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Volunteers sought for 25th annual Christina River Cleanup on April 9

DNREC News - Wed, 03/30/2016 - 08:19
NEW CASTLE COUNTY (March 30, 2016) – DNREC Secretary David Small encourages volunteers to join the 25th annual Christina River Watershed Cleanup along the river and several of its tributaries on Saturday, April 9

Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Gonzales, Ascension Parish, and Farmerville, Union Parish, for Louisiana Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 18:51

BATON ROUGE, La. – Disaster recovery centers will open Wednesday, March 30, in Gonzales, Ascension Parish, and Farmerville, Union Parish, to help Louisiana flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays until further notice.

The disaster recovery centers are located at the following addresses:

Lamar-Dixon Expo Center
9039 S. St. Landry Avenue
Gonzales, La.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

FEMA CLOSES ON 100TH NEW HOME FOR OGLALA SIOUX DISASTER RECOVERY EFFORT

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 16:57

PINE RIDGE, S.D. – A major milestone has been reached in the recovery from the May 2015 storms on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, as the 100th new manufactured home was recently provided to a tribal household.  The 100 homes have been installed in just over three months’ time, with the first being turned over on December 9. 

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Center Relocates in Bogalusa, Washington Parish, for Louisiana Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 15:18

BATON ROUGE, La. – The mobile disaster recovery located at the Softball Fields Parking Lot on West Ninth Street in Bogalusa, Washington Parish, will reopen at a new location Wednesday, March 30, in Bogalusa to help Louisiana flood survivors. The center is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays until further notice.

The disaster recovery center is located at the following address:

First Pentecostal Church
14532 LA 21
Bogalusa, La.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Texans Advised to Call Insurance Agent and Register with FEMA

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 14:16

AUSTIN, Texas — In the aftermath of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding throughout Texas that began March 7, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is advising individuals who experienced damage to their homes to contact both their insurance agent and FEMA.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Study Shows Cold and Windy Nights Physically Drain Mangy Wolves

USGS Newsroom - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 12:53
Summary:  

Contact Information:

Paul Cross ( Phone: 406-994-6908 ); Paul Laustsen ( Phone: 650-329-4046 );



 

Note the bright red patch on the wolf's hindquarters in this thermal image of a captive wolf at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. This is where fur was shaved to replicate the loss of fur associated with sarcoptic mange. The fur will eventually grow back. USGS scientists are examining thermal imagery of wolves as one step in assessing impacts of sarcoptic mange on the survival, reproduction and social behavior of this species in Yellowstone National Park. All research animals are handled by following the specific requirements of USGS Animal Care and Use policies. Researchers at the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center and their partners place thermal remote cameras near deer and elk carcasses in Yellowstone National Park to capture images of wolves with mange feeding in the wild. Red-colored blotches in the thermal images reveal areas of hair loss from which wolves with mange lose heat. Researchers at the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center and their partners place thermal remote cameras near deer and elk carcasses in Yellowstone National Park to capture images of wolves with mange feeding in the wild. Red-colored blotches in the thermal images reveal areas of hair loss from which wolves with mange lose heat.

During winter, wolves infected with mange can suffer a substantial amount of heat loss compared to those without the disease, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners.

Using a remotely triggered thermal camera to capture vivid and colorful images, scientists gathered body temperature data from mange-infected gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park and compared that to a sample group of healthy captive wolves with shaved patches of fur to simulate mange-induced hair loss. Using these data, scientists were able to quantify the level of heat loss, or energetic costs, during the winter months.

Results show that a more severe mange infection could increase heat loss by around 1240 to 2850 calories per night which represent roughly 60-80 percent of the average wolf’s daily caloric needs.

“That lost heat has to be replaced, otherwise the wolves’ core body temperatures would be getting colder,” said Paul Cross, USGS ecologist and lead author of the study. “To replace that lost heat wolves would need the equivalent of about two to four extra pounds of elk meat per day.”

Sarcoptic mange, present in one of 10 known packs in Yellowstone as of 2015, is a skin disease caused by a mite that burrows into the skin, causing irritation and scratching that then leads to hair loss. Researchers engineered the remotely-triggered thermal camera for use in Yellowstone to record the surface temperatures of wolves with and without mange-induced hair loss. Those images could then be compared with images from healthy, captive wolves. In addition, field crews observed or photographed all radio-collared wolves and their pack mates for the purpose of recording infection status.

