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Public Invited to Comment on Flood Maps for Plano, in Collin County Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 15:35

DENTON, Texas – After working together for months to create new preliminary flood maps, officials with the city of Plano and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now want to hear from the public.

Homeowners, renters and business owners in Plano, Texas are encouraged to look at the preliminary flood maps to understand where flood risks have been identified. Anyone who has comments or who would like to file an appeal has until August 25, 2015 to submit them.

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Categories: Federal News

Public Invited to Comment on Flood Maps for Orleans Parish in Louisiana

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 15:33

DENTON, Texas – After working together for months to create new preliminary flood maps, Orleans Parish and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials now want to hear from the public.

Homeowners, renters and business owners in Orleans Parish are encouraged to review the preliminary flood maps to understand where flood risks have been identified. Anyone who has comments or who would like to file an appeal has until August 6, 2015 to submit them.

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in San Marcos, Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 15:23

AUSTIN, Texas – A second State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is now open in Hays County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the ongoing severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

Specialists from the State of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the

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Categories: Federal News

Past Water Patterns Drive Present Wading Bird Numbers

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 14:59
Summary: Wading bird numbers in the Florida Everglades are driven by water patterns that play out over multiple years according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and Florida Atlantic University

Contact Information:

James Beerens ( Phone: 561-809-9793 ); Gabrielle Bodin ( Phone: 337-266-8655 ); Hannah Hamilton ( Phone: 703-648-4356 );



Wading bird numbers in the Florida Everglades are driven by water patterns that play out over multiple years according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and Florida Atlantic University. Previously, existing water conditions were seen as the primary driving factor affecting numbers of birds, but this research shows that the preceding years’ water conditions and availability are equally important.

“We’ve known for some time that changes in water levels trigger a significant response by wading birds in the Everglades,” said James Beerens, the study’s lead author and an ecologist at USGS.  “But what we discovered in this study is the importance of history. What happened last year can tell you what to expect this year.”

From 2000 to 2009, scientists examined foraging distribution and abundance data for wading bird populations, including Great Egrets, White Ibises, and threatened Wood Storks.  To do the research, they conducted reconnaissance flights across the Greater Everglades system, an area that includes Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. They found climate and water management conditions going as far back as three years influenced current bird population numbers and distribution.

“We know wading birds depend on small fish and invertebrates for food,” said Dale Gawlik, director of FAU’s Environmental Science Program and study coauthor. “What is interesting is the ‘lag effect’; wet conditions that build up invertebrate and fish numbers may not immediately result in increased bird numbers until after several more wet years.”

This new information has allowed scientists to improve existing wading bird distribution models providing a more accurate tool to estimate wading bird numbers under climate change scenarios and hydrological restoration scenarios proposed for the Everglades.

In the Everglades, food items such as small fish and crayfish are concentrated from across the landscape into pools as water levels recede throughout the dry season.  It does not always work that way anymore due to a lack of water and loss of habitat in Everglades marshes. This new research shows that under the right dry season conditions following a water pulse in previous years, wading bird food is even further concentrated in near-perfect water depths, setting off a boom in the numbers of young wading birds that add to the population.

Beerens and computer scientists from the USGS have also developed publically available software as an extension to this work that predicts wading bird numbers in the Everglades based on real-time, current conditions, in addition to historical settings. This new model allows managers to simulate the effect of various management strategies that can have an impact on future bird numbers. The number and distribution of wading birds serve as an important indicator of ecosystem health in the Everglades. Beerens further explained that “increased seasonal water availability in drier areas of the Everglades stimulates the entire ecosystem, as reflected in the wading birds.”

Altered water patterns resulting from land-use and water management changes have reduced wading bird numbers throughout the Everglades by about 90 percent since the turn of the 20th Century. This research shows that current management and use of water is equally important.

“Our findings also suggest that we can continue to improve the Everglades and its wading bird community by restoring water availability to areas that are over drained,” said Beerens. “There is increasing understanding that water availability and proper management make this entire ecological and economic engine work.”

Florida generates more than $3 billion in annual revenue from resident and nonresident wildlife watchers according to estimates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Of the 1.9 million people who view wildlife in Florida while ‘away-from-home’ each year, more than 1.3 million watch wading birds and other water-dependent birds.

The study, “Linking Dynamic Habitat Selection with Wading Bird Foraging Distributions across Resource Gradients,” was published in the journal PLOS ONE and can be found online.

