Delaware Waterfowl, Trout Stamp contests to be held April 11 at Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover
FEMA Corps arrived in Lynnwood, Washington on March 28th, 2013 to work with the FEMA Region 10 External Affairs office. FEMA Corps, which is part of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), will be planning and implementing at least three events focused on community involvement in disaster preparedness. This is the team’s first assignment since completing 6 weeks of in depth training.Language English
NEW YORK — New York survivors have until April 13 to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and return their applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Disaster assistance to New York survivors of Hurricane Sandy:Language English
Calling all community and faith-based organizations; youth development leaders; educators; leaders of after-school, extracurricular, weekend, and camp programs; and, emergency management and preparedness professionals interested in youth programs! FEMA Region X and the American Red Cross (ARC), Western Washington Chapters, will be co-sponsoring free workshops in May on how your organization can easily incorporate emergency readiness into your programs.Language English
NEW YORK – Disaster survivors have until Saturday, April 13, 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:
Housing Assistance offers temporary rental assistance and home repair grants to eligible survivors. FEMA’s ultimate goal is to ensure survivors’ dwellings are safe, sanitary and functional.Language English
NEW YORK – The disaster recovery center in Long Beach, N.Y., currently staffed by state and federal specialists, will become a disaster loan outreach center operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, April 13.
Hurricane Sandy survivors in New York have until 8 p.m. Friday, April 12, to visit the disaster recovery center at the Recreation Center and Ice Arena, 700 Magnolia Blvd., Long Beach, N.Y., 11561.Language English
BATON ROUGE, La. – Seven months after Hurricane Isaac slammed into the Louisiana coast, two Louisiana parishes are creating new paths to recovery with the help of state and federal partners.
Scores of residents and community leaders in St. John and Plaquemines parishes have gathered at open houses and community meetings over the past few months to learn how they can get involved in their communities’ recovery and to identify projects to help bring their visions of recovery to life.Language English
TRENTON, N.J.— New Jersey disaster recovery center hours will change to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on Monday, April 8. Saturday hours will remain 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nine disaster recovery centers are open throughout New Jersey and are located in Atlantic, Cape May, Hudson, Monmouth and Ocean counties. Survivors can find their closest center online at FEMA.gov/DRC.
There have been more than 85,000 visits to New Jersey centers since opening in early November.Language English
WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a report to Congress on the progress of the National Water Census, which is being developed at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to help the nation address its critical water needs.
Peak flooding on the Red River at Fargo will likely occur sometime after April 15, according to U.S. Geological Survey streamgage data and National Weather Service information.
Scientists with the USGS and NWS meteorologists are closely monitoring the Red River at Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., in anticipation of April flooding. USGS streamgages indicate that on Wednesday, April 3 the river still had not begun its spring rise, meaning that the impending 2013 flood will be considerably later than the large floods of 2009 and 2011. The 2013 flood likely will be later than the 1997 flood, which was exacerbated by an early April blizzard.
"The large floods at Fargo that have previously occurred in April—1952, 1965, 1969, 1979, and 1997—peaked from April 15 to April 19," said Gregg Wiche, Director of the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center. "Above normal snowpack and cold March temperatures have contributed to this year’s late melt."
According to NWS preliminary data, 2013 brought the sixth coldest March since hydrologic observations began in 1900. This year also had the deepest average snow depth for the last day of March since weather records began in Fargo in the mid-1880s. The NWS ranked the month of March, 2013, as the 14th for coldest average temperature, the 12th snowiest, and the 11th wettest (including rain and melted snow) for Fargo.
The USGS compares current Red River conditions to past large floods on its Fargo flood tracking webpage.
Additional data for the USGS Red River at Fargo streamgage is available online.
NWS flood forecasts for the Red River at Fargo are available online.This chart compares current gage height of the Red River at Fargo, N.D., to floods in 1997, 2009, and 2011 at the same location. The chart is available for download.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and Georgia water resource managers have powerful new tools at their fingertips to help make critical decisions on the timing and quantity of freshwater availability in coastal rivers.
Developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and Advanced Data Mining International, the two new decision support systems will help decision makers determine how much drinking water they will be able to pull from rivers in the face of climate change, sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion.
