Friday, December 26, 2008

Coir Fiber Biologs

Biologs are an effective tool in the fight against stream bank and shoreline erosion. Made of 100% biodegradable coir fibers bound by high strength twisted coir netting, Biologs attenuate wave energy and buffer fluctuations in stream flow velocities while allowing sufficient time for re-growth or vegetation. By the time the Biologs degrade, the once eroded area is restored, stabilized by the vigorous network of roots and grasses. The result is a 100% natural solution designed to promote healthy waterways and enhance wildlife habita

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Up-dated Link Page

As the genesis of your Erosion website continues to adapt to the ever changing world, so does the need to improve their offerings and its presentation (s) / usability (s)
This has resulted in a new link page as seen
is an independent organisation which acts as an un-biased source for methods,practices and publications for all erosion related issues, providing information from the world’s largest suppliers, to the global market place. The data is obtained from internet research for this erosion website and is available when you subscribe here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Newly Published Erosion Articles

Iowa Department of Transportation Taking Proactive Erosion Control Steps
The Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) has issued a Public Interest Finding (PIF) for the use of ScourStop on state projects.
ScourStop Transition Mats are a biotechnical replacement for rock rip-rap and offer permanent protection against scour and erosion at drainage outlets, overflow structures and stream banks; as well as providing an aesthetically pleasing, natural landscape. They have been used on a project-by-project basis in various locations across the state for several years.

Read this and many more as seen here !

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Erosion Articles on the Web | Enhance Students' Ecological Awarenes

This page (s) of erosion articles was newly revised with original articles of erosion. The dead-end links and out-dated stories were replaced with current and fresh accounts of worldwide reports and descriptions that chronicle erosion.
It is our goal to add 10 stories per week so come back often!
They will be available to view on Mondays

Visitthis/these pages now

Friday, October 17, 2008

Terrestrial Sequestration

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Anonymous

Published Oct. 14, 2008

Trees play a key role in the environment's natural landscape due to their ability to prevent erosion.

The Spanish Government says it will plant 45 million trees over the next four years to counter desertification caused by global warming. The massive tree–planting scheme aims to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the cause of global warming.

It estimates that in the long term, the trees could absorb more than 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Soils contain carbon in the form of organic matter. When organic matter is exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere, the carbon in the organic matter combines with the oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming.

Organic matter is being lost from soils for a number of reasons. These include long—term changes in land management practices, changing soil management techniques, and changes in rainfall patterns and rising temperatures.

Soil respiration is the main pathway through which carbon is transferred from soil into the atmosphere, with an estimated 50—75 Gt carbon released each year. This is approximately 10 times the amount of carbon released from fossil fuel combustion. The large amount of carbon stored in soils means that small changes in soil respiration rate could have a huge impact on atmospheric CO2.

Carbon also moves from the terrestrial to the marine environment and can impact the ecology of both areas. This also affects the global carbon cycle, which is important for climate change studies.

The polar regions, especially the Arctic, are very sensitive indicators of climate change, The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that these regions are highly vulnerable to rising temperatures and predicted that the Arctic would be virtually ice—free in the summer months by 2070.

Arctic soils are believed to hold 30 percent or more of all the carbon stored in soils worldwide, and thawing permafrost may release additional greenhouse gases that would further accelerate global warming.

Wind, especially high wind, is one of the mechanisms researchers refer to as a 'forcing,' since it can drive other conditions such as erosion. Wind generates waves, and high waves can cause further coastal erosion.#1

Alaska has seen increased coastal erosion, melting of permafrost, dying forests and shrinking sea ice, all widely conceded to be the result of warming temperatures.

In the last 50 years, Native communities that were once transient have settled in coastal areas where there is access to hunting, fishing, and transportation. Coastal communities have used sea walls and other man—made barriers to hold back erosion. These measures have worked to an extent, but as areas of open water become larger, wave and wind effects also increase and eat away at these temporary solutions.

