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President Declares Disaster for Nevada

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 19:42

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 Nevada to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding during the period of September 7-9, 2014.

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Categories: Federal News

Who Will Come to Your Bird Feeder in 2075?

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 14:06
Summary: The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.

Contact Information:

Marisa Lubeck ( Phone: 303-526-6694 );



The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.

A new U.S. Geological Survey study predicts where 50 bird species will breed, feed and live in the conterminous U.S. by 2075. While some types of birds, like the Baird’s sparrow, will likely lose a significant amount of their current U.S. range, other ranges could nearly double. Human activity will drive many of these shifts. The study was published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

"Habitat loss is a strong predictor of bird extinction at local and regional scales," said Terry Sohl, a USGS scientist and the author of the report. "Shifts in species’ ranges over the next several decades will be more dramatic for some bird species than others."      

Climate change will cause average temperatures to change by three degrees to seven degrees Fahrenheit by 2075, depending upon scenario and location within the conterminous U.S. Temperature increases will drive breeding ranges for many species to the north. Precipitation will increase in some regions and decline in others, resulting in substantial impacts on local and regional habitat.

Habitats for birds currently breeding in the far southern U.S., such as the desert-dwelling Gambel’s quail and cactus wren, will expand greatly by 2075 in the conterminous U.S. as a warming climate moves the overall range to the north. The chestnut-collared longspur, sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge could all lose over 25 percent of their suitable breeding range in the northern U.S. as climate becomes more suitable in Canada for these species. The Baird’s sparrow may lose almost all of its current U.S. range.

Landscape changes resulting largely from human activity, including land use and land cover changes, will also significantly affect future U.S. bird distributions. The effects of landscape change will be more scattered, with very high loss of habitat at local and regional scales. 

"Changing landscape patterns such as deforestation and urban growth are likely to have at least as large of an impact on future bird ranges as climate change for many species," Sohl said.

The new study used climate and landscape data to create and compare U.S. distribution maps of 50 bird species in 2001 and 2075. The maps for each species are available online.

The species that will either gain or lose more than 20 percent of their conterminous U.S. ranges as compared to 2001 are:

  • Gambel’s quail: 61.8 percent gain
  • Cactus wren: 54.1 percent gain
  • Scissor-tailed flycatcher: 46.4 percent gain
  • Gray vireo: 44.9 percent gain
  • Painted bunting: 38.5 percent gain
  • Anna’s hummingbird: 27.2 percent gain
  • Black-capped chickadee: 21 percent loss
  • Ferruginous hawk: 21.2 percent loss
  • Sora: 22.8 percent loss
  • Northern harrier: 24.7 percent loss
  • Bobolink: 24.9 percent loss
  • Short-eared owl: 26.2 percent loss
  • Vesper sparrow: 26.4 percent loss
  • Savannah sparrow: 27.2 percent loss
  • Sedge wren: 29 percent loss
  • Gray partridge: 35.6 percent loss
  • Sharp-tailed grouse: 44.8 percent loss
  • Chestnut-collared longspur: 54.1 percent loss
  • Baird’s sparrow: 90.8 percent loss

For more information on species distribution modeling, please visit the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center website.

FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NOW AVAILABLE TO HELP BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII RECOVER FROM KILAUEA VOLCANO ERUPTION AND PU‘U ‘Ō‘Ō LAVA FLOW

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 12:10

FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NOW AVAILABLE TO HELP BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII RECOVER FROM KILAUEA VOLCANO ERUPTION AND Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow

HONOLULU – President Barack Obama’s disaster declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make its Public Assistance program available to reimburse eligible emergency protective actions taken by the state, county and certain private non-profits (PNP) to save lives and protect public health and safety from the impact of the Kilauea Volcano eruption and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow.

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Categories: Federal News

Sussex property owners invited to sign up for free stormwater pond maintenance workshop on Nov 12

DNREC News - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:27
GEORGETOWN (Nov. 5, 2014) - Sussex County property owners who want to learn more about how to maintain stormwater ponds are invited by the Sussex Conservation District to attend a free workshop on Wednesday evening, Nov. 12. The workshop will begin with registration at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. at the Millsboro Fire Hall, 109 East State Street, Millsboro, DE 19966.

FIRC, Local Organizations Team Up On Long-Term Recovery Efforts

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:09

EATONTOWN, N.J. – The process of recovering from a disaster begins almost as soon as the threat has passed and responders have arrived. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people will need help immediately as well as for the foreseeable future. Non-governmental volunteer groups, churches and faith-based organizations are often among the first to step in and help, but also have limited resources to sustain their presence.

