PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency will evaluate a Biennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station. The exercise will occur during the week of April 15th to assess the ability of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to respond to an emergency at the nuclear facility.Language English
NEW YORK — Since Hurricane Sandy struck New York, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved nearly $824 million in Public Assistance grants to reimburse state, tribal and local governments and eligible private nonprofits for some of the costs of emergency response, debris removal and repairing or rebuilding damaged public facilities. Approximately 676 grants have been approved so far. Here are some of the recent reimbursements:Language English
TRENTON, N.J.--Tell your friends and neighbors who have not registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that the last day to register is May 1, 2013. Make sure they know the facts about FEMA registration; many Hurricane Sandy survivors are eligible for disaster assistance and just may not know it.
With about two weeks left to register, here are facts about FEMA assistance:Language English
NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 17-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels.
The new checkout date for those in the TSA program is May 1. FEMA is calling applicants eligible for the extension to notify them of the new checkout date.Language English
A team of African and North American scientists led by the U.S. Geological Survey and NatureServe, a conservation non-profit organization, has created a series of continent-wide ecosystem maps that offer the most detailed portrayals of Africa's natural setting yet produced. The new maps and related data on landforms, geology, bioclimates, and vegetation can be used across Africa for conservation planning and resource management, as well as for impact assessments of climate change and changes in land use, such as agriculture, deforestation, and urbanization.
"This was a multi-organizational, international collaboration to create new earth science datasets for the entire continent at finer resolutions than ever before," said Matt Larsen, USGS Associate Director for Climate and Land Use Change. "An added benefit is that this information about ecosystem conditions can be put to many different uses. It will have tremendous utility beyond ecosystem assessments."
USGS and NatureServe researchers collaborated with the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), based in Nairobi, Kenya. RCMRD hosted two workshops where invited experts from many African nations developed a new classification of African ecosystems and provided location data for the newly classified ecosystems.
Overall, a total of 37 experts from 18 countries worked together to formulate the ecosystem classifications (126 distinct ecosystems were mapped) and produce the maps at a base resolution of 90 meters.
"This much improved baseline of Africa's ecosystem conditions has the potential for more accurate carbon assessment studies in Africa," observed USGS scientist Roger Sayre, lead author of the publication.
Determination of biological carbon stocks in ecosystems is an emerging science. Currently, carbon stocks are assessed in general biome categories like forests, grasses, shrublands, wetlands, deserts, and agricultural lands. The increased classification resolution supplied by the new African ecosystems maps will facilitate a more robust assignment of carbon inventories to a greater, more precise number of biological sources.
The Association of American Geographers (AAG) provided key support for the final publication. The publication is available in digital form from the USGS.
A new map of standardized terrestrial ecosystems of Africa
2013, Sayre, Roger; Comer, Patrick; Hak, Jon; Josse, Carmen; Bow, Jacquie; et al.
African Geographical Review
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Geological Survey will work together to evaluate whether a small unmanned aircraft can save state wildlife managers time, money and offer a safer and enhanced alternative to gather greater sage-grouse data.
During the media-only event, a USGS crew will field launch the aircraft and media will have the opportunity to take photos, video and get a first-hand look at the system.
Representatives from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the USGS, and the Bureau of Land Management will be available for interviews.
When: Friday, April 12 - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Please be punctual)
Where: Kremmling, Colo.
- From the intersection of Hwy 9 and Hwy 40, travel north towards Steamboat Springs for approximately 10 miles.
- At the intersection of Grand County Road 25 and Hwy 40, north of Wolford Reservoir, look for a Colorado Parks and Wildlife vehicle parked on the right side of the road. Receive further instructions from there.
- Access and event will take place along a dirt road.
- Dress for variable weather.
- Restroom facilities are not available.
- Bring food, water and other supplies.
- Proper operation of the sUAS requires concentration from the flight crew. Please follow instructions given on-site at all times.
How to participate: By 5 p.m. Thursday, April 11, please confirm your attendance with one of the Media Points of Contact:
If confirming by email, please include your contact information. If the demonstration is cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather, we will notify you as soon as possible.
Additional information about the USGS sUAS program, including video of the aircraft in flight, can be found at online.
For more information about greater sage-grouse, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website on greater sage-grouse studies.
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Dynamic modeling of sea-level rise, which takes storm wind and wave action into account, paints a much graver picture for some low-lying Pacific islands under climate-change scenarios than the passive computer modeling used in earlier research, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report.
A team led by research oceanographer Curt Storlazzi of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center compared passive "bathtub" inundation models with dynamic models for two of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The team studied Midway, a classic atoll with islands on the shallow (2–8 meters or 6–26 feet deep) atoll rim and a deep, central lagoon, and Laysan, which is higher, with a 20–30 meter (65–98 feet) deep rim and an island in the center of the atoll. Together, the two locations exhibit landforms and coastal features common to many Pacific islands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are also among the world’s most important nesting and breeding sites for migratory birds and other wildlife.