Recent warming has degraded large sections of permafrost, with pockets of soil collapsing as the ice within it melts. The results include buckled highways, destabilized houses, and "drunken forests" of trees that lean at wild angles. Warming induced changes in tundra vegetation and plant life threaten caribou, reindeer and migratory bird populations. Loss of sea ice and wildlife also makes indigenous life in the Arctic increasingly difficult, endangering an entire way of life.

Rising temperatures cause sea level rise in two ways. Because water expands as it gets warmer, the upper layers of the ocean are expected to expand. Also, the heat is causing glaciers in Greenland, North America and the Antarctic to melt, releasing water trapped for at least tens of thousands of years.

Glacial melting can accelerate itself. As melting begins, torrents of water flow off and underneath the glacier, acting as a lubricant and accelerating its slide toward the sea. ’Once that starts melting, it’s like Vaseline under it.’

An important unresolved question is how the delicate balance of life in the Arctic will respond to such a rapid warming, Will we see, for example, accelerated coastal erosion, or increased methane emissions, or faster shrub encroachment into tundra regions if sea ice continues to retreat rapidly?

The polar bear population is expected to decline by 30 percent in the next 35 to 50 years due to disappearing habitat induced by global warming.

#1 Coastal Erosion

Monday, September 29, 2008

Using Jatropha ‘wonder plant’ to mitigate soil degradation

Even as government strives to mitigate the impact of desetification, the effort has not made much impact, even in the face of the threat of climate change.
Besides desertification in the North, many areas in the Southern part of the country, especially in the South-East, are ravaged by erosion.
Efforts to check the Agulu Nanka erosion menace in Anambra have not yielded much success.
This is also the case in most erosion prone parts of the country.
The erection of concrete barriers and the channelisation of water courses to check erosion have not helped matters.
It is against this background that experts suggest the adoption of natural measures such as the cultivation of special plants on degraded soils as the most adaptable measure to contain the menace.
One plant that comes to mind, according to experts, is Jatropha, ''the wonder plant''.

Read more

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rip Rap Alternative, Scour Stop - Green Erosion Control Solution

ScourStop is a no-maintenance post-construction BMP.

- ScourStop is a semi-rigid, high-density polyethylene plastic mat (4 ft X 4 ft X ½ inch) designed with voids throughout the structure which enable vegetative growth. ScourStop is formulated with 10+ years, UV protection which colors it a dark green. Additionally, once vegetated, the mat is mostly shielded from the sun and undetectable – making it a permanent installation.

- ScourStop integrates vegetation with modern polymer material technology to mechanically protect the soil from scour and erosion until the shear forces have dissipated. This synergy of mechanical protection and vegetation enables this BMP system to resist much higher shear stresses and velocities than vegetation alone or rock rip rap.

* ScourStop is only one element of a channel protection BMP protecting the scour area; the other element of the BMP is the downstream channel protection. Sod and/or turf-reinforcement mats can carry the water load once expansion of the channel has enabled a decrease in the shear forces and velocity.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Spain 'to fight desertification' with 45m trees

The Spanish Government says it will plant 45 million trees over the next four years to counter desertification caused by global warming.

The massive tree-planting scheme aims to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the cause of global warming.

The Spanish Government estimates that in the long term, the trees could absorb more than 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The trees will also help to prevent desertification, or land degradation by consolidating soils and preventing erosion.

Environmental groups say one-third of Spain is threatened by desertification that leaves soils dead and landscapes barren.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

As Andean glacier retreats, tiny life forms swiftly move in

A University of Colorado at Boulder team working at 16,400 feet in the Peruvian Andes has discovered how barren soils uncovered by retreating glacier ice can swiftly establish a thriving community of microbes, setting the table for lichens, mosses and alpine plants.

The discovery is the first to reveal how microbial life becomes established and flourishes in one of the most extreme environments on Earth and has implications for how life may have once flourished on Mars, said Professor Steve Schmidt of CU-Boulder's ecology and evolutionary biology department. The study also provides new insights into how microorganisms are adapting to global warming in cold ecosystems on Earth.

