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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore migratory fish to the upper Quinnipiac River
October 31, 2013
The Service aims to restore migratory fish to the river by removing
obsolete dams such as the old Clarks Brothers dam in Southington, Conn., (above)
or by installing "ladders" to help fish travel upstream.
The Service also hopes to increase public use of the river by maintaining the
Upper Quinnipiac River Canoe Trail and updating a guide to the trail.
Settlement funds of $800,000 will fund two conservation projects to restore the Quinnipiac River and enhance public recreation and education on the river, the Service announced today in a final restoration plan for migratory fish and birds impacted by contamination from two Superfund sites in Southington, Conn.
Endangered status proposed for northern long-eared bat
October 18, 2013
This northern long-eared bat has visible symptoms of white-nose synrdome.
Credit: University of Illinois/Steve Taylor
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Northeast populations of the bat, found across all 13 states in the region, have declined by 99 percent since symptoms of the disease white-nose syndrome were first observed in 2006. The Service also determined that the eastern small-footed bat, which has not shown drastic decline at winter hibernacula, does not warrant listing. Comments and information from the public are encouraged through Dec. 2, 2013.
Service Proposes to List Red Knot as a Threatened Species Under the Endangered Species Act
September 27, 2013
The bird is one of the longest-distance migrants in the animal kingdom. With wingspans of 20 inches,
some knots fly more than 9,300 miles from south to north every spring and repeat the trip in reverse every autumn.
Credit: Gregory Breese/USFWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released a proposal to list the rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa), a robin-sized shorebird that annually migrates from the Canadian Arctic to southern Argentina, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. After an exhaustive scientific review of the species and its habitat, Service biologists determined that the knot meets the definition of threatened, meaning it is likely to become in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The knot, whose range includes 25 countries and 40 U.S. states, uses spring and fall stopover areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Changing climate conditions are already affecting the bird’s food supply, the timing of its migration and its breeding habitat in the Arctic. The shorebird also is losing areas along its range due to sea level rise, shoreline projects, and development.
More information, including photos, video and questions/answers
New Hampshire, Vermont excluded from proposed revised critical habitat designation for Canada lynx
September 26, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to revise the critical habitat designation for the Canada lynx (Lynxcanadensis) in the contiguous United States, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal would designate approximately 41,547 square miles as critical habitat within the boundaries of five critical habitat units in the states of Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming.
Despite evidence of reproduction by a small number of lynx in northern New Hampshire and northern Vermont over the past few years, the Service does not propose designating critical habitat in these areas because they do not meet the definition of occupied at the time of listing in 2000. Additionally, we have determined that habitats there are unlikely to support persistent lynx populations over time, and that these areas are not essential to the conservation of the lynxdistinct population segment (DPS).
The Service seeks public and peer-review comments on whether lands in northern New Hampshire and northern Vermont are essential for the conservation of the DPS, and, if so, why.
Officials approve second round of funding for Housatonic River Watershed Restoration in Connecticut
August 20, 2013
One of the seven restoration projects includes work at Great Meadows Marsh in
Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. Construction of tidal channels and removal of berms
will increase tidal exchange on the marsh and help control invasive species such as common reed.
Authorities will use about $2 million from the Housatonic River settlement to fund seven projects that will increase fish habitat, restore marshes and identify possible stream restoration projects. Funding comes from a settlement with General Electric in 2000 to restore, rehabilitate or acquire the equivalent of the natural resources and recreational uses of the Housatonic River that were injured by the release of PCBs from the GE facility in Pittsfield, Mass. The original restoration plan, released in July 2009, awarded about $7 million to 27 projects for aquatic natural resources, riparian and floodplain natural resources, and recreational use of natural resources.
DOI news post with links to news articles
More information (Connecticut DEEP)
Officials Approve Final Restoration Plan for Third Round of Housatonic River Watershed Restoration Program
June 27, 2013
State and federal environmental authorities invite community members to share potential ideas and understand the project selection process for the third round of funding from the General Electric/Housatonic River Natural Resource Damage (NRD) Assessment and Restoration case settled in 2000.
The Massachusetts SubCouncil of the Housatonic River Natural Resource Trustees, comprising the Executive Office of Energy and Environment Affairs (EEA), represented by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), will host an information session on Monday, August 5, 2013, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Lenox Library, 18 Main Street. The session will discuss potential land acquisition projects before the Housatonic River NRD Land Protection for Habitat Conservation Request for Responses (RFR) is expected to be issued in August 2013.
