What's New EDITORIAL: Lake Ontario water level plan isn't the answer Niagara Gazette (9/13) The Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Plan 2014 would result in a rise in the costs for property owners, municipalities and businesses along the shoreline for erosion damage and maintenance or replacement of structures such as seawalls and breakwaters.
State approves Belle River watershed plan The Times Herald (8/27) A watershed management plan for the Belle River in southeast Michigan has been approved by the state Department of Environmental Quality. Proposals to improve water quality and preserve rural and agricultural land in the watershed are now eligible for state and federal grants.
Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach Chicago Tribune (7/31) A $31.5 million project funded by the Army Corps of Engineers, the city and the Park District is meant to stabilize an aging shoreline while protecting the lakefront path from the type of waves that shut it down temporarily during a storm last fall.
How an upstream ditch limits downstream algae Great Lakes Echo (4/23) Standard ditches drain phosphorus, nitrogen and excess dirt into rivers and streams, contaminating the water and hurting its inhabitants. A two-stage system helps prevent contaminants from entering the watershed.
General Resources Dredging Projects U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Great Lakes Regional Headquarters This site explains the dredging process and links to sites with more Great Lakes dredging information.
Great Lakes Dredging Team The GLDT is a partnership of federal and state agencies created to assure that the dredging throughout the Great Lakes is conducted in a timely and cost-effective manner while meeting environmental protection, restoration and enhancement goals.
Great Lakes Tributary Modeling Program A cooperative initiative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Great Lakes Regional Headquarters) and the Great Lakes Commission to develop sediment transport models for tributaries to the Great Lakes that discharge to federal navigation channels or Areas of Concern.
Illinois Soil Survey Natural Resources Conservation Service-Illinois This site provides a status report of the state's soil survey, data from the State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) database, plus fact sheets and more.
International Erosion Control Association The IECA is a non-profit, member organization that provides education, resource information and business opportunities for professionals in the erosion and sediment control industry.
Lake Erie Center University of Toledo The University of Toledo's Lake Erie Center is an interdisciplinary center dedicated to environmental research.
Lake Michigan Potential Damages Study U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District An extensive and long-term assessment of potential shoreline damages over the next 50 years due to fluctuating lake levels along the Lake Michigan shoreline (started in 1996).
Low Cost Shore Protection U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District Learn about low cost methods to protect shoreline from erosion, including vegetation, perched beaches, breakwaters and beach fill.
Natural Resources Conservation Service U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) The NRCS works with landowners on private lands to conserve natural resources. The nation's 3,000 conservation districts, virtually one in every county, are the heart of the conservation delivery system.
Ohio Lake Erie Buffer Program Ohio Lake Erie Buffer Team Initiated to tackle the soil erosion and sedimentation problem in the Lake Erie watershed, the program provides opportunity for both government and private agencies to work together in improving the Lake Erie ecosystem.
Sediment Environment Canada's Freshwater Web Includes effects of sediment, how sediment is sampled and case studies.
Conservation Leadership Network A strategic alliance of non-governmental and governmental partners. The Network's goal is to create a conservation leadership curriculum that expands the knowledge and skills of conservation professionals. Managed by The Conservation Fund.
Know Your Watershed: Introduction to Water Quality Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) This self-paced course is designed to teach the fundamentals for reducing pollution from agricultural nonpoint sources. Materials include 2 videos, 12 modules of printed instruction, and 2 reference manuals. Web-based testing. Participants have 90 days to complete the work once enrolled.
Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) NEMO uses innovative techniques and GIS to teach local officials about the sources and impacts of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, how different land uses affect water quality, and what towns can do to protect water quality.
USEPA Watershed Academy US EPA Provides web-based training and information on implementing watershed approaches to federal, state, tribal, and local officials, as well as private practitioners of watershed management.
Linking Land Use to Water Quality workshop Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) The Linking Land Use to Water Quality workshop addresses the relationship of land use to natural resource protection with an emphasis on water quality.
Model Ordinances to Protect Local Resources US EPA This website contains printable and "create-your-own" ordinances and links on: aquatic buffers, erosion and sediment control, open space development, storm water control operation and maintenance, illicit discharges, post construction runoff, and source water protection.
National Agriculture Library 1 of 4 National Libraries in the United States, the NAL is part of USDA's ARS and a major international source for agriculture and related information.
Soil Education Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Provides information about soil, resource materials for K - 16 for teachers and students, and links to various groups and societies active in soil education.
Stormwater Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution Natural Resources Defense Council This study highlights some of the most effective and efficient watershed and municipal examples of nonpoint source and storm water control programs and activities in the US. By example, communities can use these case studies in developing and implementing their own runoff control programs. (May 1999)
Watershed Protection Techniques Center for Watershed Protection, Silver Spring, MD A periodic bulletin on urban watershed restoration and protection tools including runoff management practices or BMPs. Contains often-cited technical notes that describe, compare, and evaluate urban controls as well as the effects of runoff both with and without controls.
Manuals 60 Ways Farmers Can Protect Surface Water U. of Illinois College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service Topics include residue management, water flow control, nutrient management, livestock waste handling, and pesticide management. (1993)
Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook NRCS Excellent technical information, worksheets, and planning guidance for dealing with waste management problems. Specific issues include animal wastes, dead animals, Agricultural Waste Management Plans and Waste Utilization Plans, with information on surface and ground water concerns.