A paper on the subject was published online Aug. 27 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the United Kingdom's national academy of science. Co-authors included CU-Boulder's Sasha Reed, Diana Nemergut, Stuart Grandy, Andrew Hill, Elizabeth Costello, Allen Meyer, Jason Neff and Andrew Martin as well as the University of Montana's Cory Cleveland and the University of Toledo's Michael Weintraub.

The researchers found that ...
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Field Performance of Erosion Control Products

These documents outline extensive field testing by the Texas Transportation Institute Hydraulic and Erosion Control Laboratory and provides the latest performance data for rolled and spray-on erosion control and re-vegetation products.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting to the root of plants

A diverse team of researchers from Europe, Asia and the USA have unearthed new information on how roots grow and develop. Specifically, how roots are able to move out sideways out of the central root and into the soil. Their discovery has opened the way to further research that may eventually lead to the creation of new crops with improved root structure, improving their chances of survival in difficult soils. Roots provide the crops we eat with water and nutrients. They serve as a firm anchor, keeping them in place against violent winds, and as a place to store food against leaner times. All these attributes have made agricultural farming possible.

A paper recently published in Nature Cell Biology has revealed for the first time how lateral root emergence is achieved. Their findings show that new lateral roots are actually able to 're-programme' the cells that overlay them; this ability causes them to separate thereby enabling the new root to emerge.

Lateral roots, as their name suggests, extend horizontally from the primal root, otherwise referred to as parent root, helping the plant to anchor itself in the soil. Their first mission is to pass through several layers of tissue before they can enter the soil. Once they have entered the soil they then branch out sideways looking for nutrients and water to help the plant sustain itself.

As they extend through the soil, the roots show a wide variation in the way they grow through the soil to exploit the available resources. Olive trees for example, have been known to extend their roots laterally several meters out from their trunk. Without the roots offering stability and providing nutrients, the plant would die.

This research was led by the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology at the University of Nottingham which approached this challenge from a holistic point of view. They were able to bring together students from different disciplines such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, as well as plant sciences, and together they were able to study root development at different levels, from the molecular, cellular to the organ levels.

Lateral root growth is achieved when the plant hormone auxin (from the greek word auxano, to grow) acts as a local inductive signal which re-programmes adjacent cells. Auxin then induces the expression of LAX3, which in turn promotes the induction of cell-wall- remodelling enzymes. This results in increased cell separation, allowing the lateral roots to move out.

Professor Malcolm Bennett who is the Biology Director for the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology and Head of Division of Plant and Crop Sciences, believes that thanks to the study's initial revelation on lateral roots, researchers were able to continue on from this and find out a whole lot more. Speaking about the research paper he commented that: 'In addition to providing new biological insight into lateral root emergence, we have identified a large number of genes that control this process. This is really important because this may enable us to breed crops with improved root architecture in the future.'

This achievement was made by an international consortium involving more than 20 scientists from laboratories based in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, USA and UK.

Source: European Commission, Research DG
Published Aug. 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008


TENAX is a manufacturer of geosynthetics for civil engineering and environmental applications: geogrids for soil reinforcement and retaining walls, geogrids for soil stabilization, geocomposites for drainage; fences, meshes and grids for construction: road works signalisation, building site fencing, pipeline protection; plastic nets for agriculture: shading and windbreak screens; nets and products for gardening; plastic netting for industry, tubular nets for packaging.

