornell Invasive Species Program
SUNY College Brockport, NY

Friday, April 03, 2009

EPA Acts to Reduce Harmful Impacts from Coal Mining

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has sent two letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expressing serious concerns about the need to reduce the potential harmful impacts on water quality caused by certain types of coal mining practices, such as mountaintop mining. The letters specifically addressed two new surface coal mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky. EPA also intends to review other requests for mining permits.
“The two letters reflect EPA’s considerable concern regarding the environmental impact these projects would have on fragile habitats and streams,” said Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “I have directed the agency to review other mining permit requests. EPA will use the best science and follow the letter of the law in ensuring we are protecting our environment.”

EPA’s letters, sent to the Corps office in Huntington, West Virginia, stated that the coal mines would likely cause water quality problems in streams below the mines, would cause significant degradation to streams buried by mining activities, and that proposed steps to offset these impacts are inadequate. EPA has recommended specific actions be taken to further avoid and reduce these harmful impacts and to improve mitigation. The letters were sent to the Corps by EPA senior officials in the agency’s Atlanta and Philadelphia offices. Permit applications for such projects are required by the Clean Water Act.

EPA also requested the opportunity to meet with the Corps and the mining companies seeking the new permits to discuss alternatives that would better protect streams, wetlands and rivers.
The Corps is responsible for issuing Clean Water Act permits for proposed surface coal mining operations that impact streams, wetlands, and other waters. EPA is required by the act to review proposed permits and provides comments to the Corps where necessary to ensure that proposed permits fully protect water quality.

Because of active litigation in the 4th Circuit challenging the issuance of Corps permits for coal mining, the Corps has been issuing far fewer permits in West Virginia since the litigation began in 2007. As a result, there is a significant backlog of permits under review by the Corps. EPA expects to be actively involved in the review of these permits following issuance of the 4th Circuit decision last month. EPA is coordinating its action with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and with other agencies including the Corps.

For more information on wetlands and the letters:

Source: Waterheadlines

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Safe Drinking Water Needs Assessed

A recent drinking water needs survey will help EPA determine the distribution formula for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) grants for the fiscal years 2010 through 2013 budgets. The assessment documents anticipated costs for repairs and replacement of transmission and distribution pipes, storage and treatment equipment, and projects that are necessary to deliver safe supplies of drinking water.

The Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, which is done every four years, reflects data collected in 2007 from states. According to the survey results, the nation’s water utilities will need to invest an estimated $334.8 billion over the next 20 years to deal with aging infrastructure.

Results from the assessment are used to develop a formula to distribute the agency’s annual DWSRF grants. The Safe Drinking Water Act established the DWSRF to help states provide grants to drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements. Since the DWSRF program began in 1997, states have provided more than $15 billion in funding to utilities for infrastructure projects.

The Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment:

Source: EPA Waterheadlines

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Water Storage Changes Earth Rotation, Causes Climate Disturbances

NASA scientists, in conjunction with USGS researchers, have discovered that changes in water storage have altered the tilt and rotation of the earth, causing a noticeable disturbance in climate. Damming rivers and creating permanent reservoirs far north and south of the equater, preventing surface water from taking its natural course to the sea, has changed the entire balance of the planet. As a result, measurably changes in the expected tilt and rotation have been detected by satellite and ground-based global positioning instrumentation. In response to these findings, the UN and WHO have drafted a planet-wide treaty to begin releasing stored water at a rate sufficient to stabilize the earth's water balance while minimizing flooding of downstream regions.
"The days of guilt-free hydropower and flood-control have come to an end," stated Izak Nu-Ton, acting chair of UN's Committee on Planetary Ecology. "We must soon return to our pre-dam state or face planetwide consequences."

USGS researchers note, however, that our loss (in power generation and flood control) will be the environment's gain, referring to the positive impact returning rivers to their free-running state would have on fish and other creatures.

Source: My Wild Imagination (but based on a kernal of truth)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Summer Job Opening: Lake Champlain Boat Launch Stewards

Lake Champlain Boat Launch Stewards Part-time Summer Employment 2009

The Lake Champlain Basin Program and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) are seeking part-time boat launch stewards to deliver interpretive invasive species spread prevention messages to boaters on Lake Champlain during summer, 2009.

