Friday, May 29, 2009

In the News

Droughts drain northern lakes: Falling water levels trouble residents, raise pollution .
Scientists and property owners say they are worried about the long-term effects of a prolonged drought on fishing and water quality in northern Wisconsin as they've watched some lakes drop to their lowest point in 70 years.

As people flock to the north this weekend, drought conditions also are evident in tinder-dry forests that experienced a surge in fires last week.

Many lakefront property owners are being forced to push out docks and motor around new shallows as water levels have dropped, in some cases, as much as 8 feet from their highs.

Levels are likely to drop even more in some reservoirs controlled by dams, and utilities say that they're generating less hydropower than in the past.

By Lee Bergquist of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
To read more, go to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book Review: Ready, Set, Science!

Ready, Set, Science!: Putting research to work in K-8 science classrooms
by Sarah Michaels, Andrew W. Shouse, and Heidi A. Schweingruber is a resource for teachers to learn different techniques and methods of teaching science.

Science is a broad area of study at the K-8 levels, causing many teachers and administrators to struggle to provide ways for students to fully comprehend its many facets. This book generates a long-needed discussion of resources and research to engage students in such an intimidating subject. It shows how to select and design rigorous and engaging instructional tasks, manage classrooms, and lead productive discussions with diverse groups of students and a variety of representational tools.

If you are a Wisconsin resident and would like to check out this or any other book, please fill out our book request form. If you are a UW student, faculty or staff, please request books through MadCat.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lake sturgeon spawning on Canadian side of Detroit River

Lake sturgeon have spawned four times on the reef constructed last year at the head of Fighting Island in the Detroit River! This is the first time in 30 years that spawning by lake sturgeon, a threatened species in both Michigan and Ontario, has been confirmed in the Canadian waters of the Detroit River. The new spawning reef, constructed at Fighting Island in October 2008, was celebrated as the first Canada-U.S. funded fish habitat restoration project in the Great Lakes.

To read more, go to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or Essex Region Conservation Authority.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PBS documentary on Great Lakes

A multi-part documentary for PBS meant to heighten awareness of the Great Lakes nationally and internationally was the subject of a gathering of nearly 100 individuals with a commitment to the cause earlier this week in Ann Arbor.

The documentary will be based on Michigan author Jerry Dennis' award-winning 2003 book The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas.

Shot with state-of-the-art, high-definition equipment, the series will be produced by Boston-based multi-Emmy Award winner Linda Harrar and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sue Marx of Birmingham, Mich. The presenting partner is PBS station WTTW in Chicago, in conjunction with Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

Source: The Ann Arbor News

To obtain a copy of The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, please contact Wisconsin's Water Library or request using the book request form.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Great Lakes Rip Current Conference

Nationally, over 100 deaths a year are caused by rip currents, and the Great Lakes are not immune. From 2002 through 2003, 18 people died in Lake Michigan alone, and in 2003, a young man drowned in a rip current on Park Point in Duluth.

Many of these deaths could have been avoided by knowing what rip currents are, how to spot them, understanding the conditions in which they form, and knowing how to escape.

The day-long 2009 Great Lakes Rip Current Conference will begin at 9 a.m. June 4, 2009, at the Lafayette Community Center in Duluth, Minn. National experts on rip currents and hypothermia will discuss the mechanics of how, why, and where rip currents form in the Great Lakes; our ability to forecast rip current conditions; the effects of hypothermia and how cold water can affect rescues; and example programs from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota on educating beach users to recognize and escape from rip currents.

To learn more, go to Minnesota Sea Grant.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In the News

Wisconsin Outdoors
Wisconsin State Journal

PESHTIGO, Wis. (AP) -- Man's infringement and native species have changed the Great Lakes forever, but two tributaries of Lake Michigan will soon harbor their prehistoric inhabitants.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reintroducing sturgeon to the Cedar and West Branch Whitefish rivers. In a joint project with the Wisconsin DNR and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., eggs were collected from four sturgeon in the Peshtigo River May 5.

The eggs were transported to portable hatcheries on the two rivers.

They were fertilized from the milt of 17 males caught on the Peshtigo.

The sturgeon began hatching about 10 days later. The sturgeon fry will remain in the safe haven of the hatcheries until September, when they will be stocked into the rivers.

To read full article, go to Wisconsin State Journal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Review: The Silent World

The Silent World
By Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau with Frederic Dumas

Written by the "manfish" himself, Jacques Cousteau describes his career under the sea. From the invention and production of the first aqualung to the exploration of sunken ships and treasure, the reader participates in each journey with Cousteau, due to his beautiful writing style and description, and expertise in everything ocean. Recommended for the adventurous and curious, be prepared to be swept away.

