Chesapeake Bay Foundation | Improving Water Quality Through Streamside Tree Buffers

Chesapeake Bay Foundation | Improving Water Quality Through Streamside Tree Buffers.

Spring is the perfect time to plant trees. And establishing a streamside forested buffer will not only help protect water quality, it will attract wildlife by providing much-needed habitat. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), a federally funded program, provides landowners and farmers with the resources to design and install these buffers. CREP also pays annual rental payments to the landowner.

There are many benefits to forested buffers, including preventing pollutants from reaching streams, creating wildlife habitat, and improving water quality. Streamside trees also help reduce stormwater and flooding problems by slowing down and absorbing rainwater as it moves across the land. Buffers also provide recreational opportunities like wildlife and bird watching, and they improve property values.

The following information is from www.creppa.org:

WHAT IS CREP?

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a voluntary conservation program which rewards producers and landowners for installing conservation practices on their land, and offers up to 100% cost share reimbursement for installation, annual rental payments, and cash incentives.

For more detailed information visit the PA Game Commission website.

Any producer or landowner can enroll in CREP, which is available for eligible marginal cropland, pastureland, and land along non-forested streams.

Continuous enrollment in CREP is available for a limited time,so don’t wait until the last minute to take advantage of this opportunity to cash in on conservation!

CREP BENEFITS

  • Protects Pennsylvania’s streams, lakes and wetlands.
  • Provides wildlife habitat for biodiversity.
  • Covers the cost of streambank fencing, stream crossings, and stock tanks.
  • Pays for planting native trees, shrubs and grasses.
  • Reduces wear and tear on farm equipment, (through enrollment of wet or steep “problem acres.”)
  • Protects animals from diseases that can be transmitted by waterborne bacteria, such as mastitis, Johne’s disease, BVD and foot rot.
  • Saves you time and earns you money.

CREP KEYWORDS

  • Soil Rental Rate (SRR) – Calculated cash payment dependent upon soil type.
  • Erodibility Index (EI) – Calculation based on soil type and slope.
  • Highly Erodible Land (HEL) –  Land susceptible to erosion (usually found on steep slopes, but depends on soil type and vegetative cover).
  • Marginal Pastureland – Land near a stream or water body not currently covered with trees or woody growth.
  • Riparian Zone – Land adjacent to stream channels and other waterways.
  • Riparian Buffer – Strips of trees, shrubs and/or grasses along the edges of waterways that stabilize banks and filter runoff.
  • Wetland –  An area that frequently is inundated by surface and/or groundwater, providing a unique habitat for wildlife, improving water quality and protecting against floods.  A wetland is different than a pond.
  • Shallow Water Area – A source of water with an average depth of 6 – 18 inches which provides wildlife habitat.
  • Native Grasses – Warm and cool season grasses naturally occur in western PA.  Warm season grasses include indiangrass, big bluestem, and switchgrass.  Cool season grasses include orchardgrass, timothy and perennial ryegrasss.

A variety of wildlife depends on grassland habitats and adjacent riparian areas year-round. Birds use the many layers of vegetation cover (trees, shrubs, and grasses) and plentiful plant species found in these habitats for food and cover. During the breeding season, many ground-nesting bird and mammal species build nests in the vegetation and use the cover to raise and protect their young. In the winter, seeds are foraged and dead vegetation creates pockets where ground-dwelling birds can take shelter. Butterflies, and other enjoyable insects, feed on the flowers that grow in the grassland. Unlike the specific vegetation of riparian corridors, wetlands, and grasslands, the wildlife that depend on these areas commonly travel between them for both food and shelter.

Before And After

Shutiz Fence Before

Shutiz Fence After

Wandrisco Before

Wandrisco After

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Vote For the 2011 BioFool of the Year for April 1st: Friends of the Earth U.S.

Friends of the Earth U.S..

Vote at the link above and to read more.

According to Friends of the Earth, it has been a good year for Biofools: ethanol subsidies were slipped into the December tax cut deal, EPA approved a 15 percent ethanol blend for cars up to a decade old, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico covered up that region’s other ecological disaster — a dead zone the size of Massachusetts caused by agricultural runoff from the Midwest.