Boat Launch Stewards will interact with the public and gather lake-user information, greeting visitors to Lake Champlain and familiarizing the public with invasive species information. Stewards will be requested to work eight hour days for twenty-four hours a week at select boat launches around Lake Champlain from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend (Friday, May 22rd- Monday, September 7th). Stewards will be required to work most weekends. One or two weeks off by prior arrangement can be accommodated during this period.

Successful candidates will be well organized and have experience speaking with the public. Basic familiarity with boaters and anglers will be helpful. Highly motivated individuals having familiarity with invasive species and/or water recreation experience are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due on April 17th, 2009. Visit for a detailed job description, qualifications, and application procedures.

New Green Innovation Grants Program (GIGP) to Fund On-site Systems

Kathryn Macri, NYSEFC's Interagency Policy Coordinator, has issued the following alert in regard to the Clean Water State Revolving Loan program. The grant application deadline and website are given below.

The federal stimulus funds that will be administered through the Clean Water State Revolving Loan program include decentralized wastewater treatment solutions to existing deficient or failing on site systems as green innovative projects.

EFC has developed a new Green Innovation Grants Program (GIGP) to administer grants to these and other innovative projects.

Applicants may include municipalities, school districts, not-for-profits, partnerships or associations. The call for projects will be available on March 25, 2009. Applications for GIGP must be submitted by May 9, 2009 for consideration.

See for more information

Source: Tom Boekeloo, Environmental Engineer II, Nonpoint Source Management Section,Bureau of Water Permits, Division of Water

Monday, March 30, 2009

EPA Webcast to introduce "Watershed Central" website

On April 15, 2009, EPA's Watershed Academy will present a Webcast entitled, "Watershed Central: A New Gateway to Watershed Information.” This Webcast will provide an opportunity to learn about the information and tools available on Watershed Central, including the new Watershed Wiki.

Visit EPA's web site at to learn more about this Webcast and to find archives of 39 past Webcasts on a variety of watershed management topics. Registration will open in early April.

Source: EPA Waterheadlines

Sunday, March 29, 2009

EPA Releases “Watershed Central” Web Site and a "Watershed Wiki”

EPA recently posted a new Web site called "Watershed Central" to help watershed organizations and others find key information they need to implement watershed management projects. The primary purpose of the new Watershed Central Web site is to make it easy for organizations to find the information that they need to help protect and restore their water resources. Watershed Central helps users find environmental data, watershed models, nearby local organizations, guidance documents and other information depending on the task at hand. Watershed Central also contains links to watershed technical resources, funding sources, mapping applications and information specific to named watersheds.

The site includes a “Watershed Central Wiki” for collaboration and information sharing. We encourage all watershed practitioners to use this new Watershed Wiki to share tools, scientific findings, expertise, and local approaches to watershed management. Watershed Central not only links to EPA Web resources, but also links to other valuable funding, guidance and tools on Web sites of state, tribal, and federal partners, universities, and nonprofit organizations. EPA’s new site is located at:

Source: EPA Waterheadlines

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2009 National Beach Conference

The 2009 National Beach Conference will be held April 20-22 in Huntington Beach, California. This 3-day conference, “Riding the Wave of Emerging Science,” is sponsored by EPA's Office of Water and will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from around the world to discuss water quality at beaches. It will provide a national framework for discussion of beach water quality issues, exchange of information, and coordination of efforts in research and decision-making. The conference format will consist of presentations, panel discussions, and a debate between prestigious universities. World-class waterman and big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton, will be one of the keynote speakers.

Registration is open to all and attending the conference is free. For more information, please visit .

Source: EPA Waterheadlines

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Climate Change and Water E-Newsletter

The EPA National Water Program has created a new electronic newsletter or "listserve" covering news and information related to water programs and climate change. The e-newsletter will provide short articles and links to other related Internet sites weekly. The e-newsletter is part of a larger effort to inform clean water and drinking water program managers about climate change topics, issues, and opportunities called for in the recent National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change.

To subscribe to the climate change and water e-newsletter, go to and click on "Subscribe to the Climate and Water E-Newsletter."

Michael R. Martin • Sent via Blackberry

EPA Issues Guidance for Water Funds Under the Recovery Act

On March 2, EPA issued guidance on the award of Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund Capitalization Grants under the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" (ARRA). The ARRA provides $2 billion to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and $4 billion to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF).

