Friday, February 27, 2009

Two new reports on climate

The Climate Ready Estuaries program has finalized a technical report entitled Synthesis of Adaptation Options for Coastal Areas. This guide provides an overview of adaptation options available to coastal managers to reduce their system's vulnerability to climate change impacts. To access the report, please visit the Climate Ready Estuaries Web site.

Also, EPA, USGS, and NOAA recently released a report, Coastal Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region. The study is one of 21 climate change studies being conducted by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), and it discusses the possible impacts of sea-level rise and how governments and communities can respond to rising waters. The report can be found on US Environmental Protection Agency's Web site.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New children's books in the Water Library

Check out Wisconsin's Water Library's new books in the children's collection!

Manfish: The story of Jacques Cousteau
By Jennifer Berne
Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring. Illustrated by Éric Puybaret.

Rain Play
By Cynthia Cotten
Most people leave the park when rain begins to fall, while others enjoy the sights, sounds, and feel of the cool water--until thunder and lightening come near. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe.

Gone fishing : ocean life by the numbers
By David McLimans
Dive down to the depths of our planet’s oceans and see the stunning variety of creatures that call this watery environment home. These incredible marine animals and their ocean habitats are among our most precious and endangered resources.

If you are a UW-Madison student, faculty, or staff, please request any of these books from MadCat. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please request it through Wisconsin's Water Library book request.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Climate solutions worth $50,000 in prizes for UW-Madison students

MADISON – Wanted: Fresh ideas to generate clean energy. Or produce green products. Or persuade people to adopt more earth-friendly lifestyles. Or ease the impacts of climate change in some other way.

Eligibility: Submissions must come from University of Wisconsin-Madison students or student teams.
Reward: $20,000 for the best overall project and up to $30,000 in additional prizes to be shared by other top finishers.
Deadline: April 10. Get cracking!

To read more about the contest, go to The Nelson Institute.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bracing for Impact: Climate change adaption in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) presents a 9-part seminar series on Wisconsin's changing climate and how it could affect natural and human systems in our state. Series begins Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 7 pm in the Biotechnology Center Building (425 Henry Mall).

Among University faculty and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scientists, a retired Coastal Engineering Specialist from UW-Madison Sea Grant, Phil Keillor, will speak on coastal impacts of Wisconsin climate change on Thursday, April 30.

Please click here to see a complete schedule and learn more about WICCI.

Winter 2009 Chronicle is online

Take a look! UW Sea Grant and UW Water Resources Institutes' newsletter, Aquatic Sciences Chronicle, Winter 2009 issue is now online.

Featured in this issue:
Wisconsin's Water Library's blog, AquaLog
Examining the genetic makeup of wild rice
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in drinking water systems
American Water Resources Association annual meeting
and much more!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New video on Cladophora

What is Cladophora?

During the past seven years, heaps of rotting algae have piled up on some beaches of Lake Michigan. The powerful stench turns inviting beaches into wastelands. Walking is difficult, swimming is unthinkable, and mere breathing turns the stomach.

The offending plant is Cladophora, a common filamentous green alga. Growing on submerged rocks, it looks like long green hair waving in the water. Cladophora is an important component of freshwater ecosystems, providing food and shelter for invertebrates and small fish. The recent excessive blooms in the Great Lakes, however, signal an ecosystem responding to both natural changes and human impacts.

Check out UW Sea Grant's video about the problem, its causes, and solutions.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Publication Highlight: Protecting Coastal Investments

Protecting Coastal Investments: Examples of Regulations for Wisconsin's Coastal Communities

Primary Author: Brian W. Ohm, Land Use Law Specialist, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension.

Contributions made by David Hart, Geographic Information Systems Specialist, and Gene Clark, Coastal Engineer, both of University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.

"Understanding coastal hazards, the dynamic nature of Wisconsin's coasts, and some programs related to Wisconsin's coasts."

Also included, Coastal Ordinance Provisions that looks at "coastal hazard setback, alternative approaches to coastal hazard setback requirements, stormwater management and erosion control, site planning, and disclosure of coastal hazards" and an appendix with "an inventory of current coastal setback provisions found in local ordinances in Wisconsin."

View full publication at UW-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Video Review: In Wisconsin

In Wisconsin is a new DVD in Wisconsin's Water Library that focuses on the Great Lakes. The host, Patty Loew, is an associate professor in the Department of Life Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The DVD has two 30 minute specials that highlight how Northern Wisconsin's Lake Superior and Eastern Wisconsin's Lake Michigan affect many aspects of life throughout the entire state. A lighthouse renovation, a national park of lakeshore, and a tribal elder's long life on the lake make up the focus of Lake Superior. Lake Michigan has invasive species such as the zebra and quagga mussels affecting the lake's food webs, the city of Racine makes its once polluted beach clean again and Waukesha struggles to retrieve radium-free drinking water.

