Tag Archives: Environment

Rain, Rain Go Away: Workshop for Local Engineers

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Workshop to be available via webcast at locations across Ohio

CLEVELAND, OH – An upcoming workshop will update engineers and planners about the latest research on stormwater treatment practices that enhance water quality, prevent flooding and save money.

The Stormwater System Design and Performance workshop will feature the research of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Stormwater Center, a unique field site where stormwater treatment systems are evaluated side-by-side. Experts from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Chagrin River Watershed Partners will also present case studies of stormwater best practices and regulations in Ohio. The workshop will be held August 5 at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and Webcast at six locations across Ohio.

Organized by the Ohio Coastal Training Program in coordination with the Northeast Ohio Stormwater Training Council, the information session will target stormwater engineers, designers and plan reviewers.

“The UNH Stormwater Center is one of the few facilities in the United States that collects both performance data and practical information such as construction and maintenance costs,” said Jay Dorsey, P.E., Ph.D., water resources engineer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Soil and Water Resources. “The Center has extensive experience with permeable pavements, manufactured stormwater devices and several other innovative practices allowing design engineers and plan reviewers to get the latest information on stormwater system design and performance.”

Stormwater treatment practices presented at the workshop have been cross-referenced to Ohio’s rules and regulations. Webcast participants will be able to submit questions through on-site moderators.

“Through webcasting, we are able provide stormwater professionals and local officials from across northern Ohio the high-quality training they’ve requested, without necessitating long-distance travel or expensive registration,” said Ohio Coastal Training Program Coordinator Heather Elmer.

The workshop will run for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the cost is $25 per person for attendance at CSU. A continental breakfast, lunch and parking are included for the fee. Registration for the satellite locations is $15 to $25 per person depending on whether lunch is provided. The locations of the webcast are:

  • ODNR Fountain Square, Assembly Center (Bldg E), 2045 Morse Road, Columbus.
  • Ohio EPA Northwest District Office, 347 North Dunbridge Road, Bowling Green.
  • City of Sandusky Fire Headquarters, 600 West Market Street, Sandusky.
  • GPD Group, 520 S Main St # 2531, Akron.
  • The Miami Conservancy District, 38 E. Monument Ave., Dayton.
  • Woolpert Inc., 4141 Rosslyn Dr., Cincinnati.

For more information, contact Ohio Coastal Training Program coordinator Heather Elmer (heather.elmer@dnr.state.oh.us) at 419-433-4601 or Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center Project Manager Daila Shimek (d.shimek@csuohio.edu) at 216-687-9221. Online registrations are being accepted at: http://urban.csuohio.edu/glefc/training/design_workshop_08_05_09/.

This training is made possible through the following partners: University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center, NOAA Coastal Services Center, Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Coastal Training Program.

The Ohio Coastal Training Program is a NOAA-funded partnership of ODNR Division of Wildlife and Office of Coastal Management, the Ohio Sea Grant College Program and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission. Visit the Ohio Coastal Training Program web site at www.coastaltrainingohio.org.

The Northeast Ohio Stormwater Training Council is a partnership that provides consistent messages and coordinated offerings of high quality training opportunities on storm water related issues for regulated entities in northern Ohio. Learn about upcoming training opportunities on the Council’s web site at  www.epa.state.oh.us/ocapp/storm_water.html.

Funding and planning assistance have been provided by the Ohio Coastal Training Program, Northeast Ohio Stormwater Training Council including the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources; Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center at Cleveland State University; Northeast Ohio Urban Team of Soil and Water Conservation Districts; Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District; Chagrin River Watershed Partners through a USEPA National Community Decentralized Demonstration Project; Summit, Stark, Cuyahoga and Erie Soil & Water Conservation Districts; GPD Group; Lake County Stormwater Management Department; Cuyahoga County Board of Health; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Miami Conservancy District; Firelands Coastal Tributaries, Woolpert, Inc. and the cities of Aurora and Sandusky.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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US Waterfowl Census- Gonna Be a Good Year

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The preliminary estimate of total ducks from the 2009 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey was 42 million, which is 13 percent greater than last year’s estimate and 25 percent greater than the 1955-2008 average, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.

The Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey samples more than two million square miles of waterfowl habitat across the north-central and northeastern United States, south-central, eastern, and northern Canada, and Alaska. The survey estimates the number of ducks on the continent’s primary nesting grounds.

Overall, habitat conditions for breeding waterfowl in 2009 were better than conditions in 2008. The total pond estimate (Prairie Canada and United States combined) was 6.4 million. This was 45 percent above last year’s estimate of 4.4 million ponds and 31 percent above the long-term average of 4.9 million ponds.

