Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Great Lakes photo contest

Great Lakes Forever has offered since 2005 to produce the annual Great Lakes photo contest in an effort to raise awareness of the Great Lakes and engage people in their protection

Read more.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Water Quality and Hydrology of Whitefish Lake

Whitefish Lake, which is officially named Bardon Lake, is an oligotrophic, soft-water seepage lake in northwestern Wisconsin, and classified by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as an Outstanding Resource Water. Ongoing monitoring of the lake demonstrated that its water quality began to degrade (increased phosphorus and chlorophyll a concentrations) around 2002 following a period of high water level.

To provide a better understanding of what caused the degradation in water quality, and provide information to better understand the lake and protect it from future degradation, the U.S. Geological Survey did a detailed study from 2004 to 2008. The goals of the study were to describe the past and present water quality of the lake, quantify water and phosphorus budgets for the lake, simulate the potential effects of changes in phosphorus inputs on the lake's water quality, analyze changes in the water level in the lake since 1900, and relate the importance of changes in climate and changes in anthropogenic (human-induced) factors in the watershed to the water quality of the lake.

To read publication, go to USGS Publications.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wisconsin Maritime Museums

Traveling around Wisconsin this summer? Beat the heat and stop into a maritime museum on the way. There are quite a few in the state, so there is sure to be one along the way. Combining history, shipping, and the Great Lakes, Wisconsinites and out of state tourists alike can enjoy the exhibits these museums have to offer.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum

Wisconsin Marine Historical Society

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The Bayfield Maritime Museum

Door County Maritime Museum

Ship's Wheel Gallery and Nautical Museum

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Resource highlight: The Book Seer

Hello from Wisconsin's Water Library! Need some good summer reading while lounging at the beach or in between flight destinations? Check out The Book Seer, a new Web site to find new books and figure out what everyone else is reading. By letting the "seer" know the last title and author you read or enjoyed, it can generate a reading list of suitable and interesting books with common themes. We, here at the Water Library, have become quite fond of it. Watch out or you will get hooked too!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

US Fish and Wildlife Service resource: Eddies

The mission of the US Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. In an effort to complete this mission, USFWS publishes Eddies: Reflections on Fisheries Conservation. Eddies seeks to inform its readers of the work – past, present, and future – of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation. Each issue has several feature stories and five regular departments.

To look at the current and past issues of Eddies, go to US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In the News: DNR's sturgeon expert Ron Bruch honored

Year after year, Bruch counts the prehistoric fish as they course through the Lake Winnebago system of lakes and rivers.

Each spring, he wades into the Wolf and Embarrass rivers to look for and tag those fish that survived yet another spearing season.

Bruch has even shared top billing with the large fish in a movie about the Great Lakes and eight years ago brought sturgeon experts from around the world to Wisconsin to tour the sturgeon's breeding grounds.So it's no surprise the Wisconsin Conservation Congress recently named Bruch the state Department of Natural Resources' fishery manager of the year.

"I've been around for 55 years and every fisheries manager we've had has been good, but Ron is exceptional. He listens to the people and works with us," said Dick Koerner of Neenah, an official of the conservation group and part of the DNR's sturgeon advisory committee.

Bruch has worked for the DNR for 32 years and the last 19 years became known as the sturgeon biologist for the Lake Winnebago system, which includes lakes Winnebago, Poygan, Butte des Morts and Winneconne and the Wolf and Embarrass rivers.

"This honor means a lot to me because it came from people I've worked with throughout my entire career, not only in Oshkosh, but in other parts of the state," Bruch said.

To read more of this article, go to the Post-Crescent.

Along with Kathleen Kline and Fred Binkowski of the UW Aquatic Sciences Center, Bruch is a co-writer of People of the Sturgeon: A love affair with an ancient fish, being published this October. To learn more about sturgeon, click on the link and read an excerpt from the book or reserve a copy of your own today!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Great Lakes Maps

Take a look at Great Lakes online exhibits, brought to you by Wisconsin's Water Library and University of Wisconsin Sea Grant.

