10 Marine Debris Prevention Partnerships Launched

Read the full post at the Marine Debris Blog.

For the past year, our education and outreach partners across the country have inspired thousands of people of all ages to be better ocean stewards. They have carried the message that prevention is key to solving the marine debris problem, through projects such as museum exhibits, curriculum development, outreach to teens, teacher workshops, dockside education, hands-on cleanups and science for children.

This year, 10 additional groups across the country received funding through the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Prevention through Education and Outreach opportunity to partner with us on new initiatives. The MDP has provided $500,000 to launch partnership projects ranging from education for fishers to social marketing and awareness campaigns.

Water Utilities Are Starting to Take Their Own Conservation Advice

Read the full story in Governing.

Wastewater treatment plants are often the biggest consumers of electricity in their areas. Gresham, Ore., and Washington, D.C., are making moves to change that.

Ohio farmers point to algae law loophole

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Ohio farmers caught in the headlights of the recent Toledo water crisis are defending their voluntary efforts to reduce phosphorus run-off to Lake Erie. That runoff is the primary source of toxic algae blooms. But Ohio farm groups and environmentalists say a new state law that will certify fertilizer use doesn’t go far – or fast – enough.

These folks feed their family with a garden in their swimming pool — and you can, too

Read the full post at Grist.

When Dennis and Danielle McClung bought a foreclosed home in Mesa, Ariz., in 2009, their new yard featured a broken, empty swimming pool. Instead of spending a small fortune to repair and fill it, Dennis had a far more prescient idea: He built a plastic cap over it and started growing things inside.

Thus, with help from family and friends and a ton of internet research, Garden Pool was born. What was once a yawning cement hole was transformed into an incredibly prolific closed-loop ecosystem, growing everything from broccoli and sweet potatoes to sorghum and wheat, with chickens, tilapia, algae, and duckweed all interacting symbiotically to provide enough food to feed a family of five.

Mississippi River Water Quality and Interstate Collaboration: Summary of a Workshop

Download the document.

Summary of a Workshop on Mississippi River Water Quality Science and Interstate Collaboration summarizes presentations and discussions of Mississippi River and basin water quality management, monitoring, and evaluation programs that took place at a workshop that was held in St. Louis on November 18-19, 2013. The workshop examined a wide array of challenges and progress in water quality monitoring and evaluation in states along the Mississippi River corridor, and provided a forum for experts from U.S. federal agencies, the Mississippi River states, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to share and compare monitoring and evaluation experiences from their respective organizations.

Incorporating Physical, Social, and Institutional Changes in Water Resources Planning and Management: Lessons from a Review of Case Studies

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The US Army Corps of Engineers is increasingly moving toward a watershed or systems-based approach to water resources management infrastructure. A key component of this holistic approach is understanding the current context of the watershed and the many changes that have shaped the existing system. This report summarizes and compares 31 case studies where causative physical, social, and institutional (PSI) changes were connected to consequential PSI changes associated with water resources planning and management. Consequential changes can also occur in runoff, water quality, and riparian and aquatic ecological features. The 31 studied cases were systematically evaluated relative to: causative and consequential PSI changes (environmental effects); use of analytical frameworks and appropriate models, methods, and technologies; and the attention given to mitigation and/or management of the resultant changes. Some general observations and lessons learned were that study features were unique for each case; consequential environmental effects appeared to be logical, based on the causative changes; analytical frameworks provided a relevant structure for studies; and identified methods and technologies were pertinent for addressing both causative and consequential changes. One key lesson derived from the case study reviews was that they provide useful, “real-world” illustrations of the importance of addressing PSI changes in water resources planning and management.