Tag Archives: river

Change the Course – Returning Water to Our Rivers

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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Impressive Results From So Many Hands – Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup

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 Yellowstone River – Still the Longest Undammed River in the Lower 48?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Montana Department of Environmental Quality have issued a joint notice advising plans currently being considered by the District Engineer at Omaha, Nebraska.  According to the notice NOW-2008-02556-MTB the applicant is intending to “conduct periodic placement of rock” on the existing diversion dam and to enable full flows to the applicant even in the event of severe water shortages in the Yellowstone.

The project reach at Intake Dam east of Glendive, Montana is occupied habitat for Pallid Sturgeon, an endangered species presently under federal and state protections.  According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks:  “It’s present range in Montana includes the Lower Yellowstone River where damming, channelizing and diking has destroyed much of its habitat.”  More http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/species/endangered/pallidSturgeon/

Photo below of the dam on the Yellowstone River at Intake proposed for yet more rock.

Dam across Yellowstone-IntakeMT

Read a copy of a recent Public Notice:  NWO-2008-02556-MTB or via http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Portals/23/docs/regulatory/publicnotices/MT/NWO-2008-02556-MTB.pdf

Public Comment should be directed to the US Army Corps of Engineers, PO Box 2256, Billings MT 59103 or by calling direct to Cathy Juhas at USACE (406) 657-5910.

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First Mitigation Bank in Wyoming History Approved

DumbellRanchMitigationBank.CopyrightTHI2012Trout Headwaters, Inc is pleased to announce the approval of the first mitigation bank in the history of Wyoming and sponsored by Sweetwater River Conservancy, LLC.  Following on publication of the state’s first Stream Mitigation Procedure (SMP), the Dumbell Ranch Mitigation Bank has received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, WY Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming Department of Game and Fish and the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.

“This first bank represents a very significant step for advance mitigation in the state and we expect will facilitate increasing restoration efforts across a potentially vast landscape,” said Trout Headwaters’ President, Michael Sprague.

The 1047 acre Stream, Riparian and Wetland Bank will provide credits for an area spanning north of  Rawlins, Wyoming.   The bank will provide credits to offset impacts to palustrine emergent wetlands, riverine wetlands, stream channels, and riparian areas. Prior to THI’s assessment of the property in 2012, the ranch had been used exclusively for cattle grazing and hay production.  As a result of the practices, the stream banks and buffers as well as wetlands had been destroyed or significantly degraded.  Approved plans include restoration of these resources using sustainable techniques and the long-term conservation of these restored resources.

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Benefits of Big Data for Environmental Management

In a recent interview with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland, Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund points out that what gets measured, gets managed.  By serving markets increasingly interested in green goods and services, the advent of big data presents opportunities for businesses to improve their bottom line and the environment, he says.  >Read Full Story

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/energy_resources_materials/fred_krupp_on_the_benefits_of_monitoring_resource_use?cid=ResourceRev-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1404&utm_content=buffer83730&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Trout Headwaters, Inc. has pioneered big data systems for industry and private users enabling comprehensive analysis of various environmental data sets across a broad range of ecosystem services and markets.  Leveraging the capability to relate many, many, layers of complex data will continue to provide unique insights for our firm and our customers. Get your interactive tools today!  >Learn more about EcoBlu Analyst 

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Public-Private Partnership to Certify Youth Corps

Restored Creek/Wetland ComplexThe Bay Journal writes: “Beyond political will or ecological know-how, restoring the Chesapeake Bay and other impaired waters across the country requires a good deal of manpower.”  It will take ‘waders in the water,’ to physically return rivers, streams and wetlands to a more natural state.”

“It’s work that Trout Headwaters, Inc., a private water restoration company, has been doing nationwide for nearly 20 years — and work that the company, through a new partnership with The Corps Network, now plans to equip youth corps nationwide to do,” writes the Journal.  >Read More via http://www.bayjournal.com/article/public_private_partnership_to_certify_youth_corps_for_restoration_work

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Rotenone? 1952 Called and Wants Its Fisheries Management Strategy Back

A recent study in the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society  (Volume 142, Issue 1, 2013) reports that after two decades, wild trout in the Blackfoot River Basin of Montana are still benefiting from stream restoration efforts.

That’s great news that a peer-reviewed study finds a positive correlation between restoration and wild trout populations.  Habitat restoration offers numerous ecological benefits, many of which are far too complex to fully understand.

What is of concern in this study is why resource agencies will loudly proclaim the benefits of habitat restoration in one stream reach, but quietly use poisons to destroy habitat in another reach. The Blackfoot Challenge Project, in its difficult to find, yet technically public, planning documents clearly indicates stream poisoning and restocking as a restoration strategy, in the following sections:

2.5.1 Experimentally remove established brook trout populations;
2.5.2  Suppress northern pike in Clearwater Lakes chain;
3.1.2 Aggressively protect remaining native species complexes… by aggressively removing any nonnative invaders;
4. 3 Develop genetic management plans and guidelines for appropriate use of transplantation and artificial propagation.

What you will not find in this document are words like “rotenone,” “Antimycin-A,” “fish-toxicants,” “piscicides,” and common phrases like “native trout restoration.”  These terms are increasingly being cleansed from agency documents and discourse.  Now those responsible for sterilizing streams in the name of ‘restoration’ are avoiding mention of the lethal policies and practices.

The flawed logic of single-species management by any name, is severely damaging to aquatic ecosystems.  How can poisoning all of the living inhabitants of a stream reach, containing the intricate web of life that supports trout at its apex, be considered restorative? More than 70% of the funding for The Blackfoot Challenge comes from tax dollars.  Does it make sense to use tax dollars to restore riparian areas in one place and poison streams in another?

Our company believes protecting and restoring healthy, functioning freshwater streams and wetlands to sustain a high diversity of organisms is a much more effective and economical way of conserving species.

“Ecosystems will increasingly be a melting pot of long-term residents and of new arrivals,” said a team of scientists in the journal, Nature, calling conservationists to a new way of thinking.

Visit StopRiverKilling.org: http://www.stopriverkilling.org.

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At TEDxCharlottesville: Ushering in the Age of Natural Capitalism

“There are two great joys in life: the tilling of the land, and the cultivation of character. One anchors us and one elevates us,” said conservation capitalist Chandler Van Voorhis late last year at TEDxCharlottesville.

Chandler Van Voorhis is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GreenTrees, which plants, grows, and sells permanent forests. He is working to make sure people see what he sees: carbon, water, habitat, air filtration, and soil building mulch – all of the valuable ecological services a tree provides while it is a living part of the ecosystem.

Quipping that his family calls him “The Lorax with a Calculator,” Van Voorhis discusses the evolution of conservation in America from the notion of using our resources wisely, to conservation as a national duty, and now, to an ecosystem marketplace where we attach price and value to nature’s assets.

 

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Sustainability Execs Faced with Managing Risk of Mother Nature’s Fury

Arizona Canal Photo courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Arizona Canal photo courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

It wasn’t so long ago that the job of a sustainability executive was to make a company more “green” or “eco-friendly.”

But as GreenBiz.com producer Joel Makower points out in a recent blog post things are changing.

“Risk and resilience haven’t typically been part of most companies’ sustainability vocabularies,” writes Makower, “But Mother Nature’s fury is changing that, as droughts, floods, hurricanes and wildfires disrupt companies and their supply chains.”

Hurricane Sandy, so close to a huge metropolitan area, was a huge wake up call to the kind of disruption a major weather event can cause. But Sandy was far from the only weather event that upended business and society. Among the worldwide increase in extreme weather, the most obvious areas of vulnerability are food, fuel and water.

When we started Trout Headwaters nearly 20 years ago “climate change” was just coming to the fore.  The frequency with which we now see extreme weather events has infused our company with a renewed sense of urgency.

Nature offers us a most effective protection against weather extremes, if we would only recognize these protections.  Marshes, wetlands, and riparian buffers naturally protect against wind and water erosion, flooding, and drought.  These margins between land and water serve as barriers, sponges and filters to regulate water levels and filter pollutants.  But we have to take care of them, so they can take care of us.

Businesses, which think regularly about risk mitigation, are just beginning to think about climate change and resource constraints like other business risks.  “Keeping an eye on this is becoming part of the job of a growing handful of sustainability executives in global companies,” writes Makower… As the World Economic Forum wrote in a paper, “Global Risks 2012,” “rising greenhouse gas emissions” and the “failure of climate change adaptation” are in the same risk quadrant as food shortages and terrorism.”

Read more: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/02/25/state-green-business-sustainability-becomes-matter-risk-and-resilience

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Service and Conservation Corps Will Soon Add “Waders in the Water”

THI-TCN photo 1

The Corps Network is working with Trout Headwaters, Inc. on a new training program to put “Waders in the Water.” THI president Michael Sprague (pictured) says his company is looking forward to readying America’s youth and veterans for work along our waterways. Photo credit: Trout Headwaters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 22, 2014—America’s Service and Conservation Corps have always been known for training a ready and able workforce of Americans, but today’s Corpsmembers will not only provide “Boots on the Ground,” they will also soon have “Waders in the Water.”

Thanks to a new public-private partnership between The Corps Network and Trout Headwaters, Inc., a national innovator in restoring the protective qualities of streams, rivers and wetlands, members of The Corps Network will gain enhanced capacity to complete aquatic restoration projects. Simultaneously Corpsmembers will obtain industry-recognized credentials and additional pathways to a conservation career—all while improving the health, beauty, and climate-resiliency of our public streams, rivers, and wetlands.  Functioning and healthy floodplains, wetlands, and marshes reduce flooding, storm damage, protect infrastructure, and improve water quality and quantity.

Trout Headwaters, Inc. will work with The Corps Network to develop projects and train Corpsmembers, whose 127 member Corps programs engage 27,000 young people and veterans in all states and the District of Columbia.  The partnership, and its nationwide opportunities for workforce development and learning, will be formally announced at The Corps Network 2014 National Conference to be held February 9 – 12, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

“Thanks to the expertise of Trout Headwaters, Inc., Corpsmembers will have another vehicle to obtain valuable experience and industry-recognized credentials while working directly on projects that help conserve and protect waterways, lakes, parks, and other important resources for current and future generations. In addition, it will help us fulfill the goal of the recently-launched 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, which aims to have 100,000 young people and veterans working to improve public lands and waters every year,” said Mary Ellen Ardouny, President & CEO of The Corps Network.

California Conservation Corps

The California Conservation Corps works to restore salmon habitat, while supplying veterans with transitional job opportunities. Photo credit John Griffith.

“We believe deeply in the work of The Corps Network and its focus on creating more opportunities for youth to serve their country while they are likewise trained to be the next great generation of conservation and community leaders,” says THI President Michael Sprague. “As a private company we look for the best opportunities to give back, and what could be better than training young people to love, protect and restore our nation’s natural resources?”

 The Corps Network

The Corps Network’s 127 members operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Each year they collectively enroll over 27,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25. Corps organize an additional 289,000 community volunteers who work alongside Corpsmembers to generate 638,684 additional hours of service annually, at an estimated value of $14,140,463. It is the mission of The Corps Network to provide national leadership and promote the growth and quality of its member Corps as they provide education, workforce development, and an ethic of stewardship to diverse youth who address important community and conservation needs.

Trout Headwaters, Inc.
Trout Headwaters, Inc. is the industry leader in sustainable approaches to stream, river, and wetland renewal and repair.  As one of the oldest firms in the industry, THI has pioneered approaches using natural materials and native vegetation that can reliably replace hard, invasive treatments that often damage our nation’s streams and rivers.  Besides developing and refining new techniques THI is a staunch advocates for greater sharing of information and more consistent use of assessment and monitoring tools, providing greater certainty of environmental benefits to restoration.

 

Media Contacts:

Michael Sprague, President, Trout Headwaters, Inc.
(800) 218-8107 mike@troutheadwaters.com

Levi Novey, Director of Communications & Marketing, The Corps Network
(202)737-6272 lnovey@corpsnetwork.org

 

 

 

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