Five major Connecticut River hydropower projects in MA, VT and NH begin relicensing process
Cabot Station and fishways at the Turners Falls project in Massachusetts.
UPDATE: March 21, 2013: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service submitted comments and research requests for the scoping process. Read those here and here.
January 11, 2013: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is collaborating with other federal and state agencies, as well as other organizations, on the upcoming 2018 relicensing of the Turners Falls, Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage, Vernon, Bellows Falls and Wilders projects. The five-year process began in early October. The projects collectively impact more than 175 miles of the river, which supports four endangered species and other sea-run fish, including American eel, American shad and river herring.>
Fact Sheet (PDF - 737KB)
Project Notice (PDF - 1022KB)
More on Connecticut River dams
Visit the TransCanada and First Light websites for more information.
Defendants pay $4.25 million settlement for restoring natural resources at Industri-plex Superfund site in Woburn, Mass.
February 27, 2013
Black ducks, as well as great blue herons and kingfishers, were impacted by the pollution.
Credit: Irene Hinke-Sacilotto
State and federal officials have received a $4.25 million settlement from the Pharmacia Corporation and Bayer CropScience Inc. for damages to natural resources at the Industri-plex Superfund site in Woburn, Mass. From the late 1850s to the 1960s, companies manufactured various products at the site, including sulfuric acid, arsenic insecticides, organic chemicals, munitions, and glue. Hazardous substances disposed there degraded wetland, river and lake habitat used by a variety of wildlife, including fish, turtles, amphibians and migratory birds. Trustees will begin developing a plan to use settlement funds for restoring injured resources.
Officials propose projects for Connecticut's second round of Housatonic River settlement funds
February 12, 2013
Shady Maple Farm, which is now protected through a conservation easement.
Credit: Trustees of Reservations
State and federal environmental authorities propose to use approximately $2 million from the 1999 Housatonic River settlement to fund seven projects that will increase fish habitat, restore marshes and analyze possible stream restoration projects. The public is invited to learn more about the proposal on February 19 at 7 p.m. at the Kent Town Hall. Funding comes from a 1999 settlement with General Electric to restore, rehabilitate or acquire the equivalent of the natural resources and recreational uses of the Housatonic River that were injured by the release of PCBs from the GE facility in Pittsfield, Mass. The original restoration plan, released in July 2009, awarded about $7 million to 27 projects for aquatic natural resources, riparian and floodplain natural resources, and recreational use of natural resources.
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Fact Sheet (PDF - 3.60MB)
Notice of Availability
$1 million will protect 65 acres of Nasketucket Bay in Mass.
January 29, 2013
The protection afforded by this grant will support Buzzards Bay's globally significant nesting populations of terns.
Credit: Kirk Rogers/USFWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that a $1 million grant will conserve and restore coastal wetlands and their fish and wildlife habitat in Massachusetts. An additional $460,000 will be provided by partner contributions. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and Buzzards Bay Coalition will use the funds to permanently protect 65 critical acres of coastal saltmarsh and uplands along the shoreline of Nasketucket Bay. This project is part of a larger effort to protect more than 400 acres of vital coastal and estuarine lands along the bay. Nasketucket Bay provides excellent habitat for shellfish, fin fish and coast-dependent birds. The grant is part of $20 million that will fund 24 projects across the nation through the 2013 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.
National news release
Officials release final plans to restore piping plovers impacted by Bouchard Barge 120 oil spill
January 10, 2013
Piping Plover Credit: Bill Byrne
The Natural Resource Damages Trustee Council for the Bouchard Barge 120 oil spill today released a final restoration plan and environmental assessment for state and federally threatened piping plovers impacted by the 2003 spill in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The plan describes the injuries resulting from the 98,000-gallon spill that oiled roughly 100 miles of shoreline, including beaches where piping plovers feed and nest. To help restore piping plovers, the trustees will use $715,000 from the settlement to implement an enhanced management program at selected breeding sites on private and public land in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The program consists of a three-part approach, including targeted predator management, increased enforcement of local beach ordinances on plover-nesting beaches, and public outreach and education. Sites will be chosen based on landowner interest and permission, benefits to piping plovers, proximity to the spill location and other criteria.