Learn more about the 2011 Biofools nominees:

EPA Vetoes Largest Mountaintop Removal Permit: New Era of Civility in the Coalfields? | CommonDreams.org

Valley fill - Mountaintop removal coal mining ...

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EPA Vetoes Largest Mountaintop Removal Permit: New Era of Civility in the Coalfields? | CommonDreams.org.

Full article at above link.

Lisa Jackson and the EPA have gone to the mountaintop and announced their veto of the largest mountaintop removal mining permit in Appalachia.

Invoking the rule of law and science in the central Appalachian coalfields, the EPA just announced its long awaited and extensively researched decision today to veto the 2,300-acre mountaintop removal mining permit at the Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia. Basing their ruling on 404 (c) of the Clean Water Act, the EPA concluded that the proposed mine would have “unacceptable adverse effect on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas (including spawning and breeding areas), wildlife, or recreational areas.”

In addition, the EPA noted:

The project, as permitted, will bury 6.6 miles of Pigeonroost Branch, Oldhouse Branch, and their tributaries under excess spoil generated by surface coal mining operations. These streams represent some of the last remaining least-disturbed, high quality stream and riparian resources within the Headwaters Spruce Fork sub-watershed and the Coal River sub-basin and contain important wildlife resources and habitat. The quality of these streams is comparable to a West Virginia-designated reference site, and the macroinvertebrate communities found in these streams, which are used as an indicator of quality, rank extremely high in comparison to other streams throughout the Central Appalachia ecoregion and the state of West Virginia. These streams perform critical hydrologic and biological functions, support diverse and productive biological communities, contribute to prevention of further degradation of downstream waters, and play an important role within the context of the overall Headwaters Spruce Fork subwatershed and Coal River sub-basin.

This decision will not be without critics in the coal industry, including Big Coal-bankrolled political allies like Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who repeated his support for his state’s current lawsuit against the EPA on mountaintop removal permits in his State of the Union speech last night.

 

Honeybee Decline and Clothianidin?

Pollen sticking to a bee. Insects involuntaril...

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A coalition of beekeepers and environmentalists is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to remove a pesticide from the market because it might kill honeybees.

This request is a response to the leak of an internal EPA document that questions the 2003 approval of clothianidin, a Bayer CropScience product that is used on corn.

“We have been made aware of the unauthorized release of a document relating to clothianidin and honeybees. The EPA has admitted this is a draft document and should not have been released.

The letter was sent by honeybee associations and representatives of Beyond Pesticides of Washington, the Pesticide Action Network of North America of San Francisco and the Center for Biological Diversity of Tucson as well as from beekeeper associations.

EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said the study found useful information for risk assessment, but wasn’t one routinely required to support registration of a pesticide. The agency will continue to work to help find a cause of colony collapse disorder, which causes large numbers of bees to leave a colony and die, said Kemery.

Nearly a year ago, Bayer CropScience removed its pesticide Spirotetramat from the market after a federal judge ruled the EPA skipped steps required in the pesticide approval process, including taking public comment.

Scientists are worried about honeybees this winter. The problematic deaths — typically occurring during cold months — have not stopped since 2006.

Pollination is at the base of our food chain.  It is an essential step in pro-creation for many species that we use as food.  According to the Department of Agriculture, bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops in the United States each year. An estimated 29 percent of U.S. honeybee colonies died last winter.

There are many other speculations as to the cause of CCD.  These include climate change, pesticides, viral or fungal pathogens, electromagnetic radiation, etc.

PlantMyPhone – Recycle Your Old Phone and Plant A Tree

PlantMyPhone – Click here to sign the pledge and receive and for more info!

Unfortunately at this time this offer is only for people in the United States.

Trees are planted currently in 12 countries:

Belize, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Senegal, and Zambia.

