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F. X. Browne, Inc.'s

Sustainable Environments

October 2010

 


 

"Autumn is a second spring

when every leaf's a flower"


 

-Albert Camus


 

 

  

 

                                           

  

Photo credit:   peasap on Flickr.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/peasap/2081514907/
 

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Editor's Notes:

 


HAPPY HALLOWEEN
from F. X. Browne, Inc.!


Allegheny National Forest

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF), and it is dear to my heart.  There are countless activities in this beautiful Pennsylvania treasure, and it would take me a lifetime to become bored of it.  If you share this love or would like to learn more about the ANF, I recommend you visit the following sites. 

http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/allegheny/

 

Friends of Allegheny Wilderness

This organization is working to have more wilderness area designated within the ANF.  Less than two percent of the ANF is currently protected as wilderness.  For more information and to learn how you can help, visit

http://www.pawild.org/

 

Proposed Chestnut Ridge Wilderness

A new video is available about the proposed Chestnut Ridge Wilderness and the wilderness protection in the ANF. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w0XzXXHNfU

To view a map of the proposed Chestnut Ridge Wilderness area, visit

http://www.pawild.org/images/maps/chestnut_ridge.jpg
 

~ Lisen Cummings, Sustainable Environments Editor/Designer
 

                               

 

Topic of the Month:

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

 

In addition to tragically losing the lives of 11 workers, The Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Louisiana proved to be one of the largest ecological disasters of our lives.  We started this feature article in the May edition of Sustainable Environments, and have provided updates in each edition since then.  To view past articles, click on the Previous Newsletters link at the top of the newsletter on the main page. 

As of October 6, 2010, approximately 18,589 personnel are responding to protect shoreline, wildlife and cleanup coastlines.  Approximately 104 miles of shoreline are experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts (95 miles in Louisiana, 9 miles in Mississippi and 1 mile in Florida).  Approximately 485 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts (224 miles in Louisiana, 81 miles in Mississippi, 60 miles in Alabama, and 114 miles in Florida).  More...

 

 

CONTACT INFO

INFORMATION SOURCES

NEWS ARTICLES

PHOTOS

PLANTS AND WILDLIFE

 

 


Pennsylvania Weekly Fall Foliage Report

by the Department Of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry

Check out the fall foliage report, updated weekly, to learn when the peak fall color will be, the percentage of fall colors, the tree species to look for, and the differences between different regions of Pennsylvania.

To view the October 5, 2010 Pennsylvania fall foliage report, visit

http://iconservepa.org/fallreports/10-1005foliagereport.pdf

 

 

 

 

News Clips:

 

Many Urban Streams Harmful to Aquatic Life Following Winter Pavement Deicing

A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study has show that the use of salt for deicing pavement can be toxic to aquatic life.  More...

 

Evidence for a Novel Marine Harmful Algal Bloom: Cyanotoxin (Microcystin) Transfer from Land to Sea Otters

Toxic Algae (cyanobacteria) blooms produce persistent biotoxins (microcystins) that are toxic to freshwater habitats.  This research paper shows that contaminated freshwater is entering marine ecosystems and is causing more harm.   More...

Elevated Nitrogen and Phosphorus Still Widespread in Much of the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater
The United States Geological Service (USGS) has released a new national study entitled The Quality of Our Nation's Waters: Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater, 1992–2004.  More...

EPA, D.C. Showcase Recovery Act-Funded Green Roof

A new 27,750 square foot green roof has been installed on the World Wildlife Fund headquarters in Washington D.C. More...

 

World's Rivers in 'Crisis State', Report Finds

A report published in the journal Nature (September 30, 2010) details findings on the health of the world’s rivers, and the effects of pollution, dams, agricultural runoff, the conversion of wetlands, and the introduction of exotic species.  More...

 

First-of-its-kind study finds alarming increase in flow of water into oceans: UCI-led team cites global warming, accelerated cycle of evaporation, precipitation
A new study is showing that the amount of freshwater flowing into the Earth’s oceans has been increasing every year.  More...

 

 

 

Policy Updates:


Obama Administration Moves Long-Term Gulf Plan Forward

An aggressive restoration plan for the Gulf of Mexico was submitted to the president on September 28, 2010.  The plan calls for dedicated funds to strengthen the Gulf’s environment, economy and health.  The restoration plan was written by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.  A key recommendation is to allocate a portion of the civil penalties toward addressing long-term recovery and restoration efforts in the gulf. 

