Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Updated Data Now Available through EPA's Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool

EPA has added updated data in the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT), a tool intended to help states develop effective nitrogen and phosphorus source reduction strategies. Specifically, the updates include the Facilities Likely to Discharge Nitrogen/Phosphorus (N/P) to Water data layer, which now provides information on nitrogen and phosphorus discharges from 2010 facility monitoring reports with corresponding nitrogen and phosphorus limits from EPA's Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool. Another other update is the Waters Listed for N/P Impairments and Waters with N/P TMDLs data layers which now reflect data pulled from the Assessment TMDL Tracking and Implementation System (ATTAINS). These layers have been updated from information from 2008 and 2011, respectively.

Click here for NPDAT and the updated data layers.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Collaboration Toolkit for Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices is Now Available Online

The collaboration toolkit Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices is now available online. The toolkit offers effective steps that source water protection professionals working at the state level can take to build partnerships with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to get more agricultural conservation practices on the ground to protect sources of drinking water. Developed by the Source Water Collaborative, a group composed of 23 organizations working together to protect sources of drinking water, with support from EPA and in consultation with NRCS, the toolkit includes insightful tips and highlights specific opportunities states can take advantage of immediately. In addition, the Source Water Collaborative is working with the National Association of Conservation Districts to develop a locally-focused supplement to the toolkit to provide a step-by-step process for collaborating with conservation districts.

Click here to view the toolkit.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

EPA Launches SepticSmart, Promoting Homeowner Care and Maintenance of Septic Systems

EPA has launched SepticSmart, a national program to promote proper septic system care and maintenance by homeowners. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 25 percent of U.S. households-more than 26 million homes-and almost one-third of new developments are serviced by septic systems. When properly maintained and used, these systems serve to effectively treat and dispose of wastewater. Unfortunately, septic system back-ups and overflows can lead to costly homeowner repairs and can pollute local waterways, creating a risk to public health and the environment. SepticSmart aims to educate homeowners about proper daily system use and the need for periodic septic system maintenance. SepticSmart also provides industry practitioners, local governments and community organizations with tools and materials to educate their clients and residents.

To learn more, visit: http://www.epa.gov/septicsmart

Friday, November 30, 2012

New How’s My Waterway Mobile Website & App

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released a new mobile app and website, How’s My Waterway, on October 18th. The site provides the public with plain English information on local waterways based on water quality assessment reports that states provide to USEPA under sections 305(b) and 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Its local-scale (roughly 5-mile radius) search retrieves information on whether and when a waterway was assessed, what pollution was reported, and what has been done to improve conditions. How’s My Waterway provides simple descriptions of each major category of pollutants, where the pollution comes from, its effect on the environment and on beneficial waterway uses, what citizens can do to help, and where to find more information. It also identifies whether a polluted waterway has TMDL cleanup plans or polluted runoff control projects.

For more information, visit: www.epa.gov/mywaterway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

EPA Releases Draft Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program and Grant Guidelines

EPA has released draft Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories for review and comment. The revised guidelines provide states and territories with a framework to use section 319 Clean Water Act grant funds to effectively implement their state nonpoint source management programs. The guidelines provide updated program direction, an increased emphasis on watershed project implementation in watersheds with impaired waters, and increased accountability measures. They also emphasize the importance of states updating their nonpoint source management programs to ensure that section 319 funds are targeted to the highest priority activities.

EPA is requesting comments by December 7, 2012. 
Click here for the guidelines.
Comments should be sent to 319grants@epa.gov.

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EPA Recommends New Recreational Water Quality Criteria to Better Protect Public Health

Release Date: 11/26/2012 Contact Information: Julia Valentine (News Media Only), valentine.julia@epa.gov, 202-564-0496, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON -- Pursuant to an order from a U.S. District Court and as required by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recommended new recreational water quality criteria for states that will help protect peoples’ health during visits to beaches and waters year round. The science-based criteria provide information to help states improve public health protection by addressing a broader range of illness symptoms, better accounting for pollution after heavy rainfall, providing more protective recommendations for coastal waters, encouraging early alerts to beachgoers and promoting rapid water testing. The criteria released today do not impose any new requirements; instead, they are a tool that states can choose to use in setting their own standards.

The criteria provide states and communities with the most up to date science and information that they can use to determine whether water quality is safe for the public and when to issue an advisory or a beach closure. EPA has provided a variety of other tools to help states evaluate and manage recreational waters.

The new criteria are based on several recent health studies and use a broader definition of illness to recognize that symptoms may occur without a fever, including a number of stomach ailments. EPA also narrowed from 90 days to 30 days the time period over which the results of monitoring samples may be averaged. This produces a more accurate picture of the water quality for that given time, allowing for improved notification time about water quality to the public. This shortened time period especially accounts for heavy rainfall that can wash pollution into rivers, lakes or the ocean or cause sewer overflows.

The strengthened recommendations include:
  • A short-term and long-term measure of bacteria levels that are to be used together to ensure that water quality is properly evaluated.
  • Stronger recommendations for coastal water quality so public health is protected similarly in both coastal and fresh waters
  • A new rapid testing method that states can use to determine if water quality is safe within hours of water samples being taken.
  • An early-alert approach for states to use to quickly issue swimming advisories for the public.
  • Tools that allow states to predict water quality problems and identify sources of pollution, as well as to develop criteria for specific beaches.

More information: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/standards/criteria/health/recreation/index.cfm

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Improved Agricultural Management Restores Stone Bridge Brook, Vermont

EPA's Clean Water Act Section 319 Program provides funding for restoration of nonpoint source-impaired water bodies. This week's success spotlight shines on

Stone Bridge Brook, Vermont. Agricultural activities in the watershed increased nutrient and sediment runoff impairing a 2-mile portion of the stream for aquatic life. Agricultural best management practices, such as planting of more than 300 acres of winter cover crops and use of no-till planting to reduce erosion, led to improvement in water quality, prompting the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to remove it from the state's list of impaired waters in 2012.

Read the complete story here.

Source: Water Headlines & EPA Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories

EPA Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act 2012 OCTOBER 18

By Nancy Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water
I am proud to be at EPA in 2012 for the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s foremost law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. I often think about how a generation ago, the American people faced health and environmental threats in their waters that are almost unimaginable today.

Municipal and household wastes flowed untreated into our rivers, lakes and streams. Harmful chemicals were poured into the water from factories, chemical manufacturers, power plants and other facilities. Two-thirds of waterways were unsafe for swimming or fishing. Polluters weren’t held responsible. We lacked the science, technology and funding to address the problems.

Then on October 18, 1972, the Clean Water Act became law.

<read the rest>

Source: It's Our Environment: EPA's blog about our world


New App Lets Users Check Health of Waterways Anywhere in the U.S.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a new app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. Available at http://www.epa.gov/mywaterway, the How’s My Waterway app and website uses GPS technology or a user-entered zip code or city name to provide information about the quality of local water bodies. The release of the app and website helps mark the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which Congress enacted on October 18, 1972, giving citizens a special role in caring for the nation’s water resources. Forty years later, EPA is providing citizens with a technology-based tool to expand that stewardship.

“America’s lakes, streams and rivers are national treasures. Communities and neighborhoods across the U.S. want to know that their local lakes, rivers and streams are healthy and safe to enjoy with their families,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “This new app provides easy, user-friendly access to the health of a waterway, whether it is safe for swimming and fishing, and what is being done about any reported problems. People can get this information whether researching at a desktop or standing streamside looking at a smart phone.”

How It Works

SEARCH: Go to http://www.epa.gov/mywaterway and allow GPS-technology to identify the nearest streams, rivers or lakes or enter a zip code or city name.

RESULTS: Instantly receive a list of waterways within five miles of the search location. Each waterway is identified as unpolluted, polluted or unassessed. A map option offers the user a view of the search area with the results color-coded by assessment status.

DISCOVER: Once a specific lake, river or stream is selected, the How’s My Waterway app and website provides information on the type of pollution reported for that waterway and what has been done by EPA and the states to reduce it. Additional reports and technical information is available for many waterways. Read simple descriptions of each type of water pollutant, including pollutant type, likely sources and potential health risks.

MORE: Related links page connects users to popular water information on beaches, drinking water and fish and wildlife habitat based on a user’s search criteria.
Source: EPA News Release

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lake Champlain 2012 State of the Lake and Ecosystems Indicators Report Released

On August 1st the Lake Champlain Basin Program released State of the Lake and Ecosystems Indicators Report 2012. The report informs citizens and resource managers about Lake Champlain's condition and provides a better understanding of threats to its health and opportunities to meet the challenges ahead.