Making Maps, Mapping History

This exhibit traces the evolution of mapmaking since the 1600s and the historical influence of the Great Lakes on the history of Wisconsin. The original maps were collected for an exhibit at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library Department of Special Collections, March 19 through June 29, 2007.

The maps are from the UW-Milwaukee American Geographical Society (AGS) Library and the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center. The AGS Library is one of North America’s foremost geography and map collections. The Space Science and Engineering Center includes one of the first remote sensing facilities in the United States.

U.S. Lake Survey
In 1841, Congress created the Lake Survey within the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers, which later became part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Survey, based in Detroit, Mich., was charged with conducting a hydrographical survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes and preparing and publishing nautical charts and other navigation aids. The Lake Survey published its first charts in 1852. In 1882, after producing 76 charts, it had completed its Congressional mandate.

This pioneering effort eventually grew into a comprehensive program of scientific investigations and monitoring of the Great Lakes conducted through NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Women and Water: Marginalization, Hope, and a Call to Action

From Wisconsin's Water Library, our own Head Librarian Anne Moser reviews Gender, Water and Development edited by Anne Coles and Tina Wallace, Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America edited by Vivienne Bennett, Sonia Davila-Poblete and Maria Nieves Rico, and Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water by Maude Barlow.

Full review was published in Feminist Collections, UW-Madison's Quarterly of Women's Studies resources.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Film review: Flow

Flow: For the love of water, a film by Irena Salina, takes you to every continent of the world in a quest to understand water as a resource. In Bolivia, for example, the privatization of water leaves poor citizens with dirty water. In South Africa, citizens are asked to pay per use with tokens that the poor cannot afford. Dams are built, but are costly and give off harmful greenhouse gases like methane. Water that is bottled in the United States, while a $40 billon dollar industry, creates trash and its production is unsustainable, especially in its use of petroleum products. Worldwide, multinational corporations are making water a commodity, rather than a natural resource and human right. Major players in the water industry as well as environmental activists concerned with the world water crisis are interviewed in this compelling film.

For more information, go to flowthefilm.com.

If you are a Wisconsin resident, you may check this film out from Wisconsin's Water Library by completing our book request form. If you are a UW-Madison faculty, student or staff member, please request through MadCat.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Resource Highlight: Bing versus Google

At the beginning of June, a new search engine was launched by Microsoft. Bing.com has made quite a stir in its first few weeks, mostly as Microsoft's answer to Google. Three types of searches exist: Web, Images, and xRank. xRank allows searchers to "see who and what everyone's searching for most." Check it out on its own at Bing.com or view a comparison of Bing and Google here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

U.S. and Wisconsin beaches

Hello from Wisconsin's Water Library! We hope you are having a safe and enjoyable summer so far. Although we pay special attention to the waters of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes, many of our summer travelers, tourists, and Wisconsin residents may encounter beaches while partaking in summer fun. To get the latest news on beach health in Wisconsin or elsewhere in the United States, be sure to check out these two fantastic sites before diving in:

About our national beaches (from EPA)

About Wisconsin beach health

Monday, June 15, 2009

Society of Wetland Scientist annual conference

Society of Wetland Scientists annual conference

The North Central Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists is pleased to be hosting the Society's 30th annual meeting in Madison, WI with partners the Wisconsin Wetlands Association and the Wetland Biogeochemistry Symposium. To be held June 21-26, 2009 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, the conference will follow successful formats used previously including plenary sessions, symposia, contributed oral presentations, poster sessions, exhibitor booths, a silent auction, chapter and society business meetings, social functions and field trips.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Zebra Mussels Hang On While Quagga Mussels Take Over


For more information contact:
Suzanne Peyer, Doctoral Candidate, smpeyer@wisc.edu, (608) 262-9225
Dr. Carol Eunmi Lee, Professor, UW-Madison Center of Rapid Evolution, carollee@wisc.edu, (608) 262-2675

Editors Note: High-definition video of quagga mussels feeding can be found at www.youtube.com/UWASC. The video is called “Quagga Mussels Feeding.”