The user-friendly products were developed as part a new report titled Simulation of salinity intrusion along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts using climate change scenarios.
Research shows that the availability of freshwater in coastal streams will likely be affected in the future due to the combination of climate change and sea-level rise. The balance between freshwater and saltwater in coastal streams is primarily governed by the interaction between streamflow and sea level, and coastal rivers are constantly responding to changing streamflow and tidal conditions.
The decision support systems -- which include salinity simulation models, model controls, historical databases, and model output in a spreadsheet application – were created for the cities and towns on the Georgia and South Carolina coast that withdraw drinking water from the Atlantic Intracoastal Water and the Waccamaw River in South Carolina, and the Savannah River in Georgia, to predict saltwater intrusion near municipal intakes.
"Predicting the changes in the frequency of salinity intrusion event is critical for water-resource planning in the coastal region of the Southeastern United States due to the large number of municipal water-supply intakes in coastal rivers," said Paul Conrads, a USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study.
At a location just downstream from an intake that provides drinking water for Myrtle Beach area, the decision support system estimated that a 1-foot rise in sea level would increase the frequency of salinity at the intake and double the amount of time that freshwater would not be available at the intake.
"The decision support systems for the two rivers are essentially easy-to-use spreadsheets that integrate all the science, data, and models needed to perform high quality risk assessments," said Edwin Roehl, lead software developer for the project.
The study also evaluated the effect of climate-change projections from a global circulation model on change in salinity intrusion. The global circulation models predict changes in precipitation and temperature. These changes can affect streamflows to the coasts and change salinity intrusion. The results from the global circulation model projections indicates that, for one intake, the annual number of salinity intrusion events will increase and there would be a seasonal shift, with most salinity intrusion events occurring in the fall rather than the summer.
Although increases in sea-level and reductions in streamflow show substantial effects that would have operational consequence for municipal water-treatment plants, the climate change scenarios shown in the report would allow water-resource managers to plan adaptation efforts to minimize the effect of increased salinity of source water. Adaptation efforts may include timing of withdrawals during outgoing tides, increased storage of raw water, timing larger releases of regulated flows appropriately to move the saltwater-freshwater interface downstream, and the blending of higher conductance surface water with lower conductance water from an alternative source such as groundwater.
CORVALLIS, Ore.— New scientific findings published in Ecology reveal that interactions of climate, soils, shrubs, and a natural nitrogen fertilization process affect regrowth of forests following wildfire in southern Oregon and northern California. Managers can use this information to consider post-fire management practices, including fertilization and shrub-removal.
Scientists studying forests that burned in 1987 discovered an interesting pattern in a natural fertilization process. The highest levels of natural nitrogen fertilization occurred at cool, dry sites where tree growth is slow and where nitrogen for growth is needed the least. In contrast, the lowest nitrogen additions occurred at warm, moist sites where tree growth and associated nitrogen needs are greatest.
This counterintuitive result occurred because natural nitrogen fertilization by nitrogen-fixing shrubs was suppressed by competition with oaks, maples, and other vegetation where tree growth was greatest, in warm, moist sites.
Nitrogen, an essential nutrient for tree growth, often is lost during a forest fire. An important way to recover forest fertility is an ecological process called biological nitrogen fixation. Some common shrubs, like Ceanothus, form unique relationships with bacteria and convert inert nitrogen gas from the air into forms of nitrogen in the soil that the trees can use for growth. Free-living soil bacteria also fix nitrogen. This natural process is the main source of nitrogen fertility in forests.
The scientists found that the rate at which Ceanothus shrubs added nitrogen to the system could be suppressed as tree biomass increased. Even though warm, wet sites stimulated the growth of nitrogen-fixing shrubs, these conditions stimulated the growth of other plants even more. Eventually, these changes limited the recovery of nitrogen fertility in the most productive sites.
According to Stephanie Yelenik, the lead author of the study, nitrogen additions by Ceanothus shrubs and by free-living soil bacteria provided an average of 7.5 pounds of nitrogen per acre per year. Over the 22 years following the major fire when the forest’s vegetation and nitrogen burned, this added up to about 165 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Although probably insufficient to fully replace wildfire nitrogen losses on the study sites, these contributions were substantial. Yelenik was affiliated with Oregon State University at the time of the study.