The latest edition of the document, which is produced every three or four years and is based on the latest science and management perspectives, summarizes several categories of lake health: phosphorus, human health, fish and wildllife, and aquatic invasive species. This year's report also includes a special section on the effects of the historic flooding of 2011.

At the press event for the document's unveiling, LCBP Program Manager Bill Howland noted, "Again, in 2012, we share both good and not so good news, depending on which issue and which lake segment is being discussed. Certainly the Lake is not meeting phosphorus concentration targets, but each jurisdiction remains diligent and active in their efforts to decrease loads."

The LCBP has launched an online version of the State of the Lake, which includes all the content in the print document as well as supplemental material and additional French translation. Hard copies are also available free of charge by contacting kjarvis@lcbp.org.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

EPA WaterSense Intends to Revise the Irrigation Partner and Professional Certification Program

WaterSense has announced its intent to modify its specifications for certification programs for irrigation professionals and the WaterSense irrigation professional partnership. The notification of intent outlines EPA's evaluation of the benefits and challenges associated with the existing irrigation partnership program, its experience in running the certification program, and its desires to expand the program's scope to attain additional water savings. The outlined intended revisions are two-fold: development of a consolidated and common set of general requirements that will apply to all professional certifying organizations and removal of the individual irrigation partnership designation to allow the benefits of partnership to expand to all professionals certified by WaterSense labeled programs. WaterSense is soliciting input from stakeholders who would like to provide comment on the Agency's proposal. 

Click here for more information.
Source Water Headlines, EPA Office of Water

Latest Adirondack Invasive Species Newsletter On-Line

The latest invasive species news in the Adirondack region – APIPP’s Fall/Winter Newsletter is now available online as a PDF

Hilary Smith, Director
Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Progra
The Nature Conservancy - Adirondack Chapter
PO Box 65 Keene Valley, New York 12943
518-576-2082 x 131 (tel)
518-576-4203 (fax) 
email: hsmith@tnc.org 
website: www.adkinvasives.com 
blog: http://adk-invasives.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

New Information About Harmful Algal Blooms Online

EPA has published a new web page on harmful algal blooms to help inform states, tribal and local governments, other federal agencies, and the public about key issues regarding cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, blooms in recreational waters and drinking water. Harmful algal blooms cause fouling of beaches and shorelines, economic and aesthetic losses, taste and odor problems in drinking water, and direct risks to human, fish and animal health. The web page includes information on the causes of bloom occurrence, prevention and mitigation measures, adverse human health effects from exposure to cyanotoxins (toxins from blue-green algae), ecological effects, sampling and detection methods, policies and guidelines, past and ongoing research, and links to other sites with information on algal toxins in freshwater.

Visit the web page for more information
Source: EPA Water Headlines

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Thousands of fish die as Midwest streams heat up

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to nearly 100 degrees. About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska fishery officials said they've seen thousands of dead sturgeon, catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon. And biologists in Illinois said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and is threatening the population of the greater redhorse fish, a state-endangered species.

Source: AP Mobile
Read complete story at http://goo.gl/0BGi1

Thursday, August 02, 2012


For Release: IMMEDIATE
Contact: Emily DeSantis
Wednesday, August 1, 2012


New York State Will Work with Partners to Implement
Lake Champlain Task Force Recommendations

The presence of the spiny water flea, an aquatic invasive species, was confirmed in Lake George, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

“DEC has worked with its partners on the Lake Champlain Basin Task Force to stop and slow the spread of the spiny water flea,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “The discovery of spiny water flea in Lake George is not welcome news and DEC’s efforts to slow the spread of this and other invasive species will continue.”
Earlier this week the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Task Force released seven recommendations to slow the spread of spiny water flea into Lake Champlain, which includes redirecting the flow of the Champlain Canal into the Hudson River and furthering a feasibility study for a hydraulic barrier between the Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain.