Rapid Watershed Planning Handbook The Center for Watershed Protection Written to assist watershed associations and local governments in developing effective and low cost watershed protection plans. Emphasizes resource identification, evaluation, and planning. (1998)
Water Quality Indicators Guide NRCS Used to conduct in-stream and receiving water body biological assessments to determine if sediment, agri-chemicals, animal waste, or other considerations are negatively impacting a particular body of water or watercourse. Can aid in identifying which areas within the watershed are contributing to a detected problem. Available for purchase at Amazon.com.
Maps Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles (DOQs) USGS Computer-generated images of aerial photographs in which image displacement caused by terrain relief and camera tilts has been removed. Image characteristics of a photograph are combined with the geometric qualities of a map. Also available through any Earth Science Information Center (ESIC). DOQ coverage is not available for all areas in the United States.
Map Unit Interpretation Database (MUIR) NRCS Data should be used in conjunction with soil survey maps. The soil survey maps indicate the geographic location and extent of the soil map units within the soil survey area. MUIR data is intended to be used by landowners, county and local governments, and other natural resource managers for basic land use planning. It is not intended to be used for site-specific land use suitability determinations.
Models: Agricultural AGNPS Output Processor Model Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Model (AGNPS) USDA-ARS Computer program designed to evaluate non point source pollution from agricultural watersheds. Outputs related to soluble nitrogen and phosphorus for surface water and infiltration are provided. Sediment yield and runoff are calculated, and sediment transported nitrogen and phosphorus are determined. Nutrient concentrations from feedlots and other point sources and chemical oxygen demand are modeled.
Animal Waste Management (AWM) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Planning/design tool for animal feeding operations that can be used to estimate the production of manure, bedding, process water and determine the size of storage/treatment facilities.
Crop Parameter Intelligent Database System (CPIDS) A computer program providing information on many different crops. This information has been obtained from literature searches, field studies, and through the collective experience of agronomists, horticulturists, and growers. CPIDS also assists the user in creating Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) or RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) input parameters for crops which may not normally be parameterized for these erosion models.
Nitrate Leaching and Economic Analysis Package (NLEAP) USDA-ARS A computer model for field scale assessment of potential nitrate N leaching. Basic information concerning farm management practices, soils, and climate are translated into projected N budgets and nitrate N leaching indices.
Riparian Ecosystem Management Model (REMM) A computer simulation model, used to simulate hydrology, nutrient dynamics and plant growth for land areas between the edge of fields and a water body. Output from REMM will allow designers to develop buffer systems to help control non-point source pollution.
Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) USDA-ARS This computer model uses current water erosion prediction technology. Includes a field scale version for single field planning and a proposed watershed version for project planning. Outputs will provide information on runoff, the form of sediment loss from a field, and the sediment characteristics.
Models: Erosion Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS) This multipurpose environmental analysis software performs watershed and water quality based studies. Quickly assess large amounts of point source and nonpoint source data in a format that is easy to use and understand by integrating a geographic information system (GIS), national watershed and meteorological data, and state-of-the-art environmental assessment and modeling tools into one convenient package. For local, state and regional agencies.
Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2 (RUSLE2) Like RUSLE, this program predicts long-term, average-annual erosion by water for broad range of farming, conservation, mining, construction, and forestry uses. Its object-oriented, Windows interface allows dramatic scientific and graphical advances.
Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) A manual calculation procedure used to determine erosion rates at the end of a slope and provide an indication of the extent and location of sediment sources. Rates cannot be correlated directly with sediment delivery.
Models: Other PLANTS Database USDA This database provides singularly standardized information about plants, focusing on vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.
Models: Soil Online Soil Surveys Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil maps and interpretations that give technical assistance to farmers and ranchers in guiding decisions about soil selection, use, and management; research planning; and research results dissemination. Also used in educational programs about soil use and conservation.
Soil-Pesticide Interaction Screening Procedure (SPISP) Provides a method for determining the relative leaching and runoff potential for most pesticide and soil/side combinations. SPISP uses soils interpretations and the NRCS/ARS/CRS selected properties database. Ratings can provide a basis for planning pest management. Closely related to NPURG.
Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Water (SPAW) USDA-ARS This computer moisture balance model emphasizes soil moisture capability for a variety of methods for irrigation scheduling and nitrogen budgeting.
Soils Survey Geographic (SSURGO) NRCS Field mapping methods using US national standards have been used to construct the soil maps in this database. (Must register to download.)
Simulator for Water Resources in Rural Basins - Water Quality (SWRRBWQ) This computer model predicts the effect of management decisions on water, sediment, nutrient and pesticide yields at the sub basin or basin outlet. Outputs related to nutrients, pesticides, and sediment are provided. The model tracks the fate of pesticides and phosphorus from land to deposition in water bodies.
SWAT USDA-ARS This computer model predicts the effect of management decisions on water, sediment, nutrients, and pesticides yields in large ungaged river basins. Utilizes SWRRBWQ technology enhanced with reach routing and capability to subdivide into more than 100 sub basins.
TR-20 This physically based watershed scale runoff event model computes direct runoff and develops hydrographs resulting from any synthetic or natural rainstorm. Developed hydrographs are routed through stream and valley reaches as well as through reservoirs. Hydrographs are combined from tributaries with those on the main stream stem. Branching flow (diversions), and baseflow can also be accommodated.
TR-55 This model presents simplified procedures to calculate storm runoff volume, peak rate of discharge, hydrographs, and storage volumes required for floodwater reservoirs. These procedures are applicable to small watersheds especially urbanizing watershedsin the US.