"Passive 'bathtub' inundation models typically used to forecast sea-level rise impacts suggest that most of the low-lying atolls in the Pacific Islands will still be above sea level for the next 50-150 years. By taking wave-driven processes into account, we forecast that many of the atolls will be inundated, contaminating freshwater supplies and thus making the islands uninhabitable, much sooner," Storlazzi said.
The team found that at least twice as much land is forecast to be inundated on Midway and Laysan by sea-level rise than was projected by passive models. For example, 91 percent of Midway's Eastern Island is projected to be inundated under a model that takes into account storm and wave activity accompanied by a sea-level rise of 2 meters (6.5 feet), as compared with only 19 percent under passive sea-level-rise models. Storm waves on Midway are also projected to be three to four times higher than they are today, because more deep-water wave energy could propagate over the atoll rim and larger wind-driven waves could develop on the atoll.
"This report demonstrates the future threat to refuges with the Monument, and the potential impact on nesting seabirds, endangered monk seals and green sea turtles will be considered as we plan for the future," said Doug Staller, the Service's Superintendent of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
These findings have importance not only for island wildlife on the largely uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Storlazzi said, but for the tens of thousands of people who live on other low-lying Pacific Island groups such as those found in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Because the models attempt to characterize how much land will be washed over by storm waves even if it is not permanently inundated, they offer tools for forecasting where agricultural land may be damaged by repeated saltwater overwash, as well as where groundwater may be contaminated by saltwater. The findings suggest that inundation and impacts to infrastructure and terrestrial habitats will occur at lower values of predicted sea-level rise, and thus sooner in the 21st century, than suggested by passive map-based "bathtub" inundation models.
The report, "Forecasting the Impact of Storm Waves and Sea-Level Rise on Midway Atoll and Laysan Island within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument—A Comparison of Passive Versus Dynamic Inundation Models," is available online.
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The U.S. Geological Survey awarded a contract last Friday for the construction of a large research vessel for Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior to Burger Boat Company of Manitowoc, Wis.
The vessel will replace the 38-year-old Grayling, bringing the USGS Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) large vessel fleet up-to-date. The new Grayling will be stationed at the USGS base in Cheboygan, Mich., and will incorporate modern marine standards and state-of-the-art technology to more safely and effectively conduct fisheries research.
"I am delighted to have achieved this important milestone that will benefit the Great Lakes region for many decades," said USGS GLSC Director Russell Strach. "This investment would not have been possible without the support from many key partners. The new research vessel will come fully equipped with 21st century laboratories and scientific instrumentation to support fishery science for the Great Lakes."
The funding for this expenditure was accrued from two prior appropriations and held in an account that was not affected by the sequester.
The replacement vessel is expected to be a commercial grade 78-foot vessel, and will be designed and constructed for a 40 to 50-year service life. This vessel will be capable of performing critical scientific and mission-related tasks, including dragging nets along the lake bottom, catching fish, and using sound-waves to detect fish and assess their abundance.
"The entire Burger team is very excited to be awarded this significant contract," said Jim Ruffolo, President and CEO of Burger Boat Company. "The Grayling will further reinforce Burger’s commitment to designing and constructing quality vessels that meet each owner’s specific requirements, whether they are custom yachts or commercial vessels."
This new contract will create additional highly skilled shipbuilding jobs at the Manitowoc shipyard, and the project will help support numerous companies that supply raw materials and equipment for the project.
For over 50 years the USGS GLSC has operated a unique and valuable deepwater fish ecology and assessment program that is the foundation for fisheries management throughout the Great Lakes.
Burger, at 150 years old, is one of the world's oldest shipyards. From its facility in Manitowoc, Wis., Burger's craftsmen have built hundreds of high quality vessels as long as 260 feet (80 meters) that can be found in ports around the world. Today, Burger continues its legacy of designing and building vessels to the highest standard from its fully updated shipyard.
JMS Naval Architects of Mystic, Conn., developed the preliminary design of the new Grayling.
The USGS GLSC maintains a fleet of fishery research vessels on each of the Great Lakes to meet the scientific research needs of state, tribal, and federal resource managers for understanding and effectively managing the Great Lakes fishery.
For more information on the USGS GLSC, visit their website.
CHICAGO – With an ominous mid-week forecast that includes severe storms, heavy rains, strong winds and the potential for tornadoes, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V encourages everyone to get prepared.