“DEC fully supports the recommendations of the Task Force and will work with the state of Vermont and our other partners to implement the Task Force’s recommendations,” Commissioner Martens said. “Boaters and anglers also have a major role in slowing the spread of invasive species. All boating, fishing and recreation equipment must be cleaned and disinfected, to prevent spreading invasive species to other water bodies.”

The Task Force is made up of representatives from New York state, Vermont and Canada. The Task Force’s report recognizes that the closure of the Champlain Canal and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal is not technically, legally or economically feasible.

The discovery of spiny water flea in Lake George provides another pathway for the invasive species to enter Lake Champlain via the LaChute River. Lake George is not connected to the State Canal System.

The presence of spiny water flea was confirmed through sampling efforts by the Lake George Association on Tuesday, July 31. The samples were taken to the Darrin Fresh Water Institute where four spiny water fleas were identified.

“Right now the Commission’s top priority is invasive species control and management, and we will work with our many partners on determining the extent of this population,” Dave Wick, Executive Director of the Lake George Park Commission, said. “The Commission is currently developing a comprehensive invasive species prevention plan for Lake George, with the goal of preventing any new invasive occurrences from entering the lake.”

The possible presence of the spiny water flea was first reported on Friday, July 27 by an invasive species steward at DEC’s Mossy Point Boat Launch near the north end of the lake. A fisherman had reported having a clump of small organisms on his fishing line after spending time trolling the waters off Mallory Island along the east shore of the lake.

The steward took a sample and provided it to the Lake George Association, who passed it on to the Darrin Fresh Water Institute. After the organisms were identified as spiny water fleas the Lake George Association sampled the waters off Mallory Island and further confirmed its presence.

The invasive pest was previously confirmed in the Great Sacandaga Lake in 2008, Peck Lake in 2009, Stewarts Bridge Reservoir 2010, Sacandaga Lake in 2010 and most recently this summer in the Champlain Canal and Glens Falls Feeder Canal.

Background on Spiny Water Flea

Native to Eurasia, the spiny water flea feeds on tiny crustaceans and other zooplankton that are foods for fish and other native aquatic organisms, putting them in direct competition for this important food source. The tail spines of the spiny water flea hook on fishing lines and foul fishing gear.

Spiny water fleas can impact aquatic life in lakes and ponds due to their rapid reproduction rates. In warmer water temperatures these water fleas can hatch, grow to maturity, and lay eggs in as little as two weeks. Conversely, "resting" eggs of spiny water fleas can remain dormant for long periods of time prior to hatching.

While it is not clear when or how the spiny water flea was introduced into the lakes, it is clear that the initial introduction, and very likely the others as well, were through adult, larvae or eggs being transported to the waters by bait bucket, bilge water, live well, boat, canoe, kayak, trailer or fishing equipment.

Currently, there are no successful means to control or eradicate this and many other aquatic invasive species, so preventing their spread is the only means for reducing their impacts on native aquatic communities. It is very important that boats, anglers and other recreational enthusiasts take precautions to avoid transporting this and other invasive species, particularly after leaving water known to have an aquatic invasive species.

Prevent the Spread of Spiny Water Flea

INSPECT & CLEAN your fishing, boating and other water recreation equipment and gear. Remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to them when leaving waters, especially those that are known to contain an aquatic invasive species.
DRY your fishing and boating equipment before using it on another body of water. Drying is the most effective "disinfection" mechanism and is least likely to damage sensitive equipment and clothing. All fishing and boating equipment, clothing and other gear should be dried completely before moving to another body of water. This may take a week or more depending upon the type of equipment, where it is stored and weather conditions. A basic rule of thumb is to allow at least 48 hours for drying most non-porous fishing and boating gear at relative humidity levels of 70 percent or less.

DISINFECT your fishing and boating equipment if it cannot be dried before its use in another body of water. Disinfection recommendations vary depending on the type of equipment and disease of concern. Be particularly aware of bilge areas, live wells and bait wells in boats. These areas are difficult to dry and can harbor invasive species.

For More Information:

See the DEC website for more information on invasive species and how you can stop their spread:http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/265.html.