If you are a Wisconsin resident and would like to check out this or any other book, please fill out our book request form. If you are a UW student, faculty or staff, please request books through MadCat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Midwest Recirculating Aquaculture Workshop and field day in Bayfield

The Midwest Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Workshop, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (NADF), will be held in Bayfield and Red Cliff on Wednesday and Thursday, June 10 and 11, in conjunction with a Vendor Fair followed by the annual Field Day with aquaculture industry meetings and fish fry on Friday, June 12.

According to Chris Hartleb, NADF co-director and professor of fisheries biology, the workshop will provide hands-on system demonstrations and practical operating knowledge enabling aquaculturists to better understand RAS capability.

“RAS aquaculture reuses up to 95 percent of the water with fish raised in indoor tanks, utilizing both mechanical and biological filters,” said Hartleb. RAS represents sustainability and water conservation as part of the culture process.

To read full news release, go to UW-Stevens Point.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Three new reports from USGS

Hydrogeologic Framework of Bedrock Units and Initial Salinity Distribution for a Simulation of Groundwater Flow for the Lake Michigan Basin

The U.S. Geological Survey is assessing groundwater availability in the Lake Michigan Basin. As part of the assessment, a variable-density groundwater-flow model is being developed to simulate the effects of groundwater use on water availability throughout the basin. The hydrogeologic framework for the Lake Michigan Basin model was developed by grouping the bedrock geology of the study area into hydrogeologic units on the basis of the functioning of each unit as an aquifer or confining layer within the basin. Available data were evaluated based on the areal extent of coverage within the study area, and procedures were established to characterize areas with sparse data coverage.

To read full report, visit USGS.

Selected Physical, Chemical, and Biological Data Used to Study Urbanizing Streams in Nine Metropolitan Areas of the United States, 1999-2004

The U.S. Geological Survey conducted studies from 2000 to 2004 to determine the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems in nine major metropolitan study areas across the United States. Biological, chemical, and physical components of streams were assessed at 28 to 30 sites in each study area. Benthic algae were sampled to compare the degree to which algal assemblages correlated to urbanization, as characterized by an urban intensity index (UII), relative to other environmental gradients that function at either the watershed or reach scales.

To read full report, visit USGS.

The Effects of Urbanization and Other Environmental Gradients on Algal Assemblages in Nine Metropolitan Areas across the United States

This report documents and summarizes physical, chemical, and biological data collected during 1999-2004 in a study titled Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems, undertaken as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Data-collection methods and data processing are described in this report for streamflow; stream temperature; instream chemistry; instream aquatic habitat; and algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities. Data summaries prepared for analytical use are presented in downloadable data tables.

To read full report, visit USGS.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Buffering Wisconsin's water quality with science

Article by Jill Sakai, UW-Madison News

Spring in Wisconsin heralds a new growing season. But the warming temperatures also bring heavier runoff from farm fields, carrying pollution and contaminants into the state’s lakes and streams.

Wisconsin’s waters have long been known to be negatively impacted by agricultural runoff, including phosphorus, nitrogen and sediments. To date, however, attempts to mitigate the resulting damage and improve water quality have been hampered by the problem’s complexity — Wisconsin has a lot of water and a lot of farm fields, and not all interactions between the two are equal.

To read full article, visit UW-Madison News.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book Review: Dry Spring

Dry Spring: The coming water crisis of North America
By Chris Wood
Raincoast Books, 2008

Dry Spring is not just one more water crisis book. Author Wood is a veteran international journalist and presents scientific and environmental evidence of future countries' endurance against climate change. He takes isolated news stories about floods, storms, droughts, crop failures, or forest fires, and juxtaposes their implications against worldwide water shortage, oil use, war, and other human impacts. He focuses chapters on particular geographical regions, particularly Canada where he grew up. Chapter 5 Up in the Air: The Great Lakes' Uncertain Future is worth a Wisconsin resident's notice and the epilogue is full of useful tips for the future and what it may look like. To some the evidence presented by Wood may seem common sense, creating awareness is a top priority in producing change and long-lasting effects concerning this potentially devastating situation for humanity.

If you are a Wisconsin resident and would like to check out this or any other book, please fill out our book request form. If you are a UW student, faculty or staff, please request books through MadCat.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lawn Watering

University of Wisconsin Extension and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have compiled a series of fact sheets on water quality for residential areas. Here at Wisconsin's Water Library, we recommend checking the Lawn Watering tips, especially in the coming weeks of summer when it may get drier and harder to keep your yard green.

To view the fact sheet, go to UW Extension Learning Store.