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Categories: Federal News

Flood Risk Open House to View Maps in Aransas and San Patricio, TX

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 09:55

DENTON, Texas –Homeowners, renters and business owners in the Texas counties of Aransas and San Patricio are encouraged to look over newly released preliminary flood maps in order to determine their flood risks and make informed decisions.

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Categories: Federal News

DNREC’s Polly Drummond Hill Road Yard Waste Site to close Nov. 18-20 for entrance road upgrade

DNREC News - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 09:20
DOVER (Nov. 5, 2014) – The DNREC yard waste site located on Polly Drummond Hill Road in Newark (in the White Clay Creek State Park, across from the Judge Morris Estate) will be closed from Tuesday, Nov. 18 through Thursday, Nov. 20 for an upgrading of the site’s entrance road.

National Water-Use at Lowest Levels since before 1970

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 09:16
Summary: Water use across the country reached its lowest recorded level in nearly 45 years. According to a new USGS report, about 355 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the entire United States during 2010.

Contact Information:

Ethan Alpern ( Phone: 703-648-4406 );



Water use across the country reached its lowest recorded level in nearly 45 years. According to a new USGS report, about 355 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the entire United States during 2010.

This represents a 13 percent reduction of water use from 2005 when about 410 Bgal/d were withdrawn and the lowest level since before 1970.

“Reaching this 45-year low shows the positive trends in conservation that stem from improvements in water-use technologies and management,” said Mike Connor, deputy secretary of the Interior.  “Even as the U.S. population continues to grow, people are learning to be more water conscious and do their part to help sustain the limited freshwater resources in the country.”


Total water withdrawals by State and barchart showing categories by State from west to east, 2010.(Larger image)

In 2010, more than 50 percent of the total withdrawals in the United States were accounted for by 12 states in order of withdrawal amounts: California, Texas, Idaho, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, New York, Alabama and Ohio.

California accounted for 11 percent of the total withdrawals for all categories and 10 percent of total freshwater withdrawals for all categories nationwide. Texas accounted for about 7 percent of total withdrawals for all categories, predominantly for thermoelectric power, irrigation and public supply.

Florida had the largest saline withdrawals, accounting for 18 percent of the total in the country, mostly saline surface-water withdrawals for thermoelectric power. Oklahoma and Texas accounted for about 70 percent of the total saline groundwater withdrawals in the United States, mostly for mining.

“Since 1950, the USGS has tracked the national water-use statistics,” said Suzette Kimball, acting USGS director. “By providing data down to the county level, we are able to ensure that water resource managers across the nation have the information necessary to make strong water-use and conservation decisions.”

Trends in total water withdrawals by water-use category, 1950–2010.(Larger image)

Water withdrawn for thermoelectric power was the largest use nationally, with the other leading uses being irrigation, public supply and self-supplied industrial water, respectively. Withdrawals declined in each of these categories. Collectively, all of these uses represented 94 percent of total withdrawals from 2005-2010.

  • Thermoelectric power declined 20 percent, the largest percent decline.
  • Irrigation withdrawals (all freshwater) declined 9 percent.
  • Public-supply withdrawals declined 5 percent.

Self-supplied industrial withdrawals declined 12 percent. 

A number of factors can be attributed to the 20 percent decline in thermoelectric-power withdrawals, including an increase in the number of power plants built or converted since the 1970’s that use more efficient cooling-system technologies, declines in withdrawals to protect aquatic habitat and environments, power plant closures and a decline in the use of coal to fuel power plants.

"Irrigation withdrawals in the United States continued to decline since 2005, and more croplands were reported as using higher-efficiency irrigation systems in 2010,” said Molly Maupin, USGS hydrologist. “Shifts toward more sprinkler and micro-irrigation systems nationally and declining withdrawals in the West have contributed to a drop in the national average application rate from 2.32 acre-feet per acre in 2005 to 2.07 acre-feet per acre in 2010."

For the first time, withdrawals for public water supply declined between 2005 and 2010, despite a 4 percent increase in the nation’s total population. The number of people served by public-supply systems continued to increase and the public-supply per capita use declined to 89 gallons per day in 2010 from 100 gallons per day in 2005.

Declines in industrial withdrawals can be attributed to factors such as greater efficiencies in industrial processes, more emphasis on water reuse and recycling, and the 2008 U.S. recession, resulting in lower industrial production in major water-using industries.