USGS Spiny Water Flea Fact Sheet: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.asp?speciesID=162.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Virtual Academy Webinar: Water Quality Standards 101

EPA is inviting attendees for the first Water Quality Standards Virtual Academy webinar: “Water Quality Standards 101.” Water quality standards are the foundation of the water quality-based pollution control program mandated by the Clean Water Act. Water quality standards define the goals for a waterbody by designating its uses, setting criteria to protect those uses, and establishing provisions such as antidegradation policies to protect water bodies from pollutants. Learn how you can use water quality standards to protect water resources. This webinar is aimed at states, territories, tribes, environmental groups, industrial groups, municipalities, the academic community, federal agencies, watershed groups and any other interested parties.

The webinar will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2012 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST.

Register here: http://goo.gl/H9EI2

For more information, visit http://water.epa.gov/learn/training/standardsacademy/index.cfm.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

EPA Issues Clean Water State Revolving Fund Green Project Reserve Highlights Report, Case Studies, and Fact Sheets

EPA is releasing a suite of materials highlighting the innovative approaches states have used to successfully implement projects that address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency, or other environmentally-innovative activities using the Clean Water State Revolving Fund’s (CWSRF) Green Project Reserve. The CWSRF program, through the reserve, is helping achieve innovative solutions to wastewater infrastructure needs, achieving economic and environmental benefits that will continue to accrue for years to come.

The Green Project Reserve requires all CWSRF programs to direct a portion of their capitalization grant toward projects that address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency, or other environmentally-innovative activities. While these type of projects have always been eligible for CWSRF financing, the reserve originated with the American Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) when it was signed into law on February 17, 2009. With the success of the Green Project Reserve implemented under ARRA---approximately 30 percent of total ARRA funding for CWSRF projects went to reserve projects---the reserve has become a part of all subsequent CWSRF appropriations.

For more information: http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/cwsrf/Green-Project-Reserve.cfm.

Source: EPA Water Headlines

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Summit to be held August 16th


Registration is open for the Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Summit: Lessons learned from the Adirondack region. This is a free event hosted at the Horicon Town Hall in Brant Lake from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 16th. The Summit is organized by partners of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, Adirondack Lake Alliance and Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board.

“While some groups have been managing milfoil for years, others are just starting their management programs. There are many lessons to be shared from the great work underway in the region. The Summit is designed to serve as a forum for information and discussion about management and the path forward for battling Eurasian watermilfoil.” said Hilary Smith, Director of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.

The program will feature presentations on the status of the Eurasian watermilfoil invasion and its management in the Adirondack region, control options, planning considerations, case studies from various lakes, permitting, financing, lake-friendly land-use recommendations and spread prevention. Speakers will include state agency staff, elected officials, not-for-profit representatives, shoreowners and lake managers.

Resource managers, elected officials, members of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, lake association members and shoreowners are all encouraged to attend. Eurasian watermilfoil is one of the most widespread aquatic invasive plants across the country. It has invaded over 50 lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks alone and threatens to spread to more waterways by hitchhiking on recreational gear. Once an infestation starts, it is extremely difficult, and very costly, to eliminate. Control efforts must be sustained from year to year to set management projects up for success.

Many communities in the Adirondacks are struggling with managing infestations. Uncertainties about which treatment options to choose, understanding and complying with permitting conditions and challenges in finding, and sustaining, resources can be overwhelming.

“We are very happy to serve as a sponsor of the Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Summit. The Adirondack Lake Alliance was formed on the basis of sharing ideas and experiences, and the Summit is the ultimate opportunity to share expertise. As property owners with limited budgets, it is important to us to keep invasive species to a minimum without wasting our resources on methods that others in the region have found ineffective. This idea was the crux of developing the Summit, and we have some of the most experienced experts and representatives of local lake associations speaking on the subject.” said Bill McGhie, President of the East Shore Schroon Lake Association.

There is no registration fee to attend the Summit, but participants are asked to RSVP by Thursday, August 2nd so that organizers can plan accordingly for seating, supporting materials and refreshments. Please RSVP to Allie Smith at acsmit09@stlawu.edu with "EWM Summit" in the subject heading of your email and include the number of participants attending, names, and organization or association, or call 518-668-5773.

