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31 March 2017

Wetlands and Flood Mitigation: The 10 Percent Solution

Wetlands and Flood Mitigation: The 10 Percent Solution

Following the Great Flood of 1993, an official report called for more research to find ways to prevent flood devastation, apparently unaware the problem had been mostly solved, conceptually over a decade earlier. But taking action through the implementation of a national wetland restoration program has faced intractable political and economic obstacles.

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27 January 2017

Federal GIS Data in Jeopardy

How safe is Federal GIS data? Thursday, I ran across this article on a Reddit GIS forum and felt troubled by it. What is the motivation behind this legislation, House Bill HR482 and Senate Bill S103? From Section 3 of each bill: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be used to design, build, maintain, utilize, or provide access to a Federal database of geospatial information on …

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1 June 2016

Herbicides, Critical Source Areas, and Vegetated Buffers

Herbicides, Critical Source Areas, and Vegetated Buffers

Waging Chemical Warfare on Weeds Last fall, while on one of my country road walking routes, I noticed an advanced infestation of marestail (Conyza canadensis) in a soybean field. Evidently, this weed, and others, is becoming herbicide-resistant. A new agricultural herbicide called Acuron (link goes to manufacturer’s website) is on the market, and in some fields. Acuron has been developed in response to “superweeds” that have grown resistant to glyphosate, …

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18 April 2016

A Journey on the Dirt Road

A Journey on the Dirt Road

When I was seven years old, my family moved from Dearborn, a modern suburb of Detroit, Michigan and the home of Henry Ford, to a much smaller and older town in Northwest Ohio, called Defiance. Perhaps the most notable aspect of Defiance was that it was built at the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize rivers and regional folklore had it that the meeting of these two rivers protected the …

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21 March 2013

EPA to Enbridge: Dredge More Submerged Oil from the Kalamazoo River

EPA to Enbridge: Dredge More Submerged Oil from the Kalamazoo River

On July 25 2010, the 30-inch diameter Enbridge 6B pipeline ruptured near Marshall, Michigan. Roughly 1 million gallons of diluted bitumen (DilBit) from Canadian oil sands spilled into Talmadge Creek, a tributary to the Kalamazoo River. Nearly three years later, the cleanup continues. Last week, the U.S. EPA issued a final Administrative Order requiring Enbridge, the owner of the pipeline, to conduct additional dredging to remove submerged oil from three portions of …

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19 July 2012

Introducing the European Geoscience Union – Soil Systems Science Division

The European Geoscience Union, a leader in the free dissemination of scientific research, has rolled out its Soil Systems Science Division (SSSD). The SSSD has a blog newsletter with some fine articles and beautiful images about soils and surface geology of Europe. When Editor Jessica Drake (Soilduck) kindly invited me to write a short “why I do soil science” biographical piece, I jumped at the chance. Being that I’m American, …

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22 August 2011

Wetland Services: The Netley-Libau Project

Wetland Services: The Netley-Libau Project

The University of Manitoba and Ducks Unlimited enlist the ecological services of one of North America’s largest freshwater wetlands. A fly-over Google Earth tour of the area prepared by the International Institute for Sustainable Development shows a huge delta marsh where the silt-laden Red River of the North flows into Lake Winnepeg. The Netley-Libau Nutrient Bioenergy Project turns wetland plants to into bioenergy and recovers agricultural phosphorus while protecting water …

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1 May 2011

Iceberg Drag Marks on the Bottom of Glacial Lake Agassiz

Iceberg Drag Marks on the Bottom of Glacial Lake Agassiz

The linear streaks shown on the aerial photograph to the right are believed to have been gouged by icebergs dragging on the bottom of wind swept Glacial Lake Agassiz. The streaks (Lat. 48 50′ 45″ N; Lon. 97 16′ 30″ W) are up to several miles long, hundreds of feet wide and several feet deep. Glacial Lake Agassiz, named after the 19th Century naturalist Louis Agassiz, was the largest of …

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14 November 2010

Kingston Coal Sludge Cleanup: The Road Show Returns

Following the December 22, 2008 breach of a containment dike surrounding an 84-acre coal ash disposal pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County, TN, the immediate response focused on limiting and containing impacts to the Emory and Clinch Rivers, which were hit hard by the spill. The next step was to collect and haul the sludge away to disposal sites. As reported, this expensive …

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19 June 2010

Luna Pier Beach Ordered Closed

UPDATE As of June 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm, the Total Body Direct Contact Advisory for Luna Pier has been lifted. There is no longer an advisory against using the waters at City of Luna Pier beach. Qi Gong class on the beach at Luna Pier, Michigan. Source: Mayor Mary Liske. High coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) counts close Lake Erie beach. According to the Monroe County Health Department, fecal coliform …

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