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Waterfowl hunting seasons reopen Nov 24 through 29

DNREC News - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:19
DOVER (Nov. 18, 2014) – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds waterfowlers that the next seasonal segment for hunting migratory ducks and Canada geese runs from Monday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Nov. 29.

Disaster Assistance Exceeds $12 Million for South Napa Earthquake

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 21:18

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – State and federal disaster assistance now totals $12.1 million for those affected by the South Napa Earthquake. The current total includes $5.6 million in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), as well as $6.5 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

A recap of the disaster recovery operation by the numbers, as of Nov. 16:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

New DNREC Emergency Response Team video details work of department’s first responders

DNREC News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 18:08
DOVER (Nov. 17, 2014) – A new video on DNREC’s YouTube Channel features the department’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), DNREC’s first responders for releases of hazardous materials and for environmental emergencies.

Shotgun deer season opens clear and cold, and with success for many hunters

DNREC News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 12:34
DOVER (Nov. 14, 2014) – After a night of rain and snow to the north, Friday’s opening day of Delaware’s shotgun deer season dawned cold and dry under clearing skies, drawing hopeful deer hunters from all over the state and from neighboring states as well.

Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Population Declined in the 2000s

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 12:00
Summary: In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent

Contact Information:

Paul Laustsen ( Phone: 650-329-4046 ); Yvette  Gillies ( Phone: 907-786-7039 );



ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent.  

The scientists, led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, found that survival of adult bears and cubs was especially low from 2004 to 2006, when most of the decline occurred. 

“Of the 80 cubs observed in Alaska from 2004 to 2007, only 2 are known to have survived,” said Jeff Bromaghin, USGS research statistician and lead author of the study. 

Survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and the population stabilized at approximately 900 bears in 2010, the last year of the study. However, the survival of juvenile bears declined throughout the 10-year study period (2001-2010), suggesting that conditions remained unfavorable for young bears newly separated from their mothers.

Scientists suspect that limited access to seals during both summer and winter contributed to low survival during this period. Although some bears in this population now come onshore during the autumn open water period, most stay with the sea ice as it retreats north into the Arctic Basin and far from shore where few seals are thought to occur. Similarly, the thinning and increasingly mobile winter ice is susceptible to breaking up and rafting, which can create rough and jumbled ice conditions that may make it harder for polar bears to capture seals. However, other potential causes, such as low seal abundance, could not be ruled out. 

“The low survival may have been caused by a combination of factors that could be difficult to unravel,” said Bromaghin, “and why survival improved at the end of the study is unknown. Research and monitoring to better understand the factors influencing this population continue.”

The Polar Bear Specialists’ Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature will use the new estimate for the southern Beaufort Sea population to track historic (within the last 25 years) and current (within the last 12 years) trends in the 19 populations worldwide. Currently, four populations, including the southern Beaufort Sea population, are considered to be declining, five are stable, one is increasing, with the remainder considered to be data deficient.

Collaborators with USGS in the study included Environment Canada, University of Alberta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Polar Bears International, and Western Ecosystems Technology.

The polar bear was listed as globally threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008 due to concerns about the effects of sea ice loss on their populations. 

The paper “Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline” was published today in early online view in the journal Ecological Applications.

 

For further information:

Learn more about USGS Quantitative Ecology program that originated this study, then visit the USGS Polar Bear program website. The USGS conducts this work under its Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative

Summary of polar bear population status per 2013 from the Polar Bear Specialists Group.

Multimedia

Find more polar bear photos in the USGS multimedia gallery.

Check out our polar bear POV video in the USGS multimedia gallery. 

Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Population Declined in the 2000s

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 12:00
Summary: In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent

Contact Information:

Paul Laustsen ( Phone: 650-329-4046 ); Yvette  Gillies ( Phone: 907-786-7039 );



ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent.  

The scientists, led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, found that survival of adult bears and cubs was especially low from 2004 to 2006, when most of the decline occurred. 

“Of the 80 cubs observed in Alaska from 2004 to 2007, only 2 are known to have survived,” said Jeff Bromaghin, USGS research statistician and lead author of the study. 

Survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and the population stabilized at approximately 900 bears in 2010, the last year of the study. However, the survival of juvenile bears declined throughout the 10-year study period (2001-2010), suggesting that conditions remained unfavorable for young bears newly separated from their mothers.

Scientists suspect that limited access to seals during both summer and winter contributed to low survival during this period. Although some bears in this population now come onshore during the autumn open water period, most stay with the sea ice as it retreats north into the Arctic Basin and far from shore where few seals are thought to occur. Similarly, the thinning and increasingly mobile winter ice is susceptible to breaking up and rafting, which can create rough and jumbled ice conditions that may make it harder for polar bears to capture seals. However, other potential causes, such as low seal abundance, could not be ruled out. 

