Category Archives: Non-Virginia

On Virginia Water Radio for 5-15-17: A Great Smoky Mountains Summer Learning Opportunity

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of May 15, 2017, is “Exploring the Smokies in a Summer Field Course from the Home of the Hokies.”  The 5 min./53 sec. episode, available online at, focuses on a week-long field course in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, led each August by Virginia Tech faculty member Don Linzey, who’s studied the wildlife of the park since 1963.

DSCF2456A stream view in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, August 2014.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is  Have a listen or two!

2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill Ecological Damages Valued at $17.2 Billion, According to Research Published on April 20, 2017

In the April 20, 2017, issue of Science, a team of researchers (including Kevin Boyle of Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics) estimated that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which began April 20, 2010, resulted in the equivalent of $17.2 billion of damage to natural resources.

The estimate was based on a household survey asking what people would be willing to pay to prevent or reduce a future recurrence of the kinds of damages (to organisms and habitats) seen from the 2010 incident.

The article is “Putting a value on injuries to natural assets: The BP oil spill,” in the April 20, 2017, issue of Science (Vol. 356, Issue 6335, pages 253-254), available online at  (The direct link to article is, but a subscription is required for access.)  A summary of the research is available in BP oil spill did $17.2 billion in damage to natural resources, scientists find in first-ever financial evaluation of spill’s impact, Virginia Tech News, 4/20/17.

Climate Change Workshop for Educators to be held July 19-20, 2017, in Charleston, S.C.

On July 19-20, 2017, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (Consortium), the South Carolina Aquarium (SCA), and the National Park Service (NPS) will hold Rising Tides and Changing Times–A Climate Change Workshop for Educators.  The event will be at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.  According to the event Web site, “[s]cientists from the Consortium and SCA will share information about climate impacts on both our community and wildlife; the NPS will discuss climate change from a historical perspective during a tour of Fort Sumter; and technology will be used to investigate downtown Charleston’s challenges with flooding during a ‘Climate Change Amazing Race’ competition.”  While the event will feature Charleston as an example of sea-level rise and other impacts of climate change, it will involve National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tools and activities that can used by teachers in other states.

For more information or to register, visit; phone (843) 953-2078; or e-mail:

California’s Long-term Drought Nearly Over in April 2017 as Governor Withdraws State of Emergency in All But Four Counties – A Quick Summary and Sources of Information

[The April 13, 2017, post adds to and updates information posted in February 2014, July 2014, and May 2015.]

It’s an event of national significance when persistent and severe drought afflicts California, the nation’s third largest state in land area and largest in population (with over 37 million people as of the 2010 Census), and the source of over $44 billion worth of agricultural products in 2012, about 11 percent of total U.S. cash farm receipts that year (according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, at, 2/28/14).

In April 2017, California officially emerged from a multi-year drought, with the April 7, 2017, executive order by Gov. Jerry Brown ending the state of emergency across California that he imposed in January 2014, except for four counties.  In its April 11, 2017, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s U.S. Drought Monitor  categorized about eight percent of the Golden State in “moderate drought” and about one percent in “severe drought.”  At the height of the drought in summer 2014, 100 percent of the state was categorized in severe drought, and 80 percent of the state was categorized in the worse categories of “extreme” or “exceptional” drought.  Here’s a description of conditions in California according to the comment section of  the Drought Monitor’s April 11 report: “Recent stats for California (taken from the California-Nevada Drought Monitor Discussion Call) show an incredible year for precipitation and runoff. In the Sacramento area, the precipitation percentages since October 1, 2016 range from 120-percent to 300-percent or more of normal.  The Northern Sierra 8-station index is at 205-percent of normal, only 0.8-inch away from the 1982-83 El Nino record, and the Central Sierra 6-station index is at 195-percent of normal.  Snowpack is equally impressive at 157-percent and 180-percent of normal for this date in the Northern and Central Sierra, respectively.  The Sierra reservoirs have made an amazing recovery this winter, with all the reservoirs at or just above their Top of Conservation levels.”

Following is information previously added to this post, maintained here for readers interested in the course of the exceptionally severe drought that fortunately finally ended for California in spring 2017.