“Severe weather can strike with little or no warning. The threat of severe weather requires everyone to get prepared now,” FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III said. “Knowing what to do before the storm will help keep you and your family safe.”Language English
DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife accepting applications for 2013-2014 low-number hunting license lottery on June 4
DNREC Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program to study Leipsic and Little Creek watersheds in summer 2013
President Obama's fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request for the U.S. Geological Survey is $1.167 billion, an increase of $98.8 million above the 2012 enacted level, reflecting the Administration's commitment to scientific research and development as the foundation for innovation, socio-economic well-being, environmental sustainability, and sound decisionmaking. This includes science to support the safe and responsible development of domestic energy, protect critical water resources and ecosystems, respond to natural disasters, and advance our understanding and resilience to the effects of climate change.
The proposed 2014 USGS budget priorities include studying energy resources and environmental issues; advancing water monitoring and availability research; supporting the nationwide streamgage network; improving the capacity to quickly and effectively respond to natural hazards; providing information needed to protect priority ecosystems; and enhancing climate change research that is user-focused to address specific needs of natural resource managers across the landscape.
"The USGS prides itself in providing relevant and reliable Earth science, and our range of specialized expertise makes us a leader in supporting the President's focus on research and development," said acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball. "Starting with science is the foundation for making decisions that ensure the safety of our Nation and a robust and resilient economy. The proposed budget supports programs that are unique to the USGS, ultimately enhancing understanding of our land, its resources, and potential hazards that face us."
Proposed USGS key increases are summarized below. For more detailed information on the President's proposed 2014 budget, visit the USGS Budget, Planning, and Integration website.
New Energy Frontier
To ensure a robust and secure energy future for the Nation, President Obama emphasizes an "all-of-the-above" strategy, and the USGS has an important contribution in each component of that strategy. Proposed funding increases totaling $4.0 million will support the exploration of geothermal resources on Federal lands as well as research to support mitigation of the impacts of wind energy on wildlife. A total of $18.6 million, an increase of $13.0 million, will support interagency science collaboration between the USGS, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency to understand and minimize potential adverse environmental, health, and safety impacts of shale gas development through hydraulic fracturing.
As competition for water resources grows, so does the need for better information about water quality and quantity. Funding in the 2014 proposed budget includes an increase of $7.2 million to fund more than 400 streamgages that would enhance the ability to monitor high priority sites sensitive to drought, flooding, and potential climate change effects. The budget also includes $22.5 million for WaterSMART, an initiative focused on a sustainable water strategy to address the Nation's water challenges. WaterSMART includes the combined efforts of the USGS and the Bureau of Reclamation.
In the past year, the USGS responded to hurricanes Sandy and Isaac, wildfires ravaging the West, worldwide earthquakes, historical floods, and many other natural disasters. The budget proposes $2.5 million to improve rapid disaster response, allowing the USGS to better provide timely and effective science to minimize hazard risks to populations and infrastructure. Funding support includes improvements in early warning and scenario products for earthquakes, eruptions of volcanic ash, landslides and debris flows. In addition, an increase of $1.2 million is proposed to expand seismic networks along the Central and Eastern United States and improve the suite of USGS products that provide "situational awareness" for responders to gauge earthquake impacts and plan response activities.
USGS scientists conduct research and monitoring to understand how ecosystems are structured and function, helping improve sustainable stewardship of the Nation's natural resources. The 2014 budget request includes increases totaling $16.6 million for priority ecosystem science. This includes research to control and manage invasive species, such as Asian carp in the Great Lakes and the Burmese python in the Everglades. The proposed budget includes strong support for ecosystem restoration in the California Bay Delta, Chesapeake Bay, Columbia River, Everglades, Great Lakes, Klamath River, Puget Sound, and Upper Mississippi River as well as efforts to better understand and account for ecosystem services in decisionmaking.
Climate Change Science
The FY 2014 budget request includes a total of $67.8 million for the Science for Adapting to a Changing Climate initiative that advances understanding and enhances resilience in the face of changing conditions. Funding increases for the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the eight DOI Climate Science Centers (CSCs) will provide applied science and tools to support adaptive and resilient management of natural resources on public and tribal lands, help facilitate coordination of climate change research across Federal agencies, and improve understanding of nationwide challenges such as sea-level rise and drought. Increases in the Climate Research and Development Program will improve understanding of current and future impacts change and needs specific to regional areas. Funding for the Biological Sequestration program in 2014 will advance methodologies and models needed to complete the national biological carbon sequestration assessment and provide science and tools for land and natural resource management.
Land Imaging Satellites
With Landsat 8 successfully launched in February, the USGS is preparing for the handover of operational responsibility from NASA and will continue to operate Landsat ground systems for receiving, processing, and disseminating the valuable imagery. The USGS will also be working with NASA to analyze user requirements and develop a successor mission to Landsat 8, with timing and configuration designed to minimize the risk of a gap in the unparalleled 41-year historical record of this data. Funding to begin work on the successor mission is provided in the 2014 budget for NASA, which will be responsible for the operation, building, and launching of Landsat-class land imaging satellites going forward, in partnership with the USGS.