The annual survey guides the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific – to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates, and bag limits.

Highlights from the survey in the north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska (the traditional survey area) include:

* The estimated mallard population is 8.5 million birds, a 10 percent increase over last year’s estimate of 7.7 million birds and 13 percent above the long-term average.
* The estimated population of 3.1 million gadwall is similar to last year’s estimate and 73 percent above the long-term average.
* At 7.4 million, the estimated population size of blue-winged teal is the second highest on record, while green-winged teal numbers were at an all-time high of 3.4 million. Estimates for both species are well above their long-term averages (60 percent and 79 percent, respectively).
* The 3.2 million estimate for northern pintails is 23 percent more than last year but 20 percent below the long-term average.
* The estimated number of one million redheads is similar to last year and is 62 percent above the long-term average.
* The canvasback estimate of 662,000 is 35 percent more than last year’s estimate and similar to the long-term average.
* The estimated abundance of northern shovelers (4.4 million) is 25 percent more than last year and 92 percent above the long-term average.
* The scaup (lesser and greater combined), estimate of 4.2 million, is 12 percent greater than last year but 18 percent below the long-term average.

Population estimates for American black ducks, ring-necked ducks, American wigeon, bufflehead, goldeneyes, and mergansers surveyed in eastern North America are similar to last year as well as their 1990-2008 averages.

This preliminary report does not include estimates from surveys conducted by State or Provincial agencies. The entire Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, 1955-2009 report can be downloaded from the Service’s Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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Cleveland Area Lakefront Gets New Bird Sanctuary

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BRATENAHL, OH – Birding and outdoor enthusiasts have a new recreational outlet with the recent completion of a 19.5-acre acquisition in the village of Bratenahl.

The Lake Erie Coastal and Riparian Forest Preserve is located on the north side of Lake Shore Boulevard and connects with the Lakefront Bike Path. The preserve contains one of the last remaining high-quality mature forests along Greater Cleveland’s lakefront and the portion of the Dugway Creek stream corridor and 100-year floodplain that empties into the estuarine environment on the Lake Erie coast.

More than 40 species of birds, including neotropical migrants and eight rare, threatened or endangered species, have been surveyed on site.

“The village is very grateful to our partners for helping us put together this deal, and to our residents, whose generous donations helped make it possible,” said Bratenahl Mayor John Licastro.

The $2.7 million property acquisition was made possible through multi-year partnership efforts by the village of Bratenahl, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management.

In 2007, the acquisition project was nationally ranked eight of 59 to receive $1.18 million in federal funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). In Ohio, CELCP is administered by the ODNR Office of Coastal Management.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy purchased the two parcels comprising the Lake Erie Coastal and Riparian Forest Preserve from willing sellers and held the property for the village. The ODNR Office of Coastal Management helped secure the federal grant dollars, and the land conservancy sought local donations to match the federal grant. When the federal grant and local match funds came through, the village purchased the property from the conservancy.

The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program helps protect lands considered important for their ecological, conservation, recreational, historical or aesthetic value or that are threatened by conversion from a natural or recreational state to other uses.

The ODNR Office of Coastal Management works to achieve a balance between use and preservation of Lake Erie’s coastal resources, in collaboration with its partners, by effectively administering the Ohio Coastal Management Program.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that works to protect natural resources and working lands, and has preserved over 14,000 acres throughout northern Ohio. www.wrlc.cc.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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Philadelphia Eaglet Released into Wild

WASHINGTON - JUNE 28:  Challenger, a bald eagl...
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DOYLESTOWN – For the second time in 13 years, Pennsylvania Game Commission and Philadelphia Zoo officials teamed up to foster a zoo-hatched eagle into a wild nest in the Commonwealth. This time the eaglet was placed in a wild nest already holding two eaglets near Doylestown, Bucks County.

The last time the two organizations worked together was on May 16, 1996, when a zoo-hatched eaglet was fostered into a wild nest holding two eaglets in a sycamore tree on Haldeman Island (State Game Land 290), at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, north of Harrisburg, Dauphin County.

“Fostering is a process that the Game Commission has used successfully in the recent past to place eaglets that were in trees in which their nest was situated was blown down,” said Dr. John Morgan, Game Commission Southeast Region Wildlife Management Supervisor. “In fact, in August of 2007, we fostered an eaglet into a Berks County nest that was separated from its parents when its nest in Lancaster County blew down in a wind storm.