As of the June 9, 2015, edition of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (online at, almost 94 percent of California was categorized as being in “severe,” “extreme,” or “exceptional” drought (the Drought Monitor’s three driest categories, out of five). Over 90 percent of the state has been in these categories since February 2014, with 100 percent of the state so rated during much of summer 2014. And as far back as June 2013, over 50 percent of the state was in the severe-or-worse categories.

The following comments in the July 15, 2014, edition of the Drought Monitor add some more perspective on the current California drought:

“…With June [2014] in the books, NCDC [National Climatic Data Center; online at] rankings for California for the July 2013-June 2014 period were the warmest and 3rd driest since 1895.  The only drier July-June periods were in 1923-24 and 1976-77.  This is the first time California experienced 3 consecutive years in the top 20 for dryness: 2011-12 ranked 20th, 2012-13 ranked 18th, and statewide precipitation has averaged 67% of normal during this 3-year period, and was just 56% of normal in 2013-14.  Fortunately California’s reservoirs hold more water than they did in 1977 when the state experienced its 4th and 2nd driest years on record from July 1975-June 1977.  However, a recent study estimated that this drought will cost California $2.2 billion in 2014, with a loss of over 17,000 agricultural jobs.”

On July 16, 2014, the California Water Resources Control Board announced that mandatory restrictions on residential water use would begin August 1, with violators subject to fines of $500 per day.  Then, on May 5, 2015, the Board adopted emergency regulations requiring an immediate 25-percent reduction in overall water use across the state.  An Executive Order by Gov. Jerry Brown on April 1, 2015, had ordered the Board to adopt such regulations.  On June 12, 2015, the Board announced a rare cut in the water that will be allowed for farmers and other senior water rights holders (those with rights dating from 1903 or later) in the state’s Central Valley, including the Sacramento River watershed, San Joaquin River watershed, and the Delta (the area where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers merge and flow to San Francisco Bay).  For more information on the state’s water-conservation regulations, please see this link: Emergency Regulations Development to Achieve 25% Conservation.  For press releases from the Board, see

Other Information Sources on the California Drought

KQED Public Media for San Francisco, “What is the California’s Delta?”  This is a 4 min./3 second video (produced in 2012) on California’s water supply and the key role played by the Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers in northern California.  Online at

California Department of Food and Agriculture, online at, phone: (916) 654-0466.  (For agricultural statistics, see

California Department of Water Resources, online at; phone: (916) 653-5791.

California Institute for Water Resources/University of California-Davis, online at, phone: (510) 987-9124.  (For drought-information resources, see

California State Water Resources Control Board, online at; (916) 341-5254.

Los  Angeles Times, “California Drought,” online at

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California Water Science Center, Sacramento, online at; phone: (916) 278-3000.

PBS “NewsHour” reports:
*February 14, 2014, “California’s historic drought strains towns and farms in Sonoma County,” online at (8 min./4 sec.).

*July 16, 2014, “California’s ‘water cop’ urges residents to take drought seriously with mandatory restrictions,” online at (9 min./38 sec.).

*May 6, 2015, “Will water-wasting penalties help California conserve?”; online at (5 min./36 sec.).

*July 4, 2015, “Will California’s new water restrictions ease its historic drought?”; online at (9 min./48 sec.).

An Examination of Antarctic’s Larsen Ice Shelf Changes, in 3/8/17 PBS NewsHour Video

The section-by-section disappearance of Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf is the focus of “How scientists are tracking a massive iceberg in the making,” broadcast on March 8, 2017, on the PBS NewsHour.  The 5 min./55 second video, available online at, discusses how an early 2017 rift in the ice shelf is one of the largest ever seen, separating a section approximately the size of the state of Delaware.  This follows the loss in 2002 of a section in that was approximately the size of Rhode Island.  The report describes some of the satellite technology and imagery used to track such large-scale changes.  More information on changes to the Larsen Ice Shelf is available from the National Aeronautic and Space Agency (NASA), “Antarctica’s Changing Larsen Ice Shelf,” online at

A Water Conference Sampler from around the United States, Canada, and Elsewhere – March 8, 2017 Edition; Updated May 19, 2017

Here are some water-related meetings in the United States, Canada, and other countries in coming months, followed by notes for events that recur annually, listed by the month the event typically occurs.