MADISON (6/12/2009) --The zebra mussels that have wreaked ecological havoc on the Great Lakes are harder to find these days – not because they are dying off, but because they are being replaced by a cousin, the quagga mussel. But zebra mussels still dominate in fast-moving streams and rivers.

Research conducted by Suzanne Peyer, a doctoral candidate in the UW-Madison Department of Zoology, shows that physiological differences between the two species might determine which mollusk dominates in either calm or fast-moving waters.

“Zebra mussels quite rapidly colonized rivers close to the Great Lakes right after their introduction, within a year or two,” Peyer explained. “Quagga mussels were introduced in the Great Lakes around 20 years ago, but they are still not found in the rivers or tend to be present in low numbers.”

To read entire release, visit here.

Lake Michigan marine sanctuary

MANITOWOC — Representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Wisconsin Historical Society were met with open arms by area divers Wednesday, who seemed excited and pleased at the possibility of opening a marine sanctuary in the area around Lake Michigan.

Ellen Brody, the regional coordinator for the Great Lakes and Northeast Region for NOAA was grinning ear-to-ear after a successful hour-long meeting at Maritime Divers where locals seemed to embrace the possibility of a sanctuary.

"We've been blown away by the support here," Brody said. "I'm not really feeling like there is going to be opposition to this."

The purpose of a marine sanctuary would be to study and preserve the many shipwrecks in Lake Michigan. The study area for the proposed sanctuary begins just north of Two Rivers and stretches through Manitowoc, Cleveland, Sheboygan and Port Washington.

To read this entire article, go to Herald Times Reporter.
To learn more about marine sanctuaries around the nation, go to NOAA.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Review: Perspectives on Milwaukee's Past

Perspectives on Milwaukee's Past
Edited by Margo Anderson and Victor Greene, both professors of UW-Milwaukee, this volume explores themes in the history of Milwaukee. Highlights include Milwaukee's ethnic diversity, the function and origins of the city's architecture, and the role of religious and ethnic culture in forming the city's identity. These essays challenge readers and researchers to pursue additional research on the city and Great Lakes region by identifying critical area and methods for future investigations into Milwaukee's past.

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, June 10, 2009

June is Invasive Species Awareness Month

MADISON – Every year since 2005, June has been declared Invasive Species Awareness Month in Wisconsin to help raise awareness of the impacts invasive species are having on Wisconsin ecosystems.

“There are increasing concerns over invasive species especially as the costs to combat invasives for citizens, municipalities, non-profit organizations and contractors increase each year in Wisconsin,” says Courtney LeClaire, invasive plant education, early detection and mapping specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

To learn more, go to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources or the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In the News: Lake Delton is back

LAKE DELTON, Wis. -- The last time Bobbie Kochendorfer's family saw Lake Delton was about a year ago -- after the earth gave way and gravity drained the lakewaters into the Wisconsin River.

"You could walk anywhere," she said Monday. "And there was that muck. You know, that stinky muck?"

Several million dollars later, the lake is back, and so is Kochendorfer's family, enjoying the view from an amphibious Duck boat spewing diesel fumes and whoops of joy.

Since heavy rains washed out a berm holding the artificial lake back from the Wisconsin River last summer, engineers, town leaders and the Wisconsin state bureaucracy have moved tons of earth to restore this jewel of the Wisconsin Dells.

Article By James Janega at Chicago Tribune.

To read full article, go to Chicago Tribune.

Monday, June 8, 2009

From Wisconsin's Water Library: recent acquisitions


Spring is finally here!! Right along with the peepers, daffodils, and farmer’s market, Wisconsin’s Water Library debuts its May 2009 Recent Acquisitions List. The list contains seven children’s books, three fictional mysteries, and multiple titles on climate change, Earth Day, and gardening.

Check it out!