“The decision of where to foster this Zoo-hatched eaglet was based on being able to find a nest with no more than two eaglets of similar age and size. This is not always an easy task.”

A leading wildlife conservation and education institution, the Philadelphia Zoo has been involved in numerous bird conservation initiatives throughout the world. On April 2, the Zoo’s resident pair of eagles (both rehabilitated birds that cannot survive in the wild) hatched an eaglet from an egg laid around Feb. 25.

Through an ongoing agreement with the federal government in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, this eaglet will be fostered into a wild nest further bolstering the already-recovering Pennsylvania population of bald eagles.

“The bald eagle is a tremendous conservation success story,” said Dr. Andrew Baker, Chief Operating Officer and V.P. of Animal Programs for the Philadelphia Zoo. “We’re thrilled to have been a part of this effort and are committed to the survival of other endangered species.”

Fostering and hacking were two of the primary means of re-establishing Pennsylvania’s bald eagle population.

“With more than 170 nesting pairs in Pennsylvania, there no longer is need to raise eagles in one place and foster them to another place,” said Doug Gross, Game Commission biologist. “Protecting our eagle nesting locations with the cooperation of the landowners has proven to be an excellent strategy for eagle recovery in recent years.

“Pennsylvania’s bald eagle nesting population is increasing at a rate of 15 percent per year with protections we have in place and with minimum intervention of this kind.”

As recently as 1983, there were only three eagle nests remaining in Pennsylvania. That year, the Game Commission began a seven-year bald eagle reintroduction program in which the agency sent employees to Saskatchewan to obtain eaglets from wilderness nests. The Richard King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh and the federal Endangered Species Fund provided financial assistance for this effort. In all, 88 Canadian bald eagles were released from sites at Dauphin County’s Haldeman Island and Pike County’s Shohola Falls.

“What’s so exciting about the bald eagle’s return is that each year they’re nesting in more counties, strengthening their population in Pennsylvania and giving more residents the chance to enjoy these magnificent birds,” Gross said. “Their presence is stronger than ever and it doesn’t appear that they’re close to being done claiming new nesting territories in the Commonwealth. Who knows, maybe your county will be the next to host eagles.”

Bald eagles have symbolized America’s greatness for centuries and now they’ve become America’s latest success story in wildlife management and environmental reform. But their comeback in Pennsylvania took time, because their population had been decimated.

Partnering with other states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and countless other state wildlife agencies, the Game Commission helped to bring bald eagles back from the brink of extinction. The effort dovetailed with important gains made in improving water quality and the banning of pesticides such as DDT, which led to a cleaner environment and increases in the quality and quantity of freshwater fish, a staple in the eagle’s diet.

Pennsylvania’s eagle resurgence also was likely stimulated by young eagles dispersing from the Chesapeake Bay, which now has hundreds of nesting pairs, and neighboring states that reintroduced eagles, too.

The Game Commission currently classifies the bald eagle as a threatened species in Pennsylvania. They are no longer protected by the federal Endangered Species Act – delisted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007 – because delisting goals have been achieved. However, bald eagles continue to receive federal protection under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which safeguards the birds and their nests from disturbances and destruction.

Today, bald eagles are nesting in every state but Hawaii, which they never inhabited. The lower 48 states have a nesting population that is approaching 10,000 pairs, which is up considerably from the little more than 400 pairs America had in 1963.

Since 1983, Pennsylvania’s eagle nests have produced more than 1,100 eaglets, and the population has increased by about 15 percent annually. The heaviest production, of course, has occurred in recent years. Eagle nesting success has been 70 percent or greater for some time. Poor weather conditions have the greatest impact on nesting success, followed by nest intrusions and predators, but as more eagles nest instate and competition for prime nesting sites increases, eagle nesting success eventually may level off or drop.

“There’s still plenty of new or sparsely-used territory for nesting pairs in the Commonwealth,” noted Gross. “Some of the best remaining includes the Susquehanna’s north and west branches, the Juniata River and the Lake Erie shoreline. There also are of a number of large lakes and impoundments scattered across the state with more than adequate fisheries and no eagles.”

The state’s largest concentrations of eagle nests remain along the lower Susquehanna River, the upper Delaware River basin and the wetland-dominated Pymatuning region in northwestern Pennsylvania. The area still best known for nesting bald eagles remains the state’s northwestern counties.

“We’re very excited that the release of the eagle chick hatched at the Zoo is occurring just weeks before we open our new McNeil Avian Center, which will be home to over 100 exotic birds, many rare and endangered,” said Dr. Aliza Baltz, Curator of Birds, Philadelphia Zoo. “We see both as opportunities to highlight how important our own region is for birds, and to connect all of us with birds around the world and in our own neighborhoods and what we can all do to protect them.”