This post is updated as the Virginia Water Resources Research Center learns of new events and a new version is re-posted at least quarterly.  If you would like an event added, please send basic information (date, location, event title, event organizer, Web site, and contact information) to with subject line: For Water Central Editor.

Some of the information for this edition was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC), supported in part by grants from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Citizen Monitoring Grant Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Virginia Department of Health.  More information about the VWMC is available online at

This post is for non-Virginia events; for water meetings and other events in the Old Dominion, please see the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s online Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va. (shown here in Sep. 2014) annually hosts many water-related meetings, including the Chesapeake Watershed Forum each September.

2017 Events

May 21-25, 2017, Sacramento, Calif.:  World Environmental and Water Resources Congress.  Organized by the Environmental & Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  This year’s theme is “Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment.”  More information:; phone: (703) 295-6300; e-mail:

Jun. 4-8, 2017, Toronto, Canada: 51st Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Congress.  This year’s theme is “Future Earth: Weather, Oceans, Climate.”  More information:

Jun. 11-14, 2017, Philadelphia, Penn: American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference & Exhibition.  More information:

Jun. 12-14, 2017, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Nutrient Symposium 2017.  Organized by the Water Environment Federation, the Florida Water Environment Association, and the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation.  More information:; (800) 666-0206 (Alexandria, Va.); or e-mail Diana Prado,

Jun. 13-15, 2017, Fort Collins, Colo.: Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR)/ National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) Conference.  More information:

Jun. 19-23, 2017, Delft, Netherlands: US-Netherlands Connection’s Professional Program.  This year’s theme is “Resilience in the Water Space: Merging Science, Engineering, Business, and Policy.”  Organized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), Florida Earth Foundation, and other partners.  More information:

Jun. 21-23, 2017, Kansas City, Missouri: 45th Conference on Broadcast Meteorology/Fourth Conference on Weather Warnings and Communication.  Organized by the American Meteorological Society.  More information:; phone (617) 227-2425; e-mail:

Jun. 21-24, 2017, Tucson, Ariz.: Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Meeting on Environment, Wellness, and Community.  More information:; or contact Carolyn Anthon, phone (202) 207-0005, ext. 209, or e-mail:

Jun. 25-30, 2017, Trondheim, Norway: 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering.  Organized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  More information:; phone (800) 843-2763 (in New York, N.Y), e-mail:

Jun. 26-28, 2017, Asheville, N.C.: 23rd Conference on Applied Climatology.  Organized by the American Meteorological Society.  More information:; (617) 227-2425;

Jun. 26-29, 2017, Charleston, S.C.: National Marine Educators Association Conference.  More information:; phone: (844) 687-6632.

Jun. 26-30, Portland, Ore.: 21st Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics and 19th Conference on Middle Atmosphere.  Organized by the American Meteorological Society.  More information:; (617) 227-2425;

Jun. 27-29, 2017, Platte River basin of Nebraska: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Water Center’s annual Water and Natural Resources Tour.  More information:

Jul. 5-9, 2017, Athens, Greece: 10th World Congress on Water Resources and Environment.  Organized by the European Water Resources Association.  More information:

Jul. 10-12, 2017, Spruce Knob Mountain Center, Circleville, West Va.: Appalachian Watershed and Stream Monitors Professional Development Workshop.  Organized by Experience Learning, Inc.  More information:; or contact Kellee Waddell at (304) 567-2632 or

Jul. 19-20, 2017, Charleston, S.C.: Rising Tides and Changing Times–A Climate Change Workshop for Educators.  Organized by South Carolina Sea Grant.  More information:; phone (843) 953-2078; e-mail:

Jul. 23-26, 2017, St. Louis, Mo.: Utility Leadership Conference & National Association of Clean Water Agencies Annual Meeting.  More information:; (202) 833-2672; e-mail:

Jul. 30-Aug. 2, 2017, Madison, Wisc.: Soil and Water Conservation Society’s 72nd Annual Conference.  This year’s theme is “Conservation Connections: Creating Pathways to Sustainability.”  More information:; (515) 289-2331.

