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Federal News

Know Your Risk, Take Action & Be a Force of Nature during Flood Safety Awareness Week

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 17:03

DENTON, Texas – Severe weather season is just around the corner, which brings with it the possibility of tornadoes and flooding in New Mexico.

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere at any time. That’s why National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which runs from March 15-21, is the perfect time to know your risk, take action and be a force of nature.

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Categories: Federal News

Frozen Heat Features USGS Science

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 10:00
Summary: The Gas Hydrates Project at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contributed to a four-year international effort by multiple partners, including the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), to formulate a just-released report entitled, “Frozen Heat: A Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates.&rdquo New International Report on Gas Hydrates Draws Heavily from USGS Expertise

Contact Information:

William F.  Waite ( Phone: 508-457-2346 ); Alex Demas ( Phone: 703-648-4421 );



The Gas Hydrates Project at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contributed to a four-year international effort by multiple partners, including the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), to formulate a just-released report entitled, “Frozen Heat: A Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates.”

The two-volume report reviews the state-of-the-art in science and technology related to gas hydrates, providing information in a form accessible to policy makers and stakeholders. The USGS Gas Hydrates Project contributed scientific results, editing, and reviews to assist formulation of the report.    

Gas hydrate is a frozen form of gas and water that occurs naturally at moderate pressure and low temperature. These conditions are characteristic of continuous permafrost and marine sediments at water depths greater than ~350 meters (~1150 ft).  Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is the most common gas incorporated into global gas hydrate deposits. Gas hydrate sequesters about 1600 billion metric tons (~1800 billion US tons) of carbon or up to 25% of the global budget of carbon that can move around the earth-ocean-atmosphere system.

“The USGS plays an active leadership role in gas hydrate research nationally and internationally,” said USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce. “Having USGS experts join with other scientists to present current scientific knowledge to a broad audience in this report serves an important part of our outreach mission.” 

The first volume of the report focuses on the history of gas hydrate research and describes how and where gas hydrates form. USGS research featured prominently in this volume, as USGS scientists have studied the formation and occurrence of gas hydrates all over the world, including Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and internationally in countries like Japan, Korea, and India.

Volume I of the report also considers how gas hydrates interact with the environment on a small scale (for example, the link between gas hydrates and deep marine biological communities), and globally (for example, the interplay between gas hydrates and climate).  

“We were pleased to work with U.S. and international partners to contribute scientific expertise to this effort,” said Carolyn Ruppel, Chief of the USGS Gas Hydrates Project. “The report dovetails with our Project’s emphasis on gas hydrates in the natural environment and on the climate and energy resource implications of methane hydrates.”   

Volume 2 discusses gas hydrates as a potential energy resource, including consideration of the technology needed to extract gas from methane hydrates.  USGS scientists have long been active in this research area and participated in tests of methane production from natural gas hydrates in permafrost areas, such as Alaska’s North Slope.

The USGS has a globally recognized research program  studying natural gas hydrates in deepwater and permafrost settings worldwide.  USGS researchers focus on the potential of gas hydrates as an energy resource, the impact of climate change on gas hydrates, and seafloor stability issues.

Former Jersey City Fire Chief Dr. Denis Onieal to be Honored at 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:55

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Former Jersey City Fire Chief and native son Dr. Denis Onieal, who is now Superintendent of the National Fire Academy, has been selected by the Congressional Fire Services Institute's Board of Directors as the recipient of the 2015 CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. The presentation will take place at the 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 16th at the Washington Hilton, in Washington, D.C.

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Categories: Federal News

2015 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award Application Period Now Open

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 17:21

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce that the application period for the 2015 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards is open.

The awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by recognizing individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward making their communities safer, stronger, better prepared, and more resilient.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Maine Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 17:05

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 Maine.

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

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Maine

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:40

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 Maine to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding during the period of January 26-28, 2015. 

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Awards $708,653 Grant to Plainfield Township

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 12:59

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released $708,653 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Plainfield Township, Mich., to acquire and demolish 15 residential structures in the Grand River floodplain.