"There are important related results. Biological nitrogen fixation involving Ceanothus shrubs was up to 90 times greater than contributions from free-living soil microorganisms," said USGS scientist Steve Perakis, who participated in the study. "The contribution from Ceanothus would be even greater if other plants didn't compete so strongly. So ultimately competition among different plant species governed nitrogen input in the forests studied."
"The loss of nitrogen to wildfire has always been of concern to managers; however, the enormity of this loss only recently has been quantified," said Tom Sensenig, a U.S. Forest Service ecologist. "This study not only informs managers about the importance of shrubs for restoring nitrogen, but identifies the dynamics among species and the specific processes influencing nitrogen fixation and recovery across differing sites. Principally, this new information will help in developing post-fire management options and plans for specific forest types in this region. For example, on drier lower-quality sites, Ceanothus, the most prevalent nitrogen-fixing shrub identified, could be retained to the greatest extent possible by only treating the minimal vegetation necessary to assure seedling survival. On wetter, higher-productivity sites, treating more competitive species at a higher intensity may be more effective for maximizing nitrogen recovery, while benefiting seedling survival as well."
According to Yelenik, without additional fire or other forms of disturbance, Ceanothus largely disappears from productive sites in about 30 years as the tree canopy shades out the understory vegetation. Because Ceanothus is the major player in biological nitrogen fixation, from then on, nitrogen levels may remain consistently low in sites that have the necessary temperature and moisture conditions to promote rapid tree growth. On these sites, there may be opportunities to conduct vegetation management or to allow low-severity fires to burn as a way of encouraging the presence of nitrogen-fixing shrubs in the forest understory.
The study sites were located in forested mountains of the Klamath Region. This region is prone to wildfires, and the frequency and severity of the fires shape vegetation patterns. The study occurred 20 to 22 years after fire in sites that were salvage logged in the first 2 to 3 years after fire and then planted with conifer trees. Perakis believes the results are best applied to this region, but the interactions between climate, soils, shrubs, and natural nitrogen fertilization merit study elsewhere to see if similar constraints to nitrogen fixation occur in other forests recovering from fire.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The U.S. Geological Survey has developed the "Shoreline Management Tool," a GIS software program designed to test ways of managing land and water resources adjacent to a lake or stream. The new software tool will help water-, land-, and wildlife-resource managers balance competing needs when managing surface-water levels for water quantity, water depth, area of inundation, and area of dry land. These factors relate directly to water supply, water quality, shoreline habitat for plants and animals, and human use of water and land areas.
Assessing the effects of changing surface-water levels historically has been difficult because of the complexity of the analysis. The management tool enables the user to define criteria such as water depth and land-surface slope and aspect to identify areas where conditions meet the needs for certain land or water uses or that provide habitat suitable for specific plants and animals.
The tool comprises an interactive GIS program and spreadsheets that allow users to specify the input data and criteria for analysis, process the data, and create results in the form of maps, data tables, and graphs. The tool is designed for use by natural-resource managers with only limited expertise with GIS.
Although the tool was initially developed to evaluate conditions in the lower Wood River Valley in the upper Klamath Basin, Oregon, it is designed to be transferable to other areas using easily generated or readily available data.
The Shoreline Management Tool was conceived and developed by the USGS with cooperation from the Bureau of Land Management.
The program is documented in the report, "The Shoreline Management Tool—An ArcMap Tool for Analyzing Water Depth, Inundated Area, Volume, and Selected Habitats, with an Example for the Lower Wood River Valley, Oregon," by Daniel T. Snyder, Tana L. Haluska, and Darius Respini-Irwin, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1247 and is available online.
DENTON, Texas – More than $31.2 million was recently awarded to the state of Texas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for reimbursement of costs to fight wildfires in Bastrop, Cass, Coke, Grimes, Jeff Davis, Kimble, King, Knox, Marion, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Presidio, Stephens, Stonewall, Tom Green, Waller and Young counties in 2011.Language English