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City of Leon Valley, Texas, Unveiling High Water Mark, Announcing Initiative Targeting Local Flood Risk

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 13:18

DENTON, Texas – In October of 1998, the City of Leon Valley was devastated by flooding. On January 9, 2016, officials will unveil a High Water Mark in that city. They will also announce the start of a new initiative reminding residents of the community’s flood risks. Mayor Chris Riley will unveil the High Water Mark at Raymond Rimkus Park at 9:00 a.m.

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3 Months After Flooding, Federal Assistance to South Carolina Continues

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 01/05/2016 - 18:53

COLUMBIA, S.C. Ninety days after severe storms and flooding in South Carolina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided more than $219 million in grants and loans to assist in recovery.

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Mississippi Storm Survivors Urged to Register for Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 01/05/2016 - 15:01

PEARL, Miss.-- Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Mississippi that occurred December 23-28, 2015, are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.

The presidential disaster declaration on January 4th makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman, and Tippah counties.

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First Ever Digital Geologic Map of Alaska Published

USGS Newsroom - Tue, 01/05/2016 - 14:25
Summary: ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation. 

Contact Information:

Frederic Wilson ( Phone: 907-786-7448 ); Paul  Laustsen ( Phone: 650-329-4046 );



ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation. 

The map gives visual context to the abundant mineral and energy resources found throughout the state in a beautifully detailed and accessible format.

“I am pleased that Alaska now has a state-wide digital map detailing surface geologic features of this vast region of the United States that is difficult to access,” said Suzette Kimball, USGS newly-confirmed director. “This geologic map provides important information for the mineral and energy industries for exploration and remediation strategies. It will enable resource managers and land management agencies to evaluate resources and land use, and to prepare for natural hazards, such as earthquakes.” 

“The data contained in this digital map will be invaluable,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “It is a great resource and especially enhances the capacity for science-informed decision making for natural and cultural resources, interpretive programs, and visitor safety.”

“A better understanding of Alaska’s geology is vital to our state’s future. This new map makes a real contribution to our state, from the scientific work it embodies to the responsible resource production it may facilitate. Projects like this one underscore the important mission of the U.S. Geological Survey, and I’m thankful to them for completing it,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

This map is a completely new compilation, carrying the distinction of being the first 100 percent digital statewide geologic map of Alaska. It reflects the changes in our modern understanding of geology as it builds on the past. More than 750 references were used in creating the map, some as old as 1908 and others as new as 2015. As a digital map, it has multiple associated databases that allow creation of a variety of derivative maps and other products. 

“This work is an important synthesis that will both increase public access to critical information and enhance the fundamental understanding of Alaska's history, natural resources and environment,” said Mark Myers, Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources. “I applaud the collaborative nature of this effort, including the input provided by the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, which will be useful for natural disaster preparation, resource development, land use planning and management, infrastructure and urban planning and management, education, and scientific research.”

Geologists and resource managers alike can utilize this latest geologic map of Alaska, and a lay person can enjoy the colorful patterns on the map showing the state’s geologic past and present.

More than other areas of the United States, Alaska reflects a wide range of past and current geologic environments and processes. The map sheds light on the geologic past and present. Today, geologic processes are still very important in Alaska with many active volcanoes, frequent earthquakes, receding and advancing glaciers and visible climate impacts. 

“This map is the continuation of a long line of USGS maps of Alaska, reflecting ever increasing knowledge of the geology of the state,” said Frederic Wilson, USGS research geologist and lead author of the new map. “In the past, starting in 1904, geologic maps of Alaska were revised once a generation; this latest edition reflects major new mapping efforts in Alaska by the USGS and the Alaska state survey, as well as a revolution in the science of geology through the paradigm shift to plate tectonics, and the development of digital methods. Completion of this map celebrates the 200th anniversary of world's first geologic map by William Smith of England in 1815.” 

The Alaska Geologic Map shows the generalized geology of the state, each color representing a different type or age of rock. This map detail, of the Anchorage area, shows the city spread out on a plain of loose glacial deposits shown in yellow, and the bedrock making up the hillsides of Anchorage shown in green and brown. The rocks shown in green, called the Valdez Group, are sedimentary rocks formed in a trench 65 to 75 million years ago from thousands of undersea debris flows similar to the modern Aleutian trench where oceanic crust dives under continental crust (a subduction zone). The rocks shown in brown on the map are a chaotic mix of rock types called the McHugh Complex that were also formed about the same time, adjacent to this ancient subduction zone. Some time after deposition of the Valdez Group, hot fluids formed gold-bearing quartz veins; the veins were mined starting in the 1890's. The rocks were pushed up, and attached (accreted) to North America through plate tectonic forces in the past 65 million years. The dotted line passing through the east side of Anchorage is the approximate trace of the Border Ranges Fault system, the boundary between the accreted rocks and the rest of the continent.

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Mississippi

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 01/04/2016 - 17:50

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 Mississippi.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

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President Declares Major Disaster for Mississippi

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 01/04/2016 - 17:43

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Mississippi to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of December 23-28, 2015.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman, and Tippah counties

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Sea Lamprey Mating Pheromone Registered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as First Vertebrate Pheromone Biopesticide

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:11
Summary: Ann Arbor, MI – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered a sea lamprey mating pheromone, 3kPZS, as the first ever vertebrate pheromone biopesticide in late December, 2015. Like an alluring perfume, the mating pheromone is a scent released by male sea lampreys to lure females onto nesting sites. Research and development of the mating pheromone was funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, with additional support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, in collaboration with federal government, university, and private industry partners.

Contact Information:

Dr. Marc Gaden, GLFC ( Phone: 734-417-8012 ); Marisa Lubeck, USGS ( Phone: 303-202-4765 );



Ann Arbor, MI – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered a sea lamprey mating pheromone, 3kPZS, as the first ever vertebrate pheromone biopesticide in late December, 2015. Like an alluring perfume, the mating pheromone is a scent released by male sea lampreys to lure females onto nesting sites. Research and development of the mating pheromone was funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, with additional support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, in collaboration with federal government, university, and private industry partners.

Parasitic mouth of the invasive sea lamprey. Photo credit: Andrea Miehls, USGS.

Since the 1990s, scientists have been researching the use of pheromones – natural odors used by sea lampreys to communicate – to manipulate sea lamprey behaviors. The newly registered mating pheromone has been used as bait in traps that collect and remove adult sea lampreys before they have a chance to spawn. Other sea lamprey pheromones are also being explored for use in sea lamprey control as attractants and repellents. Although “pesticide” may be part of the name, many biopesticides – such as the sea lamprey mating pheromone – naturally occur in the environment and are extremely potent, but not lethal, substances.

“The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is very excited about this accomplishment,” said Dr. Robert Hecky, chair of the commission. “U.S. EPA registration of the sea lamprey mating pheromone opens the door for use of the pheromone in the commission’s sea lamprey control program, which protects Great Lakes fisheries from destruction caused by invasive sea lampreys.” Dr. Hecky also emphasized the critical role of partners. “This achievement has been many years in the making and could not have occurred without the excellent work of our collaborators at the U.S. Geological Survey, Michigan State University, and Bridge Organics Company.”

Dr. Suzette Kimball, USGS director, praised registration of the sea lamprey mating pheromone as “a milestone for control of invasive species and protection of natural biodiversity.” She further emphasized the significance of this event saying, “Registration is the culmination of great leadership and innovation among the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the USGS, and our university and private-sector partners. Development of the sea lamprey mating pheromone is exactly the type of cuttingedge research that places each partner at the forefront of science.”

The commission also lauded the U.S. EPA’s leadership and noted that this action provides a path for additional chemosensory compounds to be registered as a means to control other vertebrate species. Moreover, this registration marks the first joint review with Canada of a biopesticide through the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency is in the process of registering the mating pheromone for use in Canada.

Since invading the Great Lakes in the 1800s and early 1900s, sea lampreys – parasitic, jawless vertebrates that feed on the blood and body fluids of other fish – have caused enormous ecological and economic damage. To combat this menace, the commission coordinates an integrated sea lamprey control program implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fisheries and Oceans Canada that combines lampricides, barriers, and traps. The control program is remarkably successful: sea lamprey populations in most areas of the Great Lakes have been reduced by 90 percent of their historical highs.

“Our research has shown that the sea lamprey mating pheromone holds great promise for the sea lamprey control program,” explained Dr. Weiming Li, professor at Michigan State University through the commission’s Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management. “With a large-scale field trial, we demonstrated that pheromone baits can increase trapping efficiencies by up to 53 percent and baited traps can capture up to two times the sea lampreys that un-baited traps can.” While initial trials were completed with pheromone derived from live male sea lampreys, the researchers also discovered the molecular structure of the mating pheromone and contracted with Bridge Organics, a private company in Michigan, to manufacture a synthetic version.

Invasive sea lamprey prey on commercially important fish species such as lake trout, living off of the blood and body fluids of adult fish. It is one of many fish species that USGS scientists study from the USGS Research Vessel Muskie. These lamprey belong to the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission. Photo credit: Marisa Lubeck, USGS.

Bridge Organics was a key partner in both the development of the synthesized mating pheromone and the U.S. EPA registration process. Like using a blueprint to construct a high-tech building, Bridge Organics used the molecular structure provided by the scientists to construct the exact pheromone molecule from scratch. “When the commission contacted us to synthesize the sea lamprey mating pheromone, we were excited by the scientific challenge,” recalled Dr. Ed Hessler, president of Bridge Organics. “Our company is proud to have developed the chemistry to synthesize the mating pheromone and to have coordinated testing of the compound during the registration process.”

The U.S. EPA registration covers both the synthesized male mating pheromone as well as the mixture of synthesized pheromone and solvents used in field applications. The U.S. FWS holds the registration for 3kPZS and is the entity licensed to apply this in the field when deemed appropriate. The mating pheromone is classified as a biopesticide, a designation that includes any naturally occurring substance that controls pests. Other registered biopesticides include the pheromone disparlure, which is used to detect and control small infestations of gypsy moths. Registration of the sea lamprey mating pheromone is the first for a vertebrate biopesticide.

Once registered in both the United States and Canada, the sea lamprey mating pheromone can be used to help control invasive sea lampreys in U.S. and Canadian waters throughout the Great Lakes. With each additional tool in the sea lamprey control arsenal, the commission improves its ability to protect the $7 billion fishery.

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Missouri Emergency Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 01/02/2016 - 21:28

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 Missouri.

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

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President Obama Signs Emergency Declaration for Missouri

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 01/02/2016 - 21:19

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 Missouri to supplement state, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding beginning on December 22, 2015, and continuing.

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Calaveras County Receives $2.8 Million Water Treatment Grant

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 12/31/2015 - 15:38

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Calaveras County will receive a grant of approximately $2.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) for a water pretreatment facility located at the Jenny Lind Water Treatment Plant, near the town of Jenny Lind.

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SBA to Open Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Navarro County

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:49

AUSTIN, Texas—The State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Navarro County will transition to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC), over the New Year holiday weekend.

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Help Us Help You: Stay in Touch With FEMA

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 12/30/2015 - 17:34

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue working together to help survivors of the Butte and Valley wildfires. More and more survivors continue to find temporary housing accommodation; as they do, they should continue to stay in touch with FEMA.

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Federal Aid Programs for the State of Oklahoma Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 21:28

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 Oklahoma.

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 Oklahoma

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 21:24

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 Oklahoma to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms and flooding during the period of November 27-29, 2015.

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Holiday Hours for Disaster Recovery Centers

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 12:59

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Disaster recovery centers in South Carolina will operate on different schedules around the New Year’s holiday.

All recovery centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and be closed on New Year’s Day. Most of the centers will reopen Jan. 2 and operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm or call 800-621-3362 to find the closest center.

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FEMA Grant to Fund Seawall Project in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 11:19

Eatontown, N.J. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently obligated $28,358,886.60 in additional grant funding for the repair of the Hurricane Sandy-damaged seawall in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach, bringing the total FEMA funding obligated for the project to date to $31,344,834.00

That amount represents 90 percent of the total project cost of $34,827,594.00. The State of New Jersey will fund the remaining 10 percent.

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FEMA Public Assistance Added for 16 Texas Counties

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 10:36

AUSTIN, Texas—Federal disaster assistance to Texas for the October severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding has been expanded to include 16 counties in Texas for FEMA Public Assistance (PA).

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A Few More Days to Register for FEMA Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 10:07

COLUMBIA, S.C.  – A few days remain for South Carolina residents affected by Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding to apply for federal disaster assistance.

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Badger State Maps Put TIGER in the Tank

USGS Newsroom - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 09:00
Summary: The USGS US Topo map program has entered its third, three-year cycle of revising and updating the digital US Topo maps Updated US Topo maps for Wisconsin add Census Bureau road data

Contact Information:

Mark Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 ); Larry  Moore ( Phone: 303-202-4019 );



The USGS US Topo map program has entered its third, three-year cycle of revising and updating the digital US Topo maps. To start this new cycle, the USGS National Geospatial Program is excited to announce the inclusion of U.S. Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) roads data for the new US Topo maps, starting with the state of Wisconsin.

"The addition of TIGER’s roads layer into the US Topo maps is a great example of how data from one agency can benefit another agency,” said Timothy Trainor, Chief, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau. “The Census Bureau and the USGS have a long history of collaboration and sharing. This is another win for the American public."

The TIGER database is provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and was created before the 1990 census to provide over a million unique maps sheets to census enumerators. The TIGER was the basis for the first coast-to-coast digital map to modernize the once-a-decade count. Since 1990, TIGER has evolved into a dynamic mapping system that helped catapult the growth of the geographic information system industry and improve Census Bureau data products.

The TIGER database contains all geographic features — such as roads, railroads, rivers, and legal and statistical geographic boundaries — needed to support the Census Bureau’s data collection and dissemination programs. The TIGER/Line Shapefiles are constantly improving, updated annually, and available for free download.

TIGER’s roads layer includes 6.3 million miles of roads. The original TIGER GIS vector data are available for free download from the TIGER products page. TIGER data are public domain, so using these road data on US Topo removes a previous use restriction from this USGS map product

Other improvements to the new Wisconsin US Topo maps include the addition of the “crowdsourced” trail data from the International Mountain Bike Association, increased parcel land data (PLSS), and most recently, trail data from the U.S. Forest Service.

Additionally, segments of The Ice Age Trail, one of 11 National Scenic Trails, will continue to be featured on select US Topo maps. The USGS partnered with the National Park Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Ice Age Trail Alliance to incorporate the Ice Age Trail onto Wisconsin's maps. The NPS is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

These new US Topo maps replace the second edition US Topo maps and are available for no-cost file download from The National Map, the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website , and several other USGS applications.

To compare change over time, scans of legacy USGS topo maps, some dating back to the late 1800s, can be downloaded from the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection.

For more information on US Topo maps: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/.

Updated 2015 version of the Madison West US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage turned on. (1:24,000 scale) (high resolution image 1.2 MB) Updated 2015 version of the Madison West US Topo quadrangle with orthoimage turned off to better see the improved road network. (1:24,000 scale) (high resolution image 1 MB) Scan of the 1890 legacy topographic map quadrangle of the greater Madison area from the USGS Historic Topographic Map Collection. (high resolution image 1.7 MB)

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Liberty County for Texans

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 12/28/2015 - 18:56

AUSTIN, Texas – A State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is now open in Liberty County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from Oct. 22 to Oct. 31.

Specialists from the State of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), nongovernmental organizations and the local community are on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.

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