Landmark U.S. Geological Survey Study

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new landmark study published today documents for the first time the process in which increased mercury emissions from human sources across the globe, and in particular from Asia, make their way into the North Pacific Ocean and as a result contaminate tuna and other seafood. Because much of the mercury that enters the North Pacific comes from the atmosphere, scientists have predicted an additional 50 percent increase in mercury in the Pacific by 2050 if mercury emission rates continue as projected.

“This unprecedented USGS study is critically important to the health and safety of the American people and our wildlife because it helps us understand the relationship between atmospheric emissions of mercury and concentrations of mercury in marine fish,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “We have always known that mercury can pose a risk, now we need to reduce the mercury emissions so that we can reduce the ocean mercury levels.”

To read more, go to USGS.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ground water versus groundwater

It has been a longstanding practice within the USGS to spell ground water as two words and to hyphenate when ground water is used as a modifier (e.g., ground-water hydrology). Ground Water Branch Technical Memorandum 75.03 issued just under 35 years ago specified that the two-word form should be used.

USGS has now decided to make a transition to the use of groundwater as one word. Reports submitted for approval after August 1, 2009, will be expected to use the one-word form. During the transition period, the one-word or two-word spelling should be used consistently throughout a publication.

To view the memorandum explaining the decision, go to USGS.

Monday, May 11, 2009

EPA promotes American Wetlands Month

Learn! Explore! Take Action!

Throughout the month of May, EPA and its wetland partners across the country are celebrating the vital importance of wetlands to our nation's ecological, economic, and social health. EPA and a host of other public and private partners are planning a number of events as part of this year's celebration. In particular, 2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of the National Wetlands Awards program (143 champions of wetlands conservation honored since 1989). On May 12, the Environmental Law Institute, EPA, and other federal partners will, once again, honor a diverse group of individuals for their extraordinary commitment to conserving wetlands at an award ceremony on Capitol Hill.

Other highlights include:
EPA's Science Notebook focus on wetlands that will highlight the diversity of wetlands and wetland research being undertaken by EPA across the country using assorted multi-media tools such as blogs, podcasts, interviews, and photo diaries.
A National Webcast "Wetlands-Re-connecting Youth with Nature" on May 28th" that will explore the unique role wetlands can play in connecting young people with nature.
EPA regional activities planned for the month of May include educational displays, discussions, presentations, special feature articles, wetland walks and celebrations, and an array of other outreach and communication events.
Information on national, regional, and local activities planned for May will be updated and posted throughout the month on EPA's American Wetlands Month website.

EPA workshop on water infrastructure sustainability and adaptation to climate change

Proceedings and Transcripts from the "EPA Workshop on Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Adaptation to Climate Change" Posted

The proceedings, presentations, and transcripts from the first "EPA National Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Adaptation to Climate Change" have been posted on the EPA website.

Sponsored by the EPA Office of Water and Office of Research and Development, the workshop was held on January 6-7, 2009, in Arlington, VA, and was attended by more than 130 invited experts and stakeholders from the federal, research, utility, engineering, and academic sectors.

The EPA National Water Program looks forward to continuing the dialogue that took place at the workshop, with the goal of delivering useful tools to the water and wastewater sector in the near term to help utilities mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dane County TV and Electronics Recycling Drop Off

Don't forget to your electronic materials to the Alliant Energy Center-Olin Street entrance Saturday, May 9, 2009 from 9 AM to 2 PM. ONE TIME FREE DROP OFF!

Electronic materials collected include:
all brands of television sets (all sizes)
computer monitors
personal computers
fax machines
cell phones & telephones
keyboards & mice
radios & stereos
DVD, CD, and VCR players

Please NO air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or large appliances.

Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has a National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species (NCRAIS). This Center has provided a database to search over 180 nonindigenous species reported to have reproducing populations in the Great Lakes basin, with individual fact sheets for about 70% of them. Fact sheets include photos, identification, native range, means of introduction of the species and current status. For more information on the database structure, criteria for listing a species, and to search the actual database, go to NCRAIS.

Songs raise awareness about aquatic invasive species

MADISON - A new initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is using music to raise public awareness about aquatic invasive species in the state.

"Research shows music can influence how we respond to messages, affecting memory, emotion, attitudes, and even behavior," says Bret Shaw, assistant professor of life sciences communication at UW-Madison and environmental communication specialist for UW-Extension.

Shaw, who directed the project, recruited a group of award-winning Wisconsin songwriters to focus on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, which are threatening lakes in the state. "These songs were created to encourage behaviors that will protect the quality of our lakes and rivers for future generations," says Shaw.

