Environment & Weather
Filtering Water Before It Heads Downstream PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by USDA Communications   
Friday, 15 June 2012 13:55

A new TV feature is available on the USDA FTP site. The new TV feature can also be seen on USDA's YouTube channel and seen and downloaded as a video podcast.

FTP Download instructions:

The host: ftp://ocbmtcmedia.download.akamai.com

User name: usdanews

Password:  Newscontent1

Filename for TV Feature: Water Quality

The new file is in QuickTime Movie (H.264 ), MPEG 4, MPEG2 and HDV.

YouTube: water quality

video podcast: water quality video podcast

RSS Page: water quality rss

National Weather Service Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sandra Stevens   
Friday, 15 June 2012 12:25
The National Weather Service office in the Quad Cities publishes the Weather Home Companion, a semiannual newsletter.  Our Spring/Summer 2012 issue is now available on our website at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn/?n=additional-links#newsletter.
This link also contains all past issues of our newsletter.  There is also a temporary link under the Top News of the Day section on our main webpage.

In the past, you may have received a copy of our newsletter in the mail.  We have now switched to electronic distribution. If you do not wish to receive notification when a new issue is posted, then please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to be removed from our email distribution list.

Staying safe in the heat- We have an APP for that- workers can monitor heat index PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Rhonda Burke   
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:57

The Midwest forecast for the first week of summer is hot, hot, hot. Weather affects all of us, but workers who job is to be outdoors such as construction workers, first responders, maintenance and festival workers are particularly at risk when the heat index soars. Every year, thousands of workers across the country suffer from serious heat-related illnesses. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which has killed on average ‒ more than 30 workers annually since 2003.

OSHA will launch its Summer Safety Campaign for workers- “Water. Rest. Shade,” on the first day of summer, June 20.
  • OSHA has released a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. The app displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level. Available for Android-based platforms and the iPhone, the app can be downloaded in both English and Spanish by visiting http://s.dol.gov/RI.
  • In preparation for the summer season, OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training.  

  • Additionally, a Web page provides information and resources on heat illness including how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency for workers and employers. The page is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html. This page includes artwork, videos and other resource material such as PSAs.


We hope you will keep this message at the forefront of you summer heat coverage throughout the season.

Additionally, The Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and National Weather Service Acting Deputy Director Steven Cooper will host the teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 20, exclusively for television and radio meteorologists and weather reporters to provide helpful information to outdoor workers when temperatures soar to summer’s dangerous levels. Please consider having your meteorologist or weather reporters participate in this informational event or to use the material above to develop stories on summer safety for workers.



We hope you will keep this message at the forefront of you summer heat coverage throughout the season to help protect the health and lives of workers.

NAWCA Grants to Help Pheasants Forever Conserve Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin Habitat PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Pheasants Forever Press   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:12

PF utilizes NAWCA funding to create wildlife habitat, public hunting opportunities

Washington, D.C. – June 14, 2012 – Pheasants Forever has been awarded five North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants to conserve wetlands and associated grasslands in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Pheasants Forever will utilize NAWCA funding to permanently protect and conserve habitat on more than 2,100 acres that are vital to waterfowl and upland birds and also open to public hunting.

Pheasants Forever projects funded with NAWCA Small Grants in the Midwest for 2012 include:

Project: Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Area, Mangold Addition, Delaware County. The purpose of this 40-acre project is to restore and protect grassland and riparian wetland habitats in the Wapsipinicon River watershed. This effort will protect a prairie stream by acquiring additional riparian habitat and creating an additional wetland within the corridor. Waterfowl, grassland nesting birds and many species that use riparian habitat will benefit from this project. Another objective is to create a large wildlife habitat complex for the benefit of wildlife and for public access to these natural resources. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is a partner on this project.

Project: Iowa Prairie Pothole Upland Habitat Enhancement II. The purpose of this grant project is to fund critical enhancement of native, local tallgrass prairie on state wildlife management areas within the 35-county Prairie Pothole Joint Venture Region in Iowa.  The goal is to assist in the enhancement of 1,440 acres of tallgrass prairie and create 290 new acres of tallgrass prairie associated with restored wetlands on areas designated for wildlife management. The objective is to enhance tallgrass prairie blocks large enough to achieve ecological function and to benefit all grassland bird species that breed in the Iowa portion of the Prairie Pothole Region. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is a partner on this project.

