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Disaster Recovery Centers In Bourbon, Madison and Rowan Counties To Close

FEMA Press Releases - 5 hours 47 min ago

 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – The disaster recovery centers in Madison and Rowan counties will close at 6 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, May 21, and the Bourbon County disaster recovery center will close at 6 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, May 22. 

The centers, which have been operated by the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are located at:

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Announces 2015 Youth Preparedness Council Members

FEMA Press Releases - 8 hours 6 min ago

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the members of the 2015-2016 National Youth Preparedness Council (Council).

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Categories: Federal News

State and Regional 3DEP Stakeholder Workshops Underway

USGS Newsroom Technical - 12 hours 41 min ago
Summary: The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program is developing the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) to respond to growing needs for high-quality topographic data and for a wide range of other three-dimensional (3D) representations of the Nation's natural and constructed features

Contact Information:

Diane Eldridge ( Phone: 703-648-4521 ); Mark Newell ( Phone: 573-308-3850 );



The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Program is developing the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) to respond to growing needs for high-quality topographic data and for a wide range of other three-dimensional (3D) representations of the Nation's natural and constructed features.

To expand awareness of 3DEP status and plans, as well as provide an open forum for 3DEP stakeholders to communicate and coordinate potential Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) proposals, the USGS is offering numerous state and regional coordination workshops. The meetings will be held throughout the US between early May and June 30th. Locations, dates, times and registration information can be found at: http://1.usa.gov/1IMab1H. The workshops will include in-person and/or virtual participation options.

The primary goal of 3DEP is to systematically collect 3D elevation data in the form of light detection and ranging (lidar) data over the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories, with data acquired over an 8-year period. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (ifsar) data will be acquired for Alaska, where cloud cover and remote locations preclude the use of lidar in much of the State. The 3DEP initiative is based on the results of the National Enhanced Elevation Assessment that documented more than 600 business uses across 34 Federal agencies, all 50 States, selected local government and Tribal offices, and private and nonprofit organizations. A fully funded and implemented 3DEP would provide more than $690 million annually in new benefits to government entities, the private sector, and citizens.

3DEP is a "Call for Action" because no one entity can accomplish it independently. 3DEP presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between all levels of government, to leverage the services and expertise of private sector mapping firms that acquire the data, and to create jobs now and in the future. When partners work together, they can achieve efficiencies and lower costs so that 3DEP can become a reality. When 3D elevation data are available to everyone, new innovations will occur in forest resource management, alternative energy, agriculture, and other industries for years to come.

The annual Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is a competitive solicitation issued to facilitate the collection of lidar and derived elevation data for 3DEP. Federal agencies, state and local governments, tribes, academic institutions and the private sector are eligible to submit proposals. The 3DEP public meetings will introduce this opportunity to the broadest stakeholder community possible and provide a forum for interested parties to discuss elevation data collection needs of mutual interest that could be addressed by a coordinated investment.

Map depicts the proposed body of work for 3DEP in Fiscal Year 2015. The BAA awards will add more than 95,000 square miles of 3DEP quality lidar data to the national database. (high resolution image 98 MB)

DNREC scrap tire recycling drop-off day in Harrington collects almost 49 tons of tires

DNREC News - 13 hours 32 min ago
DOVER (May 19, 2015) – Delaware’s Scrap Tire Management Program, administered through DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances, sponsored its 15th scrap tire drop-off day May 16 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington – netting 48.9 tons of old and disused tires for recycling.

Talbot County Lowers Flood Insurance Premiums

FEMA Region III News Releases - 14 hours 56 min ago

PHILADELPHIA – Residents of Talbot County, Maryland have received a reduction in their flood insurance premiums through increase of various floodplain management measures encouraged by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

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Talbot County Lowers Flood Insurance Premiums

FEMA Press Releases - 14 hours 56 min ago

PHILADELPHIA – Residents of Talbot County, Maryland have received a reduction in their flood insurance premiums through increase of various floodplain management measures encouraged by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

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Categories: Federal News

Stretch of beach at Cape Henlopen State Park closed to safeguard nesting piping plovers

DNREC News - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 15:48
LEWES (May 18, 2015) – The first piping plover nest of the season at Gordons Pond Beach in Cape Henlopen State Park has been discovered, with the parents-to-be defending their territory, DNREC Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey announced today. Plover monitors found the nest late last week.

Federal Aid Programs for the State of West Virginia Declaration

FEMA Region III News Releases - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 14:03

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of West Virginia.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

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Federal Aid Programs for the State of West Virginia Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 14:03

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of West Virginia.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for West Virginia

FEMA Region III News Releases - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 14:00

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of West Virginia to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of April 8-11, 2015. 

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President Declares Disaster for West Virginia

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 14:00

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of West Virginia to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of April 8-11, 2015. 