“The low survival may have been caused by a combination of factors that could be difficult to unravel,” said Bromaghin, “and why survival improved at the end of the study is unknown. Research and monitoring to better understand the factors influencing this population continue.”

The Polar Bear Specialists’ Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature will use the new estimate for the southern Beaufort Sea population to track historic (within the last 25 years) and current (within the last 12 years) trends in the 19 populations worldwide. Currently, four populations, including the southern Beaufort Sea population, are considered to be declining, five are stable, one is increasing, with the remainder considered to be data deficient.

Collaborators with USGS in the study included Environment Canada, University of Alberta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Polar Bears International, and Western Ecosystems Technology.

The polar bear was listed as globally threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008 due to concerns about the effects of sea ice loss on their populations. 

The paper “Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline” was published today in early online view in the journal Ecological Applications.

 

For further information:

Learn more about USGS Quantitative Ecology program that originated this study, then visit the USGS Polar Bear program website. The USGS conducts this work under its Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative

Summary of polar bear population status per 2013 from the Polar Bear Specialists Group.

Multimedia

Find more polar bear photos in the USGS multimedia gallery.

Check out our polar bear POV video in the USGS multimedia gallery. 

USGS Assesses Current Groundwater-Quality Conditions in the Williston Basin Oil Production Area

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 10:00
Summary: Energy development in the Williston Basin oil production area of Montana and North Dakota, which includes the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, has not affected shallow groundwater quality, according to a recently published study in the journal Groundwater

Contact Information:

Heidi  Koontz ( Phone: 303-202-4763 ); Rod  Caldwell ( Phone: 406-457-5933 ); Joel Galloway ( Phone: 701-250-7402 );



USGS scientist prepares to sample a domestic well in the Bakken Formation oil and gas production area of North Dakota. (High resolution image)

Energy development in the Williston Basin oil production area of Montana and North Dakota, which includes the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, has not affected shallow groundwater quality, according to a recently published study in the journal Groundwater. The paper is based on water samples collected by U.S. Geological Survey scientists from 30 randomly distributed, non-federal domestic wells screened in the upper Fort Union Formation. 

The study compared concentrations of several chemicals to health-based drinking-water standards, analyzed correlations between concentrations and oil and gas well locations and evaluated methane for indications of deep production-zone gases. 

“These results are good news for water users, and the data provide a valuable baseline against which future water-quality data can be compared,” said Peter McMahon, a USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study. “However, it is important to consider these results in the context of groundwater age.” 

Most of the sampled water was more than 1,000 years old based on carbon-14 dating and predates oil and gas development in the study area. Results suggest that shallower wells screened at the water table would be better suited for detecting contamination associated with recent surface spills than the domestic wells sampled by this study. 

Old groundwater could be directly contaminated by recent subsurface leaks from improperly cemented oil and gas wells, but groundwater velocities calculated from carbon-14 ages indicated that the contaminants, if present in groundwater, would not have moved far from their source. 

“The groundwater age results indicate that a long-term commitment to monitoring is needed to assess the effects of energy development on groundwater quality in the Williston Basin production area,” said McMahon. 

The study was the first comprehensive regional assessment of shallow groundwater quality and age in the Williston Basin production area. Inclusion of groundwater-age measurements in assessing the effects of energy development on groundwater quality is a new approach that provides valuable context for water-quality data and can lead to more effective monitoring programs.

This report is a product of the USGS Groundwater Resources Program that provides scientific information and develops interdisciplinary understanding necessary to assess and quantify the availability of the nation’s groundwater resources. Program priorities include conducting regional and national overviews, scientific assessments of critical groundwater issues, field methods and model development and improved access to fundamental groundwater data.

USGS Assesses Current Groundwater-Quality Conditions in the Williston Basin Oil Production Area

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 10:00
Summary: Energy development in the Williston Basin oil production area of Montana and North Dakota, which includes the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, has not affected shallow groundwater quality, according to a recently published study in the journal Groundwater

Contact Information:

Heidi  Koontz ( Phone: 303-202-4763 ); Rod  Caldwell ( Phone: 406-457-5933 ); Joel Galloway ( Phone: 701-250-7402 );



USGS scientist prepares to sample a domestic well in the Bakken Formation oil and gas production area of North Dakota. (High resolution image)

Energy development in the Williston Basin oil production area of Montana and North Dakota, which includes the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, has not affected shallow groundwater quality, according to a recently published study in the journal Groundwater. The paper is based on water samples collected by U.S. Geological Survey scientists from 30 randomly distributed, non-federal domestic wells screened in the upper Fort Union Formation. 

The study compared concentrations of several chemicals to health-based drinking-water standards, analyzed correlations between concentrations and oil and gas well locations and evaluated methane for indications of deep production-zone gases. 