Final piping plover restoration plan (PDF - 2.02MB)
Fact sheet (PDF)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services proposes two projects to restore migratory fish to the Upper Quinnipiac River
December 20, 2012
Quinnipiac River looking west into the Quinnipiac River Gorge,
as seen from "Red Bridge" in South Meriden, CT. Credit: Arthur Dutra IV
The Service released a draft restoration plan to restore migratory fish and birds impacted by contamination from two Superfund sites in Southington, Conn. The plan proposes to fund two projects, one restoring migratory fish to the upper Quinnipiac River in Southington and Cheshire, and the second maintaining the Quinnipiac River Canoe Trail from Southington to Meriden.
Draft restoration plan (PDF - 1.85MB)
Stories in the Record-Journal: Quinnipiac River to benefit from Superfund cash, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on projects to restore Q River
Sudbury River area will benefit from projects funded by natural resources restoration settlement
Work will soon begin on 11 projects for the wildlife, people and landscape of the Sudbury River watershed, state and federal officials announced today. The projects will be supported by the $3.7 million settlement reached in 1998 by parties for natural resources harmed by mercury and other contaminants from the Nyanza Chemical Superfund site in Ashland, Mass. Funds are allocated in the final restoration plan and environmental assessment for the Sudbury River watershed.
Restoration plan (pdf)
Review will find if rare songbird needs Endangered Species Act protection
The Bicknell's thrush, among the rarest of eastern
North America's songbirds, nests at or near the
highest elevations of mountains in New England
and New York.Credit: T.B. Ryder
The Bicknell’s thrush may need protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today, following an initial review of a petition seeking to list it as threatened or endangered. The Service will now begin an extensive status review for this songbird to determine if adding the species to the federal list of threatened and endangered wildlife is warranted. One of the most secretive thrushes in North America, the Bicknell’s thrush has one of the most limited breeding and wintering ranges of any bird on the continent.
Natural Resource Damages Settlement
Industri-plex Superfund Site, Woburn, MA
The U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (the "Trustees") propose to enter into a settlement with Pharmacia Corporation and Bayer-CropScience Inc. ("Settling Defendants") to resolve the Trustees' natural resource damages claims at the Industri-plex Superfund Site in Woburn, Massachusetts ("Site").
On May 17, 2012, the United States published a notice that a proposed Consent Decree had been lodged with the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in United States v. Bayer CropScience Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-10847 and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Bayer CropScience Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-10849. 77 Fed. Reg. 29361. That notice indicated that the Department of Justice would receive comments concerning the settlement for a period of 30 days from the date of the notice. In response to a comment requesting that additional information be provided concerning the settlement and that the comment period be extended, the United States has decided to post the information set forth below and to extend the public comment period.
The Department of Justice will receive additional comments relating to the proposed Consent Decree through September 17, 2012. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611, and should refer to United States v. Bayer CropScience Inc., D.J. Ref. 90-11-2-228/7. Comments may also be submitted by email to email@example.com. A copy of the comments should be sent to Donald G. Frankel, Senior Counsel, Environmental Enforcement Section, Department of Justice, Suite 616, One Gateway Center, Newton, MA 02458 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
During this extended public comment period, the Consent Decree may be examined on the following Department of Justice website, http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html. A copy of the Consent Decree may also be obtained by mail from the Consent Decree Library, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611 or by faxing or e-mailing a request to "Consent Decree Copy" (EESCDCopy.ENRD@usdoj.gov), fax no. (202) 514-0097, phone confirmation number (202) 514-5271. In requesting a copy of the Consent Decree from the Consent Decree Library, please enclose a check in the amount of $5.50 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the U.S. Treasury (if the request is by fax or email, forward a check to the Consent Decree library at the address stated above).
Index of Documents (pdf - 17KB)
Settlement Summary (pdf - 13KB)
Habitat Equivalency Analysis (pdf - 668KB)
Habitat Equivalency Analysis Appendices (pdf - 1.03MB)
Potential Restoration Projects (pdf - 139KB)
Trustee Costs (pdf - 9KB)
Draft Environmental Assessment/Restoration Plan for Piping Plovers
Impacted by Bouchard Barge 120 Oil Spill
The Natural Resource Damages Trustee Council for the 2003 Bouchard Barge 120 oil spill in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, released a draft restoration plan and environmental assessment for piping plovers impacted by the spill. The plan is the first of three anticipated plans to restore natural resources of Buzzards Bay and nearby areas using the $6 million settlement with Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. With the $715,000 designated to restore piping plovers, the trustees propose to implement an enhanced management program at breeding sites in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. A public information meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at 7 p.m. at Heritage State Park on Davol Street in Fall River, Mass.