EPA News Release, September 28, 2010

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/FE2047F24675EADB852577AC006B9905

To view the full report to the president, visit http://www.restorethegulf.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/gulf-recovery-sep-2010.pdf
 

 

President Obama Signs Executive Order Officially Forming Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force

On October 5, 2010, President Obama signed an executive order creating the task force, which will implement restoration programs and projects in the gulf coast.  They will also work with the Department of Health and Human Services on public health issues and will work with other federal agencies to enhance the economic benefits of ecosystem restoration. The task force will be made up of five state representatives, one senior official each from the departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Transportation.  Representatives from affected tribes may also be included. 

EPA News Release, October 5, 2010

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/955A6A00BBCB26FE852577B30068455E

To view the executive order, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/10/05/executive-order-gulf-coast-ecosystem-restoration-task-force

 


EPA Issues Clean Water and Drinking Water
Infrastructure Sustainability Policy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy to increase the sustainability of water and wastewater infrastructure.  Constant upgrades and repairs are a costly necessity for aging water and wastewater systems.  The policy aims to make communities more environmentally and economically sustainable by promoting comprehensive planning processes that focus on creating cost effective and resource efficient projects. 

EPA News Release, October 4, 2010

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/F856039FF7A0D099852577B20064A8B6

For more information, visit http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/Clean-Water-and-Drinking-Water-Infrastructure-Sustainability-Policy.cfm
 


Independent Science Advisory Board Draft Review Supports EPA Science on Mountaintop Mining Impacts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Independent Science Advisory Board (SAB) released the first draft review of EPA’s draft report “A Field-Based Aquatic Benchmark for Conductivity in Central Appalachian Streams,” which provided research on water quality impacts from mountaintop mining.  The SAB supports the EPA’s research that shows that valley fills from mountaintop mining increase levels of conductivity (a measure of water pollution) in downstream waters, which threatens stream life.  The benchmark of EPA’s research is to protect 95% of aquatic species in streams affected by mountaintop mining and valley fills. 

EPA News Release, September 30, 2010

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/D37FEA38DD600608852577AE006F8CB9
 

 

 


Chesapeake Bay Updates
 


Pennsylvania Submits Draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) has submitted the Pennsylvania’s Draft Phase 1 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  This plan outlines Pennsylvania’s plan to address nutrient and sediment loadings to the Chesapeake Bay.  The WIP addresses three core elements: milestone implementation and tracking, implementation of technologies and nutrient trading, and enhancing compliance efforts.  The public comment period is open till November 8, 2010.

To view the draft WIP (Phase 1), visit

http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/chesapeake_bay_program/10513

To view the new release, visit http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=13971&typeid=2
 


EPA Says PA Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan Has Serious Deficiencies

PA Environment Digest, September 27, 2010

http://www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter/default.asp?NewsletterArticleID=16879&SubjectID=&SearchWord=EPA+Says+PA+Chesapeake
+Bay+Pollution+Reduction+Plan+Has+Serious+Deficiencies

 

EPA Releases More Detailed List Of PA Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan Deficiencies

PA Environment Digest, October 4, 2010

http://www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter/default.asp?NewsletterArticleID=16957

 

EPA finds flaws in most states' plans to clean up waterways: Draft TMDL warns of consequences if problems aren't addressed

By Karl Blankenship, Chesapeake Bay Journal, October 2010 

http://www.bayjournal.com/article.cfm?article=3929

 


EPA Issues Draft Chesapeake Bay ‘Pollution Diet' - Draft TMDL Contains Strong Federal Measures to Fill in Gaps in State Pollution Reduction Plans

On September 24, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).  This TMDL is designed to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed by implementing a mandatory pollution diet.  It sets limits on how much nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution are discharged into the Bay and its tributaries.  The reductions necessary for a healthy watershed include a 25% reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus and a 16% reduction in sediment. Comments will be accepted for 45 days.  For more information and to view the Draft TMDL, visit  http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl.

EPA News Release, September 24, 2010
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/90829d899627a1d98525735900400c2b/
c54ed5ac7ea35abe852577a80057cc4c!OpenDocument

 


Chesapeake Bay Restoration Budget and Action Plan
The fiscal year 2011 action plan has been released by federal agencies for restoring the Chesapeake Bay.  The action plan provides $491 million for restoration projects and programs including $72 million for farmers to implement conservation practices in high priority areas; $20 million to implement stronger regulatory and accountability for stormwater runoff; and $30 million for land protection. Projects will also improve fish passage in 67 miles of streams and 60 acres of oyster reefs.  The action plan focuses on four goal areas of water quality, habitat, fish and wildlife and land and public access.     