Visit Website

Saturday, August 16, 2008

ICSE-4 Tokyo 2008

The International Conference on Scour and Erosion has become a respected event in the technical conference calendar for engineers, scientists, decision makers and administrators working in all areas of hydraulics and geo-engineering. Its importance and reputation was established by the technical successes of the first three conferences: College Station in USA(2002), Singapore(2004) and Amsterdam(2006). We are delighted to host the fourth International Conference on Scour and Erosion in Tokyo, Japan. The conference provides a forum to discuss new developments, concepts and practices, and to share field experiences, problems and solutions dealing with scour and erosion issues in hillslope, fluvial, estuarine and coastal environments. It also inspires cross-disciplinary contributions pertaining to morphodynamics and sedimentary evolution, with increased appreciation of multi-scaled nature in sediment processes.

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has been selected as the location for the conference. It is one of the world's most vibrant cities, with an outstanding reputation for the cultural activities and entertainment in diversity. You are invited to attend ICSE-4 (2008) in Tokyo.

Read more re:Scour and Erosion

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New global soil database

21 July 2008 – A new database on the world’s soils improves knowledge of the current and future land productivity as well as the present carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential of the world’s soils. It helps to identify land and water limitations, and assist in assessing the risks of land degradation, particularly soil erosion risks, said FAO today


Monday, July 14, 2008

Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure is a concept originating in the United States in the mid-1990's that highlights the importance of the natural environment in decisions about land use planning.[1][2] In particular there is an emphasis on the "life support" functions provided by the natural environment for example; clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities.
Today(07-14-08) Green Infrastructure was added as to your category list of options to choose when you subscribe and discover information re: Greenways, Raingardens, Wetlands Restoration, Trees, Green Roofs, Swales, Porous Pavement, Native Landscaping.
Green Infrastructure naturally manages stormwater, reduces flooding risk and improves water quality. Green infrastructure usually costs less to install and maintain when compared to traditional forms of infrastructure. Green infrastructure projects also foster community cohesiveness by engaging all residents in the planning, planting and maintenance of the sites.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Storm Water Discharges

NEW: Proposed Construction General Permit: On May 16, 2008 (96 FR 28457), EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 proposed for public comment the issuance of their 2008 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for stormwater discharges from new dischargers engaged in large and small construction activities (2008 CGP). This draft 2008 CGP contains the same limits and conditions as the Agency’s 2003 CGP with the exception of a few minor modifications which are detailed in the draft permit documents. As proposed, EPA is issuing this CGP for a period not to exceed two (2) years and will make the permit available to new construction activities and unpermitted ongoing activities only.

… read more

Thursday, June 12, 2008

EC hosts high-level conference on soil and climate change

Source: European Commission, Environment DG
Published Jun. 12, 2008

The European Commission this week hosted a high-level conference on the relationship between soil and climate change, and the role of soil management in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Organic matter plays a fundamental role supporting soil fertility, retaining water, sustaining biodiversity and regulating the global carbon cycle. But organic matter is in decline, and the conference heard how large amounts of carbon have been lost to the atmosphere in recent years. The Commission is convinced of the need to act at EU level to protect soil. Members of the European Parliament, the President of the Environment Council and other key players agreed that the role of soil as a repository of carbon must be enhanced. They discussed policy options for achieving this, and advocated the adoption of a Directive on the protection of soil, along the lines of the Soil Framework Directive that was blocked by Council last December.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “Seventy billion tonnes of carbon is stored in our soils, and even small losses can have huge effects on our emissions of greenhouse gases. I therefore call on the Council to acknowledge the importance of soil for the sustainability of Europe as a whole, and to reconsider the need to protect this most precious resource through European legislation.”

Declining levels of organic matter

Soils contain carbon in the form of organic matter. When organic matter is exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere, the carbon in the organic matter combines with the oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Organic matter is being lost from soils for a number of reasons. These include long-term changes in land management practices, changing soil management techniques, and changes in rainfall patterns and rising temperatures.

The EU's soils contain more than 70 billion tonnes of organic carbon, and releasing even a small fraction of that could wipe out savings from other sectors. The UK, for example, has been losing 13 million tonnes of carbon from its soils each year for the past 25 years.