On March 12, EPA issued new guidance for the administration of Water Quality Management Planning (WQMP) Grants funded under the ARRA. According to Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act, 1% of each state's CWSRF allotment is reserved for WQMP activities. This means that nearly $40 million will be available nationally to support a broad range of planning activities. Examples of these activities might include: addressing nutrient pollution from cities and agriculture on a watershed basis, protecting undeveloped areas through "green infrastructure" techniques, creating low impact development programs that will protect water quality in developing areas, developing watershed plans and total maximum daily loads, analyzing trends in water availability and use, and developing response plans to adapt to climate change.

For a copy of the guidance documents, please visit

Michael R. Martin • Sent via Blackberry

Friday, March 20, 2009

Study suggests surface water contaminated with salmonella more common than thought

Ed. Note: While this may be a case of "discovering" the painfully obvious (stream contamination near livestock and agriculture correlated to rainfall/runoff), the article does contain useful information for public & public health agencies in agricultural areas.

A new University of Georgia study suggests that health agencies investigating Salmonella illnesses should consider untreated surface water as a possible source of contamination.

Researchers, whose results appear in the March issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, tested water over a one-year period in rivers and streams in a region of south Georgia known for its high rate of sporadic salmonella cases. The team found Salmonella in 79 percent of water samples, with the highest concentrations and the greatest diversity of strains in the summer and after rainfall.

"Streams are not routinely tested for Salmonella, and our finding is an indication that many more could be contaminated than people realize," said Erin Lipp, associate professor in the UGA College of Public Health. "We found our highest numbers in the summer months, and this is also the time when most people get sick."

Lipp, who co-authored the study with former UGA graduate student Bradd Haley and Dana Cole in the Georgia Division of Public Health, said that although contaminated water used to irrigate or wash produce has been linked to several well-publicized outbreaks of salmonellosis in recent years, the environmental factors that influence Salmonella levels in natural waters are not well understood. She said understanding how Salmonella levels change in response to variables such as temperature and rainfall are critical to predicting--and ultimately preventing--the waterborne transmission of the bacteria.

The team studied streams in the upper reaches of the Suwannee River Basin, which begins in south Georgia and flows into central Florida. The study area contains a mix of forested lands, row crops, pasturelands, wetlands and small cities. The researchers chose sampling sites near a variety of those environments but found little variation in Salmonella concentrations by location. The diversity of Salmonella strains, however, was highest near a farm containing cattle and a pivot irrigation system, suggesting that close proximity to livestock and agriculture increase the risk of contamination. The researchers also found a strong and direct correlation between rainfall for the two days preceding sample collection and the concentration of Salmonella, suggesting that runoff contributes to the contamination.

Read the entire article at

Source: Science Blog
Michael R. Martin • Sent via Blackberry

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Invasive Species Conference - Albany NY - April 30-May 1

The New York Invasive Species Research Institute announces an invasive species conference in Rensselaerville, NY - Conferenence Info, Call for Posters, Reduced Fees
Odum Conference 2009, "Understanding and managing biological invasions as dynamic processes: integrating information across space and time," will be held April 30 – May 1, 2009.

Venue: The E.N. Huyck Preserve & Biological Research Station, and the Rensselaerville Meeting Center, both in a lovely, rural setting in Rensselaerville, New York, 25 miles from Albany.

This event will feature, as invited speakers, many of the most prominent figures in invasion ecology, management. For the speaker list, visit:

Additionally, the conference will include a poster session and field workshops. For a complete conference program, visit:

Theme: This conference will focus on: 1) incorporating a long-term perspective into invasion ecology and management; 2) developing specific mechanisms to assemble and evaluate the needed data; and 3) fostering a collaborative research-management approach in which broad patterns are used to yield specific management recommendations.

Poster Submissions: We are calling for abstracts for posters addressing one or more of the following themes: a) invasive species monitoring and database initiatives; b) collaborative undertakings between invasive species ecologists and managers; c) invasive species management activities that incorporate a dynamic aspect (e.g., climate change, natural enemy acquisition, interactions of multiple invasive species); and d) basic research on dynamic aspects of invasions. The deadline for abstract submission is now March 31, 2009. For submission procedures please visit:

Reduced-fee packages: In order to make this conference available to potential participants from agencies and institutions who now have severe financial constraints, we have arranged for new, reduced fee conference packages, as well as low-cost student housing at the E. N. Huyck Preserve & Biological Research Station.

