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Federal Aid Programs for the State of Michigan Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 01/16/2016 - 17:43

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

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

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President Obama Signs Emergency Declaration for Michigan

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 01/16/2016 - 17:40

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of Michigan to supplement state and local response efforts in the area affected by contaminated water beginning on April 25, 2014, and continuing.

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Additional Mississippi Counties Approved for Disaster Aid

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 01/16/2016 - 00:26

OXFORD, Miss. – The state of Mississippi and local governments and certain private nonprofits in Coahoma, Panola and Quitman counties are now eligible to receive federal assistance to help cover expenses and repair damage associated with the tornadoes and severe weather in late December, according to state and federal officials.

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More Than $1.5 Million in Disaster Assistance Approved for Mississippi Storm Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 01/16/2016 - 00:21

OXFORD, Miss. – Less than a month after severe storms, tornadoes and flooding swept across Mississippi, more than $1.5 million in state and federal disaster assistance has been approved to help those affected by the storms.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been contacted by 775 people for help or information regarding disaster assistance.

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Federal Aid Programs for the State of Washington Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 01/15/2016 - 22:08

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 Washington.

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

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Washington

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 01/15/2016 - 22:03

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 Washington to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of November 12-21, 2015.

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National Disaster Recovery Group to Assess Lake County Fire-Related Needs

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 01/15/2016 - 19:29

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In response to the unmet needs of survivors following the Valley Fire, a long term recovery committee (LTRC) has been established. This committee, Team Lake County (TLC), has requested the expertise of a national disaster recovery group to determine who in the community will need additional assistance from voluntary agencies to rebuild and recover from the fire.

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Help Remains Available After Disaster Recovery Center Closes in Darlington

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 01/15/2016 - 19:04

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A disaster recovery center in Darlington County will close Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 5 p.m.:

  • South Carolina National Guard Armory, 1764 Harry Byrd Highway, Darlington

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. Survivors of Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in Darlington County can get help by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

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Biodiversity Critical to Maintaining Healthy Ecosystems

USGS Newsroom - Fri, 01/15/2016 - 12:12
Summary: Researchers have found clear evidence that biological communities rich in species are substantially healthier and more productive than those depleted of species.

Contact Information:

Jim Grace ( Phone: 337-298-1671 ); Vic Hines ( Phone: 813-855-3125 );



Researchers have found clear evidence that biological communities rich in species are substantially healthier and more productive than those depleted of species.

Using new scientific techniques, U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist Jim Grace and a group of international scientists have resolved a long-standing debate about   whether species diversity is necessary for a healthy ecosystem.

Scientists have long hypothesized that biodiversity is of critical importance to the stability of natural ecosystems and their abilities to provide positive benefits such as oxygen production, soil genesis, and water detoxification to plant and animal communities, as well as to human society. In fact, because this assumption is intuitively true to the general public, many of the efforts of conservation agencies around the world are driven by the assumption that this hypothesis is scientifically proven. Although theoretical studies have supported this claim, scientists have struggled for the past half-century to clearly isolate such an effect in the real world. This new study does just that.

“This study shows that you cannot have sustainable, productive ecosystems without maintaining biodiversity in the landscape,” said Grace.

The scientists used data collected for this research by a global consortium, the Nutrient Network, from more than a thousand grassland plots spanning five continents. Using recent advances in analytical methods, the group was able to isolate the biodiversity effect from the effects of other processes, including processes that can reduce diversity., Using these data with “integrative modeling”--integrating the predictions from multiple theories into a single model—scientists detected the clear signals of numerous underlying mechanisms linking the health and productivity of ecosystems with species richness.

“The ability to explain the diversity in the number of species is tremendously important for potential conservation applications,” said Grace. “The new type of analysis we developed can predict how both specific management actions (such as reduction of plant material through mowing or increase in soil fertility through fertilization), as well as shifts in climate conditions, may alter both productivity and the number of species.”

According to Debra Willard, Coordinator for the USGS Climate Research & Development Program, “These results suggest that if climate change leads to reduced species or genetic diversity, which is a real possibility, that then could lead to a reduced capacity for ecosystems to respond to additional stresses.”

As an indication of the global awareness of this issue, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services was recently created to help policy-makers understand and address problems stemming from the global loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems.

The article, “Integrative modeling reveals mechanisms linking productivity and plant species richness,” is available online in the journal Nature. 

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Tippah County

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 18:16

OXFORD, Miss. – A disaster recovery center is open in Tippah County to provide assistance to survivors of the December storms, tornadoes and floods that affected Mississippi.

