Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lake Stewardship on Instagram

Follow us on Instagram @lake_stewardship to see beautiful photos of lakes and photos of lake stewardship in action


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Microbeads in Soap are Bad for Water Quality

Those tiny exfoliating beads found in face scrubs and other concoctions are made of plastic. Like all plastic, they don't break down in the environment and now we've found that they are bad for the lake environment. Illinois has banned microbeads in soaps because they are getting into the food chain of the Great Lakes.

Learn more by reading:

EPA and FDA Update on Fish Consumption

EPA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued updated draft advice on fish consumption. The two agencies have concluded pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who might become pregnant, and young children should eat more fish that is lower in mercury in order to gain important developmental and health benefits. The updated draft advice is consistent with recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Previously, the FDA and the EPA recommended maximum amounts of fish that these population groups should consume, but did not promote a minimum amount. Over the past decade, however, emerging science has underscored the importance of appropriate amounts of fish in the diets of pregnant and breastfeeding women, and young children.

Read more at EPA's Fish Consumption Advisory Page
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Source Water Headlines

Sunday, June 08, 2014

WaterSense Announces Notice of Intent to Develop Landscape Irrigation Sprinkler Specification

To help increase outdoor water efficiency, EPA is announcing its intent to develop a WaterSense specification for landscape irrigation sprinklers. With this announcement, EPA is releasing a notice of intent that describes the performance criteria WaterSense is considering including in a draft specification, as well as the technical issues that still need to be more fully defined and resolved.

 
Source: brazos.com
If you have comments or suggestions on the process for developing a WaterSense specification for landscape irrigation sprinklers, please send them to watersense-products@erg.com by July 28, 2014.
 
Please contact the WaterSense Helpline at watersense@epa.gov or (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) if you plan to submit any data that need to be handled as confidential business information (CBI). Please note that all CBI should be submitted in hard copy and not electronically. All comments, except data claimed as CBI, become a part of the public record.
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Source: Water Headlines
 
 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

New NY Law for Aquatic Invasives: Boaters Using DEC Lands to Launch Watercraft Now Required to Clean

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted new regulations requiring removal of all animal and plant matter and draining boats, holding wells, and equipment before launch and after launch. The law took effect Wed. June 4 and applies to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites, and any other DEC lands where watercraft such as boats, kayaks, and canoes can be launched.

Here is the link to the regulations: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html

And here is a link to DEC's online spread prevention information: http:/www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html

Friday, June 06, 2014

Despite good snowpack in Rockies, Lake Mead level still expected to drop

Is Lake Mead half empty or half full? Either way the 14 year drought has raised concerns as discussed in this article from the Las Vegas Sun. (Editor)
 
 
Lake Mead is drying up. At the rate we use water in the valley, the reservoir — the largest in the country — could be drained and arid by 2050.
White mineral deposits encircle Lake Mead - www.nbcnews.com
Thirty years ago, a seemingly endless supply of water rushed down the Colorado River, into Lake Mead and out of our faucets.
Today, 14 years into a drought that has left the valley parched, our reservoirs are less than half full.
 
Why? Climate change and use. The effects of global warming have been devastating. Snowfall in the Rocky Mountains, which feeds the Colorado River, is only slightly above average this year. And Las Vegans have become accustomed to green lawns, lush golf courses, decadent fountains and leisurely showers.
 
The feds are expected to declare a water shortage for the West some time in the next two years. Las Vegas has conserved enough to be spared from that edict, but for how long? If the drought persists, the seven states that share the Colorado River will have to find new sources of water and new ways to survive.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Freshwater May Contribute More Methane Gas To Environment Than Previously Measured

Bubbles coming from freshwater sources, new research suggests, may be a key and currently unaccounted for source of methane, the second-largest greenhouse gas contributor to human-driven global climate change.

In a May 16 paper published in the journal Global Change Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student John Crawford and his colleagues, including his advisor Emily Stanley, a UW-Madison professor in the Department of Zoology and the Center for Limnology, show freshwater may be contributing more methane gas to the environment than has previously been measured.

The work has the potential to change how climate scientists and others determine the greenhouse gas budget. It also has implications for agricultural regions, where nitrogen and sulfur-based runoff may impact local methane production.
"There have been recent suggestions that freshwater streams, rivers and lakes are important sources of methane to the atmosphere," says Crawford, who also works for the U.S. Geological Survey in Boulder, Colo.
In freshwater environments, methane gas comes from the metabolic byproducts of bacteria living in the organic-compound-rich, oxygen-poor sediments. Where oxygen, nitrogen or sulfur are high, methane is low because of the chemistry involved in its formation.

Wetlands are known sources of methane but the streams and rivers that drain them may also contribute to the overall methane budget. Just how much is little understood.

Climate Change Accelerates Hybridization between Native, Invasive Trout

Scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate.

In the study, stream temperature warming over the past several decades and decreases in spring flow over the same time period contributed to the spread of hybridization between native westslope cutthroat trout and introduced rainbow trout – the world’s most widely introduced invasive fish species –across the Flathead River system in Montana and British Columbia, Canada.

Experts have long predicted that climate change could decrease worldwide biodiversity through cross-breeding between invasive and native species, but this study is the first to directly and scientifically support this assumption. The study, published today in Nature Climate Change, was based on 30 years of research by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Hybridization has contributed to the decline and extinction of many native fishes worldwide, including all subspecies of cutthroat trout in western North America, which have enormous ecological and socioeconomic value. The researchers used long-term genetic monitoring data coupled with high-resolution climate and stream temperature predictions to assess whether climate warming enhances interactions between native and nonnative species through hybridization.
"Climatic changes are threatening highly prized native trout as introduced rainbow trout continue to expand their range and hybridize with native populations through climate-induced ‘windows of opportunity,’ putting many populations and species at greater risk than previously thought," said project leader and USGS scientist Clint Muhlfeld. "The study illustrates that protecting genetic integrity and diversity of native species will be incredibly challenging when species are threatened with climate-induced invasive hybridization."
Read more at http://scienceblog.com/72611/climate-change-accelerates-hybridization-native-invasive-trout/#REcpG0ykv3OxibIu.99