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Study: Beavers Transform Forests into Wetlands Over Many Decades

In urban environments, humans pave over landscapes that would otherwise absorb stormwater. However, it turns out humans are not the only species that disrupts natural hydrological processes as their habitats develop. By cutting trees, digging canals, and building dams, beaver colonies shape their forest dwellings in ways that transform flooding patterns, the local food chain, […]

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USGS Updates SPARROW Streamflow Modeling Tool

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released new interactive mappers and models for its online SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) tool. The new models estimate streamflow and the concurrent yields of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment in both monitored and unmonitored inland stream reaches across the country as they feed into […]

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Researchers sound alarm about storm effects on lake ecology

In a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology, a team of researchers from 20 countries highlight a gap in scientific knowledge about how stormwater might affect phytoplankton growth and the health of lakes and similar freshwater bodies. Because climatologists expect climate change to cause more intense and frequent storm events, the global […]

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USGS: Urbanization threatens biodiversity in southeastern U.S. streams

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released the results of a new study highlighting a looming threat to vulnerable marine life in the coming decades: urbanization. In the Piedmont region, which stretches from southern New York to central Alabama, the urban coverage of cities such as Washington, D.C., and Atlanta is expected to nearly triple […]

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What you need to know about starting a stormwater credit trading program

A new resource from Stormwater Currency guides trading-minded municipalities Just as municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees and others subject to stormwater regulations seek out the cheapest and easiest ways to achieve compliance, regulatory agencies have a vested interest in making compliance simpler without sacrificing environmental benefits. In a growing number of U.S. cities, […]

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Homeless shelters partner with Fairfax County, Va., to improve waterway health

People experiencing homelessness often have a difficult time securing work even when highly qualified. At the same time, municipal stormwater agencies working under limited budgets are always in search of outside-the-box ways to keep an ever-growing volume of urban debris out of waterways. A water quality-focused pilot program in Fairfax County, Va., aims to connect […]

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Stormwater and stream restoration agencies achieve more by working together, study finds

To help curb the effects of urban runoff on streambank erosion, the question municipalities must confront is whether to reduce flows or toughen channel banks. The best answer, according to Rod Lammers, lead author of a new University of Georgia (Athens) research article exploring ways to optimize erosion control, is both. The challenge is getting […]

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Vancouver, Wash., to receive $7 million from state for stormwater improvements

The City of Vancouver, Wash., is in an important spot for water quality in the Pacific Northwest. The 21-km-long (13-mi-long) Burnt Bridge Creek meanders through the city center, flowing west into Vancouver Lake. The lake, in turn, drains into the Columbia River and, eventually, the Pacific Ocean. For this reason, the city takes great care […]

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Record-breaking summer rainfall undermines Chesapeake Bay recovery efforts

Despite slight improvements to the Chesapeake Bay’s dissolved oxygen concentration, underwater grass growth, and shoreside green spaces during the last 2 years, scientists monitoring the largest estuary in the U.S. graded the bay’s overall health as a D+ in their 2018 State of the Bay Report. The assessment, published every other year by the Chesapeake […]

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U.S. EPA, Army Corps of Engineers release draft ‘WOTUS’ redefinition language

On Dec. 11, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army proposed a new definition for “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) as described in the Clean Water Act. The redefinition follows a February 2017 Executive Order that tasked the agencies with reviewing — and possibly repealing — amendments […]

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