STATE AND FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE TOPS $14 MILLION FOR RECENT OKLAHOMA STORMS

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 16:59

OKLAHOMA CITY – More than $14.3 million has been granted to Oklahomans, helping to rebuild the lives of families and businesses impacted by the recent storms.

Signs of recovery are becoming visible following the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding occurring May 5 through June 4. Since the May 26 major disaster declaration, state and federal disaster officials say residents continue to seek help.

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Categories: Federal News

STATE/FEMA RECOVERY CENTERS OPEN IN BECKHAM AND MARSHALL COUNTIES

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 16:41

OKLAHOMA CITY – Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) will open in Beckham and Marshall counties to help people in Oklahoma who were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4.

A DRC opens Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 7 a.m. in Beckham County at:

Old City Hall

120 South Jefferson Avenue

Elk City, OK 73644

Hours: Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Categories: Federal News

Second Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Harris County for Texas Flood Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 11:14

AUSTIN, Texas – A second State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is now open in Harris County for homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from May 4 to June 19.

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Categories: Federal News

Scientists Expect Slightly Below Average Chesapeake Bay 'Dead Zone' this Summer

USGS Newsroom - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 11:00
Summary: Scientists are expecting that this year’s Chesapeake Bay hypoxic low-oxygen zone, also called the “dead zone,” will be approximately 1.37 cubic miles – about the volume of 2.3 million Olympic-size swimming pools Low river flow and nutrient loading reason for smaller predicted size

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell, USGS ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Ben  Sherman, NOAA ( Phone: 202-253-5256 ); Jim  Erickson, UMich. ( Phone: 734-647-1842 );



Scientists are expecting that this year’s Chesapeake Bay hypoxic low-oxygen zone, also called the “dead zone,” will be approximately 1.37 cubic miles – about the volume of 2.3 million Olympic-size swimming pools. While still large, this is 10 percent lower than the long-term average as measured since 1950. 

The anoxic portion of the zone, which contains no oxygen at all, is predicted to be 0.27 cubic miles in early summer, growing to 0.28 cubic miles by late summer. Low river flow and low nutrient loading from the Susquehanna River this spring account for the smaller predicted size. 

This is the ninth year for the Bay outlook which, because of the shallow nature of large areas of the estuary, focuses on water volume or cubic miles, instead of square mileage as used in the Gulf of Mexico dead zone forecast announced last week. The history of hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay since 1985 can be found at EcoCheck, a website from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. 

The Bay’s hypoxic and anoxic zones are caused by excessive nutrient pollution, primarily from human activities such as agriculture and wastewater. The nutrients stimulate large algal blooms that deplete oxygen from the water as they decay. The low oxygen levels are insufficient to support most marine life and habitats in near-bottom waters and threaten the Bay’s production of crabs, oysters and other important fisheries. 

The Chesapeake Bay Program coordinates a multi-year effort to restore the water and habitat quality to enhance its productivity. The forecast and oxygen measurements taken during summer monitoring cruises are used to test and improve our understanding of how nutrients, hydrology, and other factors affect the size of the hypoxic zone. They are key to developing effective hypoxia reduction strategies. 

The predicted “dead zone” size is based on models that forecast three features of the zone to give a comprehensive view of expected conditions: midsummer volume of the low-oxygen hypoxic zone, early-summer oxygen-free anoxic zone, and late-summer oxygen-free anoxic zone. The models were developed by NOAA-sponsored researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the University of Michigan. They rely on nutrient loading estimates from the U. S. Geological Survey

"These ecological forecasts are good examples of the critical environmental intelligence products and tools that NOAA is providing to stakeholders and interagency management bodies such as the Chesapeake Bay Program," said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “With this information, we can work collectively on ways to reduce pollution and protect our marine environments for future generations.” 

The hypoxia forecast is based on the relationship between nutrient loading and oxygen. Aspects of weather, including wind speed, wind direction, precipitation and temperature also impact the size of dead zones. For example, in 2014, sustained winds from Hurricane Arthur mixed Chesapeake Bay waters, delivering oxygen to the bottom and dramatically reducing the size of the hypoxic zone to 0.58 cubic miles. 