The public is invited to comment on the draft restoration plan and environmental assessment (pdf -1.17MB) through August 1.
For more information, contact Molly Sperduto at email@example.com or (603) 223-2541.
Agency Seeks Project Ideas
The Service is preparing a draft restoration plan to restore migratory birds and fish impacted by contamination from two Superfund sites in Southington, CT: the Solvents Recovery Service site and the Old Southington Landfill.
Hazardous waste disposed at the sites, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and metals, as well as remedial activities to clean up the sites, degraded and, in some cases, destroyed wetlands and the Quinnipiac River. As a result, the quality and availability of foraging habitat for birds, fish and other wetland-dependant species was reduced. A variety of birds use the area, including great blue and green herons, American black ducks, wood ducks, yellow warblers, tree swallows and Eastern kingbirds. The locations are also important for American eels, brook trout, painted turtles and other aquatic wildlife.
In settlements with the responsible parties, the Service received about $800,000 to restore impacted natural resources. The Service is currently seeking restoration project ideas and welcomes input from the public. Please utilize the project information form (pdf - 1.17MB) to submit restoration project ideas. Submissions are due by May 18, 2012.
Information regarding potential restoration projects, as well as the process for evaluating and selecting proposals is provided in the attached public meeting presentation (pdf - 4.79MB).
For more information, contact Molly Sperduto, USFWS, New England Field Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-223-2541, ext. 20.
Officials invite public comment on restoration of contaminated Massachusetts site
Federal and state agencies encourage feedback on a $3.7 million plan to restore the pollution-damaged Sudbury River watershed containing the Nyanza Chemical Superfund site in Ashland, Mass. The draft plan seeks to restore wildlife and habitat, as well as protect new land and increase public access. The draft restoration plan and its assessment (PDF-1.98 MB) are available for comment through Jan. 23, 2012.
Boston Globe story
Public invited to meet on Buzzards Bay oil spill restoration
A worker cleans up oil on Barney's Joy Beach in South Dartmouth following the Buzzards Bay, Mass., oil spill in 2003.
Informational meetings regarding restoration planning for the 2003 oil spill in Buzzards Bay, MA., will be held on September 21 at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and September 22 at Heritage State Park from 6 to 9 p.m. The Natural Resource Damages Trustee Council invites the public to learn about the development of restoration plans and to offer input on ideas to address the natural resources injured when the Bouchard B-120 barge spilled 98,000 gallons into the bay. An informational poster session will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 7 p.m. and a question and answer session.
The trustees include the following:
- Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (represented by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection),
- Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management,
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
|Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Admirals Hall, Harrington Building
101 Academy Drive
Buzzards Bay, MA 02532
|Heritage State Park
Fall River, MA 02720
Agreement aimed at protecting NH bunny habitat
New England cottontail.
Credit: Linda Cullivan
New Hampshire landowners will be encouraged to conserve New England cottontail habitat under a proposed agreement between the Service and the state. Cottontail habitat has declined by 86 percent in the past 50 years, a major reason the bunny is a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection. The state hopes to see an increase of 3,000 to 5,000 acres managed for the cottontail.
Permit application (pdf 2.24 MB)
Draft agreement (869 KB)
Draft environmental action statement (54 KB)
Federal Register notice
News release (17 KB)
Manhan River Environmental Assessment
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed the 30-Day Comment Period for an Environmental Assessment with
a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Manhan River Dam Fish Passage Project in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
The Service's response to submitted comments is provided below.
Questions on the proposed project can be addressed to Melissa_Grader@fws.gov.
Response to Comments Received on Manhan River EA (pdf 350 kb)
Manhan River Environmental Assessment (4.75 MB)
Manhan River Environmental Assessment - Appendices (2.3 MB)
Manhan River Environmental Assessment - Finding of No Significant Impact (673 KB)
Manhan River Environmental Assessment - Press Release (767 KB)
Housatonic River Basin Natural Resources Restoration Plan
The Connecticut Trustee SubCouncil for the GE/Housatonic River NRDAR project is proud to
announce the availability of the Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan,
Environmental Assessment, and Environmental Impact Evaluation for Connecticut.
The Housatonic River’s natural resources were injured
as a result of PBC contamination. Stantec photo.
Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Environmental Impact Evaluation for Connecticut. (2.3 MB)
Little brown bat with
USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Pennsylvania Game Commission Link on WNS
What should you do if you find dead or dying bats, or observe signs of White-Nose Syndrome?
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