The conference also looked at the role of peatlands, which are in decline around the world. Peatlands are repositories of carbon and potential sources of methane and nitrous oxide. Urgent restoration is needed to reduce the huge greenhouse gas emissions from peat soils.

How can the situation be improved?

The Commission believes that a Soil Framework Directive would increase soil protection and safeguard crucial functions like carbon sequestration. It proposed a directive on these lines last year, inviting Member States to examine the possible decline of soil organic matter in their territories and establish approaches to redress the situation. The proposal was rejected by Council.

The soil question will also be addressed this autumn in a Commission White Paper on adaptation to climate change. The paper will stress the importance of making soil more resistant to climate change, and show how healthy, resilient soils can help society adapt to the impacts of climate change. Recent changes in the Common Agricultural Policy have also stepped up soil protection.

Why was the Soil Framework Directive not adopted?

The European Parliament adopted the proposal for a directive at first reading in November 2007, strongly emphasising the need for protecting soils against the negative effects of climate change. But the proposal was subsequently blocked at the Environment Council in December 2007, when Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom voted against the bill. The other 22 Member States had all voted in favour of the proposal. The Commission proposal is still on the table, and bilateral discussions are under way with Member States who opposed the draft legislation to try to overcome this impasse.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tree biodiversity increases release of carbon from soils

Source: European Commission, Environment DG
Published May 30, 2008

Soils play an important role in the carbon cycle, containing more than two thirds of the total carbon held in terrestrial ecosystems. Concern about climate change and rising CO2 levels is driving research to understand carbon cycling through soils. New research suggests that in tropical regions greater tree diversity increases soil respiration (the release of carbon) rates, but also improves overall ecosystem health, which ultimately leads to greater carbon absorption.

Soil respiration is the main pathway through which carbon is transferred from soil into the atmosphere, with an estimated 50-75 Gt carbon released each year. This is approximately 10 times the amount of carbon released from fossil fuel combustion. The large amount of carbon stored in soils means that small changes in soil respiration rate could have a huge impact on atmospheric CO2. Research undertaken in Panama explored the effects of monoculture, three and six species plantations on soil respiration.

Season has the largest influence on soil respiration rates, with higher rates observed during the wet season. Low soil moisture levels in the dry season are thought to limit respiration from both tree roots and microbes. Compared with monoculture, the three species plots had larger canopies and stronger growth, leading to lower soil temperatures and increased moisture during the wet season. The researchers suggest that these changes in soil climate are more suited to soil microbe activity, which may explain the increased soil respiration found in these plots.

Although higher soil respiration rates were associated with greater tree diversity, this appears to be linked to greater ecosystem health. The researchers also suggest that the larger tree canopies are associated with greater photosynthetic activity and consequently a greater supply of carbon to the tree roots. Greater photosynthetic activity would also mean that more carbon is removed from the atmosphere by the growing tree, outweighing any negative impact of increased soil respiration.

Tropical ecosystems contain more than half of the terrestrial biomass and one third of soil carbon and these ecosystems play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Over the past decade, estimates of carbon emissions from land-use change, such as deforestation to make way for pasture, range from 1-2 Gt C per year in tropical regions. Historical changes in land-use have released an estimated 40 Gt of soil carbon, primarily through soil respiration. Reforestation projects in tropical regions could become significant carbon sinks and this research suggests that plantations containing a diversity of species will be healthier and ultimately absorb more carbon than single species plantations.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Backyard Conservation

Bringing conservation from the countryside to your backyard
Just as they do on the farm, conservation practices on nonagricultural land can help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape.

"Backyard Conservation" shows you how conservation practices that help conserve and improve natural resources on agricultural land across the country can be adapted for use around your home. These practices help the environment and can make your yard more attractive and enjoyable. Most backyard conservation practices are easy to use. America's farmers and ranchers have been using these practices successfully for decades.