Aug. 6-11, 2017, Portland, Ore.: Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.  This year’s theme is “Linking Biodiversity, Material Cycling and Ecosystem Services in a Changing World.”  More information:; (202) 833-8773; e-mail:

Aug. 20-24, 2017, Tampa, Fla.: 147th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society.  This year’s theme is “Fisheries Ecosystems: Uplands to Oceans.”  More information:; (301) 897-8616.

Aug. 28-Sep. 1, 2017, Chicago, Ill.: 38th Conference on Radar Meteorology.   Organized by the American Meteorological Society.  More information:; phone (617) 227-2425 (Boston, Mass.); e-mail:

Sep. 10-13, 2017, Snowbird, Utah: Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting.  More information:; (202) 838-3474 (Washington, D.C.); e-mail:

Sep. 16-21, 2017, Garden Grove, Calif.: Annual meeting of the National Weather Association.  More information:

Sep. 18-20, 2017, Reno, Nev.: National Rural Water Association’s WaterPro Conference.  More information:; (580) 252-0629 (Duncan, Oklahoma).

Sep. 20-22, 2017, Baltimore, Md.: Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference.  Organized by the Resource Institute (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  More information:; Paula Worden, (304) 703-4879,  e-mail:

Sep. 29-Oct. 1, 2017, Shepherdstown, West. Va.: Tri-State Native Plant Conference.  Organized by the Virginia Native Plant Society, the Maryland Native Plant Society, and the West Virginia Native Plant Society.  More information:; phone (540) 837-1600 (Boyce, Va.); e-mail:

Sep. 30-Oct. 4, 2017, Chicago, Ill.: Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition & Conference (WEFTEC) 2017.  More information:

Oct. 11-13, 2017, Louisville, Ky.: 12th Annual Southeast Regional Stormwater Conference.  Organized by the Southeast Stormwater Association.  More information:; (866) 367-7379 (Tallahassee, Fla.); e-mail:

Oct. 12-13, 2017, National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Va.: 2017 Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Conference.  Hosted by the West Virginia Water Research Institute (at West Virginia University), in collaboration with the Delaware Water Resources Center (at the University of Delaware), the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center (at Penn State), and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center (at Virginia Tech). Abstracts for presentation proposals due March 27, 2017.  More information: visit, or email:

Oct. 18-21, 2017, San Juan, Puerto Rico: Annual conference of the North American Association for Environmental Education.  More information:; phone: (202) 419-0412 (Washington, D.C.).

Nov. 3-5, 2017, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Chesapeake Watershed Forum.  Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  More information:; (804) 775-0951 (Virginia office) or

Nov. 5-9, 2017, Portland, Ore: American Water Resources Association Annual Conference.  More information:; (540) 687-8390 (Middleburg, Va.); e-mail:

Nov. 6-9, 2017, Westminster, Colo.:  37th International Symposium of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS).  More information: ; phone (608) 233-2836 (Madison, Wisc.).

Nov. 15-19, 2017, Albuquerque, N.M.: Society of American Foresters National Convention.  More information; (301) 897-8720 (Bethesda, Md.); e-mail:

Dec. 2017, New Orleans, La.: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. More information:

2018 Events

Feb. 20-23, 2018, San Antonio, Tex.: Utility Management Conference 2018.  Organized by the American Water Works Association and Water Environment Federation in cooperation with the Water Environment Association of Texas.  More information:; or phone the Water Environment Federation at (800) 666-0206 (Alexandria, Va.).

March 2018, Raleigh, N.C.: Annual Conference of the Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina.  More information:

Annually Recurring Events

(Shown is the month(s) each year when the event is normally held; specific dates change each year, and locations may change.)

January: annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society. More information:

February, Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting.  More information:

February, even years (next 2018): Ocean Sciences Meeting. Organized by the American Geophysical Union, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and the Oceanography Society. More information:

February, Amarillo, Tex.: Annual High Plains Irrigation Conference and Trade Show.  Organized by the Texas A&M University Agrilife Research and Extension Center.  More information:; phone (806) 677-5644.