Critical Minerals and Rare Earth Elements
Many existing and emerging technologies that are important to our economy and national security are generating unprecedented demand for critical minerals. Ensuring an adequate supply of critical minerals depends on learning how they form and where they are most likely to be found in the Earth's crust. An increase of $1.0 million is proposed specifically for USGS research on rare earth elements, which are a type of critical mineral. An additional $1.1 million is proposed to expand research on other high priority minerals critical to American manufacturing.
Additional Science Priorities
The 2014 budget would expand USGS youth programs and partnerships with a proposed increase for the development of a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, an element of the Youth Stewardship and America's Great Outdoors Initiatives. The budget request would support studies that address environmental impacts of uranium mining as well as emerging contaminants and pathogens. The USGS component of the Big Earth Data Initiative will support standardizing and optimizing the management of data from Earth observations systems, such as water and wildlife monitoring networks, operated by the Department of the Interior to support decisionmaking, scientific discovery, and technological innovation. Increased funding will be provided to begin implementation of the 3D Elevation program, responding to a growing need for high-quality topographic data and a wide range of other three-dimensional representations of the Nation's natural and constructed features to meet needs such as quantification of flood risk and coastal vulnerability to storms.
The proposed USGS budget for 2014 includes reductions based on careful and difficult consideration for balancing national Earth science and technology priorities and needs. Proposed reductions include mineral resources research, the Water Resource Research Institutes, the National Civil Application Program, North American Data Buy, and internal administrative costs.
TRENTON, N.J.--The Federal Emergency Management Agency has implemented its FEMA for Kids program for pre-to-middle school children in New Jersey.
FEMA for Kids is an interactive, educational program that advocates disaster preparedness to children ages 4-11, in areas that have been affected by a disaster.Language English
DENVER – Officials are cautioning travelers that a spring storm making its way across the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains region will bring periods of freezing rain, heavy snowfall, and extremely high winds from Monday evening and into Wednesday.Language English
Reporters: Study results will be presented at a public meeting hosted by the Verde River Basin Partnership on Thursday, April 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Camp Verde Multi-Use Complex Auditorium. Please contact Jennifer LaVista to reserve a seat.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. —The streamflow of the Verde River—one of Arizona's largest streams with year-round flow—declined from 1910 to 2005 as the result of human stresses, primarily groundwater pumping, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study. The study's findings suggest that streamflow reductions will continue and may increase in the future.
Water demands in the Verde Valley have increased because of the growing population in the area. Water is pumped from the ground and diverted from the Verde River to meet these needs, which has raised concerns about past, present, and future human-induced stresses on water resources.
"The results of the study emphasize our basic understanding of hydrologic systems, which is that when water is removed by being pumped through wells, it is no longer available in other parts of the system," said USGS hydrologist Bradley Garner. "This study is important because it allows us to examine human-caused stresses, namely groundwater pumping, independently from other factors that change over time, such as annual precipitation rates."
The study used the Northern Arizona Regional Groundwater Flow Model to estimate how human stresses on the hydrologic system in and around the Verde Valley affected streamflow in the Verde River from 1910 to 2005. Future conditions were also examined using three hypothetical human-stress conditions for 2005 to 2110. The computer model used by the study simulates how recharge from rainfall and snowmelt moves through the region"s aquifers and eventually provides water to streams and rivers. The full report and an accompanying USGS Fact Sheet are available online.
"Groundwater flow models provide a sophisticated tool to help communities responsibly manage, develop, and use their groundwater resources," said William M. Alley, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology for the National Ground Water Association. "Studies that quantify movement of water between groundwater and surface water systems can help in establishing a scientific basis for new management strategies."
Like many regions in the West, the population of the Verde Valley is growing rapidly. Between 2000 and 2010, Verde Valley grew by 13 percent. Verde Valley municipalities such as Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, and Sedona pump groundwater to meet the needs of a growing population. In Arizona, groundwater provides about 43 percent of the State’s water supply.
Groundwater pumping has the potential to reduce flows to streams and rivers that are hydrologically connected to the underlying aquifers. Through a process known as capture, groundwater pumping can intercept groundwater that would otherwise have flowed to connected streams or draws flows from streams into the aquifer. For this reason, questions have been raised about the effects of groundwater pumping on the Verde River, which provides wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In case you missed it, today on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) blog, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate called on tribal communities to take part in consultations regarding changes to the disaster assistance process. The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 included a provision to amend the Stafford Act allowing tribes direct access to federal disaster relief.Language English
TRENTON, N.J.--Disaster assistance to New Jersey survivors of Hurricane Sandy by the numbers as of April 8:Language English