In a separate report, USGS estimated thermoelectric-power withdrawals and consumptive use for 2010, based on linked heat- and water-budget models that integrated power plant characteristics, cooling system types and data on heat flows into and out of 1,290 power plants in the United States. These data include the first national estimates of consumptive use for thermoelectric power since 1995, and the models offer a new approach for nationally consistent estimates.

In August, USGS released the 2010 water-use estimates for California in advance of the national report. The estimates showed that in 2010, Californians withdrew an estimated total of 38 Bgal/day, compared with 46 Bgal/day in 2005.  Surface water withdrawals in the state were down whereas groundwater withdrawals and freshwater withdrawals were up. Most freshwater withdrawals in California are for irrigation.

The USGS is the world’s largest provider of water data and the premier water research agency in the federal government. 

Disaster Recovery Partners in New Mexico use Social Media & Websites to Share Information

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 13:55
SANTA FE – Getting information about ongoing disaster recovery operations in New Mexico is as simple as following state and federal emergency management agencies on Twitter and/or visiting their websites.

The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (NM DHSEM) provides response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness information online at www.nmdhsem.org/. DHSEM is the state's homeland security and emergency management agency.

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Partners in New Mexico use Social Media & Websites to Share Information

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 13:51
  SANTA FE - Getting information about ongoing disaster recovery operations in New Mexico is as simple as following state and federal emergency   management agencies on Twitter and/or visiting their websites.

The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (NM DHSEM) provides response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness information online at www.nmdhsem.org/. DHSEM is the state's homeland security and emergency management agency.

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Categories: Federal News

Tracking the Nitrate Pulse to the Gulf of Mexico

USGS Newsroom Technical - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 11:36
Summary: A new USGS report describes how advanced optical sensor technology is being used in the Mississippi River basin to accurately track the nitrate pulse to the Gulf of Mexico.

Contact Information:

Ethan Alpern ( Phone: 703-648-4406 );



A new USGS report describes how advanced optical sensor technology is being used in the Mississippi River basin to accurately track the nitrate pulse to the Gulf of Mexico.

Excessive springtime nitrate runoff from agricultural land and other sources in the Mississippi drainage flows into the Mississippi River and downstream to the Gulf of Mexico. This excess nitrate contributes to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, an area with low oxygen known commonly as the "dead zone." NOAA-supported researchers reported that the summer 2014 dead zone covered about 5,052 square miles, an area the size of Connecticut.

The USGS is using the new sensor technology to collect nitrate concentration data every hour to improve the accuracy of nitrate load estimates to the Gulf of Mexico. The data can also be used to make it easier to detect changes in nitrate levels related to basin management and to track progress toward the goal of reducing the size of the dead zone.

“High frequency data from these sensors has revealed considerable variability in nitrate concentrations in small rivers and streams,” said Brian Pellerin, USGS researcher. “However, we were surprised to see nitrate concentrations vary by as much as 20 percent in a week in a river as large as the Mississippi River without similar changes in streamflows.”

These rapid changes are very easy to miss with traditional water-quality monitoring approaches. However, hourly information on nitrate levels improves the accuracy and reduces the uncertainty in estimating nitrate loads to the Gulf of Mexico, especially during drought and flood years.

This high frequency data also provides new insights into timing and magnitude of nitrate flushing from soils during wet and dry conditions. For instance, the high frequency data revealed high nitrate concentrations during the spring and early summer of both 2013 and 2014 following the drought of 2012.

Nitrate sensors on small streams and large rivers throughout the Mississippi River basin are improving our ability track where the pulses are coming from and forecast when they will arrive at the Gulf.

The USGS, in cooperation with numerous local, state, and other federal agencies, currently operates over 100 real-time nitrate sensors across the Nation. Real-time nitrate monitoring is supported by the USGS National Stream Quality Accounting NetworkCooperative Water Program, and the National Water-Quality Assessment Program.

The USGS also continuously monitors water levels and streamflows at thousands of the nation's streams on a real-time basis. These data are available at USGS Current Streamflow Conditions.

USGS and Canada Reach Confluence in Monitoring Streamflow

USGS Newsroom - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 07:56
Summary: In a joint effort, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Water Survey of Canada (WSC) have produced the North America WaterWatch (NAWW), an online website that displays streamflow conditions throughout much of North America. 

