NEW YORK -- FEMA has approved more than $452 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Queens County.
To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 130 projects from applicants in Queens County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The $452,123,532 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.Language English
NEW YORK -- More than $2.2 billion in federal aid has been approved to reimburse state, local and tribal governments for Sandy-related response and recovery efforts to date in New York. This figure includes over $31 million for permanent work to protect against future disaster damage.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 disaster declaration issued for the State of Texas.
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 Texas to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding during the period of October 30-31, 2013.Language English
DENVER – In the 100 days following the catastrophic floods that hit much of Colorado, more than $204 million has gone to individuals and households in recovery assistance, flood insurance payments and low-interest disaster loans.Language English
WILLISTON, Vt. – As the Federal Emergency Management Agency wraps up its mission in Vermont, its personnel are trying to leave behind some holiday cheer for the state’s less fortunate children.
As part of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, staffers at FEMA’s Joint Field Office in Williston have collected new toys to be distributed on Christmas to area children.Language English
Springfield, Ill. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced the Rantoul Disaster Recovery Center at the Rantoul Recreation Building at 100 E. Flessner Ave. will close effective Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m.
After that date, survivors of the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes can still get information by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).Language English
By using the Earth's magnetic field, combined with new innovative technology, oil and gas drilling companies are increasing oilfield productivity while reducing development costs and environmental impacts.
An article in the fall 2013 issue of Oilfield Review highlights this technology and its applications across the world. It also discusses the public-private collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey and partners to successfully implement the technology.
These days, multiple reservoirs of oil and gas can be accessed from a single platform by drilling vertically and then horizontally. Drill operators need to know which way their drill bits are going to maximize oil production and avoid collisions with other wells. One way to accomplish this important task is to install a magnetometer—a sort of modern-day "compass"—in a drill-string instrument package that follows the drill bit.
The USGS plays a unique role by monitoring the geomagnetic field every single second at magnetic observatories throughout the country. Through a process called geomagnetic referencing, simultaneous measurements of the magnetic field in the drill hole are combined with those from magnetic observatories at the Earth’s surface to produce a highly accurate estimate of the drill bit position and direction.
The Earth's magnetic field changes all the time across the world as a result of factors like periodic daily tides or rapid magnetic storms that are related to the 11-year sunspot solar cycle. And at high latitudes, such as in northern Alaska or the North Sea, the geomagnetic field can be very active and can change dramatically during magnetic storms.
"Drill-bit positioning requires directional accuracy of a fraction of a degree, and this can be accomplished with advanced technology and expert understanding of the Earth's dynamic magnetic field," said Carol A. Finn, USGS Geomagnetism Group Leader. "USGS operational systems measure the magnetic field on a continuous basis. These data are provided as a service to research scientists, civilian and defense government agencies, and to customers in the private sector, including the oil and gas drilling industry."
The USGS Geomagnetism Program monitors variations in the Earth's magnetic field through a network of 14 ground-based observatories around the United States and its territories. There are many customers for geomagnetism data, since the variable conditions of space weather can interfere with radio communication, GPS systems, electric power grids, the operation and orientation of satellites, and even air travel as high altitude pilots and astronauts can be subjected to enhanced levels of radiation.
Internationally, the USGS magnetic observatory network is part of the global INTERMAGNET network. Domestically, the USGS Geomagnetism Program works cooperatively with government partners within the U.S. National Space Weather Program, including NOAA and the Air Force Weather Agency, and with private companies that are affected by space weather and geomagnetic activity.
Read the Oilfield Review article: Geomagnetic referencing - The real-time compass for directional drillers.
Watch a 7 minute video about the USGS Geomagnetism Program.
Read a USGS factsheet: Monitoring the Earth’s dynamic magnetic field.
Civilian volunteers are making significant additions to the U.S. Geological Survey's ability to provide accurate mapping information to the public. Using crowd-sourcing techniques, the USGS' Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) project known as The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) encourages citizen volunteers to collect manmade structures data in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative spatial map data for the National Geospatial Program’s web-based The National Map.