September 30, 2010
http://executiveorder.chesapeakebay.net/post/24491-Million-in-Federal-Resources-Targeted-for-Chesapeake-Bay-Restoration-in-FY-2011.aspx
 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Grants and Awards:
Click on a grant for more information)
Only currently available grants are listed on the grant page.  NEW refers to grants added since last month's edition of Sustainable Environments.

 

 

Grants:

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Electronic Grants System

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative

Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grants

1675 Foundation
Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund
William Penn Foundation Grants

Maryland DNR Grants and Loans

Maryland DNR Tree-Mendous Program - Trees for Schools Project

The Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee (MUCFC) Grants

PennVEST Loans – Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Grants Page

NY DEC Grants

USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Loan and Grant Program for Rural Areas

USDA Technical Assistance and Training Grants for Rural Areas

USDA Solid Waste Management Grant Program for Rural Areas

PA Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP)

Gannett Foundation - Community Action Grants

H2O PA - High Hazard Unsafe Dam Projects

New Jersey DEP Grants and Loans

EPA Wetland Grants Database (WGD) 

USDA Encourages Farmers Within Chesapeake Bay Watershed to Signup for Conservation Program 

USDA – Assistance for Wetland Restoration and Enhancement  

SDA – Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP)

Pennsylvania Conservation Programs 

Coldwater Conservation Planning Grants  NEW

Coldwater Conservation Implementation Grants  NEW

PA DEP: Advantage Grant Program Opens to Small Businesses Looking to Increase  Profitability by Reducing Energy Costs and Pollution  NEW

PA DEP: Environmental Education Grants  NEW

PA Conservation Corps Grant Program  NEW

New York State Conservation Partnership Program  NEW

 

Awards:

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Photo Contest 

2010 Share the Experience Photo Contest

 

 

 

 

Most Endangered Freshwater Turtles

This report details the nine most endangered freshwater turtles on the planet.  There are approximately 350 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles on the planet.  Turtles are important to freshwater ecosystems as they disperse seeds, manage vegetation, control insect and snail populations, and keep the water clean by scavenging for food.  Nearly half of all tortoises and freshwater turtles are threatened with extinction.  Unfortunately, our local bog turtle is featured in this list.  To learn more about these turtles, visit http://www.conservation.org/fmg/pages/
galleryplayer.aspx?galleryitemid=103

 

Status of the World’s Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles

To learn more about the plight of tortoises and freshwater turtles, read this article.

By Peter Paul van Dijk, Conservation International and IUCN TFTSG, draft, August 2010

http://www.conservation.org/Documents
/CI_worlds_tortoises_
freshwater_turtles_
global_conservation_strategy_2010.pdf

 

Tour de Turtles

The Tour de Turtles is underway, with ten sea turtles competing to finish their migration marathon.  The satellite-tracked turtles are making great progress!  This is a fun way to raise awareness for sea turtles and their threats.  To view the race and to learn more about sea turtles, visit http://www.tourdeturtles.org/alt-index.html.

 
 

                                                


MARCELLUS SHALE
 

DEP Releases Preliminary Marcellus Shale Production Data:
Full Database to Go Online Nov. 1

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=14067&typeid=1

To view the preliminary report, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on “Oil & Gas”, then “Bureau of Oil and Gas Management,” and finally “New – O&G Production”.  Updated reports will be provided every 6 months. 

EPA Formally Requests Information From Companies
About Chemicals Used in Natural Gas Extraction

EPA News Release, September 9, 2010

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/e77fdd4f5afd88a3852576b3005a604f/
ec57125b66353b7e85257799005c1d64!OpenDocument

To view the letter, visit http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/index.cfm#voluntary

 New PSU Study Says Severance Tax Would Produce Net Economic Gain
http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/oilgas/Marcellus_Examiner/
Marcellus%20Shale%20Examiner%20-%20Friday,%20September%2024,%202010.htm

 GE To Help Natural Gas Producers Treat Shale Gas Frac Water At The Well Site

http://www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter/default.asp?NewsletterArticleID=16962

 

Fact Check on Severance Taxes and Marcellus Shale –
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

http://www.pennbpc.org/fact-check-severance-taxes-and-marcellus-shale

 

 



Link of the Month:

Global Census of Marine Life

A global census of marine life has been conducted by over 2,700 Census scientists from more than 80 countries.  They have released maps, books, databases, websites, videos, and photo galleries.  The findings have been organized in the global marine life database of the Census, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS).   This directory will provide a reference to monitor and document 21st century change.  They have released the folllowing information:

v     Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life: Making Ocean Life Count(Cambridge University Press, 304 pages), by Paul V.R. Snelgrove, an overview of Census insights and their implications (http://coml.org/discoveries-census-marine-life)

v     Life in the World's Oceans: Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance(Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 384 pages), Alasdair D. McIntyre (editor), a summary of findings and discoveries by the 17 Census projects (http://coml.org/life-worlds-oceans)

v     Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures from the Census of Marine Life,(National Geographic, 216 pages), by Nancy Knowlton, portraits of about 100 species (http://coml.org/citizens-sea)

v     A National Geographic Society map, depicting the Census' work showing "Ocean Life: Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance" on one side and "Ocean Life: Past, Present and Future" on the other;

v     New scientific reports from the Census of Marine Life added to the new open access Collections and Biodiversity Hub of the Public Library of Science (http://ploscollections.org/coml)

 

“First Census of Marine Life Shows Ocean Life Is Richer, More Connected, More Altered Than Expected”

ScienceDaily, October 5, 2010

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004101319.htm

 

 


BMP of the Month:  Infiltration Berm & Retentive Grading

An Infiltration Berm is a mound of soil typically located along a contour.   It can create a barrier to stormwater flow, retain flow and allow for infiltration, and direct flow to other BMPs.  This BMP can improve water quality and reduce stormwater volumes and peak flows.

To view the Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual, visit http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/View/Collection-8305
 


Tools and Publications:

NY DEC - Draft “Strategic Plan for State Forest Management”

This draft plan focuses on ecosystem health and diversity, economic benefits, forest conservation, recreation and sustainable management of 786,000 acres of New York state forest.  They have also released a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) to guide the management of state forest lands.  Public comments will be accepted until October 29, 2010. 

To view the draft plan, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/64567.html

http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/68400.html

 

Pennsylvania MS4 Stormwater Management Tool

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Stormwater PA are providing a new online system, the PA MS4Web™ Permit Manager Software, to assist municipalities with improving their stormwater management programs.  It is currently being piloted in 7 municipalities within southeastern Pennsylvania.  The software will assist with the development of the SWMP, schedule and track implementation activities, and produce annual reports.

For more information, visit

http://www.stormwaterpa.org/ms4web-permit-manager.html

 

EPA – Lake Shoreland Protection Resources Clearinghouse

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched this website to provide links to key resources for protecting and restoring fragile lake shorelands.  It provides fact sheets, webcasts, videos, and resources for lakeshore protection.  According to the National Lakes Assessment (NLA), poor lakeshore habitat and high nutrient pollutants are negatively affecting the biological health of lakes. The NLA found that only 56% of our lakes are in good biological condition, over 1/3 of our lakes have poor shoreline conditions, about 20% of our lakes have high levels of nutrients, and about 1/3 of our lakes contain microcystin (an algal toxin).

To visit the Lake Shoreland Protection Resources Clearinghouse, visit http://water.epa.gov/type/lakes/shoreland.cfm

To read the National Lakes Assessment report, visit http://water.epa.gov/type/lakes/lakessurvey_index.cfm

 

NPDES Permit Writers’ Manual (September 2010 Edition)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new edition of the NPDES Permit Writer’s Manual, first released in 1996.  The manual proivdes a comprehensive overview of the National Pollutant Discharge Eliminantion System (NPDES).  This edition has been updated to reflect current policy and guidance and address changes to the NPDES program.

For more information and to view the manual, visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/writermanual.cfm?program_id=45

 

Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) – Sustainable Water Resources Management Volume 3: Case Studies on New Water Paradigm (DEC6SG06a)

This report provides a water management paradigm that focuses on sustainability goals, sustainability operating principles, integrated technological architecture, institutional capacity, and adaptive management.  This report will assist communities in developing a new approach to water management, and will benefit the following sectors: public water supply, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment. 

For more information and to view the report, visit http://www.werf.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&TEMPLATE=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=15295

 

Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) and Clean & Green Evaluation Reports

The Joint Legislative Budge and Finance Committee released evaluations on the REAP farm conservation tax credit program and the Clean & Green farmland preferential assessment program.  The report on the REAP tax credits found that the projects funded have had a positive environmental impact, providing reductions in over 1 million pounds of nitrogen, 74,238 pounds of phosphorus, and 64,329 tons of sediment from the tax credits provided through 2009.  The report on Clean & Green found that the program continues to provide financial incentives for property owners to continue agricultural and forest uses.

To view the reports, visit http://lbfc.legis.state.pa.us/

Click on “Reports Released”, then Select “Pennsylvania’s Tax Credit Programs” in the Community and Economic Development Section.

 

 

Newsletter Editor/Design and Layout:

Lisen Cummings

 


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