Contact Information:

Robert Mason, USGS ( Phone: 703-648-5305 ); Lingling Liu, WSC ( Phone: 613- 790-5151 ); Jon Campbell, USGS ( Phone: 703-648-4180 );



In a joint effort, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Water Survey of Canada (WSC) have produced the North America WaterWatch (NAWW), an online website that displays streamflow conditions throughout much of North America. 

The site provides a fast, easy-to-use, cartographically-based, central web interface for users to access real-time streamflow conditions for both Canada and the United States. NAWW can be accessed online in both English and French 

"North America WaterWatch delivers easily understandable maps and graphics of streamflow conditions and, simultaneously, provides access to real-time and past streamflow data at thousands of streamgages in both nations,” said Jerad Bales, USGS Chief Scientist for Water. “The portal demonstrates the value of free exchange of water-data through interoperable web services, which is a major strategic focus of the USGS through open-water data activities."

The international collaboration was announced at the American Water Resources Association annual conference in Tysons Corner, Va. 

The NAWW site is arranged similarly to USGS Water Watch. Real-time instantaneous flow data are compared against historical daily streamflow percentiles at hydrometric monitoring stations. The stations are then color coded on the map to indicate current flow conditions in relation to normal conditions based on statistical thresholds (i.e. much below normal, below normal, normal, above normal, much above normal, and high). The timely availability of these streamflow indicators is vital to water managers and the general public, as the easily-recognized indicators constitute a direct link between hydrological field information and the assessment of risks. 

NAWW displays streamflow conditions in Canada for about 1000 real-time flow stations with more than 20 years of continuous streamflow records selected from three different data sources: the Water Survey of Canada (~ 850), Centre d'expertise hydrique du Québec (~ 100), and Alberta Environment (~ 60). Streamflow conditions in the United States are shown for roughly 8000 real-time flow stations. The data on the website are updated hourly; daily statistics are updated quarterly. 

The publishing of the NAWW website marks another milestone achieved through the cooperation between USGS and WSC.

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Hawaii Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 23:07

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 Hawaii.

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

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Hawaii

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 23:03

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 Hawaii to supplement to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō volcanic eruption and lava flow beginning on September 4, 2014, and continuing.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Offers Free Home Repair Advice

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 18:00

WARREN, Mich. – Residents who want to reduce the risk of property damage from storms, floods and other potential hazards have the opportunity to meet with hazard mitigation specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Residents can get free publications to help them protect their properties against storms and flooding. Mitigation measures may help protect electrical systems, furnaces and other appliances. 

Mitigation specialists will be available in:

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Categories: Federal News

THE WHAT AND HOW OF FEDERAL HELP FOR SOUTH NAPA EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS, HOMEOWNERS

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 15:22

THE WHAT AND HOW OF FEDERAL HELP FOR SOUTH NAPA EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS, HOMEOWNERS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Individuals and homeowners who sustained damage in the South Napa Earthquake may now be eligible for certain kinds of federal assistance. Money is available to help eligible displaced individuals in Napa and Solano counties to repair essential living areas.

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Categories: Federal News

Napa, Solano County Residents to Receive Federal Individual, Household Aid Following South Napa Earthquake

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 15:10

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the Major Disaster declaration for the South Napa earthquake will also include the Individuals and Households Program under the Stafford Act.

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Categories: Federal News

DEADLINES APPROACHING TO FILE REQUESTS FOR FEMA/CAL OES PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 15:05

OAKLAND – The Public Assistance application deadline for the Napa Earthquake, is Oct. 23, 2014, said California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services officials. California state and local agencies, tribal nations and certain private nonprofit agencies, that may be eligible for federal and state disaster assistance, must submit Request for Public Assistance (RPA) forms to Cal OES.

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Categories: Federal News

Wayne County Disaster Recovery Center in Taylor Transitions to SBA Loan Center

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 14:34

Warren, Mich. – The State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center located at the Wayne County Community College, Performing Arts Center at 21000 Northline Road in Taylor will transition to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) and relocate to Dearborn on Thursday, Nov. 6.

A DLOC focuses on funds needed for long-term rebuilding and recovery. Homeowners, renters and businesses will be able to talk individually with SBA representatives. Specialists from FEMA will also be available.

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Categories: Federal News

AmeriCorps Helping Storm Survivors in Southeast Michigan

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 11:21

WARREN, Mich. – AmeriCorps, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, serves communities across America. When the call came to assist Michiganders affected by the August flooding, more than 30 AmeriCorps members were called into action. Members are in Michigan assisting homeowners with mucking out hundreds of homes damaged during the storm.

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Categories: Federal News