On Virginia Water Radio for 9-29-14: Grebes

This week, Virginia Water Radio features sounds of birds for which diving means staying alive.  Click here to have a listen (2 min./52 sec.)

Two grebes have a pond to themselves on a foggy morning in Blacksburg, Virginia, September 21, 2014.

Two grebes have a pond to themselves on a foggy morning in Blacksburg, Virginia, September 21, 2014.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events – September 23, 2014 Edition

Boats and crews 2 Batteau Fest Jun15 2013

The annual James River Batteau Festival launches every June in Lynchburg, Va.  Shown above is the launch on June 15, 2013.

This post, updated as information becomes available and re-posted monthly,  lists conferences, meetings, and other events related to Virginia’s water resources.  Except for online meetings or seminars, the events here typically are at least several hours long (for example, this site does not list the frequent one-hour water-related seminars held at Virginia colleges or universities).

This list does not include Virginia government meetings related to water; the News Grouper blog has a post on those meetings each week, at  http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water-related+Government.

For water-related meetings outside of Virginia, please see the Grouper post, “Water Conference Sampler from around the United States, Canada, and Mexico,” re-posted quarterly.

Thanks to the Virginia Water Monitoring Council for providing some of the information in this post.

For links to events lists from several other organizations, please see the bottom of this post.

Sept. 1-Oct. 31, 2014 (also ran Apr. 1-May 31): Stewardship Virginia.  Statewide initiative held twice annually to help citizens with projects that enhance and conserve Virginia’s natural and cultural resources.  The program seeks to promote waterway adoption, trail improvement, riparian buffers, invasive species control, habitat improvement, landscaping for conservation, environmental education activities, and other projects.  More information: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship/index.shtml; Bonnie Phillips, (877) 429-2837 or bonnie.phillips@dcr.virginia.gov.  See also: Governor McAuliffe Unveils Spring Stewardship Virginia Campaign, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 3/28/14.

Sep. 25, 2014, Woodbridge: Stream Restoration Conference. Organized by Angler Environmental, headquartered in Warrenton, Va., and the Prince William County Department of Environmental Services.  More information: http://www.anglerenvironmental.com; phone (703) 393-4844; e-mail: Info.man@anglerenvironmental.com.

Sep. 26-28, 2014, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Chesapeake Watershed Forum.  Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  More information: https://allianceforthebay.org/initiatives/connecting-people/chesapeake-watershed-forum/; (804) 775-0951 (Virginia office) or contact@allianceforthebay.org.

Oct. 4, Blacksburg, and Oct. 11, Roanoke: Virginia Science Festival.  Events also taking place between Oct. 4 and 11 in Hampton Roads, the Shenandoah Valley, and Southside.  Organized by the Science Museum of Western Virginia (in Roanoke) and Virginia Tech.  More information: http://virginiasciencefestival.org/.

Oct. 13-19, 2014, on the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore, Md., and Portsmouth Virginia: 25th annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.  The actual 127-nautical-mile race will begin at near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland.  More information: http://www.schoonerrace.org; phone (757) 393-2220; e-mail: race@schoonerrace.org.

Oct. 16, 2014, 10:16 a.m., across the southeastern United States: Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill.  Organized by the Central US Earthquake Consortium and several other partners.  Participants may hold their drill anytime within two weeks of October 16.  More information: http://www.shakeout.org/southeast/; Mark Benthien
Global ShakeOut Coordinator, Southern California Earthquake Center, (213) 740-0323, or ibenthien@scec.org.

Oct. 16-18, 2014, Richmond: National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Virginia Environmental Educators Joint Conference.  This year’s theme is “Celebrate Science Inside & Out!”  and the three conference strands are watershed science, partnerships and collaborations, and integrating Science with other disciplines. More information: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia_naturally/celebrate-science.shtml; or contact the NSTA in Arlington, Va., at (703) 243-7100, or e-mail: conferences@nsta.org.

Oct. 17-19, 2014, Virginia Beach: Virginia Native Plant Society Annual Meeting.  Hosted by the South Hampton Roads Chapter.  More information: http://www.vnps.org; (540) 837-1600; vnpsofc@shentel.net.

Oct. 20-24, 2014, Fairfax: International Symposium on Weather and Climate Extremes, Food Security, and Biodiversity.  Organized by George Mason University.  More information: http://iscefs.org; John J. Qu, phone (703) 993-3958, e-mail: jqu@gmu.edu.

Nov. 3-6, 2014, Tyson’s Corner: 2014 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference.  More information: http://www.awra.org/meetings/Annual2014/; or send e-mail for Gerry Galloway or Betsy Cody to 2014AnnualSpecialSessions@awra.org.

Nov. 14-16, 2014, Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro: 19th Annual Call of the Wild Conference on wildlife rehabilitation.  Organizzed by the Wildlife Center and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  More information: http://wildlifecenter.org/call-wild-conference; phone: (540) 942-9453; e-mail: wildlife@wildlifecenter.org.