Whether you have rural acreage, a suburban yard, or a city lot, you can help protect the environment and add beauty and interest to your surroundings. Ten conservation practices have been scaled down for homeowners. Tip sheets offer "how to" steps and helpful hints:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Environmental consciousness rises to the top

It used to be that if you said a building had a green roof, you were referring to the color of the shingles on top of it, or the hue it had been painted.

But that was then. Nowadays, green roofs are one of the latest trends in environmental-friendly architecture and development. And a West Whiteland company is right at the forefront of the revolution.

Weston Solutions, based in West Whiteland, is the exclusive U.S. licensee of GreenGrid Green Roof Systems, a modular green roof system. The company has installed green roofs across the U.S., and it doesn’t shy away from the big jobs.

In fact, one of its latest projects, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, is nearly 7,000 square feet. That’s a whole lot of green.

Closer to home is the enormous Court at Upper Providence, an enclosed shopping mall near Royersford, Montgomery County, where Weston Solutions put together a 2.3-acre GreenGrid roof.

So what is a green roof exactly? It’s a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and soil, planted over a waterproofed surface. It’s a fairly new concept in the U.S., but in Europe it has become fairly commonplace.

The benefits are significant. The roofs clean and reduce stormwater runoff, reduce the island effect of urban heat, curb energy consumption, extend roof life and improve air quality by filtering pollutants out of the air. The roofs also greatly improve insulation of the buildings they sit atop.

And the disadvantages are few and far between. Naturally, more maintenance is required, especially in the early stages. The plants and vegetation on the roof need plenty of water, especially in the early stages.

Buildings also need to be constructed to handle the additional weight on the roof, which can sometimes increase costs. But in our opinion, those are small prices to pay for the additional benefits.

We’d love to see more developers in the county adopt green roofs into their designs.

County commissioners have placed a premium on open space in recent years, developing the Growing Greener program and allocating significant funds to the preservation of land.

Now may be the time to look at green roofs as an extension of that program, perhaps by offering subsidies or grant money to developers who incorporate green roofs into their design. It’s not that outrageous of an idea, considering we have one of the industry leaders right in our own backyard. We look forward to the day when green roofs are the rule and not the exception.
Article compliments of

GreenGrid® offers distinct advantages over other green roofs. With GreenGrid® you get all the benefits of a green roof system, plus the added advantages of flexible design and modular features easily tailored to your needs.

Visit Green Roofs - GreenGrid® Modular Roof, Rooftop Garden, LEED

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Erosion is a natural process.(?)

Erosion becomes a problem when human activity causes it to occur much faster than under natural conditions.

When properly installed and maintained, vegetation can protect slopes by reducing erosion, strengthening soil, and inhibiting landslides.

Too often, well intended erosion control and slope stabilization programs do not recognize and incorporate vegetation as a legitimate design tool to address these slope processes.

Primarily, these oversights are because the use of vegetation alone (soil bioengineering) or together with other slope stability structures (biotechnical engineering, hydroseeding etc.) for slope protection is poorly understood.

Therefore, the value of vegetation along a slope is either underestimated or ignored during the important project planning, design, and agency permitting periods.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Impacts of climate change on indigenous people worldwide include:

Indigenous peoples have contributed the least to world greenhouse gas emissions and have the smallest ecological footprints on Earth. Yet they suffer the worst impacts not only of climate change, but also from some of the international mitigation measures being taken, according to organizers of a United Nations University co-hosted meeting today, April 3 in Darwin, Australia.