More information about the Summit, including a preliminary program, is online at http://adkinvasives.com/Summit.html.
Source: 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)

Call for Nominees to Participate in an EPA Technical Workshop on the Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy

Water is vital to a productive and growing economy in the United States, and directly affects the production of many goods and services. On behalf of EPA, Industrial Economics, Inc. is seeking nominees from both the private and public sectors to attend and participate in a technical workshop that will seek independent input on water’s contribution to the U.S. economy, current capabilities to analyze and estimate this contribution, and the steps necessary to improve our understanding of water’s economic contributions. The workshop will be held in Washington, D.C. on September 19, 2012. The format will include presentations on commissioned research and a combination of expert panels and group discussion. Interested parties should review the request for nominations, available on-line at http://www.indecon.com/iecweb/Procurements.aspx, and submit nominations to ntanners@indecon.com no later than 5:00 p.m., July 20, 2012.

For additional information, send email inquiries to:
Mr. Nadav Tanners, Associate
Industrial Economics, Incorporated
2067 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140
Email: NTanners@indecon.com

Source: EPA Water Headlinese

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NY Schneiderman announces arrest of Snakehead smuggler

Snakehead (Associated Press)
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the filing of felony charges in the Town of Amherst Court against Muk Leung “Jim” Ip, a Canadian-based pet dealer whose operation smuggled and exported invasive and endangered species into the U.S.

The 49-year-old Ontario man was charged with two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of Illegal Commercialization of Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans, and Wildlife. The fish in question: the invasive beastie known as the Snakehead, and a cuddly protected amphibian, Axolotls.

From AG's Press Release:
Snakeheads are highly invasive and have the potential to disrupt recreational fishing, harm native fish and wildlife, and impact our economy. New York State prohibits the possession, sale and live transport of Snakehead fish. Importation and interstate transport of Snakeheads is prohibited under the federal Lacey Act. Northern snakeheads are dangerous predators capable of growing to at least three feet long and surviving throughout the continental United States in a variety of habitats. With teeth similar to pike and walleye fish, they are superb predators and they feed voraciously.
. . .
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “International smuggling of invasive and endangered species in to New York State is a major concern to the health of our natural ecosystems. If released into the wild, the species targeted in this undercover operation could have caused significant environmental damage to our native species. Since smugglers do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries, it is only through cooperative efforts involving partnering law enforcement and conservation agencies that we can enforce wildlife laws across national and international borders to protect our ecosystems.”
 Read the entire article HERE
Learn more about the Snakehead HERE at the CSA Discovery Guides
Source: Albany Times Union Capitol Confidential

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Urban Agriculture Summit 2012

Around the world, people are growing food in cities!

You can learn new tools to advance urban agriculture in your community. Register now for the 2012 Urban Agriculture Summit, August 15 – 18 2012 in Toronto.

Learn, network, train, tour … Summit programming is an action-oriented combination of workshops, panels, keynotes, tours, networking events and professional development opportunities.

The 2012 Urban Agriculture Summit will connect you with inspiring experts from across the spectrum of urban agriculture. Announcing renowned keynote speakers :
  • Will Allen, Founder & CEO of Growing Power and author of ‘The Good Food Revolution’
  •  Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms hydroponic greenhouse farms and supply chain expert
  • Joe Lobko, Principal of duToit Allsopp Hillier, interdisciplinary architect, landscape architect and urban designer
  •  PLUS over 75 session presenters who are leaders in the fields of community and commercial development, policy, research, design and more.

Summit programming also includes:
  • Half day professional development courses and training / skills workshops, several of which are approved for continuing education units / professional development hours
  • Half day tours and full day tours to visit exceptional and inspiring urban agriculture projects and producers across the Greater Toronto Area.

CAPACITY IS LIMITED. Register online today.

Coming from out of town? Affordable rooms are available at Ryerson Residence - book your room early to avoid disappointment. We look forward to seeing in Toronto at the Urban Agriculture Summit in August.

Share this event with your networks and colleagues:
Source EPA via NPS Information Exchange

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Emergency Rule Enacted to Combat Invasive Water Plant

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation adopted an emergency rule to allow for herbicide treatment to combat hydrilla, an invasive plant species that has plagued parts of the Cayuga Inlet since last summer.
Hydrilla spreads quickly and outcompetes native aquatic species.

This temporary, emergency regulation allows the use of fluridone pellets in waters less than two feet deep for 90 days. Upon the regulation's expiration, DEC intends to renew it until a permanent rule is in place. The rule amends 6 NYCRR 326.2(b)(4)(ii), which prohibits the application of fluridone pellet formulations in waters less than two feet deep.