New deadlines: We have postponed both the registration and abstract submission deadlines to March 31 to give potential participants ample time to take advantage of this new opportunity.

To see the professional credits now available for attending the conference, visit:

For any other conference information go to: or contact us at:

Thank you very much,
     Jonathan Rosenthal and Radka Wildova, Conference Co-Chairs
     Holly Menninger, Conference Coordinator

Click on Title link to visit the conference website. Thanks to Holly Menninger for the submission.

Friday, March 13, 2009

NALMS Offers Spring LakeLine at Reduced Rate for Lake Groups

Thanks to the generous support of the US Environmental Protection Agency, NALMS is pleased to be able to offer the Spring 2009 issue of LakeLine Magazine to its affiliates at a discounted price of $5.00 per copy + shipping. The issue will be mailed in bulk to a single address and it will be the recipient’s responsibility to distribute them as they see fit.

This issue of LakeLine is focused on the theme of shoreline management and the articles focus on the benefits of a natural shoreline to humans, to lake quality and to aquatic biota; and how to convert a hardened shoreline into a soft one. The articles in this issue include:
  • “Littoral Habitat at Developed and Undeveloped Sites in Vermont” – Kellie Merrill & Eric Howe
  • “Effects of shoreline urbanization on aquatic-terrestrial coupling in lakes” – Tessa Francis
  • “Experiences to Convert Hardened Shoreline Surfaces in Reston, VA” – Larry Butler
  • “Wisconsin Shoreline Restoration Project” – Patrick Goggin et al.
  • “Workhorse species” – Patrick Goggin
  • “Policies (and results) to Encourage Shoreline Management in Indiana” – Jeremy Price
  • “Measuring Bathymetry and Aquatic Plant Abundance” – Mark Hoyer
To order copies of this issue at the discounted rate or for more information, contact the NALMS office at 608.233.2836 or by March 23.

Minimum order of 20 copies. Supplies are limited.

Thanks to Philip Forsberg, North American Lake Management Society, for the information.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stormwater Wet Pond and Wetland Management Guidebook

EPA has 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. The Pond/Wetland Management Guidebook is available at:

Source: NPDES News

Friday, March 06, 2009

Three New Volunteer Monitoring Fact Sheet Learning Modules

Linda Green, URI's Watershed Watch Program Director sends this announcement about new additions to their on-line resources.

I am pleased to announce we have recently posted three new fact sheet learning modules related to volunteer monitoring (yet applicable to many fields beyond volunteer monitoring as well) to our Extension Volunteer Monitoring Network website ( These modules are as follows:

• "From the Trenches – Tips and Tools for Better Presentations" (

• "Tools for Effective Outreach" (

• "Fundraising for Volunteer Monitoring" (

As with all of our Guide for Growing Volunteer Monitoring Program learning modules, these fact sheets are intended not to reinvent the wheel but to be a clearinghouse for accessing useful information about these topics from sources across the nation (and beyond).  Each module includes multiple links to valuable resources that can help you with developing, managing and growing a program. 

Source: Linda Green
URI Watershed Watch Program Director
College of the Environment and Life Sciences
CIK, 1 Greenhouse Road
Kingston, RI 02881-0804
401-874-2905 (v)401-874-4561 (f)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

EPA Launches Water Quality Video Contest

The United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds is launching a video contest to engage the public on water quality issues and to inspire stewardship for the nation's waters. EPA will be soliciting short videos that help educate the public about water pollution and simple steps that individuals and communities can take to improve and protect water quality.

EPA is accepting videos on a wide variety of topics including: low impact development, wetlands, marine debris, watershed management, water quality monitoring, polluted runoff, and other water-related topics. The videos should convey easy, low cost, steps that individuals and communities can take to improve and protect the nation's streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, and oceans.

The contest will run from the beginning of March until Earth Day, April 22, 2009. Videos will be judged by a panel of experts on the basis of: creativity and originality, quality, technical accuracy, and content of message.