Link to the Press Kit

Photos from Planting Projects

How It Works

Step 1:

Send in your phone, free postage.  You can print out a label or request a free mailer bag

Step 2:

PlantMyPhone responsibly recycles your phone and sells the recycled materials to fund tree planting.  Trees per Phone!!

Step 3:

PlantMyPhone emails you about how many trees you planted!!

The following was copied from their website:

We all know that recycling is good for the planet, but why? Recycling your old cell phone enables you to make a difference in the well being of the planet because it limits resource consumption and keeps toxic chemicals out of our home environments.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each year 140 million cell phones are retired, and the rate of cell phone turnover is increasing. Additionally, it is suggested that there are currently 500 million retired cell phones that have already been discarded but not recycled. This stockpile of old cell phones could be put to good use if they are recycled. PlantMyPhone partners with recycling services that are ISO14001 certified and follow policies that ensure that materials are not exported to other countries or sent to landfills. This means that the materials in the phones are properly disposed of in the United States, in ways consistent with strict environmental guidelines. None of the materials are sent to landfills in the United States or abroad.

When a cell phone is recycled, the phone is taken apart and the pieces of the phone that are still useable are used to reconstruct phones to be sold in other markets. The remaining pieces, as well as cell phones that do not contain parts that can be reused are used instead for raw materials recovery. For every 1 million cell phones recycled, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium and 35,274 pounds of copper can be reclaimed. Both of these recycling processes are beneficial to the Earth because they reduce the mining of precious metals and cut down on the energy and resources used in production of new cell phone parts.

Why Trees?

“The symbolism – and the substantive significance – of planting a tree has universal power in every culture and every society on Earth, and it is a way for individual men, women and children to participate in creating solutions for the environmental crisis.”

Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

EPA Subpoenas Halliburton, Seeking Fracking Secrets | CommonDreams.org

Halliburton's North Belt Office, which contain...

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EPA Subpoenas Halliburton, Seeking Fracking Secrets | CommonDreams.org.

Chemicals used in hydrofracking are possibly harmful to our drinking water.  The EPA served Halliburton a subpoena to unveil the chemicals used in this process.

On September 9, EPA asked nine national and regional hydraulic fracturing service providers – BJ Services, Complete Production Services, Halliburton, Key Energy Services, Patterson-UTI, RPC, Inc., Schlumberger, Superior Well Services, and Weatherford – for information.

Except for Halliburton, the companies have either fully complied with the September 9 request or made unconditional commitments to provide all the information on an expeditious schedule, the EPA said.

A 2005 vote in Congress exempted the practice of fracking from regulation by the Clean Water Act after a 2004 federal government study determined that the practice poses little threat to human health.

But fracking has polluted drinking water sources in Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and New York, according to state and federal regulators in a September survey of more than 100 cases compiled by the nonprofit Hudson Riverkeeper.

While the exact components of each fracking fluid mix are closely held industry secrets, previous studies and a congressional investigation have shown they may contain barium, strontium, benzene, toluene, ethanol, and nonylphenols, diesel fuel, acetone, boric acid, ethelyene glycol, isopropanol, hydrochloric acid and/or formic acid.

Barack Obama’s Green Agenda Crushed at the Ballot Box | CommonDreams.org

Climate change opinion cause is human by count...

Opinion on man-made climate change by country

“Obama in interviews on the evening of the elections, admitted there was no change of sweeping climate and energy legislation in the remaining two years of his term. He said he hoped to find compromise on “bite-sized” measures, such as encouraging energy efficiency or the use of wind and solar power.”

via Barack Obama’s Green Agenda Crushed at the Ballot Box | CommonDreams.org.

“The new speaker of the House, John Boehner, once said: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.” Vicky Hartzler, who took out the 34-year veteran Ike Skelton in Missouri, has called global warming a hoax.

In her election night stint as a Fox news commentator, Sarah Palin singled out the Environmental Protection Agency as an example of big and wasteful government. The Republican leadership has signalled they it is opposed to a whole array of EPA regulations, including those on ozone and mercury. The EPA is seen as a fallback route for the Obama administration to deal with the regulation of greenhouse gases after the US senate dropped its climate bill in the summer.”