If you are a UW-Madison student, faculty, or staff, please request this book from MadCat. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please request it through Wisconsin's Water Library book request.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sturgeon stories captured in book due out in October

People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin's love affair with an ancient fish

Lake sturgeon—ancient fish native to the Great Lakes region that can grow to be more than six feet long—have teetered on the brink of extinction since the late nineteenth century. But in Wisconsin, careful management for over 100 years has allowed one population to thrive. People of the Sturgeon is a history of the cultures surrounding lake sturgeon in Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago region, told by a fascinating collection of photos, artifacts, and a few good fish tales.

From some of the earliest inhabitants of Wisconsin, the Menominee Indian Tribe, to the spearers who flock to frozen Lake Winnebago for the annual sturgeon spearing season, people have always been drawn to this ancient fish. While overfishing, dams and pollution nearly wiped out other populations of lake sturgeon, Winnebago sturgeon have survived and flourished because of the dedicated efforts of state managers, university researchers, and a determined group of spearers known as Sturgeon for Tomorrow. This is the only population of sturgeon in the world to have been nearly extirpated, then resurrected through a community-wide effort of people who are now joined together as People of the Sturgeon.

UW Aquatic Sciences Center authors include University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute's Kathleen Schmitt Kline and aquaculture advisory services specialist with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute's Fred Binkowski.

In addition, Ron Bruch, Natural Resources Region Team Supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, co-authors with Kathy and Fred. Photography by the late Bob Rashid.

People of the Sturgeon can be previewed and pre-sale copies can be reserved at

Monday, February 9, 2009

From the Water Library: Readings on Aquaculture

Wisconsin's Water Library has a new recommended reading list on Aquaculture.

The aquaculture industry in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region is not large compared to other areas in the United States, but the industry here is highly diversified, and the region has the water and land resources needed for significant growth. Aquaculture in Wisconsin is growing at a rate of more than 10 percent per year and has an annual value of almost $9 million. In the Great Lakes region, the commercial aquaculture business has a gross value of more than $76 million and produces more than 50 species of fish.

The primary species raised are rainbow trout for stocking and food, various cold-, cool-, and warm-water game fish fingerlings for stocking, tilapia and hybrid striped bass for food, and several bait fish species. There is great potential for the development of other food fish species, including yellow perch, bluegill, and walleye.

The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute has nurtured the growth of this burgeoning industry in the Great Lakes region since the early 1970s. The purpose of this list is to provide sources of information for current and prospective aquaculturists in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region.

Visit the list...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Web resource: Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS)

The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) provides public access to critical, real-time and historical information about the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and interconnecting waterways for use in managing, safeguarding and understanding these immensely valuable freshwater resources. GLOS is intended to gather and integrate chemical, biologic and hydrologic data, and monitor lake conditions and trends over time.

A nonprofit GLOS Regional Association (GLOS-RA) governs and guides the system to ensure that stakeholder needs are met and that optimal information-gathering tools are in place and secure. GLOS is one of 11 regional associations within the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), a multidisciplinary network led by NOAA to provide data required by decision-makers to address common societal goals. GLOS currently addresses these four goals:

* Improve predictions of climate change and weather and their effects on coastal communities and the nation;
* Improve the safety and efficiency of maritime operations;
* Reduce public health risks; and
* Protect and restore coastal ecosystems more effectively.

Check out GLOS's website, Great Lakes Information Network's (GLIN) Site of the Month.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Book Review: About Habitats: Wetlands

In honor of World Wetland Day on February 2, this week's review focuses on a children's book about wetlands:
About Habitats: Wetlands
Written by Cathryn Sill
Illustrated by John Sill

This wonderful book is from the "About" series by Cathryn and John Sill, a married couple from North Carolina. Cathryn taught elementary school for twenty-nine years and John is a prize-winning and widely published wildlife artist.

About Habitats: Wetlands walks children through types of wetlands, flora and fauna seen in each, and why and how wetlands are important. The main story is simple, easy-to-understand language, with a sentence or two accompanying an illustrated page that lists animals and plants shown. An afterword is included, giving more information on each picture for more advanced readers. A glossary of helpful terms and a bibliography of books and Websites are in the back of the book.

If you are a UW-Madison student, faculty, or staff, please request this book from MadCat. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please request it through Wisconsin's Water Library Web site book request.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Climate Change and Water Resources Management: A federal perspective

A new report published by United States Geological Survey
Climate Change and Water Resources Management: A Federal Perspective
By Levi D. Brekke, Julie E. Kiang, J. Rolf Olsen, Roger S. Pulwarty, David A. Raff, D. Phil Turnipseed, Robert S. Webb, and Kathleen D. White.

The following is from the summary:
"Many challenges, including climate change, face the Nation’s water managers. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided estimates of how climate may change, but more understanding of the processes driving the changes, the sequences of the changes, and the manifestation of these global changes at different scales could be beneficial. Since the changes will likely affect fundamental drivers of the hydrological cycle, climate change may have a large impact on water resources and water resources managers.

The purpose of this interagency report prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to explore strategies to improve water management by tracking, anticipating, and responding to climate change. This report describes the existing and still needed underpinning science crucial to addressing the many impacts of climate change on water resources management."

To see the full report, please go to USGS publications.