The recovery center is run jointly by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and hosts representatives of federal and state agencies who can explain the various programs designed to help survivors recover.

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Asian Carp Eggs Remain in Suspension at Lower Velocities than Previously Thought

USGS Newsroom Technical - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 14:23
Summary: Laboratory experiments in flowing water using synthetic surrogate Silver Carp eggs demonstrate egg suspension at lower velocities than previously thought, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. The drift of synthetic eggs at a range of flows was evaluated to provide insight into both suspension of water-hardened Silver Carp eggs and the potential interaction of eggs with the bottom of a river. New information on the suspension of Asian carp eggs using synthetic surrogate eggs

Contact Information:

Jennifer LaVista ( Phone: 303-202-4764 ); Tatiana Garcia ( Phone: 217-328-9753 );



Laboratory experiments in flowing water using synthetic surrogate Silver Carp eggs demonstrate egg suspension at lower velocities than previously thought, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. The drift of synthetic eggs at a range of flows was evaluated to provide insight into both suspension of water-hardened Silver Carp eggs and the potential interaction of eggs with the bottom of a river.

Since Asian carp eggs must stay suspended in rivers to survive to hatching, it is important to understand what flows cause them to settle to the bottom. These critical flow conditions help scientists to determine which rivers may be suitable for Asian carp reproduction. Results are published in the journal PLOS ONE. 

Scientists with University of Illinois and the USGS recently studied the suspension, transport and settling of Silver Carp eggs using synthetic surrogates at the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The researchers found that 65 percent of the eggs were in suspension at mean velocities as low as 0.07 meters per second, considerably lower than previously thought (0.15 to 0.9 meters per second). If eggs are staying in suspension at these small velocities, then survival rates would be higher than previously expected in low flow systems. In addition, dimensionless ratios between turbulence and egg sinking rate were calculated for different flow conditions. These ratios can be used for first order assessment of egg suspension together with observed egg suspension mode from laboratory experiments. Results provide more information on egg suspension (i.e., 50 percent of eggs in suspension) than a mean velocity threshold.  

Tatiana Garcia, USGS research hydrologist and lead author of the paper, performed experiments in moving water in a temperature-controlled re-circulatory flume with a sediment bed. Styrene beads were used as synthetic surrogate eggs to mimic the physical properties of water-hardened Silver Carp eggs. Egg suspension and drifting behavior of synthetic eggs was evaluated under different flow conditions and bed configurations.

Synthetic surrogate water-hardened Silver Carp Eggs settled on top of a sediment bed. Laboratory experiments in flowing water demonstrate egg suspension at lower velocities than previously thought. The drift of synthetic eggs at a range of flows was evaluated to provide insight into both suspension of water-hardened Silver Carp eggs and the potential interaction of eggs with the bottom of a river. Photo credit: Tatiana Garcia, USGS.



Mosaic of pictures of synthetic Silver Carp eggs taken at different flow conditions for two cases: bed with bedforms (left) and relatively flat bed (right). Laboratory experiments in flowing water demonstrate egg suspension at lower velocities than previously thought. The drift of synthetic eggs at a range of flows was evaluated to provide insight into both suspension of water-hardened Silver Carp eggs and the potential interaction of eggs with the bottom of a river. Credit: Tatiana Garcia, USGS.

Disaster Assistance Available in Mississippi’s Quitman County

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 19:27

OXFORD, Miss. - A disaster recovery center is open in Quitman County to provide assistance to survivors of the December storms, tornadoes and floods that struck Mississippi.

The recovery center is run jointly by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and hosts representatives of federal and state agencies who can explain the various programs designed to help survivors recover.

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Categories: Federal News

Help Remains Available After Disaster Recovery Centers Close in Orangeburg, Eutawville

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 14:21

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two disaster recovery centers in Orangeburg County will close Friday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m.:

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Help Remains Available After Disaster Recovery Center Closes in Manning

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 14:09

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A disaster recovery center in Clarendon County will close Friday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m.:

  • Clarendon Community Complex, 7 Maple St., Manning

Many services available at disaster recovery centers are also available by calling the FEMA helpline. Survivors of Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in Clarendon County can get help by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585; those who use 711/VRS can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Survivors can use the helpline to:

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Help Remains Available After Disaster Recovery Centers Close in North Charleston, Johns Island

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 14:05

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two disaster recovery centers in Charleston County will close Friday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m.:

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Categories: Federal News

After the Storm: How Texans Can Replace Lost or Damaged Documents

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 12:09

AUSTIN, Texas – Disasters such as floods and tornadoes commonly result in the loss of important documents. While it can seem like a daunting task, the good news for Texans is that many official papers and vital records are relatively easy to replace.