Structures being updated include schools, hospitals, post offices, police stations and other important public buildings.
Starting as a series of pilot projects in 2011, nearly 400 volunteers edited structures in the state of Colorado and contributed more than 6,800 edits. With approval to expand the project, the USGS began releasing the rest of the United States for editing in a phased approach in April 2013. By August of this year, volunteers were editing in every state in the country. To date, the numbers of volunteers has more than tripled, and the number of submitted edits has exceeded 25,000.The first available virtual badge, The Order of the Surveyor’s Chain, awarded to TNMCorps volunteers who collect more than 25 points. (High resolution image)
"The number of points contributed and edited by volunteers is incredible," said Kari Craun, the director of the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center. "Our challenge going forward will be to keep volunteers motivated and to make sure we have coverage in all areas of the United States. We think at least part of that motivation will come from letting volunteers -- and potential volunteers -- know how valuable the information they contribute is to the USGS and to the users of the data. So to all of those who have contributed, thank you for your time and energy!
To show appreciation of the volunteers' efforts, The National Map Corps has instituted a recognition program that awards "virtual" badges to volunteers. Each edit that is submitted is worth one point towards the badge level. The badges consist of a series of antique surveying instruments ranging from the Order of the Surveyor's Chain (25 – 50 points) to the Theodolite Assemblage (2000+ points). Additionally, volunteers are publically acknowledged (with permission) via Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Tools on TNMCorps web site explain how a volunteer can edit any area, regardless of their familiarity with the selected structures, and becoming a volunteer for TNMCorps is easy; go to The National Map Corps web site to learn more and to sign up as a volunteer. If you have access to the Internet and are willing to dedicate some time to editing map data, we hope you will consider participating.
Status map of the U.S. showing volunteer contributions after the first set of states were authorized, April 1 – June 18, 2013.(Larger image)
Status map of the U.S. showing the progression of volunteer contributions through all 50 states, April 1 - December 15, 2013.(Larger image)
Cortland, N.Y.— Brown trout introductions could hamper the conservation of declining native brook trout populations, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
Brook and brown trout are valuable sport fish that co-exist in many parts of the world due to stocking introductions. USGS researchers found that, in New York State, direct interactions between the two species, such as competition for food, have minor effects on diminishing brook trout populations compared to human-caused habitat disturbances. However, repeated, disproportionate stocking of brown trout in brook trout habitats could drastically decrease brook trout numbers.
"There is great potential for brown trout stocking to reduce native brook trout populations," said James McKenna, USGS scientist and lead author of the study. "But brown trout aren’t necessarily causing the current brook trout declines, and managers may be able to develop sustainable scenarios to support both fisheries."
The USGS study found that human-induced degradation (from dams and roads, among other causes) of the habitats of both species can affect the populations of either. However, because brook trout do better in forested watersheds, whereas brown trout can thrive in more agricultural environments, degraded watersheds and/or the elimination of forests may affect brook more than brown trout. Improper brown trout management could further threaten vulnerable brook trout populations.
Fisheries managers in New York use stocking to maintain brook trout—a native species—and/or brown trout—a non-native species stocked in New York for over 100 years—in some streams. Brook trout have been declining within its native range in recent decades, and there has been concern that the stocking of brown trout has caused these declines.
The report is published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management and is available online.
For more information on USGS Great Lakes ecosystem research, please visit the USGS Great Lakes Science Center website.
Interior Announces Funding for New Scientific Studies as Part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan
WASHINGTON, DC—Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s eight regional Climate Science Centers are awarding nearly $7 million to universities and other partners for research as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, move our economy toward clean energy sources and begin to prepare our communities for the impacts of climate change.