The study also found that increased wind speed was a more significant factor in heat loss than colder temperatures. To compensate for the extra heat loss, infected wolves would need to increase food consumption in addition to other daily energy demands for survival. For wolves with mange this is more difficult as hair loss and depressed vigor leaves them vulnerable to hypothermia, malnutrition and dehydration, which can eventually lead to death.

Data from GPS-collared wolves in Yellowstone indicated that wolves with mange reduce daily movement distances depending on the degree of infection. In addition, the wolf with the most hair loss became more active during the day than during the twilight hours, which is opposite behavior of a healthy wolf.

“By definition, parasites drain energy from their hosts. In this study we estimated just one portion of the energetic costs of infection,” said Cross. “Even when parasites do not kill their hosts they are affecting the energy demands of their hosts, which could alter consumption rates, food web dynamics, predator-prey interactions and scavenger communities.”

Mange was introduced into the Northern Rockies in the early 1900s by the Montana state wildlife veterinarian in an attempt to help eradicate local wolf and coyote populations. The disease persists in coyotes and foxes and once wolves were reintroduced into the ecosystem in 1995-96, they appeared to be free of mange until 2002.

The article “Energetic costs of mange in Yellowstone wolves estimated from infrared thermography” is published in Ecology.

The study is a collaborative effort between the USGS, Pennsylvania State University, University of Western Australia, Yellowstone National Park, University of Wollongong, NWB Sensors Inc. and Montana State University.

More information about wolf disease studies can found on the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center website

This video describes USGS research utilizing remote thermal imaging cameras to study the extent and impact of mange on wolves in Yellowstone National Park.

FEMA helpline available for Missouri flood survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 12:33

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The deadline for Missourians to register for disaster assistance may have passed, but help is still available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Survivors can still contact FEMA to get answers to questions or to get referrals for help with any unmet need.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

FEMA Housing Inspectors in Mississippi Counties Damaged by March Floods

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 11:50

PEARL, Miss. – Housing inspectors contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are assisting eligible survivors of the recent flooding by visiting neighborhoods and checking for damage.

“The free FEMA housing inspections are an essential step in the recovery process for survivors who sustained damage to their homes,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Lai Sun Yee. “It’s vital that survivors register with FEMA, ensure we have their current contact information and then coordinate with the housing inspector to schedule the inspection.”

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Arkansas April 5th is Deadline to Register for Disaster Assistance for December-January Storms

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 03/29/2016 - 11:49

 

April 5 is Deadline to Register for Disaster Assistance for December – January Storms

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Residents of 11 Arkansas counties who suffered damage from the severe storms of December – January have only until Tuesday, April 5, 2016 to register for federal disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Assistance can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Satsuma, Livingston Parish, for Louisiana Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 03/28/2016 - 18:52

BATON ROUGE, La. –A disaster recovery center will open Tuesday, March 29, in Satsuma, Livingston Parish, to help Louisiana flood survivors. The center is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays until further notice.

The disaster recovery center is located at the following address:

Satsuma Village Mall
28975 S. Satsuma Road, Suite D
Satsuma, La.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Hot Days Can Trigger Yosemite Rockfalls

USGS Newsroom - Mon, 03/28/2016 - 11:00
Summary: After more than three years of monitoring the towering granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park, scientists have new insights into a potentially important mechanism that can trigger rockfalls in the park. Although many conditions can trigger rockfalls, some rockfalls are more likely to happen in the hottest part of the day, during the hottest part of the year.

Contact Information:

Leslie Gordon ( Phone: 650-329-4006 );



After more than three years of monitoring the towering granite cliffs of Yosemite National Park, scientists have new insights into a potentially important mechanism that can trigger rockfalls in the park. Although many conditions can trigger rockfalls, some rockfalls are more likely to happen in the hottest part of the day, during the hottest part of the year.

Rockfalls in Yosemite are common and part of the natural process of erosion, but they also pose hazards to park visitors. Improved understanding of this thermal triggering mechanism may assist the National Park Service in managing rockfall hazards in the park.

To explain this phenomenon, U.S. Geological Survey and NPS geologists placed sensitive deformation and temperature gauges in a crack behind a large, partially detached slab of granite clinging to a Yosemite Valley cliff.  The scientists found that daily heating and cooling of the rock surface caused the crack to open and close by nearly half an inch. The resulting stress can cause such cracks to grow, destabilizing the rock slabs to the point where they fall, in a process called exfoliation.

According to Brian Collins, USGS geotechnical engineer and coauthor of the study, “Our research provides clear evidence that thermal effects can move large slabs of rock and that these movements, over time, can lead to rock falls.”