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Flood Map Meeting To Take Place in Hillsborough, NJ March 19

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 11:36

EATONTOWN, NJ – Somerset County residents and property owners will be able to ask questions and obtain information on their property’s flood hazard risk at an Open House scheduled to take place in Hillsborough on Thursday, March 19 at the Somerset County Training Facility, 402 Roycefield Road.

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Categories: Federal News

Application Deadline for Federal Disaster Assistance Related to the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Lava Flow is April 2

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 10:28

Application Deadline for Federal Disaster Assistance Related to the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Lava Flow is April 2

Applicant Briefings Scheduled for March

 

HONOLULU – State, county and certain private, non-profit organizations who suffered losses such as debris removal and damage to infrastructure due to the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow are encouraged to submit an application for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Public Assistance program no later than April 2, 2015.

 

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International Bat Monitoring Research Group Receives

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 10:00
Summary: USGS bat conservation researchers and their partners are being recognized today with the U.S. Forest Service Wings Across the Americas Research Award for their contributions to the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)

Contact Information:

Suzanna Soileau ( Phone: 406-994-7257 ); Catherine Puckett ( Phone: 352-377-2469 );



USGS bat conservation researchers and their partners are being recognized today with the U.S. Forest Service Wings Across the Americas Research Award for their contributions to the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat). 

The award will be accepted on behalf of USGS contributions to NABat by Anne Kinsinger, USGS associate director for Ecosystems, at the North American Wildlife Resources Conference in Omaha, Nebr.  USGS partners also being recognized are the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bat Conservation International, Bat Conservation Trust, Canadian Wildlife Service, University of California, University of Alberta and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“Research on bats is important not only because they are vital to the well-being of ecosystems, but also it is in the best interest of the economy due to the importance of bats for pest control and pollination of native and agricultural plants,” said Kinsinger. “USGS has focused considerable research on issues threatening the health and well being of bat populations in North America. Our participation in NABat provides valuable scientific information for bat conservation.”

Wings Across the Americas is an international program of the U.S. Forest Service that works with a wide range of partners here in the United States and overseas to conserve habitats and populations of birds, bats, butterflies and dragonflies. The award recognizes outstanding conservation work by U.S. Forest Service and partner agencies.

The novelty of the NABat program is a vision for collaborative monitoring of an imperiled species group with a sound statistical underpinning allowing for species distribution modeling across broad geographic regions. Participating USGS researchers provide specific expertise on statistical survey design, statistical analysis of bat acoustic and colony count data and database development informed by experience with many wildlife species such as bats, birds and amphibians.

NABat was developed in conjunction with specialists from other agencies, universities and NGOs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico in response to growing concerns over threats to bats from continuing and emerging stressors including habitat loss and fragmentation, white-nose syndrome, wind energy development and climate change.  There are currently no national programs to monitor and track bat populations in North America, and NABat seeks to assist in development of such programs that will provide managers and policy makers with the information they need to effectively manage bat populations, detect early warning signs of population declines and estimate extinction risk.

Efforts to date include four workshops and discussions supported by the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives National Council and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis to develop a national monitoring program. These workshops were attended by scientists and researchers from multiple agencies including FWS, USGS, USFS, NPS, University of Calgary and the Canadian Wildlife Service.  In addition, the framework for NABat entitled “A Plan for a North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)” will be published in May 2015.

USGS recipients of the Wings Across the Americas award include FORT scientists Laura Ellison, Tom Stanley, Brian Cade, Paul Cryan and Sara Oyler-McCance; NOROCK scientists Kathryn M. Irvine and Steve Corn; UMESC scientist Wayne Thogmartin; Patuxent scientists John Sauer and Matthew Clement; NPWRC scientist Douglas Johnson; NWHC scientist Robin Russell; and CSU Cooperative Research Unit scientist William Kendall.  

 

“Spring Ahead” And Be Flood Ready

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 09:36

CHICAGO – You may be ready to enjoy more daylight hours after we “Spring ahead” an hour on March 8, but are you ready for the threat of flooding that warmer months can bring?

“With the change of seasons comes the risk of snow melt, heavy rains, and rising waters—we’re all at some level of flood risk,” said Andrew Velasquez III, FEMA Region V administrator.  “It is important we prepare now for the impact floods could have on our homes, our businesses and in our communities.”

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