For more information about bald eagles in Pennsylvania, please visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on “Wildlife” in the left-hand column, then choose “E/T Species” and then scroll down and click on “Bald Eagle” in the list of threatened species.

For more information about the Philadelphia Zoo, please visit their website (www.philadelphiazoo.org).

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US Grants Put-In-Bay $2.2 Million for Boating

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced more than $12.5 million in competitive grants that will be awarded to 11 states ranging from California to Maine for 14 boating infrastructure projects. The grants, which will help fund construction of docks, boat slips and other facilities to support recreational boating, are made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.

“Boating is one of our country’s favorite pastimes, and the Boating Infrastructure Grant program greatly enhances recreational opportunities while conserving America’s aquatic natural resources,” said Secretary Salazar. “Spending by boaters provides significant revenues for business owners and employees in every state. This program, funded by boaters, is a prime example of the direct economic benefits boating can bring to local economies.”
Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels. The Service will also release approximately $3 million to 40 states willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as BIG Tier One funding.

Boating Infrastructure Grant funds are used to construct, renovate and maintain tie-up facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and cannot be transported by trailer. The funds are also used to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program.

A panel of representatives from the Service, as well as a committee from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, reviewed and ranked the BIG proposals. The Council is a federally chartered body that advises the Secretary of the Interior and the Service on recreational fishing and boating issues.

The Service received a total of 31 proposals from 14 states for these competitive grants. The 14 winning proposals for competitive grants include:

California: The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the City of Redondo Beach, will receive $250,000 and match that amount to add 50 transient mooring facilities at King Harbor.
The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the City of Avalon, will receive $1 million and match that amount with more than $1.1 million to provide a new fuel pier facility and expand the existing transient dingy dock by 50 feet to serve transient boaters.
Florida: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in cooperation with the City of West Palm Beach, will receive $500,000 and match that amount with more than $1.4 million to provide transient tie-up facilities for up to 37 vessels along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm Beach. The proposed project complements ongoing waterfront development in West Palm Beach.
Illinois: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Chicago Park District, will receive $3.1 million and match that amount with nearly $32 million to construct 125 slips and associated amenities for transient boats along the Lake Michigan waterfront in Chicago. The proposed project is part of a major project to provide seasonal and transient marina infrastructure.
Maine: The Maine Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Dolphin Marina, will receive more than $363,000 and match that amount with more than $134,000 to construct 20 transient moorings and 16 transient slips and renovate amenities for transient boaters.
Mississippi: The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, in cooperation with Long Beach Port Commission, will receive more than $965,000 and match that amount with nearly $483,000 to construct guest moorage for 8 transient vessels.
North Carolina: The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Town of Plymouth, will receive $106,000 and match that amount with $44,000 to construct 9 transient boat slips on town property.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Town of New Bern, will receive nearly $647,000 and match that amount with nearly $736,000 to construct a new marina on town property and include 14 transient boat slips and associated facilities for transient boater use.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with Morehead City, will receive more than $504,000 and match that amount with more than $318,000 to increase public waterfront access through construction of 10 transient boat slips.
Ohio: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Village of Put-In-Bay, will receive more than $2.2 million and match that amount with more than $1.3 million to replace or renovate 905 feet of existing docks, construct 590 feet of new floating docks, and install new lighting hook-ups, electrical, water and fire protection improvements on all existing and proposed docks for transient boaters.
Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the City of Pittsburgh, the Heinz Endowment and the Laurel Foundation will receive nearly $1 million and match that amount with more than $1 million to construct docking space for 16 transient vessels. The proposed project will complement ongoing efforts to provide public access to cultural and recreational opportunities in downtown Pittsburgh.
Texas: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in cooperation with the City of Aransas Pass, will receive nearly $666,000 and match that amount with more than $285,000 to construct 24 slips for transient boats ranging from 26 to 60 feet or greater in length and 7 slips for transient boats 100 feet or over.
Virginia: The Virginia Department of Health, in cooperation with the Town of Cape Charles, will receive nearly $344,000 and match that amount with more than $358,000 to add 22 transient boat slips, alongside berthing for larger yachts, and supporting facilities to the town’s harbor marina.
Washington: The State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office, in cooperation with the City of Tacoma, will receive nearly $765,000 and match that amount with nearly $255,000 to construct 400 lineal feet of concrete float, and install utilities for transient moorage of boats over 26 feet.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit ww.fws.gov
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