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Northeast-Midwest Institute Weekly Update 
 September 25, 2013
In This Issue
New St. Lawrence Seaway Development Organization Administrator Visits NEMWI Great Ships Initiative
House Advances Water Resources Bill with NEMW Priorities
TSWI Technical Advisory Committee Convenes in Detroit, MI
BRIEFING RECAP: Asian Carp eDNA

NEMWI's Great Ships Initiative Facility Visited by High Level Department of Transportation Officials 

On September 3, 2013, Paul N. Jaenichen, Acting Maritime Administrator, toured the  NEMWI Great Ships Initiative ballast water treatment testing facility in Superior, WI.  Later in the month (September 18, 2013) Betty Sutton, former Ohio Congresswoman, NEMW Congressional Coalition member, and newly appointed Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) Administrator, also toured the regional research site. SLSDC Administrator Sutton said, "I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit the GSI facility last week and receive a tour of the operation from the President of the Northeast-Midwest Institute, Allegra Cangelosi.  It is certainly an impressive facility and it is clear that, as the first fresh water testing facility in the world, the Great Lakes - Superior operation has become a center of scientific research on ballast water.  The Seaway has supported GSI from the beginning and that support will continue in the future." The United States Department of Transportation Maritime Administration and St. Lawrence Seaway Development Organization have been long-standing supporters of the NEMWI's successful development of the Great Lakers ballast treatment testing capability and continue to collaborate with NEMWI on GSI as Advisory Committee members to assure that GSI research is relevant to urgent federal policy information needs.

For more information, please contact Allegra Cangelosi, President, Northeast-Midwest Institute.

House Advances Water Resources Bill with NEMW Priorities

On Thursday, September 19, 2013, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee reviewed and favorably reported the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, H.R. 3080. The bill directs the activities of the Army Corps of Engineers with various water resource projects, flood control, levee safety, and overall management of the nation's ports and waterways. The bill contained some key Northeast-Midwest regional priorities, including designation of the Great Lakes ports and harbors as a single navigation system for consideration of operations and maintenance funding. This provision, originally included in H.R. 2273 co-sponsored by Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. Candice Miller (MI-10), John Dingell (MI-12), and Louise Slaughter (NY-25) along with other Task Force and Delegation offices, reflects the interdependent nature of the Great Lakes harbors in moving cargo throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence System. A comparison of the Senate Water Resources Development Act (S. 601; passed May 2013) and the House bill (H.R. 3080; ready for floor consideration) details some key areas of overlap as well as distinct differences. The House bill is currently expected to come to the floor in early October.

For more information, please contact Danielle Chesky, NEMWI; Mark Gorman, NEMWI; or Sam Breene, Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition.

TSWI Technical Advisory Committee Convenes in Detroit, MI

As part of the project Toward Sustainable Water Information, members of the Nutrient Enrichment Technical Advisory Committee convened last week in Detroit, MI.  In cooperation with USGS, NEMWI is conducting research to determine whether the region's water monitoring programs at the federal, state, and local levels are adequate to support decision-making.  The Technical Advisory Committee is working on a case study to determine what data are needed and available to answer "How effective are BMPs and their implementation at reducing nutrients from nonpoint sources at the watershed scale?" in the Lake Erie Basin.  The committee includes members representing USGS, USDA, Heidelberg University, Northeast Ohio Regional
Sewer District, the International Joint Commission, and others.  This project will ultimately provide recommendations on how to improve the use of our region's water monitoring infrastructure to inform policy decision-making that affects our water resources.  The project is supported by a grant from USGS.

For more information, contact Elin Betanzo, Senior Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 

BRIEFINGS RECAP: NEMWI Coordinates Briefings on Asian Carp eDNA, Control Framework

Last week, the NEMWI coordinated two briefings for staff and the public on Asian Carp. The first addressed the use of environmental DNA (eDNA), its history, and future developments, in preventing the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. Attendees heard from Charles Wooley (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Kelly Baerwaldt (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Bill Bolen (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), Dr. David Lodge (University of Notre Dame), Kevin Irons (Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources), John Navarro (Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources), and Tammy Newcomb (Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources). Speakers provided a background on the development and use of eDNA, highlighting its recent application in management and ongoing evolution. Dr. David Lodge discussed the University of Notre Dame's role in originally developing eDNA, and that given the probabilities, a finding of eDNA most likely indicates the presence of a live Asian carp at some point. State agency representatives from Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan all noted the need to maintain the line against Asian carp (and other invasive species) moving closer to the Great Lakes, an area of agreement of the Great Lakes Governors. With limited state budgets, states have to be strategic and smart about their investments, focusing efforts in the areas where they can have the most impact. A more complete summary available, as well as the presentations and materials.

The second briefing reviewed the Asian Carp Control Framework for 2013, which was published in July and directs the coordinated efforts of the federal partners working to combat the spread and invasion of Asian carp. Jack Drolet, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, described the actions of the Corps for 2013, including electrical barrier construction and operations and maintenance, fish-tracking (telemetry) studies, continued study on the efficacy of the electrical barrier in deterring fish, and the ECALS study and transition of the Asian carp eDNA work to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Leon Carl, U.S. Geological Survey, described the applied research of his agency to find cost-efficient methods to combat aquatic invasive species, including a targeted microparticles to interrupt the lifecycle. Charles Wooley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, described the efforts to monitor in the Chicago Area Waterway System and the expansion into southern Lake Michigan and western Lake Erie as an early detection system. Bill Bolen, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, described the financial support for the Asian carp efforts, much of which began and has been supported through the bi-partisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) but is pivoting towards base budgets for ongoing operations, monitoring and assessment, with GLRI supporting longer-term, more sustainable options, including control technologies, GLMRIS alternatives, etc. A more complete summary is available.

For more information, please contact Danielle Chesky, Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

>>>  The Northeast-Midwest Institute: Taking the Rust out of the Rust Belt!  <<<

 

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