DENTON, Texas –– New flood maps for Caddo Parish, Louisiana will become effective five months from now, on Monday, May 19, 2014. Local and federal officials encourage everyone to view the maps to understand their flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance before then.Language English
Seventeen New Jersey Communities are Recognized for Reducing their Flood Risk through the Community Rating System
LINCROFT, N.J. -- Seventeen New Jersey municipalities will be recognized for reducing their flood hazard risk through the Community Rating System in awards ceremonies today and Wednesday, Dec. 18.Language English
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois residents will get the opportunity to assist with the state’s recovery from the Nov. 17 tornadoes while building their professional skills and drawing a paycheck. Temporary, full-time positions are available locally with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.Language English
BAYSHORE SEWERAGE AUTHORITY MITIGATION PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT
LINCROFT, N.J. -- The effect Superstorm Sandy had on the environment was greater than what could be seen with the naked eye. While flooding, storm surges and high winds felled trees, destroyed beaches and dunes, and left waterways filled with debris, the damage the storm did to man-made structures also impacted many already environmentally sensitive areas.Language English
A new resource about Fire Island, N.Y. is now at the fingertips of coastal managers, planners and the public that will be useful for understanding and predicting future change on the island.
The United States Geological Survey created the public website that details a decade's worth of research that focuses on changes to the beaches and dunes of the barrier island and understanding what affects their change.
Fire Island was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. More than a year later, the USGS continues to study the changes left behind in its devastating path and generating critical information to aid the recovery process and help communities become more resilient against future storms.
"The website is intended to provide our federal, state and local partners and stakeholders with an access point to the large body of science we have produced, including the findings of the research that has been conducted at Fire Island," said Cheryl Hapke, a USGS research geologist who is a principal investigator of the Fire Island Research.
In addition to understanding the impacts of the storm, USGS scientists are integrating analyses of short- and long-term coastal change to better understand what factors affect coastal shorelines and how geologic controls, sea-level rise and human activities contribute to their vulnerability. Results of the research at Fire Island are applicable to other barrier systems.
"Barrier islands are dynamic systems that also provide protection from future storms to the built environment," Hapke said. "A thorough understanding of the long-term and short-term evolution of barrier islands can lead to models that better predict future changes to the coastal system at Fire Island."
Fire Island is the longest of the barrier islands that lie along the south shore of Long Island, N.Y. The majority of the island is part of Fire Island National Seashore and is a unique and important recreational and ecosystem resource.
As a result of Hurricane Sandy, beaches and dunes on Fire Island lost more than half of their pre-storm volume. Field surveys conducted immediately after Sandy documented low, flat beaches and extensive dune erosion. Assessment of overwash deposits -- the material that was carried to the interior of the island -- indicates that most of the sand lost from the beaches and dunes during Hurricane Sandy was moved offshore or down the coast.
This website is one of several planned products to connect people with USGS research related to Hurricane Sandy recovery, restoration and rebuilding efforts, many of which are funded by Disaster Relief Appropriations Act 2013, also known as Sandy Supplemental.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois tornado survivors who registered for federal disaster assistance may receive letters from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that say they’re ineligible for help.
They can, however, turn what appears to be a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’.
Survivors can ask FEMA to review their application again if they appeal the agency’s decision within 60 days of receiving their letters.Language English
DENTON, Texas – More than $1.6 million has been awarded to Montgomery County, Texas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for debris and sediment removal accumulated after Hurricane Ike.
The $1,631,996 payment is in addition to more than $14 million already awarded to the county for debris removal. FEMA reimbursed 100 percent of eligible debris removal costs under the Agency’s Public Assistance (PA) program.Language English
DENVER – The last Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for the September Colorado severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides is closing permanently at 3 p.m., MST, Saturday, Dec. 21.
Premier Credit Union Building
5495 Arapahoe Ave.
Boulder, CO 80303
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., MSTLanguage English
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Anyone who had a car damaged or destroyed in counties affected by the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes may be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance.
Those who may be eligible include not just residents of the designated counties, but also those who were working or visiting in areas and had damage to their vehicle during the tornadoes.Language English