Water that had been at record highs in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron is now falling, easing some of the recent high erosion pressure along their shorelines. The level in the two joined Great Lakes has declined three inches in just the past month, leaving each lake six inches lower than a year before.
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The USDA has set Jan. 22 as the final day for Michigan farmers and forest owners to apply for conservation aid, including funds meant to prevent erosion and improve water quality. Funding will be allocated on a competitive basis.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has awarded over $2.7 million in Growing Greener grants to 20 mine-drainage, erosion and stormwater projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania, including almost $1 million for nine projects in Westmoreland County. The association governing the Turtle Creek Watershed will use its $75,560 grant to study "impairment sources" affecting the watershed and to become a qualified hydrologic unit.
The organization Sustaining Our Urban Landscape will plant a tree in the front yard of each of the 700 homes in New Orleans' Pontchartrain Park neighborhood on Friday to beautify the area and reduce stormwater runoff. The historic community "deserves a tree canopy that is as notable as its history, and one that protects it from climate change and the storms and flooding that are part of life here," SOUL board member Eugene Green said.
A stormwater pond may form the centerpiece of a new park in Marin City, Calif., and help relieve periodic flooding. A community group and the National Audubon Society want to rehabilitate the pond for flood control, building new tide gates, culverts and a 700-foot wall to shield the pond from Highway 101.
The Delmont Council in Pennsylvania has approved a $75,500 contract to improve a detention pond as required under the town's MS4 permit. Funding comes out of a $114,500 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection, and the council will consider whether the remainder can be used for other measures to curb pollution.
President Donald Trump signed the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act into law on Jan. 1, providing a $200 million revolving loan fund through which the Federal Emergency Management Agency can fund flood mitigation and resilience projects. The program doesn't have obstacles associated with other FEMA grant programs, which may make it easier to obtain funding, according to Colin Wellenkamp, executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative.
The Democratic Party's slim majority in Congress means changes to the Clean Water Act are unlikely, leaving the Biden administration to apply its own interpretation, observers say. This might lead to a wider scope than that implemented under the Trump administration, although changes might not be immediate.
India's coastal village of Kattoor will be protected from erosion by thirty-four groynes extending two miles. Work is expected to begin soon, with the finished groynes expected to protect 49 acres and directly benefit 160 families.
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If we are lucky, the end of the sentence is where we might begin.
Ocean Vuong, poet, writer
The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) is the world's oldest and largest non-profit, member organization that provides education, resource information and business opportunities for professionals who specialize in natural resource protection. For more information about IECA, please visit www.ieca.org.