In tropical and sub-tropical areas, an increase in diseases associated with higher temperatures and vector-borne and water-borne diseases like cholera, malaria and dengue fever;

* Worsening drought conditions and desertification, leading to more forest fires that disrupt subsistence agriculture, hunting and gathering livelihoods, as well as serious biodiversity loss;

* Distinct changes in the seasonal appearance of birds, the blooming of flowers, etc. These now occur earlier or are decoupled from the customary season or weather patterns;

* In arid and semi-arid lands: excessive rainfall and prolonged droughts, resulting in dust storms that damage grasslands, seedlings, other crops and livestock;

* In the Arctic, stronger waves, thawing permafrost and melting mountain glaciers and sea-ice, bringing coastal and riverbank erosion;

Read more of Hardest Hit By Climate Change

Monday, March 31, 2008

Best Management Practices for Storm Water Pollution

Storm water Management is most affective when it involves a system of BMP’s
that targets each stage of the erosion process to ensure success from construction
activities. The most efficient approach involves minimizing the likely sources from
outwash. This means the less disturbance to a land area the better. BMP’s should also
involve controlling the amount of runoff and its ability to carry sediment by diverting incoming flows and stopping inner flows. And finally, BMP’s should be able to attain certain sediments that are picked up on the way through the use of sediment-capturing devices. Above all BMP’s are best performed using advance planning and good scheduling.
A system intended to eliminate storm water pollution should include at least one
example of each of the following categories : surface stabilization, runoff control
measures, runoff conveyance measures, outlet protection, sediment traps and barriers, and stream protection.
As far as surface stabilization goes the best method seems to be Surface Roughening.
Surface Roughening is crapping up a bare, sloped soil surface with horizontal grooves or benches running across the slope. Grooves can be large-scale, such as stair-step grading with small benches or terraces, or small-scale, such as grooving with disks, tillers, or other machinery, or with heavy tracked machinery which should be reserved for sandy, non compressible soils.
Runoff control measures are usually used in a way called Runoff Diversion. This
may be described as a structure that channels upward slope runoff away from erosion
source areas, diverts sediment-laden runoff to appropriate traps or stable outlets, or captures runoff before it leaves the site, diverting it to locations where it can be used or released without erosion or flood damage.
Hardened Channel is the next best BMP phase in which a channel with erosion-resistant linings of riprap, paving, or other structural material designed for the conveyance and safe disposal of excess water without erosion. Channels assist in the second, conveyance stage of a BMP system.
Level Spreader is the next step to a successful Storm water Management system and it is an outlet designed to convert concentrated runoff to sheet flow and disperse it uniformly across a slope without causing erosion. This structure is very good for returning natural sheet flows to exiting drainage that has been altered by development, especially for returning sheet flows to receiving ecosystems such as wetlands where dispersed flow may be important for maintain pre-existing hydrologic regimes. Alternative designs to minimize such channeling include hardened structures, stiff grass hedges, and segmenting discharge flows into a number of smaller, adjacent spreaders. The level spreader is often used as an outlet for runoff diversions. Level spreaders assist in the second, conveyance stage of a BMP system.
The best idea for a sediment drop or barrier is the Sediment Trap, A small,temporary ponding basin formed by an embankment or excavation to capture sediment from runoff. Traps are most commonly used at the outer areas of diversions, channels,slope drains, or other runoff carrier that give off sedimentful water. The pond outlet should be a stone section designed as the low point. Sediment traps assist in the third,capture, stage of a BMP system. With the correct combination of the devices explained storm water pollution can be easily controlled. These are not the only ways but the most effective strategies to manage the problem.

Information on erosion control pre-viewed

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Welcome to the NRCS Soils Website.

In the endless goal for erosion information, this link to the NRCS Soils Website can be viewed here.
Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Erosion or Rainwater Pollution – Which comes first?

Over the past century, runaway development has paved over forests, fields and wetlands across the country. Along with urbanization has come the problem of "urban stormwater" – rainwater that washes over dirty surfaces such as roads, buildings and lawns and becomes a major source of pollution in rivers, lakes and bays. While much has been achieved in the past 30 years to limit pollution from easily identifiable sources, such as watersheds, efforts to control pollution from these diffuse sources are still in their infancy. Although the Clean Water Act mandates stormwater control, local governments have been slow to respond.

This report, however, focuses on runoff pollution from developed areas, which occurs when stormwater carries away a wide variety of contaminants as it runs across rooftops, roads, parking lots, baseball diamonds, construction sites, golf courses , lawns, and other surfaces in our cities and suburbs. The oily sheen on rainwater in roadside gutters is but one common example of urban runoff pollution.