Dec. 5-8, 2014, Wallops Island (Accomack County): Winter Birding Colloquium.  Organized by the Chincoteague Bay Field Station.  More information:  http://www.cbfieldstation.org/calendar.html; phone (757) 824-5636.

Mar. 9-10, 2015, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Richmond-Midlothian: Virginia Water Conference 2015.  Organized by the Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association.  More information: http://www.vlwa.org.


Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Virginia Center for Onsite Wastewater Training at Southside Community College

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s “Virginia Outdoors”

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program

Virginia Green

Virginia Household Water Quality Program List of Drinking Water Clinics and Master Well Owner Network Training

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

Virginia Master Naturalists

Virginia Native Plant Society

Virginia Naturally Environmental Education Network

Virginia Sea Grant’s Links to Marine-education Opportunities for K-12 Teachers (click on “Professional Development”)

Virginia State Parks Events

Virginia Water Environment Association

American Water Resources Association-National Capital Region Section

U.S. EPA Watershed Academy Monthly Webcast Seminars

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending September 22, 2014

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending September 22, 2014. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images.


The following maps—accessed 9/23/14 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps–show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts over the past seven days (top map), and the percent of normal precipitation for the given location at this time of year (bottom map).  As of 9/23/14, these data remained provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

Precip sep22

Precip perc sep22

For another precipitation-information source: The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, http://water.weather.gov/precip/, provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years. The site also has the capability to show county boundaries.

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over week ending September 22, 2014, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 9/23/14). The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows at about 140 stream-gaging stations (in Virginia and just beyond the state border) to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are as follows:

KEEP ON DESK _ Stream Flow Chart

Streams SEp 22

State of the Birds 2014 in the United States Report Released 9/9/14 by U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiativ

On September 9, 2014, the U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative released The State of the Birds 2014—United States of America.  The Committee (Web site: http://www.nabci-us.org/main2.html) comprises 23 government agencies and organizations.  According to the Committee’s September 9 news release, the report is “the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted.”  The report found that bird populations are declining in some key habitats but recovering “in areas where a strong conservation investment has been made,” according to the news release.  Habitats addressed in the report include aridlands, eastern forests, western forests, grasslands, coasts, and wetlands.  The report has 233 species on its “watch-list of birds “that are presently endangered or at risk of becoming endangered without significant conservation action.”

The report and news release are available online at http://www.stateofthebirds.org/. The Watch List is available (as PDF) at http://www.stateofthebirds.org/extinctions/watchlist.pdf. [posted 9/23/14]

state of birds

Cover of The State of the Birds 2014—United States of America, accessed at the report’s Web site, http://www.stateofthebirds.org/, 9/23/14.

On Virginia Water Radio for 9-22-14: “Samuel Mason” by Andrew and Noah vanNorstrand Tells the Tale of an 18th-Century Virginia-born Pirate

This week, Virginia Water Radio music about Samuel Mason, a Revolutionary War-era Virginia native who was one of the most notorious river pirates in U.S. history.  Click here to have a listen (3 min./10 sec.)

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

Floodplain Mapping, the National Flood Insurance Program, and Other Issues are Part of a Look Back at September 2013 Historic Flooding in Colorado

September 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of historic flash flooding in Colorado along the northern part of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.  Resulting from heavy rains between September  9-16, 2013, the disaster killed 10 people in the state and caused an estimated $3.4 billion in damages to residences, dams, roads, irrigation ditches, and other structures.

The Summer 2014 issue of Headwaters, from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, provides a look back at the event, an assessment of recovery efforts as of summer 2014, and a discussion of lessons this event offers for flood prevention and response.  Of particular value for citizens outside of the Rocky Mountain State is the article “Coming Home…A Calculation of Risk, Reward, and Restitution in Flood Zones” (pages 23-27), which discusses floodplain mapping and the National Flood Insurance Program.

The magazine’s issues archive is available online at https://www.yourwatercolorado.org/cfwe-education/headwaters-magazine/archive; or contact the Foundation in Denver at (303) 377-4433 or info@cfwe.org.


U.N. Climate Summit to be held Sept. 23, 2014, in New York City; part of Climate Week, Sep. 22-28

On September 23, 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convening Climate Summit 2014 in New York City.  The gathering is expected to include over 100 heads of state, including President Obama.  According to the U.N.’s Web site on the summit, the meeting is intended to “serve as a public platform for leaders at the highest level—all UN Member States, as well as finance, business, civil society and local leaders from public and private sectors—to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.”

The “agreement by 2015” mentioned refers to the Nov.-Dec. 2015 meeting in Paris of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC, where a new international treaty on climate change may result; the Framework Convention is the process that resulted in the 1997 Kyoto climate treaty and subsequent international agreements.

The summit on the 23rd the most prominent, but only one, of what’s being called “Climate Week NYC 2014,” from September 22 to 28.  For example, a “Rising Seas Summit” will take place Sept. 24-26.

United Nations information on the New York City summit is available online at http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/.  Information about the UNFCCC, including about the 2015 Paris meeting, is available online at http://unfccc.int/2860.php.  Information on Climate Week NYC 2014 is available online at http://www.climateweeknyc.org/.