Late February or early March, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Annual International Conference on Water Management Modeling.  Organized by Computational Hydraulics International (CHI) of Guelph, Ontario.  More information:

March: Multi-State Salinity Coalition Annual Salinity Summit.  More information:

March: North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. Organized by the Wildlife Management Institute.  More information:

March, Lincoln, Neb.:  Annual symposium of the Nebraska Water Center, and  annual Nebraska Water Law Conference.  More information:; (402) 472-3305;

March or April, Washington, D.C.: National Environmental Policy Forum.  Organized by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, and Water Environment Research Foundation.  More information:

April: Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference. More information:

April, Lincoln, Neb.: Annual Water for Food Global Conference.  More information:; phone (402) 472-5145; e-mail:

April: National Hurricane Conference.  More information:

April, Rapid City, S.D.: Western South Dakota Hydrology Meeting. Organized by the U.S. Geological Survey’s South Dakota Water Science Center and several partners.  More information:; Janet Carter, (605) 394-3215 or

April through September: Workshops by North Carolina State University Stream Restoration Program.  For more information click on the individual links below or go to; or contact Cathy Smith at (919) 515-6780 or

May: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress.  Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  More information:; (800) 548-2723.

May:  National Monitoring Conference. Organized by the National Water Quality Monitoring Council.  More information:

May: Annual conference of the Choose Clean Water Coalition (a group of some 200 organizations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; based in Annapolis, Md.).  More information; (443) 759-3407;

May or Jun.: annual Congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.  More information:

June: Annual conference of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR), the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR), and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI).  More information:; or contact UCOWR at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, (618) 536-7571 or

June: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Water Center’s annual Water and Natural Resources Tour.  More information:

June: American Water Works Association’s Annual Conference & Exposition.  More information:

June or July: National Marine Educators Association annual conference.  More information:; phone (844) 687-6632; e-mail:

June or July: Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.  Organized by the American Chemical Society.  More information:

July or August: Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Annual Conference.  More information:

August: American Fisheries Society Annual Conference.  More information:

August: Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. More information:

August: Colorado Water Congress Summer Conference and Membership Meeting.  More information:; phone (303) 837-0812.

September, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Chesapeake Watershed Forum.  Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  More information:; (804) 775-0951 (Virginia office) or

September: Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC).  More information:

September: Groundwater Protection Council Annual Forum and National Rural Water Association’s (NWRA) WaterPro Conference.  More information:

September or October: National States Geographic Information Council Annual Conference. More information:

October: Maryland Water Monitoring Council Annual Conference.  More information:

October, St. Paul, Minn.  Annual conference of the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center.  More information:

October: South Carolina Water Resources Conference.  Organized by Clemson University Public Service Activities.  More information:

October: Annual Southeast Stormwater Association Regional Stormwater Conference.  More information:

October or November: GIS-Pro – Annual conference of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association. More information:

November: American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference.  More information:

November: Society of American Foresters National Convention. More information:

November: Joint annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.  More information:

November, South Carolina: International Conference on Shellfish Restoration.  Organized by South Carolina Sea Grant.  More information:; phone (843) 953-2078.

Late November/early December, North Linthicum, Md.: Maryland Water Monitoring Council Annual Conference.  More information:; or contact Dan Boward at

Block Island, Rhode Island, Offshore Wind-energy Project Begins Commercial Operation on Dec. 12, 2016; First U.S. Commercial Offshore Wind Project

On December 12, 2106, the Block Island, Rhode Island, offshore wind-energy project began commercial operation.  The $300-million project, consisting of five wind turbines, is the first commercial offshore wind-energy facility in the United States.

Sources: Block Island Wind Farm begins commercial operations, Deepwater Wind News Release, 12/12/16.  U.S. builds first offshore wind farm, PBS NewsHour video (10 min./00 sec.), 12/11/16.

For a previous News Grouper post related to the Rhode Island project, please see Virginia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are Planned Locations for First-ever Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sales, Expected in 2013.

For a News Grouper post on offshore wind-energy developments in Virginia as of April 2015, please see Offshore Wind-energy Development in Virginia: April 2015 Update, including March 24, 2015, Announcement of First Research Lease in Federal Waters.

For a News Grouper post on a proposed onshore wind-energy project in Botetourt County, Va., which if built would be the first commercial-scale wind project in Virginia, please see Commercial-scale Wind-energy Project Proposal in Botetourt County, Va.