Sandra Postel writes recently in the blog Water Currents: “It’s a sad truth that many major rivers – the blue arteries of the Earth – no longer reach the sea.   Our demands for water – to drink, grow food, produce energy and make all manner of material things – have sapped streams of their flow and ecosystems of their vitality.  The web of life, of which we are a part, is fraying.”

It’s this fact that has given rise to a new initiative being backed by some big partners. Change the Course is being piloted in the iconic and heavily depleted Colorado River Basin, which provides water to some 40 million people and 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of irrigated land.  With its conservation partners and sponsors (including Disney, Coca Cola and others), the effort has helped return 2 billion gallons (7.6 billion liters) to rivers throughout the watershed, as well as to the Delta, once one of the world’s great desert aquatic ecosystems.  >Learn More http://changethecourse.us/

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EIPNYTStoryThe New York Times recently covered the important environmental work of Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP), highlighting their massive coastal restoration project in Louisiana.  So while a slow mix of restoration process and politics continue to grind and jockey in the Mississippi Delta, EIP is at work today physically restoring damaged and degraded resources.

Restoration and conservation work going to the ground is ‘rubber meeting road’ in terms of our increasingly at-risk environment, and in terms of our future.  Like many other coastal, river, and wetland restoration projects being installed today across the U.S., the work is funded by private capital.  For EIP, this important effort near New Orleans and others are financed by a $181 million dollar investment fund.  Private sector capital is being increasingly deployed to repair and offset impacts caused by human activities.  >Read More via NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/us/equity-firm-restores-louisiana-marshland-to-earn-credits-it-can-sell.html

 

 

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WadersintheWaterTrainingcopyright2014THIWashington, DC – September 2, 2014 - Aquatic restoration businesses continue to express excitement as Youth Corps nationwide are receiving training and certification for climate-ready aquatic restoration. Graduates of the Waders in the Water training program, created by The Corps Network and Trout Headwaters Inc., will be skilled in aquatic safety, knowledgeable about installation techniques, and ready to provide business and government reliable restoration on streams, rivers and wetlands across the U.S. This industry-recognized credential will build important bridges to enable youth to enter conservation careers by learning how to improve the health, productivity, and climate-resiliency of our streams, rivers, and wetlands. >Read More via http://corpsnetwork.org/industry-support-grows-restoration-private-public-partnership or See Video Clip of several Corps members at training

 

 

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Natural resources are often described as “priceless,” but defining the real economic value of clean air, clean water, and open spaces may be the only way to save our environment.  One very real economic value of natural resources is jobs – and lots of them.

The Outdoor Industry Association’s recent report, “The Outdoor Recreation Economy,” (http://www.outdoorindustry.org/images/researchfiles/OIA_OutdoorRecEconomyReport2012.pdf?167 ) captures the true economic benefits of the outdoor recreation industry.
– 6.1 million American jobs
– $646 billion in outdoor recreation spending
each year
– $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue
– $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue

In his blog posts titled Economics for  Flyfisherman Mark McGlothlin points out “3 Things Our Outdoor Loving Brethren (and Sistren) Should Understand Well…”
Read more: http://chiwulff.com/2012/07/17/3-things-our-outdoor-loving-brethren-and-sistren-should-understand-well/

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Results FlierAFFIt is with great pleasure that we acknowledge this year’s Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup and the important work of the Alice Ferguson Foundation.  Many hands can make a huge impact for our waterways and with thanks to their sponsors including REI, NOAA , National Geographic and many others, here’s a few impressive numbers from this year’s effort held recently:

671 Sites reporting from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC

14,766 Volunteers

576,000 Pounds of Trash (211,000 Beverage Containers; 35,600 Plastic Bags; 18,600 Cigarettes; 1,288 Tires)

To find cleanup events year-round visit trashnetwork.fegusonfoundation.org

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The Bay Journal reports that the EPA will ramp up oversight of Pennsylvania’s programs to control farm runoff, which the agency says are falling far short of what is needed to meet the state’s nitrogen reduction obligations for the Chesapeake Bay.

The recent action stems from the agency’s review of states’ progress during 2012–13 in implementing their watershed plans intended to meet Bay nutrient and sediment reduction goals, as well analysis of additional actions planned through 2015.

By the end of 2015, the EPA is projecting that the Chesapeake Bay region will be about 6 million pounds of nitrogen short of the trajectory needed to meet goals. Almost all the shortfall is in Pennsylvania, which is actually projecting a slight nitrogen increase over the next two years. >Read Full Story via http://www.bayjournal.com/article/citing_slow_progress_epa_steps_up_oversight_of_pennsylvania_agriculture

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51-73vucbYL__AA160_Wallace Nichols organized the annual “Blue Mind” conference in 2011 and has recently released his new book “Blue Mind” combining personal stories and research to describe the healing power of water.  In a  recent interview with the Washington Post, Nichols explores how stepping out of our stressful lives and back into nature changes our minds and bodies.  “Oftentimes it leads to feelings of connectedness and that can lead to innovative thoughts.  Early humans seek a place to call home and seeing a place overlooking the ocean or river realized it makes them happy,” he said.

Read More via http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/blue-mind-explores-the-calming-effect-that-water-has-on-people/2014/07/28/471d7a5a-11bb-11e4-9285-4243a40ddc97_story.html

Read Reviews of the new book via http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Mind-Surprising-Healthier-Connected/product-reviews/0316252085/

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Coastal erosion is a global issue, causing an estimated $500 million per year in property loss and damage.  Shoreline hardening, including rock jetties, groins and seawalls have unfortunately exacerbated this situation by deflecting and increasing wave energy directed at unprotected shores.  Increasingly agencies,  municipalities, and even engineering firms have begun to realize that natural vegetation can play a key role in maintaining beaches and reducing the loss of shorelines.  Vegetation and reinforced vegetation both “roughen” and provide root reinforcement to the shoreline, serving to better absorb wave energy and dampen the forces of erosion.   Read “Beach Erosion- What can be done?” via http://soilerosiononline.com/article-37-beach-erosion.html

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This compelling PBS Nature documentary which first premiered in 2011 investigates the parallel stories of collapsing Pacific salmon populations and how biologists and engineers have become instruments in audacious experiments to replicate every stage of the fish’s life cycle

Each of the desperate efforts to save salmon has involved replacing their natural cycle of reproduction and death with human intervention or manipulation. The once great runs of Pacific salmon are now conceived in laboratories, raised in tanks, driven in trucks, moved by boats, and farmed in pens.

In its exploration of a hopelessly complex, and stunningly expensive approach to managing salmon, the film reveals one of the most ambitious plans ever conceived for taking the reins of the planet, ultimately exposing the real values of habitat restoration.

 See the full movie online via PBS http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/salmon-running-the-gauntlet/video-full-episode/6620/

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Carl Zimmer writes recently in the New York Times that levees are not the only things that protect coasts from storm damage.  “Nature offers protection, too” he says.  “Coastal marshes absorb wind energy and waves of storms, weakening their impact farther inland.”  These coastal ecosystems and their services provide significant value he notes, shielding us from storms, reducing soil erosion, soaking up greenhouse gases and more.  In 1997 these ecosystems services were valued by a team of scientists at twice the gross national product of every country on Earth or in today’s dollars approximately $49 trillion. Since 1997 the release of hundreds of new studies, and the increased damage to these ecosystems across the world, have caused the team to reevaluate their estimate of these services, concluding that their earlier number was far too low.  >Read more via http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/05/science/earth/putting-a-price-tag-on-natures-defenses.html?hp

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