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Categories: Federal News

Atmospheric Release of BPA May Reach Nearby Waterways

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:05
Summary: Water contamination by hormone-disrupting pollutants is a concern for water quality around the world Chemicals released in the air by industrial sites and wastewater treatment sites could adversely affect wildlife and humans

Contact Information:

Jennifer LaVista, USGS ( Phone: 303-202-4764 ); Jeff Sossamon, University of Missouri ( Phone: 573-882-3346 );



Water contamination by hormone-disrupting pollutants is a concern for water quality around the world. Existing research has determined that elevated concentrations of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in consumer products such as plastic food storage and beverage containers, have been deposited directly into rivers and streams by municipal or industrial wastewater. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri and the U.S. Geological Survey have assessed Missouri water quality near industrial sites permitted to release BPA into the air. As a result, scientists now believe that atmospheric releases may create a concern for contamination of local surface water leading to human and wildlife exposure.

“There is growing concern that hormone disruptors such as BPA not only threaten wildlife, but also humans,” said Chris Kassotis, a doctoral candidate in the Division of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. “Recent studies have documented widespread atmospheric releases of BPA from industrial sources across the United States. The results from our study provide evidence that these atmospheric discharges can dramatically elevate BPA in nearby environments.”

Water sampling sites were selected based on their proximity to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) or locations with reported atmospheric discharges of BPA as identified by the Environmental Protection Agency. Current or historical municipal wastewater treatment sites, which have been shown in the past to contribute hormonally active chemicals to surface water from urban or industrial sources, were also tested. Finally, relatively clean sites were chosen to serve as the control group.

The water then was analyzed for concentrations of BPA, Ethinyl estradiol (EE2), an estrogen commonly used in oral contraceptive pills, and several wastewater compounds. Scientists also measured the total estrogen and receptor activities of the water. This approach is used to measure all chemicals present in the water that are able to bind to and activate (or inhibit) the estrogen or androgen receptors in wildlife and humans. Levels of chemicals were highest in samples with known wastewater treatment plant discharges.

“In addition, we were surprised to find that BPA concentrations were up to 10 times higher in the water near known atmospheric release sites,” said Don Tillitt, adjunct professor of biological sciences at MU, and biochemistry and physiology branch chief with the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center. “This finding suggests that atmospheric BPA releases may contaminate local surface water, leading to greater exposure of humans or wildlife.”

Concentrations of BPA measured in surface water near these sites were well above levels shown to cause adverse health effects in aquatic species, Kassotis said.

The study, “Characterization of Missouri surface waters near point sources of pollution reveals potential novel atmospheric route of exposure for bisphenol A and wastewater hormonal activity pattern,” was published in the journal, Science of the Total Environment, with funding from MU, the USGS Contaminants Biology Program (Environmental Health Mission Area), and STAR Fellowship Assistance Agreement awarded by the U.S. EPA. 

DNREC kicks off National Safe Boating Week May 16 to 22 in Lewes

DNREC News - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 09:00
DOVER (May 15, 2015) – With the 2015 summer season making its debut this weekend and plenty of good weather ahead, many boaters will be heading out on the water. As they do, the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Office of Boating Safety and Education encourages them to remember to practice safe boating, not just over Memorial Day weekend – but throughout the year.

Genetics Provide New Hope for Endangered Freshwater Mussels

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 08:01
Summary: A piece of the restoration puzzle to save populations of endangered freshwater mussels may have been found, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey led study

Contact Information:

Heather Galbraith ( Phone: 570-724-3322 x230 ); Hannah Hamilton ( Phone: 703-648-4356 );



WELLSBORO, Pa. — A piece of the restoration puzzle to save populations of endangered freshwater mussels may have been found, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey led study. Local population losses in a river may not result in irreversible loss of mussel species; other mussels from within the same river could be used as sources to restore declining populations. 

Though they serve a critical role in rivers and streams, freshwater mussels are threatened by habitat degradation such as dams, alteration to river channels, pollution and invasive species. Mussels filter the water and provide habitat and food for algae, macroinvertebrates, and even fish, which are necessary components of aquatic food webs.

“Few people realize the important role that mussels play in the ecosystem," said USGS research biologist Heather Galbraith, lead author of the study.  "Streams and rivers with healthy mussel populations tend to have relatively good water quality which is good for the fish and insects that also inhabit those systems."  

Mussels in general are poorly understood and difficult to study. Because of this lack of knowledge, population genetics has become a useful tool for understanding their ecology and guiding their restoration.

More than 200 of the nearly 300 North American freshwater mussel species are imperiled, with rapidly dwindling populations.  Researchers are providing information to resource managers, who are working to reverse this trend.  USGS led research suggests that re-introducing mussels within the same river could reverse population declines without affecting the current genetic makeup of the population. 