Two winners will be chosen: one for a short, 30 or 60 second video that is useable as a public service announcement, and another for a longer 1 to 3 minute video. Each winner will receive a $2,500 cash award, and their videos will be featured on EPA's website.

Although there have been great improvements to our nation's waters over the years thanks to the Clean Water Act, there is still a massive problem resulting from human activities on the land. This contest will help get the word out about the remaining challenges facing the nation's waters and how people and communities can help make a difference.

To see the full list of contest rules and guidelines please visit,

For more information, contact:
Rebecca Neary at 202-566-1162.

Source: Don Waye, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Nonpoint Source Control Branch Website:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

National NPS Outreach Conference: 1) Registration Now Open; 2) People's Choice Awards Entry Deadline Extended

Registration is now open for the Fifth National Conference on Nonpoint Source and Stormwater Outreach May 11-14 in Portland, Oregon. The theme for this conference is "Achieving Results with Tight Budgets." Learn more about the conference, jointly sponsored by EPA and USDA CSREES, at:

The first 150 registrants will receive a $100 discount. The registration page is online at:

Monday, May 11, is reserved for pre-conference workshops. There are 3 full-day workshops:

1) Changing Public Behavior Workshop - Learn to Apply Social Assessment to Water Management Strategies)
2) Getting in Step - A Workshop on Conducting Effective Stormwater NPS Outreach Campaigns
3) Eyes on the Prize - Morning Session: An Evaluation Primer for NPS and Stormwater Programs. Afternoon Session: Overview of Social Indicators Evaluation System & Applied Survey Development Skills and 1 half-day workshop: Onsite Wastewater Education - Research-based Outreach Strategies to Help Minimize NPS Pollution Risks

On Wednesday evening, May 13, the conference will host the People's Choice Awards to spotlight the best new radio and TV public service announcements. The deadline for submitting PSAs has been extended from March 2 to March 13. More information on the People's Choice Awards is available at:

Source: Don Waye, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nonpoint Source Control Branch
Michael R. Martin, CLM
President, Cedar Eden Environmental, LLC
Saranac Lake, NY 12983 United States
work/mobile: 518.572.2104 |
Past President, North American Lake Management Society
NALMS Certified Lake Manager #93-02M
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Introducing the Freshwater Society

I want to introduce readers of the Lake Stewardship Blog to the Freshwater Society and the Freshwater Society Blog. - Michael R. Martin, CLM, Lake Stewardship Blog/Lake Stewardship dot org.

Since 1968 – two years before the first Earth Day – the Freshwater Society has been a leading public nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, restoring, and protecting freshwater resources and their surrounding watersheds. To achieve this goal, our organization:
  • Recognizes the vital role of freshwater to all living things and the impending crisis in the quantity and quality of accessible freshwater.
  • Dedicates its experience and resources to activities that lead to the understanding, protection, enhancement, and restoration of freshwater resources.
  • Invites the participation and support of individuals, associations, business and industry, institutions, educators, and government in these activities.
The mission of the Freshwater Society is to promote the protection and rational management of all freshwater resources.

  • a blog about valuing, protecting and conserving water resources

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Request for 2009 Applications: Smart Growth Implementation Assistance

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. Applications are due at 5:00 pm EST, April 23, 2009.

EPA has identified some key areas in which communities are likely to benefit from technical assistance (free technical assistance available):
  • Climate change (both mitigation of and adaptation to) 
  • Green job development 
  • Corridor redevelopment 
  • Green building development 
  • Suburban retrofitting 
  • Disaster resiliency
Proposals are not limited to requests for technical assistance in only these thematic areas; other topics for assistance are welcome and encouraged, provided they demonstrate cutting-edge challenges and the possibility of replicable solutions.

EPA is soliciting applications for assistance with either policy analysis or public participatory processes. The type of work may incorporate policy analysis and review, planning and visioning processes, scorecard/ranking criteria development and assessment, and/or other elements pertinent to the role of the applicant.

Selected communities or states will receive assistance in the form of a multi-day visit from a team of experts organized by EPA and other national partners to work with local leaders. EPA plans to assist three to five communities over a period of twelve months. The Agency anticipates announcing the selected communities in fall of 2009. For more information and application materials, visit

Source: Waterheadlines