Komo News – Three conservation groups on Wednesday petitioned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers to increase habitat protections along Puget Sound shorelines. Such concrete or rock structures prevent erosion and protect waterfront homes, but they also alter beaches and disrupt habitat for juvenile salmon, forage fish and other species.
WaterWorld – Today, the Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recognized three new collaborative landscape partnerships across the country. The organizations will focus their efforts on partnerships to conserve and restore important lands and waters and make them more resilient to climate change. These include the California’s Headwaters and North-Central Coast as well as Russian River Watershed and Crown of the Continent.
E&E Daily – The White House expressed “concerns” yesterday over a Senate spending bill that would keep the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration nearly flat. The $51.1 billion bill would fund the Commerce and Justice departments, as well as science-related agencies. It passed the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month, even as senators sparred over its adherence to spending caps set by the GOP budget (Greenwire, June 11).
Environmental Monitor – In the summer of 2014, U.S. Geological Survey scientists studying soil levels in California found that the state was sinking at its most extreme rate in 50 years, according to Grist. The cause, they say, is the depletion of groundwater supplies as the state grapples with long-term drought.
E&E Daily – The Obama administration has renominated Janet McCabe and Kenneth Kopocis to hold top positions at U.S. EPA that are at the center of battles over air and water regulations. The White House yesterday sent the Senate the nominations for both McCabe and Kopocis to be assistant administrators at the agency. It’s unclear when either could be taken up by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Missoulian – An escalating legal fight over a $59 million federal dam project on Montana’s lower Yellowstone River could decide the fate of an endangered, dinosaur-like fish population that has been blocked from its spawning grounds for decades.
E&E Daily – Congress’ quest for more transportation money collided with the complexities of the international tax code in an encounter yesterday that seemed to leave few lawmakers satisfied. The hearing by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures focused on proposals to tap the huge trove of earnings held overseas by U.S. multinational corporations.
Longboat Key News – Good news this week for beachgoers: the North Shore Road public beach access has finally reopened. Parking is also available again at the beach access, and construction of the two rock groins, the reason for the closure, are now in place. Although the groins have only been completed for one week, Public Works Director Juan Florensa said it has already had an impact on the beach’s shoreline.