These songs communicate a number of messages, such as the importance of cleaning boats when moving them between bodies of water and not moving bait minnows from one lake to another if water has already been added from the first lake to the minnow bucket, which prevents VHS fish disease (viral hemorrhagic septicemia) from spreading from an infected to a noninfected lake. Natural resource professionals reviewed the lyrics of each song to assure scientific accuracy and consistency with current laws in Wisconsin.

To read more, please go to UW-Madison news.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Book Review: The Clinch Knot

The Clinch Knot
By John Galligan
Bleak House Books, 2008

Author John Galligan lives and teaches in Madison, WI. The Clinch Knot is his third fly-fishing mystery, a subgenre he has made his own. 2003's The Nail Knot and 2005's The Blood Knot introduced Ned "Dog" Oglivie, a trout fisherman with a drinking problem who always seems to get caught up in a whodunit mystery of small-town Livingston, Montana. This time, Dog finds a young couple, the girl shot to death on the ground while the man is unconscious in a sealed car, nearly dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. Thus, it falls to Dog to find the murderer. Recommended for the fisher who likes to catch clues and suspense, The Clinch Knot is sure to please in and out of the boat.

If you are a Wisconsin resident and would like to check out this or any other book, please fill out our book request form. If you are a UW student, faculty or staff, please request books through MadCat.

UW-La Crosse Historic Steamboat Photograph collection

UW-La Crosse Historic Steamboat Photograph collection This collection consists of over 40,000 black and white photographic images of steamboats on the inland waterways of the United States, primarily the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers and their tributaries. In the month of January, UWDC added 1,129 new images.

To view the collection, go to UW Digital Collections.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UW-Madison announces book title for 'Go Big Read'

MADISON - This fall, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will launch "Go Big Read," a common reading program intended to engage students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members in a shared, academically focused reading experience.

From a short list compiled by a review committee from the nearly 400 nominated titles, Chancellor Biddy Martin has selected "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto," by Michael Pollan, as the book for the inaugural year.

"'In Defense of Food' had strong support from campus constituents," Martin says. "It raises issues of importance to people from a wide range of disciplines; it will engage people on and off the campus, and it will promote lively discussion. These are the purposes of the book project."

To read entire news release, go to UW-Madison news.

Quality of Water from Domestic Wells in the United States

USGS reports: Quality of Water from Domestic Wells in the United States

by Leslie A. DeSimone, Pixie A. Hamilton, and Robert J. Gilliom

This study from the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses water-quality conditions for about 2,100 domestic wells across the United States. As many as 219 properties and contaminants, including pH, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, radon, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds, were measured. Fecal indicator bacteria and additional radionuclides were analyzed for a smaller number of wells. The large number of contaminants assessed and the broad geographic coverage of the present study provides a foundation for an improved understanding of the quality of water from the major aquifers tapped by domestic supply wells in the United States.

The results of this study are described in two USGS publications, including an overview of the study findings (Circular 1332) and a detailed technical report on data sources, analyses, and results (Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5227). Both publications can be downloaded in PDF format from the NAWQA website (see below). Also available in PDF format are two related articles in the Water Well Journal of the National Ground Water Association, which briefly summarize USGS study findings and general information on domestic well maintenance, siting, and testing.

To read more, go to USGS.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Leo Lionni!

Today is birthday to Leo Lionni, an author and illustrator of children's books. He was a four-time Caldecott winner, including Swimmy, a book available for check out from Wisconsin's Water Library. Other books of his included in our children's collection:

Call number: 271244

Fish is Fish
Call number: 281463

It's Mine!
Call number: 271252

Extraordinary Egg
Call number: 271253

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 form.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fertilizer containing phosphorus

On April 14, 2009, Wisconsin passed new legislation on the use and sale of fertilizer containing phosphorus and other turf fertilizer and providing a penalty.

To read more, go to 2009-2010 Wisconsin Acts.

Online maps showing wetlands and potential wetlands

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently highlighted their resources to identify wetlands and the importance of this in Wisconsin, especially when buying property.

To read the latest article, visit WI DNR news.

Also visit their pages to locate wetlands and
their Wetlands Media Kit if interested.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sturgeon Spawning

2009 Lake Sturgeon Spawning

From Wisconsin DNR:

The 2009 sturgeon spawning season is pretty much in the books - we captured and tagged 1,231 sturgeon (including recaptures of fish we had previously tagged) over an eight-day period. As of yesterday evening (Tuesday, April 28) most of the spawning sites were quiet with maybe only a couple of straggler males hanging around at a site or two. Given the cold weather (actually cold water temperatures) the fish have had to spawn through during the last week and a half it is possible we could see a "second" run at some of the major sites like Bamboo Bend and Shawano Dam once the weather warms again to drive water temperatures close to the 60 F mark.