The research shows that patterns in the genetic makeup of a population occurs within individual rivers for freshwater mussels; and that in the study area, mussels from the same river could be used for restoration.

“That genetic structuring is occurring within individual rivers is good news, because it may be a means of protecting rare, threatened and endangered species from impending extinction,” said Galbraith.  “Knowing the genetic structure of a freshwater mussel population is necessary for restoring declining populations to prevent factors such as inbreeding, high mutation rates and low survivorship.” 

Knowing that mussels in the same river are similar genetically opens up opportunities for augmenting declining populations or re-introducing mussels into locations where they were historically found. The genetics also highlight the importance of not mixing populations among rivers without additional studies to verify the genetic compatibility of mussels within those rivers.

The international team of researchers from Canada and the United States working to understand mussel genetics found similar genetic patterns among common and endangered mussel species.  This is important information for mussel biologists because studying endangered species can be difficult, and researchers may be able to study the genetic structure of common mussels and generalize the patterns to endangered mussels. 

Although understanding the genetic structure of mussel populations is important for restoration, genetic tools do have limitations.  Researchers found that despite drastic reductions in freshwater mussel populations, there was little evidence of this population decline at the genetic level. This may be due to the extremely long lifespan of mussels, some of which can live to be more than 100 years old. 

“Genetics, it turns out, is not a good indicator of population decline; by the time we observe a genetic change, it may be too late for the population,” said Galbraith.

By way of comparison, in fruit flies, which have short lifespans, genetic changes show up quickly within a few generations.  Mussels, on the other hand, are long lived animals; therefore it may take decades to see changes in their genetic structure within a population.

The study examined six species of freshwater mussels in four Great Lakes Tributaries in southwestern Ontario.  The species are distributed across the eastern half of North America and range in status from presumed extinct to secure. The six mussels were the snuffbox, Epioblasma triquetra; kidneyshell, Ptychobranchus fasciolaris; mapleleaf, Quadrula quadrula; wavy-rayed lampmussel, Lampsilis fasciola; Flutedshell Lasmigona costata; and the threeridge mussel Amblema plicata.

The study, “Comparative analysis of riverscape genetic structure in rare, threatened and common freshwater mussels” is available online in the journal Conservation Genetics.

For more information on freshwater mussels please visit Stranger than Fiction: The Secret Lives of Freshwater Mussels.

Two Disaster Recovery Centers Will Transition To Disaster Loan Outreach Centers

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 16:41

 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Disaster recovery centers in Lawrence and Carter counties will close Saturday, May 16, at 6 p.m. and transition to disaster loan outreach centers Monday, May 18, at 9 a.m.

The centers, which have been operated by the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are located at 180 Bull Dog Lane (Lawrence City Community Center) in Louisa and 671 S. State Highway 7 (Grayson Utilities Building) in Grayson.

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Categories: Federal News

Second Disaster Recovery Center To Open In Jeffferson County

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 16:37

 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – A second disaster recovery center operated by the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will open at noon Monday, May 18, in Jefferson County.

The new Jefferson center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT) weekdays and Saturday. It is located at 205 W. Wellington Ave. (Beechmont Community Center) in Louisville. The other Louisville center is located at 8501 Preston Highway and has the same hours of operation.

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Categories: Federal News

Second Disaster Recovery Center To Open In Jeffferson County

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 16:37

 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – A second disaster recovery center operated by the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will open at noon Monday, May 18, in Jefferson County.

The new Jefferson center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT) weekdays and Saturday. It is located at 205 W. Wellington Ave. (Beechmont Community Center) in Louisville. The other Louisville center is located at 8501 Preston Highway and has the same hours of operation.

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Categories: Federal News

Second Disaster Recovery Center To Open In Jeffferson County

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 16:37

 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – A second disaster recovery center operated by the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will open at noon Monday, May 18, in Jefferson County.

The new Jefferson center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT) weekdays and Saturday. It is located at 205 W. Wellington Ave. (Beechmont Community Center) in Louisville. The other Louisville center is located at 8501 Preston Highway and has the same hours of operation.

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Categories: Federal News

Bounce Back Faster from Disaster- Build to Code

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 16:03

CHICAGO – May is Building Safety Month, a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures by increasing awareness about how building codes and code officials improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship and play.

“We’re all at some level of disaster risk,” said Andrew Velasquez III, FEMA Region V administrator.  “It is important that we prepare now for the impacts that disasters can have on our homes, our businesses and in our communities.”

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Categories: Federal News

Delaware middle school, junior high students “sun their engines” in 2015 Junior Solar Sprint

DNREC News - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 10:53
DOVER (May 15, 2015) – More than 100 middle and junior high school students from 10 schools participated in Delaware’s 20th Annual Junior Solar Sprint Competition on Wednesday at Dover International Speedway in Dover.