"Tracking how nutrient levels are changing in streams, rivers, and groundwater and how the estuary is responding to these changes is critical information for evaluating overall progress in improving the health of the Bay,” said William Werkheiser, USGS associate director for water. "Local, state and regional partners rely on this tracking data to inform their adaptive management strategies in Bay watersheds." 

The USGS provides the nutrient runoff and river stream data that are used in the forecast models. USGS estimates that 58 million pounds of nitrogen were transported to the Chesapeake Bay from January to May 2015, which is 29 percent below average conditions. The Chesapeake data are funded through a cooperative agreement between USGS and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. USGS operates more than 400 real-time stream gages and collects water quality data at numerous long-term stations throughout the Chesapeake Bay basin to track how nutrient loads are changing over time. 

"Forecasting how a major coastal ecosystem, the Chesapeake Bay, responds to decreasing nutrient pollution is a challenge due to year-to-year variations and natural lags," said Dr. Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, "But we are heading in the right direction."  

Later this year researchers will measure oxygen levels in the Chesapeake Bay. The final measurement in the Chesapeake will come in October following surveys by the Chesapeake Bay Program's partners from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Bimonthly monitoring cruise updates on Maryland Bay oxygen levels can be found on DNR’s Eyes on the Bay website.

DNREC issues Secretary’s Order to Norfolk Southern Railway Co., regarding contamination at 12th Street dump site in Wilmington

DNREC News - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 08:54
DOVER (June 23, 2015) – DNREC Secretary David Small has issued a Secretary’s Order to Norfolk Southern Railway Co., a/k/a Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC), for non-compliance with Delaware’s laws and regulations governing the Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act (HSCA).

DNREC highlights Delaware’s new mosquito spray notification system during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

DNREC News - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 14:22
DOVER (June 22, 2015) – In observance of the 19th annual National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 21-27), DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Mosquito Control Section is highlighting the state’s new spray notification system while encouraging Delawareans to take precautions to avoid or reduce mosquito bites by putting particular emphasis on eliminating backyard mosquito-producing habitat.

Division of Fish & Wildlife upgrades continue at Rosedale Beach boat ramp to install floating dock; intermittent closures expected

DNREC News - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 11:54
DOVER (June 22, 2015) – DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife announced today that upgrades and an associated construction schedule at the Rosedale Beach Boat Ramp near Millsboro have been extended to July 1

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: June 8-14

DNREC News - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 10:15
DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between June 8-14 made 1,457 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 273 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 54 complaints and issued 27 citations,

Mobile Registration Intake Center to Open in Navarro County for Texas Flood Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 06/20/2015 - 14:39

AUSTIN, Texas – A Mobile Registration Intake Center (MRIC) will open in Corsicana, Texas, on Monday, June 22,  at 9 a.m. to serve homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the May 4-June 19 severe storms and flooding.

Specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are there to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available to survivors.

Location and dates of operation

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Categories: Federal News

DNREC-sponsored Reclaim Our River Nanticoke Series offers Eco Paddle and BBQ June 27 in Laurel

DNREC News - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 17:08
LAUREL (June 19, 2015) – The tranquil waters of Riverfront Park in Laurel will be the setting Saturday, June 27 for the second-annual Eco Paddle canoe and kayak exploration and education float trip on the Nanticoke River. The outing – originally scheduled for Phillips Landing, also in Laurel – was relocated to Riverfront Park because of a venue date conflict.

FEMA, SBA may offer help with privately owned roads

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 16:51

OKLAHOMA CITY – The recent severe storms, floods, straight-line winds and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4 damaged public and private roads and bridges.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to help when repairing privately owned access roads and bridges.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program could cover the expenses of repairing privately owned access roads if the following criteria are met:

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Categories: Federal News

STATE/FEMA RECOVERY CENTERS OPEN IN BRYAN AND MCCLAIN COUNTIES

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 16:41

OKLAHOMA CITY – Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) open in Bryan and McClain counties to help people in Oklahoma who were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4.

A DRC opens Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 7 a.m. in Bryan County at:

Durant Middle School

802 West Walnut Street

Durant, OK 74701

Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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Categories: Federal News

Gov. Markell proclaims June 20 “American Eagle Day” as Delaware celebrates symbol of freedom and wildlife restoration success story

DNREC News - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 15:51
DOVER (June 19, 2015) – Governor Jack Markell has proclaimed Saturday, June 20, as “American Eagle Day” in Delaware, concurrent with a national day of celebrating the bald eagle as emblematic of American freedom and independence, and for its dramatic recovery starting in the late 20th century from the brink of extinction.

