A Rewilding Success Story on the Elwha River
Listen to a big Rewilding victory –the dam removal on the Elwha River in the Olympic Peninsula, (Washington state, USA). A conversation with Tim McNulty, Olympic Park Associates, and author of poetry and natural history books, who talks about the end of a decades-long battle to return the Elwha to natural flow resulting in the return of salmon, eagles and others reliant on a healthy river freed from two dams. Read more and listen to the podcast here.
By Isabelle Bienen, NWNL Research Intern
Isabelle Bienen is at Northwestern University studying Social and Environmental Policy and Legal Studies. As a NWNL summer intern, she wrote 5 blogs on the 1972 US Clean Water Act [CWA] and its role in NWNL’s 3 US watersheds. This is Isabelle’s fifth and final blog which analyzes the shortcomings, successes, and what is next for the CWA. Her earlier CWA blogs: CWA in Mississippi River Basin, CWA in Columbia & Raritan River Basins, CWA and Health Issueshttps://nwnl.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/the-clean-water-act-addresses-health-issues/, and Evolution of the Clean Water Act. All rivers shown below are currently Waters of the US [WOTUS] covered by the CWA. At the end of this blog is an addendum added by NWNL staff about recent proposed changes to the Clean Water Act.
Implementation of the Clean Water Act in NWNL Case Study Watersheds
The CWA in the Mississippi River Basin
Lake Martin in the Atchafalaya Basin, Mississippi River Basin, Louisiana
Despite the implementation of the Clean Water Act [CWA], the Mississippi River still experiences continued nutrient and sediment loading as well as the retention of dead zones. Effective management of nutrient and sediment runoff from agricultural sources requires targeted and specific approaches due to the increase in biofuel production in recent years. This basin runs through ten different states, over which the CWA has regulation with EPA oversight. This makes it difficult to implement targeted and specific approaches to nutrient, sediment, and dead zones problems since many of these states do not agree on how to approach these issues.1 Another inconsistency that inhibits adequate progress at this basin is the lack of data. There does not exist a single data-sharing mechanism for the river; nor does there exist water-quality standards for nutrient levels.1 Because of the limited amount of collected data, it is difficult to numerically determine the success of the CWA in the Mississippi River. However, the EPA and the ten states plan to renovate the existing Publicly Owned Treatment Works [POTWs] as well as add 1,688 POTWs in the near future. (No definitive end date has yet been released).2 This development, as well as the “contaminant reduction of sewage pollution from municipalities and the mitigation of point source inputs”2, highlight the major successes thus far of the Clean Water Act in the Mississippi River. Read more.
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By Sarah Kearns
This article in our series on Wild and Scenic Rivers focuses on the Crooked, Metolius and McKenzie Rivers – three Oregon tributaries to the Lower Columbia River. All three were added simultaneously to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System on Oct. 28, 1988. No Water No Life (NWNL) documented these tributaries in Oct. 2017 during its 5th Columbia River Basin Expedition. More about this Pacific Northwest, transboundary watershed is on our Columbia River General Characteristics page. For more on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, read Part 1 of this blog series.
The Crooked River reach from the National Grassland boundary to Dry Creek (17.8 miles) is designated as a “Recreational” National Wild and Scenic River. According to the National Wild and Scenic River website, this part of the Crooked River is a popular destination for outdoor activities, including whitewater boating, hiking, kayaking and fishing for steelhead, brown trout and native rainbow trout. Read more.
By John Miles
Inside the covers of Path of the Puma is a map presenting historic range, current known range, confirmed sightings outside of range, and likely path of mountain lion dispersal. Current range includes North America west from the Rockies, north to south from the southern Yukon through Mexico, and a few outliers such as the Florida panther, suggesting that these big cats, extirpated across much of their historic range, are making a comeback. Arrows indicating the likely path of mountain lion dispersal point east from the Rockies all the way to New York. Scattereddots indicate confirmed sightings recorded east of the Mississippi River.
Montana wildlife biologist Jim Williams is an optimistic realist having studied and managed Puma concolor for decades. Emphasize manage here, for Williams is a confirmed believer that wildlife, and especially big carnivores like the puma, will not survive as species in the long run unless we decide we want them to do so. Read all.