Project: Minnesota Lake Waterfowl Complex Addition, Faribault County. This project will build upon existing conservation work being completed by federal, state and private organizations. The Minnesota Lake Waterfowl Production Area acquisition will permanently protect 78 acres within an area that has over 1,323 acres of permanently protected habitat. This complex is adjacent to Minnesota Lake, a regionally significant 1,900-acre lake vital to migratory waterfowl within the area. The area has been designated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a migratory waterfowl feeding and resting area.

Project: West Central MN Grasslands II, Big Stone, Pope, Traverse and Stevens Counties. West-central Minnesota provides important migration and breeding waterfowl habitats.  This area also provides critical staging and migratory habitats for lesser scaup, canvasbacks, ring-necked ducks and other migratory waterfowl. The purpose of this project is to restore and protect grassland and wetland habitats to assist land managers in increasing and accelerating grassland management for the benefit of waterfowl and grassland nesting birds within the project area. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is a partner on this project.

Project: Marquardt Addition to the Hallie Marsh Wildlife Area, Chippewa County. The Marquardt Acquisition will protect a palustrine emergent wetland and allow for the conversion of row cropping to significant upland nesting cover/habitat for waterfowl and grassland birds. This will decrease habitat fragmentation while also serving as a buffer from area urbanization and development. Pheasants Forever will acquire and eventually restore the 105-acre Marquardt property, and then donate the land to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act was established in 1989 to provide matching grants for organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States. As part of the Act, both the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and Northern American Wetlands Conservation Council were formed to recommend and approve worthy conservation projects. From September 1990 through March 2011, some 4,500 partners in 2,067 projects have received more than $1.1 billion in grants. They have contributed another $2.32 billion in matching funds to affect 26.5 million acres of habitat and $1.21 billion in nonmatching funds to affect 234,820 acres of habitat. NAWCA funding is awarded through a Standard and a Small Grants Program.

About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever and its quail division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Combined, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.


Ill Wind Blows for America’s Eagles PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Robert Johns   
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:42

On June 20, we celebrate American Eagle Day, officially designated by Congress to recognize the cultural, historical, and ecological significance of our proud national symbol, and to raise awareness of the threats it faces. Ironically, Eagle Day comes just five days after Global Wind Day, a worldwide event “for discovering wind, its power, and the possibilities it holds for our world” (as described on the globalwindday.org website). The proximity of these events to each other is notable because, although it has the potential to be a green source of energy, wind power as it is currently being developed kills hundreds of thousands birds each year, including Bald and Golden Eagles.

Decades of conservation efforts to recover our eagles from past threats such as overhunting and poisoning by DDT are now being countered at the behest of the wind power industry, which has pressured the government to weaken eagle protections.

In 2009, so as to protect wind companies that would otherwise be in violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA—the landmark law protecting these majestic birds), the government introduced a special five-year permit scheme that allows the wind power industry and others to kill eagles during the normal course of their business. Rather than being grateful for a means to operate within the law, wind companies have continuously flouted BGEPA and lobbied for a longer permit duration. Incredibly, the Fish and Wildlife Service is now poised to grant that request with proposals to extend the “take permit” length from five to 30 years, and to weaken the standards required to obtain a permit.

Allowing energy corporations to sidestep BGEPA flies in the face of sound science and common sense, disregards the high esteem that most Americans hold for these spectacular birds, and puts thousands of eagles in danger.

Wind power is a black box with regard to eagle and other bird deaths. Companies are not required to report the birds they kill, and many simply fail to make an adequate monitoring effort. Independent scientists are routinely refused access to wind power facilities, and data given to the government are often kept from the public. Some companies even falsely claim that this information is proprietary, as if they owned the public’s wildlife. The birds that are publicly acknowledged as being killed therefore represent just a fraction of the true toll.

Wind power can be a valuable tool in the battle against global warming, but without transparency and accountability, and with thirty-year take permits handed out to an industry failing on both those counts, we will only see more wind development in inappropriate places and more dead eagles.

American Eagle Day serves as a reminder of how close we came to losing our nation’s symbol, and should give us pause to consider how we treat it today. The federal government needs to keep our eagles flying strong by abandoning its proposal.


Dr. George Fenwick, 540-253-5789

President, American Bird Conservancy

4249 Loudon Avenue

The Plains, Virginia 20198

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