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SBA to Open Disaster Loan Center in San Marcos; Martindale DRC to Close

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 10:45

AUSTIN, Texas—The State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the Hays County Government Center, 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos, TX 78666, will transition to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The Caldwell County DRC, located at the Allen Bates River Park at the intersection of FM 1979 and Fannin Street, Martindale, TX 78617, will close at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14.

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Manmade Mercury Emissions Decline 30 Percent from 1990-2010

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 10:00
Summary: Between 1990 and 2010, global mercury emissions from manmade sources declined 30 percent, according to a new analysis by Harvard University, Peking University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, and the University of Alberta. These results challenge long-standing assumptions about mercury emission trends. Results show local and regional efforts can have significant effects on atmospheric mercury

Contact Information:

David  Krabbenhoft ( Phone: 608-821-3843 ); Alex Demas ( Phone: 571-335-6535 );



Between 1990 and 2010, global mercury emissions from manmade sources declined 30 percent, according to a new analysis by Harvard University, Peking University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, and the University of Alberta. These results challenge long-standing assumptions about mercury emission trends.

Mercury is a metallic element that poses environmental health risks to both wildlife and humans when converted to methylmercury in ecosystems.  It can be converted into gaseous emissions during various industrial activities, as well as natural processes like volcanic eruptions.

“For years, mercury researchers have been unable to explain the apparent conundrum between declining air concentrations and rising emission estimates,” said lead author Yanxu Zhang from Harvard University. “Our work is the first detailed, mechanistic analysis to explain the declining atmospheric mercury trend.”

The observed reduction in atmospheric mercury was most pronounced over North America and Europe, where several factors have contributed to the observed declines in atmospheric mercury concentrations: 

  1. Mercury has been gradually phased out of many commercial products.
  2. Controls were put in place on coal-fired power plants that removed naturally occurring mercury from the coal being burned.
  3. Many power plants have switched to natural gas and stopped burning coal entirely, further reducing mercury emissions.

Finally, at the same time, efforts to combat acid rain resulted in controls being put in place on power plants to reduce nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions. This had the unintended benefit of also reducing mercury emissions.

“Previously, most mercury researchers subscribed to the notion that the ‘global mercury’ problem was largely manifested by a shared global emission inventory,” said USGS scientist David Krabbenhoft, one of the study’s co-authors. “However, our research shows that local and regional efforts to reduce mercury emissions matter significantly. This is great news for focused efforts on reducing exposure of fish, wildlife and humans to toxic mercury.”

The larger-than-anticipated role of local and regional efforts on global mercury emissions explains how increases in emissions in one area can be offset by decreases in other areas. Thus, while Asian mercury emissions increased between 1990 and 2010, European and North American emission reductions during the same time were enough to more than offset the Asian increases.

“This is important for policy and decision-makers, as well as natural resource managers, because, as our results show, their actions can have tangible effects on mercury emissions, even at the local level,” said study co-author Vincent St. Louis with the University of Alberta.

The study is entitled “Observed decrease in atmospheric mercury explained by global decline in anthropogenic emissions,” and is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more information about the study.

The USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program provides objective scientific information on environmental contamination to improve characterization and management of contaminated sites, to protect human and environmental health, and to reduce potential future contamination problems. As part of that research, USGS provides information on mercury sources; mercury cycling in the atmosphere, land surface, lakes, streams and oceans; and bioaccumulation and toxicity of mercury. This information helps land and resource managers understand and reduce mercury hazards to people and wildlife.

Flood Maps Become Final in May for Socorro County, New Mexico

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 15:35

DENTON, Texas ––New flood maps for Socorro County will become effective in May and be used for rating flood insurance policies. Local, state and federal officials encourage residents to view the maps before May 2, 2016, in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance. New flood risk maps have been created for the city of Socorro, unincorporated areas of Socorro County, and communities in the Navajo Nation and Pueblo of Acoma within the boundaries of Socorro County.

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Coahoma County

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 14:51

OXFORD, Miss. – A disaster recovery center is open in Coahoma County to provide assistance to survivors of the December storms, tornadoes and floods that struck Mississippi.

The recovery center is run jointly by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and hosts representatives of federal and state agencies who can explain the various programs designed to help survivors recover.

Language English
Categories: Federal News