The itch of a mosquito bite is one of the common nuisances of summer. But with mosquito populations seemingly exploding this year -- and cases of mosquito-borne West Nile virus reaching unprecedented numbers nationally -- it's a good idea to take a few simple precautions to reduce the chances of being bitten.
EPA has released a new technical resource to improve stream assessment and restoration for watershed practitioners. A Function-Based Framework for Stream Assessment and Restoration Projects lays out a framework for approaching stream assessment and restoration projects that focuses on understanding the suite of stream functions at a site in the context of what is happening in the watershed. The framework is an expansive resource covering watershed and river corridor processes, and the document provides several hypothetical examples and a detailed discussion of how the framework could be used to develop and assess stream restoration projects.
Droughts can be a stressful time for rural homeowners and farmers who rely on groundwater wells for a water supply. The availability of water underground is often invisible to the homeowner creating nervousness about whether the water supply will continue to meet the water needs of the home or farm.
The use of cover crops on the farm can slow erosion, improve soil quality, enhance nutrient retention, aide in moisture retention and compete against weeds. These benefits, and many others, are well understood by a growing number of notill and reduced-tillage producers in Pennsylvania who pay particular attention to their soils and off-site impacts.
A new, interactive, inquiry-based lesson plan has been created to help older youth better understand water quality issues that surround small watersheds and the decision making processes that go into improving those water quality issues.
The Department of Environmental Protection today issued a drought watch for 15 Western Pennsylvania counties. A drought watch declaration is the first and least severe level of the state’s three drought classifications. It calls for a voluntary five percent reduction in nonessential water use and puts large water consumers on notice to begin planning for the possibility of reduced water supplies.
How do you heat your home? Oil? Gas? Electricity? How about cooling it? Do you have electric central air conditioning? What type of water heater do you have? Are those utility bills eating into your paycheck? Have you ever thought of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system?
During this hot summer, residents of lake communities and private pond owners are enjoying swimming, boating and fishing in the lake or pond. Your enjoyment of the pond or lake depends on maintaining the water quality of the pond or lake.
Ag Progress Days are just around the corner! Be sure to check out Penn State's Agriculture and Environment Center while you are there. The Agriculture and Environment Center is focusing on one best management practice for water quality; riparian buffers. Stop by to learn all you need to know about riparian buffers and what they can do for you and your land.
The Fieldprint Calculator is a free online tool for growers to voluntarily and securely analyze how their management choices impact natural resources and operational efficiency. Field to Market continues to learn about the relationships between agricultural practices and sustainability outcomes. Updates to the Calculator will be made to continue incorporating the best available information about these impacts.
Pennsylvania is a water-rich state with six watersheds. Water that collects in local streams flows down through the watershed finally reaching a saltwater body, so what you do in the watershed is felt many hundreds of miles away.
EPA has released a series of six fact sheets on incorporating green infrastructure measures into National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System wet weather programs. The series builds upon existing EPA authority, guidance and agreements to describe how EPA and state permitting and enforcement professionals can work with permittees to include green infrastructure measures as part of control programs. The six fact sheets and four supplements address stormwater permits, total maximum daily loads, combined sewer overflow long-term control plans, and enforcement actions.
Whether you use a public water supplier or have a private drinking water well, the water that you drink has to come from somewhere before it gets to you!
EPA has issued a new framework to help local governments meet their Clean Water Act obligations. The Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework assists EPA regional offices, states, and local governments to develop voluntary storm and wastewater management plans and implement effective integrated approaches that will protect public health by reducing overflows from wastewater systems and pollution from stormwater. In developing the framework, the EPA worked in close coordination with a variety of stakeholders, including publicly owned treatment works, state water permitting authorities, local governments, and nonprofit environmental groups. EPA's framework outlines new flexibility to pursue innovative, cost-saving solutions, like green infrastructure, and will help communities as they develop plans that prioritize their investments in storm and wastewater infrastructure.
Is fishing a passion of yours? Why not stock your pond with the right kind of fish so you and your kids can have a great time outdoors?
This summer, there has been an increase in reported cases of tick bites. In an effort to promote wellness and to reduce the number of cases, the following information is being offered to keep you safe while at work and during your leisure time.
This new report from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers ten essential fixes to help rural communities amend their codes, ordinances, and development requirements to promote more environmentally and economically sustainable growth.
The Penn State Extension Water Resources Team has recently released two new water related factsheets. The factsheets are quick reference guides to help Private Water Supply Owners understand water supply problems and common water testing parameters in Pennsylvania.
Did you know that approximately 66% of Pennsylvania is still covered by forests? So much forested cover means that many land owners and farmers have small or even sizable woodlots on their property.
Hidden Dangers and Public Safety at Low-head Dams by Bruce A. Tschantz, PE, PhD and Kenneth R. Wright, PE appears in The Journal of Dam Safety, V.9 n.1, 2011, Published by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. The article reviews the dangers associated with low head dams, a.k.a. "killer dams" and the dangers posed to water recreation. The hazards posed by these dams are discussed in light of a recent study of accidents at these dams over the last four decades. The article concludes with proposed measures to prevent drownings. For more information on dam safety, visit http://www.damsafety.org. (used with permission)