Day: May 7, 2020

Call for proposals: Water Resources Research Act Program Aquatic Invasive Species Competitive Grants Program

Announcement No. G20AS00069 under Section 104(g) of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as Amended May 1, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources requests proposals for matching grants to support research on the real and growing impact of numerous aquatic invasive species on water quality and quantity in the Upper Mississippi Basin.
Any investigator at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible to apply for a grant through a Water Research Institute or Center established under the provisions of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended ( Proposals involving substantial collaboration between the USGS and university scientists are encouraged. Proposals may be for projects of 1 to 3 years in duration and may request up to $250,000 in federal funds. Successful applicants must match each dollar of the federal grant with one dollar from non-federal sources.

Full applications from eligible researchers in the state of Illinois due by email to Illinois Water Resources Center by Monday, June 1, 2020 – 12pm CDT

Applicants will receive a confirmation email from IWRC within 24 hours or before 5PM CDT on June 11, 2020, at the completion of proposal submission process. To allow IWRC adequate time to process all applications for the state of Illinois and meet the USGS deadline of June 11, 2020, for national water institutes, applications must be received by IWRC no later than Monday, June 1, 2020 at 12pm CDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.

More details on proposal requirement are available in the full RFP.

For questions, or to submit your full application to IWRC email:

Amy Weckle (
Natural Resources Building
615 E. Peabody Dr
Champaign, Illinois 61820
217-300-2101 |

‘Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Sightings of the Asian giant hornet have prompted fears that the vicious insect could establish itself in the United States and devastate bee populations.

TipSheet: Ignoring COVID-19 Link, EPA Leaves Lax Soot Standard in Place

Read the full tipsheet from the Society for Environmental Journalists.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did nothing on April 14 — and that was news. 

The agency declined to tighten the health standard for fine soot pollution in the air, despite scientific advice that such pollution worsens people’s vulnerability to the coronavirus.

It was more than bad timing (may require subscription). The decision caused consternation among public health advocates, who thought the government should help lessen the threat of COVID-19, not raise it. 

One analysis found that just keeping the current standard could cost 52,000 lives a year. EPA’s own staff scientists (may require subscription) had recommended tightening it.

A Test of Resilience: COVID-19 and the Business of Europe’s Green Deal

Read the full story from FTI Consulting.

The impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic is clearly enormous in health, social and economic terms. It has also had an immediate environmental impact which may play out over the longer term, with a number of political repercussions.

Lever for Change Launches $10 Million Climate Action Competition

Lever for Change has announced the launch of the 2030 Climate Challenge, a national competition sponsored by an anonymous donor, which offers a $10 million grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 2030. While the impact of COVID-19 presents new challenges, the urgent need to find solutions to the climate crisis has not changed. In this spirit, the 2030 Climate Challenge seeks proposals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. in three sectors: buildings, industry, and/or transportation. Together, these sectors produce 63 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions according to the U.S. EPA.

Scientists have been increasingly sounding the alarm that global leaders must take drastic steps to reduce emissions by 2030 for us to have a reasonable chance of achieving the Paris climate agreement targets. According to a recent analysis by Nature, annual global GHG emissions increased by 14 percent between 2008-2018, compounding the urgency for more aggressive action sooner. In fact, 75 percent of GHG emissions come from 20 countries, and among these, the United States has historically been the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter and currently produces the second highest amount of emissions in the world. If the United States starts decarbonizing these sectors at scale in the next ten years i.e. by 2030, then we are more likely to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Failure in the United States almost guarantees global failure.

“There is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that we must act immediately and collectively to solve climate change,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “How we implement and scale the policies and tools we need to solve climate change most effectively is still a question and one that we hope applicants in the 2030 Climate Challenge will help to answer.”

Applicants must register online by Thursday, July 23, 2020, and applications are due no later than Thursday, August 20, 2020. The 2030 Climate Challenge is open to organizations or a coalition of organizations. Only registered 501(c)(3) entities—non-profit organizations and academic institutions—can serve as the lead applicant. Individuals, for-profits, and government agencies can participate as part of a coalition led by an eligible lead applicant. Competitive proposals will offer solutions that are impactful, feasible, scalable, and durable.

The highest-ranked proposals from the 2030 Climate Challenge and each of the competitions run by Lever for Change will be included in the newly-launched Bold Solutions Network. In addition to managing the 2030 Climate Challenge, Lever for Change is also managing five other $10-to-$100 million competitions addressing a variety of issues and ranging in scope from city-based to global:

More information on these and upcoming competitions can be found at

Media contact: Jill Geiger, 312-307-9688 or

The remnants of a vast prehistoric sea lie hidden in Nebraska’s endangered marshes

Read the full story in National Geographic.

Nearly 20,000 acres once existed of this wetland where groundwater was as salty as the ocean. Now conservationists are struggling to save what’s left.

Green recovery can revive virus-hit economies and tackle climate change, study says

Read the full story from Reuters.

Massive programmes of green public investment would be the most cost-effective way both to revive virus-hit economies and strike a decisive blow against climate change, top U.S. and British economists said in a study published on Tuesday.

Americans are told to wash hands to fight coronavirus. But some don’t trust the tap.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Having plundered several major cities, the novel coronavirus is taking root in marginalized rural communities. Many of them lack clean water, making it impossible for residents to shelter at home or wash their hands frequently.

Parks and Recreation and Libraries Working Together During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Read the full post from the National Recreation and Park Association.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread throughout the United States, I have been actively tracking how public libraries have responded. Right out of the gate, I found park and recreation agencies collaborating with public libraries for a unified response. In Oak Park, Illinois, on March 11, 2020, the village’s two school districts joined forces with Oak Park Public Library and the Park District of Oak Park to make the joint decision to close and suspend all programming. Rather than a scattered response emanating from different agencies, the schools, libraries and parks came together to have one unified message.

Coronavirus in context: tracks positive and negative citations for COVID-19 literature

Read the full story in Nature.

Artificial-intelligence tool aims to reveal whether research findings are supported or contradicted by subsequent studies.

%d bloggers like this: