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 Iowa to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period of June 14-23, 2014.Language English
Caribou from the Central Arctic herd along the Sagavanirktok River in northern Alaska. (High resolution image)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Due to climate change, some communities in rural Alaska and the Yukon Territory of Canada may face a future with fewer caribou according to new research published by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the recent issue of PLoS ONE. Scientists examined the future effects of fires on winter habitats of caribou herds and determined that wildfires will reduce the amount of winter habitat for caribou, thus caribou may need to shift their wintering grounds
Warming temperatures will increase the flammability of lichen-producing boreal forests, which are important winter habitat for caribou herds. Caribou serve as nutritional as well as cultural sustenance for certain communities. Caribou avoid burned areas in winter and the changes in their distribution can persist across multiple generations of hunters. Those who rely on caribou in fire-prone areas may therefore have fewer available as climate change increases the number and sizes of fires in the boreal forests.
“We project that the Porcupine caribou herd will lose 21% of winter habitat to fire by the end of this century, with the majority of this loss driven by increased flammability in spruce forests in the Yukon," said Dr. Dave Gustine, a Research Wildlife Biologist with the USGS and lead author of the study.
The study examines how increasing temperatures will influence flammability of boreal forest areas used by the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds during winter. Understanding possible changes to forest flammability allows forecasting of future winter distributions of caribou that will impact subsistence harvest and land, wildlife and fire management programs.
Climate change is global in scope and scale; however, its impacts are sometimes most visible in remote locations of the planet. Like climate change itself, migratory animals such as caribou do not recognize international geo-political borders and the research needed to study the relationship between climate change and animals crosses many countries.
The potential changes in caribou distribution will affect communities that have a cultural and nutritional reliance on caribou. Arctic Village, Alaska and Old Crow Yukon Territory, are within the traditional boreal forest winter range of the Porcupine herd, while hunters from the Alaskan villages of Fort Yukon, Venetie and Chalkyitsik, travel north each year to harvest animals from this herd.
“Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra habitats compared to spruce habitats and given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra,” said Dr. Todd Brinkman a co-author of the study and member of the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Future work by the USGS and collaborators will examine how fire-driven changes to winter habitat and temperature-driven changes to spring and summer forages will influence the habitats of caribou across the Alaskan Arctic.
This work is part of the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative.Simulation domain and winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds, Alaska and Yukon. (High resolution image)
Insecticides similar to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, were found commonly in streams throughout the Midwest, according to a new USGS study. This is the first broad-scale investigation of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Midwestern United States and one of the first conducted within the United States.
Effective in killing a broad range of insect pests, use of neonicotinoid insecticides has dramatically increased over the last decade across the United States, particularly in the Midwest. The use of clothianidin, one of the chemicals studied, on corn in Iowa alone has almost doubled between 2011 and 2013.
“Neonicotinoid insecticides are receiving increased attention by scientists as we explore the possible links between pesticides, nutrition, infectious disease, and other stress factors in the environment possibly associated with honeybee dieoffs.” said USGS scientist Kathryn Kuivila, the research team leader.
Neonicotinoid insecticides dissolve easily in water, but do not break down quickly in the environment. This means they are likely to be transported away in runoff from the fields where they were first applied to nearby surface water and groundwater bodies.
In all, nine rivers and streams, including the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, were included in the study. The rivers studied drain most of Iowa, and parts of Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. These states have the highest use of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Nation, and the chemicals were found in all nine rivers and streams.
Of the three most often found chemicals, clothianidin was the most commonly detected, showing up in 75 percent of the sites and at the highest concentration. Thiamethoxam was found at 47 percent of the sites, and imidacloprid was found at 23 percent. Two, acetamiprid and dinotefuran, were only found once, and the sixth, thiacloprid, was never detected.
Instead of being sprayed on growing or full-grown crops, neonicotinoids can be applied to the seed before planting. The use of treated seeds in the United States has increased to the point where most corn and soybeans planted in the United States have a seed treatment (i.e., coating), many of which include neonicotinoid insecticides.
“We noticed higher levels of these insecticides after rain storms during crop planting, which is similar to the spring flushing of herbicides that has been documented in Midwestern U.S. rivers and streams,” said USGS scientist Michelle Hladik, the report’s lead author. “In fact, the insecticides also were detected prior to their first use during the growing season, which indicates that they can persist from applications in prior years.”
One of the chemicals, imidacloprid, is known to be toxic to aquatic organisms at 10-100 nanograms per liter if the aquatic organisms are exposed to it for an extended period of time. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam behave similarly to imidacloprid, and are therefore anticipated to have similar effect levels. Maximum concentrations of clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid measured in this study were 257, 185, and 42.7 nanograms per liter, respectively.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified all detected neonicotinoids as not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.
The paper, “Widespread occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams in a high corn and soybean producing region, USA” and has been published in Environmental Pollution. Learn more about the study and the long-term USGS effort to gather information on the environmental occurrence of new pesticides in different geographic, climatic, and use settings here. To learn more about USGS environmental health science, please visit the USGS Environmental Health website and sign up for our GeoHealth Newsletter.Locations of sites in Iowa sampled for neonicotinoids in 2013. Watersheds for the Mississippi River and Missouri River sites are shown in the inset.
Almost 10 months ago, heavy rains brought flooding, landslides and mudslides to several counties along Colorado’s Front Range. Since that time, nearly $449 million in grants, reimbursements, low-interest loans and insurance payments to individuals, businesses and communities has been approved by the State of Colorado, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).Language English
DENVER — Rebuilding after a disaster can present opportunities as well as challenges.
The challenges include getting the job done quickly and efficiently. The opportunities involve rebuilding stronger and better.
When it comes to repairing and rebuilding infrastructure damaged in last September’s floods, FEMA’s Stafford Act Section 406 can provide mitigation funds for risk-reduction improvements to roads, waterways, bridges, dams, buildings and other public structures already eligible for Public Assistance reimbursement.Language English
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 Washington.
Assistance for the State, Tribal and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
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 Washington to supplement state and local response efforts in the area affected by wildfires beginning on July 9, 2014, and continuing.Language English
Outdated and inconsistent elevation data cost lives and hinder prosperity across our Nation. Current and accurate 3D elevation data are essential to help communities cope with natural hazards, support infrastructure, ensure agricultural success, strengthen environmental decision making and bolster national security. Flood and landslide maps are just a few of the hundreds of applications benefiting from enhanced lidar data. A coordinated effort among Federal, State, local government and the private sector could meet our country’s needs for high-quality, 3D elevation data in just 8 years. Come learn how the USGS and its partners are working to assemble and apply better data to keep citizens safe and help America thrive.Speakers:
- Douglas Bausch – Region VIII Earthquake Program Manager and Senior Physical Scientist, Federal Emergency Management Agency
- John Dorman – Assistant State Emergency Management Director for Geospatial & Technology Management, North Carolina
- Jonathan Godt- Landslide Hazards Program Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey
Emcee: Kevin Gallagher – Associate Director for Core Science Systems, USGS
Where: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2325, Washington, D.C.
When: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 11:00 a.m.
Host: Refreshments provided courtesy of Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS)
High-resolution lidar image of Mount St. Helens, Washington.
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 Minnesota.
Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
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 Minnesota to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of June 11 to July 11, 2014.
JACKSON, Miss. – Rebuilding or repairing property damaged from the recent severe storms? Residents in Jackson and Ridgeland can get advice on building safer and stronger this week from Federal Emergency Management Agency specialists.
FEMA mitigation specialists will be at two Jackson-area Lowe’s locations to offer information on rebuilding after a disaster. The advisors can answer questions about protecting homes from future disaster-related damage and offer tips to build hazard-resistant homes.Language English
EATONTOWN, N.J. – When the NJ-Sandy Recovery Office moved from their previous facility in Lincroft to new office space in Eatontown last June, FEMA’s state partners moved their offices, too.
FEMA’s key partners in the state Office of Emergency Management work just down the hall from their FEMA colleagues in the new facility.
That proximity is a big plus when it comes to sharing expertise and working together to resolve any potential stumbling block.Language English
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Those affected by the spring storms and flooding will still be able to reach the Federal Emergency Management Agency for follow-up questions and will have access to other disaster services and resources after today’s registration deadline of July 21.Language English
Hartford, Conn. – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) announced a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that increases cooperation between FEMA and ARRL in the area of disaster communication. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, and ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, signed the agreement during the ARRL National Centennial Convention at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut.Language English
Seattle, WA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Watermelon Hill Fire, burning in Lincoln and Spokane County, Washington.
FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Watermelon Hill Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. Murphy approved the state’s request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on July 19, 2014 at 11:14 p.m. PDT.Language English
Seattle, WA - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Saddle Mountain Fire, burning in Kittitas County, Washington.
FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Saddle Mountain Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. Murphy approved the state’s request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on July 19, 2014 at 10:43 a.m. PDT.Language English
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Federal aid provided to Alabama residents affected by the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding has reached more than $40 million.
The following numbers, compiled July 17, provide a snapshot of the Alabama/FEMA disaster recovery to date:
Funds approved:Language English
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Some Alabamians saw their homes and cars destroyed by this spring’s tornadoes and floods while others saw their jobs or businesses demolished.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is helping put the state’s economy back on track, not only by providing financial assistance to families and state and local governments, but also by hiring Alabama residents to help with the recovery efforts and spending money in the local economy.Language English
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The backbreaking work accomplished by volunteers in Alabama following the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding seems to have occurred out of the clear blue sky.Language English
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The great majority of people registering with Federal Emergency Management Agency for help have genuine needs.
Unfortunately, the rush to get assistance by those affected by the Alabama tornadoes, severe storms and flooding of April 28 through May 5 also may present opportunities to defraud taxpayers.
Fraud increases the cost of recovery after a disaster and gives money to those without disaster-related losses, say emergency management officials.Language English