Army Corps of Engineers plans $275 million in defenses to block Asian carp from reaching Great Lakes

Read the full story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Underwater noise and powerful water jets are among the $275 million worth of new defenses the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes building at an Illinois navigation lock on the Des Plaines River to prevent invasive Asian Carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

After several months of delay from President Donald Trump’s administration, the Corps on Monday released its recommended planfor equipping the Brandon Road lock and dam near Joliet, Ill., with several technological measures to block the voracious Asian carp from moving into the lakes.

 

Southern Environmental Law Center Calls for Submissions for Phil Reed Environmental Writing Awards

The Southern Environmental Law Center is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including readers, authors, and publishers.

Presented each year during the Virginia Festival of the Book, the Reed Awards recognize outstanding writing on the southern environment in two categories: Book, for works of nonfiction (not self-published) and Journalism, for newspaper, magazine, and online writing published by a recognized institution (e.g. a news organization, university or nonprofit group).

  • All submissions must have been published between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017.
  • Submissions must relate to the natural environment in at least one of the following states: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia.
  • Submissions are due October 1, 2017, at  SouthernEnvironment.org/submit.
  • Journalism entries must be at least 3,000 words.

There are three options for submitting entries: electronic copy, hard copy, or a website link where the submission is available for sale. Hard copy submissions will not be returned.

The Reed Award celebrates writers who achieve both literary excellence and extraordinary insight into the South’s natural heritage. Past winners exemplify the quality and diversity of contemporary environmental writing. They include:

    • Eminent biologist and Alabama native E.O. Wilson, the “father of biodiversity” and a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner;
    • Veteran environmental journalists Charles Seabrook, a longtime contributor to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Ben Raines, an accomplished filmmaker as well as an award-winning reporter on the Gulf Coast;
    • Writer, poet, and NPR commentator Janisse Ray, author of the celebrated Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award;
    • University of the South forest biologist David Haskell, a Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and winner of the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature; and
    •  Author Deborah Cramer, visiting scholar at MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative, whose books on the sea have won awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Academy of Sciences.

As in past years, the winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges that includes leading environmental writers, journalists, and advocates. The awards honor the late Phillip D. Reed, a distinguished attorney, a committed environmental activist, and a founding trustee of SELC.

Please contact Chris Reiter, Reed Award Coordinator, at creiter@selcva.org, or 434-977-4090 for any additional questions.

What it takes to recover from drought

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Drought-stricken areas anxiously await the arrival of rain. Full recovery of the ecosystem, however, can extend long past the first rain drops on thirsty ground.

According to a study published August 10 in Nature, the length of drought  depends on several factors, including the region of the world and the post-drought weather conditions. The authors, including William Anderegg of the University of Utah, warn that more frequent  in the future may not allow time for ecosystems to fully recover before the next drought hits.

New California law gives air quality officials the power to quickly shut down polluters

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Local air quality officials are gaining new powers to quickly stop polluters when they endanger people’s health under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.

The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, follows years of frustration in communities such as Paramount, Boyle Heights and Maywood — where regulators have struggled to stop highly polluting operations after discovering hot spots of Chromium-6, lead and other dangerous pollutants.

Distributed wind power keeps spinning, growing

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Both businesses and homeowners are increasingly using distributed wind power thanks to innovative business models and other trends, according to a new report released today.

The 2016 Distributed Wind Market Report offers the fifth annual analysis of distributed wind power, which largely involves generating wind power near where it will be used instead of purchasing it from large, centralized wind farms. Distributed wind can range from a small, solitary turbine at a remote cabin to several large turbines powering an entire neighborhood.

DC: Nonprofit installs solar panels on roofs of lower-income households — free

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Decked out in green hard hats, yellow T-shirts, and harnesses, the trainees were supervised by members of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, the regional branch of a national nonprofit group that helps implement solar power for low- to moderate-income families free.

The trainees are part of the summer cohort of the newly launched Solar Works DC, a low-income solar installation and job-training program jointly developed by the District’s Department of Energy and Environment and the Department of Employment Services. The program will train more than 200 D.C. residents over three years, and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic was awarded a grant to implement the first year of the program. The organization will train about 75 program participants in skills needed for careers in solar and related fields, and install solar panels for 60 to 100 income-qualified District homeowners.

Webinar: EPA’s Water Finance Clearinghouse

August 14, 2017 — 1-2 pm CDT
August 18, 2017 — 1-2 pm CDT
August 24, 2017 — 1-2 pm CDT
August 31, 2017 — 1-2 pm CDT
Register for any of these identical sessions at https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/4533646364837520386

Learn how to navigate EPA’s Water Finance Clearinghouse, an easily navigable web-based portal, to help communities locate information and resources that will assist then in making informed decisions for their drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs.

The Water Finance Clearinghouse features two searchable data sets: one focused on available Federal, State, and local Funding Sources for water infrastructure and the second will contain Resources, such as reports, tools, webinars etc. on financing mechanisms and approaches.

The Water Finance Clearinghouse is managed by EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center – an information and technical assistance center, helping federal. State, and community stakeholders understand their financing options, improve the effectiveness of federal funding, and support local-decision making for resilient water investments