“These results are good news for water users, and the data provide a valuable baseline against which future water-quality data can be compared,” said Peter McMahon, a USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study. “However, it is important to consider these results in the context of groundwater age.” 

Most of the sampled water was more than 1,000 years old based on carbon-14 dating and predates oil and gas development in the study area. Results suggest that shallower wells screened at the water table would be better suited for detecting contamination associated with recent surface spills than the domestic wells sampled by this study. 

Old groundwater could be directly contaminated by recent subsurface leaks from improperly cemented oil and gas wells, but groundwater velocities calculated from carbon-14 ages indicated that the contaminants, if present in groundwater, would not have moved far from their source. 

“The groundwater age results indicate that a long-term commitment to monitoring is needed to assess the effects of energy development on groundwater quality in the Williston Basin production area,” said McMahon. 

The study was the first comprehensive regional assessment of shallow groundwater quality and age in the Williston Basin production area. Inclusion of groundwater-age measurements in assessing the effects of energy development on groundwater quality is a new approach that provides valuable context for water-quality data and can lead to more effective monitoring programs.

This report is a product of the USGS Groundwater Resources Program that provides scientific information and develops interdisciplinary understanding necessary to assess and quantify the availability of the nation’s groundwater resources. Program priorities include conducting regional and national overviews, scientific assessments of critical groundwater issues, field methods and model development and improved access to fundamental groundwater data.

Disaster Recovery Centers Announce New Hours of Operation

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 15:38

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – State and federal officials announced a change of hours for the disaster recovery centers, which serve individuals affected by the South Napa Earthquake. Since Oct. 31, nearly 1,100 people have visited the centers:

Napa Earthquake Local Assistance Center
301 1st Street, Napa, CA 94559

Solano County Disaster Recovery Center
1155 Capitol Street, Vallejo, CA 94590

Language English
Categories: Federal News

FEMA Continues to Inspect Quake-Damaged Homes

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 15:32

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspectors have completed more than 2,000 inspections of homes damaged or destroyed by the South Napa Earthquake. Homeowners and renters in Napa and Solano counties became eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance on Oct. 27 following the presidential declaration for Individual Assistance. FEMA must verify damages for every application.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Blotter Nov 4 to 10

DNREC News - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 17:27
DOVER (Nov. 14, 2014) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Nov. 4-10 made 563 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 57 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents issued 238 citatations.

FEMA Awards $454,808 Grant to Vernon County: Hazard mitigation funds will be used to acquire and demolish seven flood prone structures

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 17:18

CHICAGO –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $454,808 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Vernon County, Wis., for the acquisition and demolition of seven residential structures in the floodplain. Following demolition, these properties located in the Town of Webster and Town of Christiana will be maintained as permanent open space in the community.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

FEMA Awards $2,889,864 Grant to Village of Lisle: Hazard mitigation funds will be used to acquire and demolish 13 flood prone structures and elevate six structures

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:46

CHICAGO –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $2,889,864 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to the village of Lisle, Ill., for the acquisition and demolition of 13 residential structures in the floodplain. In addition, six structures will be elevated three feet above the base flood elevation along the east branch of the DuPage River.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

FEMA Awards $2,999,992 Grant to the Village of Glenview: Hazard mitigation funds will be used to acquire and demolish 16 flood prone structures

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:09

CHICAGO –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $2,999,992 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to the village of Glenview, Ill., for the acquisition and demolition of 16 residential structures in the Chicago River floodplain. Following demolition, these properties will be maintained as permanent open space in the community.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Commercial waterman charged with more than 200 commercial shellfish violations

DNREC News - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 17:46
DOVER (Nov. 13, 2014) – Following an investigation, DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers on Nov. 1 arrested a commercial waterman and charged him with 224 commercial shellfish violations, many of which involved horseshoe crabs, on the Delaware Bay.

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife seeks reports from public to bolster annual statewide bald eagle survey

DNREC News - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 16:14
DOVER (Nov. 13, 2014) – Each year, the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife conducts a statewide aerial survey to monitor Delaware’s bald eagle population. By conducting surveys from February through May, wildlife biologists identify resident bald eagle territories and examine them for active nesting and productivity. As in recent years, the Division is again requesting that Delawareans report bald eagle sightings to help identify new nests and to give better focus to these aerial surveys.

FEMA registration deadline Monday, November 24

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 15:49

Warren, Mich. – Disaster survivors in Southeast Michigan have until Monday Nov. 24, to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and return their disaster loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Survivors who have delayed registration for any reason should apply for potential assistance that could include:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement investigating boat sinking in Indian River Inlet

DNREC News - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 15:20
DOVER (Nov. 12, 2014) – DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers are investigating a boating accident which occurred Monday evening, Nov. 10 in the Indian River Inlet, in which a large sportfishing boat sank.