WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama ordered the closure Tuesday of 125 million acres of the Arctic Ocean and its estimated 27 billion barrels of oil, indefinitely. The executive action bars new leases in the vast majority of U.S. Arctic offshore waters. The Obama administration announcement, decried by Alaska's congressional delegation, came in conjunction with one from the Canadian government that it would bar future oil and gas licensing for all its offshore Arctic waters. The Canadian decision will be reviewed every five years.
WASHINGTON — The White House announced parting protections for the northern reaches of Alaska's lands and waters on Friday, closing off more than 40,000 square miles of Bering Strait-area waters to future oil leases and requiring the federal government to set up a system for increasing the input of Native people.
New California Law Recognizes Meadows, Streams As “Green Infrastructure”, Eligible For Public Works Funding
As degraded watersheds drag California into its sixth year of drought, a new law makes forests, farms, and fields eligible for infrastructure funding – and the state is hardly alone, according to new research by Ecosystem Marketplace, which shows a dramatic surge in payments for watershed services across the United States and around the world.
From the report's Foreword:
Experience shows that when paired with traditional infrastructure, natural infrastructure—wetlands and forests—can reduce water management costs and deliver other cultural and economic benefits coveted by twenty-first century communities, like recreational green spaces and fish and wildlife habitats. For many communities, the biggest challenge to adopting these green approaches is understanding how to finance and implement them. Fortunately, a handful of projects across the country offers helpful insights to landowners and managers, utilities, and community groups.
“The Puyallup people are a river people, we are a salmon people. The loss of salmon because of climate change and the temperatures rising in the rivers and the loss of habitat along the river banks really does impact us as Puyallup people.” Annette Bryan Puyallup Tribe
“Our environment was rich in the wealth of natural resources, providing all our needs, allowing us to live healthy happy lives!”
Download the 2016 report, led by the Department of Interior, responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009. It shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. What I find interesting about the assessment is the basin by basin review of potential impacts on specific basins in the western United States.
I wanted to alert you to a new report from River Network about water policy and management of water security and instream flows. While the report focuses on Southeastern Rivers, the way they approach the topic can be very instructional for the issue of instream flow policy for any region. I recommend taking a look to consider how stream flow is being impacted by climate for your waters (drought, flood, withdrawals, etc,) and consider adaptation strategies for your region for enhanced water security. The weblink and details are below. River Network would like to support outreach and policy action on stream flows. If you're interested, I recommend contacting Katherine Baer at River Network to discuss the possibilities.
A global mapping tool and database launched today, examines how forest loss, fires, unsustainable land use and other threats to natural infrastructure affect water security throughout the world. GFW Water provides data sets, statistics and risk scores for all of the world’s 230 watersheds, areas of land where all of the water drains to a common outlet such as a river. Users can drop a pin anywhere to learn about the risks to the water supply near them, and find resources on how investing in natural infrastructure protection can help alleviate these threats.