News Highlights

Source Water Protection Lessons for High School Students Now Available

FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) recently posted 20 source water protection lessons for high school agricultural science students – available here. A product of a USDA-EPA partnership with FFA, the lessons are available online to FFA’s network of over one million high school agriculture science students and their instructors. Content covered includes the water cycle, drinking water basics, the watershed approach, and agricultural conservation practices to protect water quality. Click here for more details.

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EPA Releases Draft “National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change”

EPA’s Draft Strategy describes how EPA’s water-related programs plan to address the impacts of climate change and provides long-term visions, goals and strategic actions for the management of sustainable water resources for future generations.

EPA will accept public comments on the draft strategy until May 17, 2012. To read or submit a comment on the Draft Strategy visit: http://epa.gov/water/climatechange. Click here for more details.

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Responses Due April 6th: EPA Announces Technical Assistance for Green Infrastructure Projects

Continuing its partnerships with green infrastructure communities, the EPA is offering technical assistance for green infrastructure projects protecting water quality. The effort is part of the agency’s Green Infrastructure Program that will accept letters of interest until April 6, 2012. The available $950,000 will be distributed among 10-20 projects and will be directed to watersheds and sewersheds with water quality degradation from urban stormwater.

More information about this technical assistance is available at the new EPA Green Infrastructure website.

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EPA Unveils New Websites on Nutrient Pollution

EPA’s new website on nutrient pollution policy and data can help individuals access information on EPA actions to reduce nutrient pollution, state efforts to develop numeric nutrient criteria, and EPA tools, data, research, and reports related to nutrient pollution. Visit this policy and data focused website at http://epa.gov/nandppolicy. Click here for information about another EPA website designed for homeowners, students and educators.

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National Rural Water Association Helps You Take Back Your Community From Nitrates

A February 2012 NRWA Water University webinar titled, “Take Back Your Community From Nitrates—Lessons Learned,” showcases the efforts of a rural Minnesota community in addressing elevated nitrate levels. Led by Sourcewater Protection Specialist Aaron Meyer, the webinar explains how the community partnered with local farmers and tested the effects of fertilizer on groundwater quality and crop yields.

Click here to listen to the full recording of the “Take Back Your Community from Nitrates—Lessons Learned” webinar.

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Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative Honored with National Award & Releases Action Plan

The Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative, supported in part by the national SWC, has been awarded the 2012 U.S. Water Prize by the Clean Water America Alliance for watershed-based approaches that innovate, integrate, and educate toward water sustainability. This inter-state collaborative between Maine and New Hampshire unites local, state and federal partners to protect forests and reduce pollution from existing land uses and anticipated development. For more information about the prize, click here.

To download the Collaborative’s newly released Action Plan, please click here.

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New USGS Study Follows Phosphorus from Farm to Stream

A new study published by the U.S. Geological Survey examines the movement of phosphorus in soil and groundwater of farm settings in five states—Washington, California, Nebraska, Indiana, and Maryland. The report assesses the impact of various farming practices on phosphorus movement—information that is useful in creating best practices to limit phosphorus transport from agricultural fields.

To access the full report, click here.

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EPA Releases New DVD on Reducing Runoff from Urban Areas

The EPA’s newest DVD, “Reduce Runoff: Slow it Down, Spread it out, Soak it in!” teaches viewers how to control runoff in urban areas. The DVD was created in partnership with the U.S Botanic Garden and consists of four educational videos that can be used for outreach or to fulfill requirements for EPA’s Stormwater MS4 program. The videos can be viewed online or ordered from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP). Click here for viewing and ordering information and to find out more about the videos.

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USDA Economic Research Service Compiles Data on U.S. Fertilizer Use

Officials at the USDA Economic Research Service have released new data that brings together U.S. fertilizer consumption data from 1950 to 2010. To enhance analytic efforts, the data is organized by plant nutrient, major selected product, and consumption of mixed fertilizers, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients. This information can prove useful in tracking growing nutrient loads and identifying usage trends.

To access the new USDA Economic Research data, click here.

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