Friday, June 5, 2009

In the News: Obama appoints Great Lakes czar

Obama appointed Cameron Davis, a long-time champion for the Great Lakes, as a special advisor to the EPA to help oversee the restoration of the Great Lakes. Davis was well-known around Chicago as executive director of the former Lake Michigan Federation, and is the former co-chairman of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

To read more of this article, go to Chicago Sun-Times.

To read more about Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, click here.

Bike to work week begins tomorrow!

UW Commuter Solutions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is encouraging the campus community to take part in Bike to Work Week - which runs from Saturday, June 6-Friday, June 12 - to support the two-wheeled alternative to driving alone.

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin sponsors the weeklong promotion, featuring events that include morning snacks, bike tune-ups and a week-ending celebration of cycling at Vilas Park. For more information on all of the week's events, visit http://www.wisc.edu/trans/files/biketoworkweek.pdf.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fun and educational resource: The Why Files

The mission of The Why Files is "to explore the science, math and technology behind the news of the day, and to present those topics in a clear, accessible and accurate manner." Based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Why Files look into science at all institutions of scientific exploration and discovery. They strive to explain the relationship between science and daily life.

Many topics of science are considered, particularly water-related topics. Check out How Many Fish in the Sea? as an interesting example.

To look into the Why Files on your own, click here.

U.S. Designates Upper Mississippi River Floodplains a Wetland of International Importance

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced approval of portions of the Upper Mississippi River, including the Midwest's largest national wildlife refuge, as a Wetland of International Importance.

In making the announcement, Secretary Salazar said, "The ecological, social, and economic values of the Upper Mississippi River make it one of the crown jewels of this nation's wetlands. This marks the 27th U.S.
wetland designated under the Convention on Wetlands. The U.S. became a party to the convention in 1987, which now includes 150 countries. It's certainly fitting that this area has now officially received international recognition."

The designation includes just over 300,000 acres of federal and state lands and waters of the Upper Mississippi River floodplain from near Wabasha, Minn. to north of Rock Island, Ill. The designation includes all of the 240,000-acre Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge headquartered in Winona, Minn. and the adjacent 6,226-acre Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin.

Other designated sites in the U.S. include such wetland icons as Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia and Florida, Everglades National Park in Florida, and Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin.

To read more, go to the USDA Water Quality Information Center news.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

USGS report

Nutrient Trends in Streams and Rivers of the United States, 1993–2003
By Lori A. Sprague, David K. Mueller, Gregory E. Schwarz, and David L. Lorenz

Trends in streamflow and concentrations and loads of total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and nitrate were determined for the period from 1993 to 2003 in selected streams and rivers of the United States. Flow-adjusted trends in concentration (the trends that would have occurred in the absence of natural changes in streamflow), non-flow-adjusted trends in concentration (the trends resulting from both natural and human factors), and trends in load (trends in the nutrient mass transported downstream) were determined, and the results were examined spatially to determine whether a consistent pattern of trends occurred across groups of sites at multiple locations. Relations between the trends and changes in nutrient sources and streamflow are examined.

To view entire report, go to USGS.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Growing Fish in Greenhouses - Will Allen and Growing Power

Milwaukee's Growing Power, a community-based urban food center, is using plants as natural water filters for raising yellow perch. Fred Binkowski, an aquaculture specialist with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, provides technical advice on the experimental effort.

Watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qZPwBPAqks

For more information:



Rip currents awareness week

Rip Current Awareness Week
June 7-13, 2009

In an effort to heighten public awareness of rip currents at surf beaches, each year NOAA designates the first full week of June as national Rip Current Awareness Week, coinciding with the traditional start of the summer vacation season.

Rip currents are currents of water moving away from shore. The strongest rip currents can attain speeds reaching 8 feet per second; this is faster than an Olympic swimmer can sprint! On average, more people die every year from rip currents than from shark attacks, tornadoes or lightning. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, 80 percent of surf beach rescues are attributed to rip currents, and more than 100 people die annually from drowning in rip currents.

To learn more, go to NOAA's Rip Current Safety website.