“Summertime rockfalls have been something of a mystery,” said Greg Stock, Yosemite park geologist and coauthor of the study. “With this work we now have a plausible explanation for why they happen.”

The full report, “Rockfall triggering by cyclic thermal stressing of exfoliation fractures,” is published in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, and is available online.

Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock and USGS civil engineer Brian Collins download data from instruments measuring how much granitic exfoliation sheets move from daily temperature variations as a precursor to rock fall. Photo credit: Valerie Zimmer, National Park Service.

Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish for Louisiana Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 03/26/2016 - 16:12

BATON ROUGE, La. –A disaster recovery center will open Monday, March 28, in Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish, to help Louisiana flood survivors. The center is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays until further notice.

The disaster recovery center is located at the following address:

Parish Planning Commission
42271 S. Morrison Blvd.
Hammond, La.
(Directly behind the Red Roof Inn off I-55)

Language English
Categories: Federal News

More Louisiana Residents Now Eligible for Federal Disaster Assistance, Urged to Register

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 03/26/2016 - 15:48

Baton Rouge, La – Louisiana disaster survivors in Jackson, Rapides, Red River and Sabine parishes may now be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Their first step is to register with FEMA.

Individuals and business owners in the designated parishes who had storm damage may apply for assistance three ways:

Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Mississippi Flood Survivors Urged to Register for Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 03/26/2016 - 14:07

Mississippi Flood Survivors Urged to Register for Disaster Assistance

PEARL, Miss. – Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms and flooding in Mississippi that began March 9, 2016, are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.

The March 25, 2016, presidential disaster declaration makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Bolivar, Coahoma and Washington counties.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Six Additional Texas Counties May Now Apply for Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 19:06

AUSTIN, Texas – At the request of the state of Texas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has added Erath, Gregg, Harrison, Hood, Marion and Parker counties to the federal disaster declaration of March 19. They join the three counties already approved for both Individual Assistance and Public Assistance: Jasper, Newton and Orange.  

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Mississippi

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 17:04

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 Mississippi.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

President Declares Major Disaster for Mississippi

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 17:01

WASHINGTON –The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Mississippi to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding beginning on March 9, 2016, and continuing.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Bastrop, Rayville and West Monroe, Louisiana

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 09:17

BATON ROUGE, La. –Disaster recovery centers will open Saturday, March 26, in Bastrop, Rayville and West Monroe to help Louisiana flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays until further notice. The centers will be closed on Easter Sunday, March 27.

The disaster recovery centers are located at the following addresses:

Fifth Judicial Court Building
112 Morgan St., Suite D
Rayville, Richland Parish, La.

Language English
Categories: Federal News

USGS Bolsters Better References for Mass Spectrometers

USGS Newsroom Technical - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 07:38
Summary: USGS scientists Haiping Qi and Tyler Coplen were key contributors, among 24 contributing scientists, to a recently completed international project to develop isotopic reference materials for mass spectrometers. An article in the journal Analytical Chemistry details the findings.  

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Tyler B. Coplen ( Phone: 703-648-5862 );



USGS scientists Haiping Qi and Tyler Coplen were key contributors, among 24 contributing scientists, to a recently completed international project to develop isotopic reference materials for mass spectrometers. An article in the journal Analytical Chemistry details the findings.  

The team established 19 new organic reference materials for stable hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen stable isotope-ratio measurements. These materials will be used by isotope laboratories worldwide to calibrate their mass spectrometers so that the complex instruments will indicate the same measurement results on the same sample.

The announcement of so many isotopic reference materials at one time is unprecedented since isotope measurements of the elements hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen began expanding in the early 1950s. Authoritative standard references for mass spectrometers help advance their use in many disparate fields, including anthropology, archaeology, atmospheric sciences, biology, chemistry, ecology, environmental sciences, food and drug authentication, forensic applications, fossil fuel and biofuel research, geochemistry, geology, medical diagnostics, oceanography and paleoclimatology.

The USGS scientists performed most of the testing of the materials to confirm isotopic homogeneity prior to the distribution of those materials to 11 isotope laboratories that participated in the project.

Learn more                                                                      

USGS Reston Stable Isotope Laboratory

DNREC Secretary’s Order, following new FDA guidance, halts shellfish harvest in seasonal area on Rehoboth Bay

DNREC News - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 05:22
DOVER (March 17, 2016) – DNREC Secretary David Small has issued a Secretary’s Order for closure of a conditionally-approved shellfish harvest area located in the northeastern corner of Rehoboth Bay, effective Monday, March 21.