Click here for complete article
Source: EnvironmentDEC

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Water Is Worth It: EPA on Social Media Outlets

EPA’s Water Is Worth It  is now on Facebook and Twitter.
Source: Water Headlines

Monday, February 13, 2012

Six months later, a reporter returns to the flood-ravaged Catskills

In a radio broadcast aired today, Dave Lucas, WAMC's Hudson Valley bureau chief, checked in with some of the people he spoke to shortly after Irene's floods raged across upstate New York.

Lucas found that life isn't quite back to normal yet for flooded-out Goshen farmer John Glebocki, who is still in financial limbo as he waits for crop insurance and grants to come through. Or for Michael Koegel, proprietor of the Mama's Boy coffeeshop in Phoenicia, where one of the main bridges into town is still out of commission.

Complete story and broadcast link at http://www.watershedpost.com/2012/six-months-later-reporter-returns-flood-ravaged-catskills
Source: WatershedPost.com via @AndyArthur

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Manure rule raises water quality concerns

North Country Public Radio • (12/27/11)

A recent victory for New York's farm leaders has raised concerns about water quality. Dairy and livestock farms produce a lot of manure. Many farmers spread it on to their fields in liquid form.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture had proposed a nationwide ban against spreading manure onto frozen ground. It's now decided against the ban. The Farm Bureau praises the change of mind, but others are concerned about increases in nutrient run-off from fields during spring thaws.

Matt Nelligan is spokesman for the New York farm bureau. He says more than half the comments to the USDA on this issue came from New York farmers. "The reality of farming in New York State is that you’ve got to be able to spread manure in the winter, and you’ve got a fairly substantial winter period here, and there’s no way to avoid doing so without damaging your crop and making your fields less fruitful. So, it’s a particular issue that is important in New York State and in northeast farming in general," Nelligan said.

But some experts says farmers can transition to a system that doesn’t spread manure on frozen ground, and that would be better for the environment. Elizabeth Newbold grew up on a small dairy in Central New York. Now she works for the Finger Lakes Land Trust, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. She says when manure is applied to frozen ground, it sits on top and freeze. "When the first thaw comes in the spring everything thaws and instead of soaking into the ground, because the ground it still frozen, it tends to run with the snow, wherever the snow will take it," she said.

Newbold says nutrients from farm manure runoff into rivers and streams. She says places such as Lake Champlain have seen the results – high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the water, which causes algae growth. The algae uses the oxygen needed by plants and fish and degrades the water quality.

Source: NCPR News

Article on-line at NCPR Website

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Data Added to EPA’s Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool

EPA has added updated U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) data to the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool, a tool intended to help states develop effective nitrogen and phosphorus source reduction strategies.

SPARROW is a GIS-based watershed model that integrates statistical and mechanistic modeling approaches to simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and factors affecting nutrient fate and transport.

USGS recently completed syntheses of the results from 12 independently-calibrated regional-scale SPARROW models that describe water quality conditions throughout major river basins of the conterminous U.S. based on nitrogen and phosphorus sources from 2002.

Two data layers of EPA’s data access tool – one for nitrogen and one for phosphorus – now provide an approximate yet regionally consistent synthesis of the locations of the largest contributing sources.

The SPARROW geospatial layers can be used to prioritize watersheds for targeting nutrient reduction activities (such as stream monitoring) to the areas that account for a substantial portion of nutrient loads, and to develop state nitrogen and phosphorus pollution reduction strategies.

This information is relevant to the protection of downstream coastal waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico, and to local receiving streams and reservoirs.

The nitrogen and phosphorus pollution data access tool, with updated SPARROW layers, is available at: www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/npdat

Data Access Tool - - Launch the geospatial viewer and download data.

Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 405K)

Tutorial (PDF) (17 pp, 726K) - - First time users are encouraged to review this brief tutorial to become familiar with the functions of the Data Access Tool.
Source: Anne Weinberg
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Communications Coordinator Assessment and Watershed Protection Division
1301 Constitution Ave. NW
Room 7417K
Washington, DC 20004

Phone: 202-566-1217
Fax:      202-566-1333
Email:    weinberg.anne@epa.gov