USGS Releases New Estimate of Copper Potential for Northeast Asia

USGS Newsroom Technical - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 12:23
Summary: Significant amounts of undiscovered copper may be present in northeast Asia according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report

Contact Information:

Mark Mihalasky ( Phone: 509-368-3118 ); Leslie  Gordon ( Phone: 650-329-4006 );



SPOKANE, Wash. — Significant amounts of undiscovered copper may be present in northeast Asia according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. USGS scientists evaluated the potential for copper in undiscovered porphyry copper deposits in Russia and northeastern China as part of a global mineral resource assessment. The estimate of undiscovered copper is about 260 million metric tons, which is nearly 30 times the amount of copper identified in the two known porphyry deposits in northeast Asia.

Porphyry copper deposits are the main source of copper globally. Russia is an important source of copper, consistently ranking as sixth, seventh, or eighth in world production since 2000, and ranked seventh in 2014. The study area includes only two known porphyry copper deposits: 1), the world class Peschanka deposit in the Kolyma area of interior northeastern Russia that contains more than 7 million metric tons of identified copper resources, and 2), the Lora deposit in the Magadan area along the Pacific margin of Russia with about 1 million metric tons of identified copper.

Five mineral resource assessment regions with geology known to be conducive to hosting porphyry-type deposits (known as permissive tracts) are delineated in the new report. The largest tract evaluated, the Pacific Margin, extends across the entire Pacific Ocean margin of Russia (inboard of the Kamchatka Peninsula), and in addition to the known Lora deposit, contains 53 significant porphyry copper prospects, including the recently discovered Malmyzh prospect in the western Sikhote-Alin region of southeastern Russia, and at least 50 other smaller copper prospects. The geologically youngest tract, the Kamchatka-Kuril, extends from the mainland area of the Kamchatka Peninsula through the Kuril island chain, and encompasses 10 significant porphyry copper prospects, in addition to at least 17 other copper occurrences. The Pacific Margin tract is similar in tectonic setting, dimensions, geologic ages, and rock types to the rocks in the North American Cordillera that host numerous world-class porphyry copper deposits.

The Kolyma tract, located in the interior regions of northeast Russia, contains the known Peschanka deposit, and hosts five significant porphyry copper prospects and at least 19 other copper occurrences. The Chukotka tract, extending along the Arctic Ocean margin of northeasternmost Russia, is extremely remote, not well explored, and best known for hosting deposit types other than porphyry copper, such as mercury and tin-tungsten deposits. The geologically oldest region, the Kedon tract, a small region located in the interior of northeast Russia, is deeply eroded and metamorphosed and hosts few porphyry copper prospects compared with most of the geologically younger regions evaluated.

The full report, USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5090-W, “Porphyry Copper Assessment of Northeast Asia—Far East Russia and Northeasternmost China,” is available online and includes a summary of the data used in the assessment, a brief overview of the geologic framework of the area, descriptions of the mineral resource assessment tracts and known deposits, maps, and tables. A GIS database that accompanies this report includes the tract boundaries and known porphyry copper deposits, significant prospects, and other prospects. Assessments of adjacent areas are included in separate reports, which are also available online.

This report is part of a cooperative international effort to assess the world’s undiscovered mineral resources. In response to the growing demand for information on the global mineral-resource base, the USGS conducts national and global assessments of renewable and nonrenewable resources to support decision making. Mineral resource assessments provide a synthesis of available information about where mineral deposits are known and suspected to occur in the Earth’s crust, what commodities may be present, and how much undiscovered resource could be present.

After the Disaster: Replacing Lost or Damaged Documents

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 10:16

Disasters such as floods and tornadoes commonly result in the loss of important documents, but Texans who lost official and important papers have ways to replace them:

SNAP Card (Food Stamps):
Phone: 800-777-7328
Website: https://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/providers/LoneStar/EBT/EBThowto.html

Language English
Categories: Federal News

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police investigating apparent Sussex County drowning

DNREC News - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 10:09
BETHANY BEACH (June 10, 2015) – DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police are investigating the apparent drowning Tuesday afternoon of an 86-year-old Rehoboth Beach man who fell overboard while working on his docked boat at the South Shore Marina on the Indian River.