Nationwide, sediment is a leading pollutant of our waterways.

Rainwater that washes over roads, buildings and lawns carries pollution into oceans, rivers and lakes. Impervious surfaces increased 41 percent during the 1990s compared to an 8–percent increase in population. The rate of increase of impervious surface implies there will be more rapid delivery of nutrients to streams and an increase in sediment erosion.
Recovery of the Chesapeake Bay

Federal rules force constructors and contractors disturbing an acre or more of land during any type of construction project to develop a plan for preventing erosion and controlling sediment at the construction site.

One solution is to use porous materials and systems that allow stormwater to be filtered by the soil. Instead of solid materials, paving can be designed to allow water to flow through into the soil. Catch basins for stormwater are now recognized as an effective method to minimize pollution. One suggestion is to direct residential drain pipes to empty into the yard rather than a ditch. Individuals can help limit pollution by being careful with fertilizers and chemicals.

Stormwater runoff and non–point source pollution are the number one threat to water quality. Stormwater pollutes sensitive trout streams with sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, and causes erosion, flooding, and loss of habitat.

"Storm water can be controlled at its source" by "something as simple as planting trees," using more sensible tree pit design and installing green roofs that collect storm water. Storm water can also be naturally absorbed through vegetation, green areas and impervious surfaces, the councilman said.

"But, it's what's underneath the ground – a natural filtration system – that really makes the bioretention systems work. The vegetation and soils remove pollutants from the stormwater, such as nutrients, suspended solids, salt, and petroleum byproducts. The goal is to reduce flooding by slowing the flow and to have cleaner stormwater throughout the James Brook/Jacob's Meadow watershed, which flows directly into the harbor"

Development on forested steep slopes causes massive erosion, sedimentation of streams and wetlands, downstream flooding,and destruction of prime habita.

Landowners with property along streams, wetlands and moist bottomlands are encouraged to protect these riparian areas by planting trees that will create buffer zones, prevent soil erosion and attract wildlife.

Citizens can make a difference by removing from their private property invasive plant species that contribute to poor water filtering and soil erosion, and planting native trees and shrubbery that increase absorption of rainwater and improve water filtering efficiency.

By adopting 'green infrastructure' solutions, such as green roofs, permeable pavement, wetland restoration, and smarter design of street tree plantings, stormwater can be captured where it falls and used to green the city. It introduces benchmark environmental indicators as well as 80 specific measures, to capture hard data which will be used to build up a clear picture of trends and pressures over time.

The problem extends beyond neighborhood water runoff. Fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi River is blamed for the dead zone that occurs in the Gulf of Mexico. The same problem occurs from residential areas where lawn fertilizer finds its way into the waterways. Additionally, chemicals, human and animal waste wash into our water systems.

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a voluntary land retirement program that helps farmers and other agricultural producers protect environmentally sensitive land, decrease erosion, restore wildlife habitat, and safeguard ground and surface water.

Contaminated runoff from freeways is the largest and most polluted part of overall stormwater runoff.

Caltrans will start cleaning up the runoff using a variety of innovative solutions to capture the mess before it reaches the beach.

Cleanup options include sand traps, catch basins and new porous pavement surfaces that catch polluted runoff and absorb the contaminants.

Polluted runoff is the number one water pollution problem in America, Caltrans deserves credit for blazing a pathway that other agencies and cities should now follow.

Action is well overdue to address our deteriorating water quality. This website clearly identifies the decline in water quality in areas dominated by agricultural and urban land use, and offers solutions to these troubling trends. Both agriculture and local bodies must add more action to their rhetoric. It will be sad if agriculture uses urban water quality results as pretext for inaction. While the median bacteria count in urban streams is higher than the median count on rural steams, the worst rural waterways are far, far worse than the worst urban stream.

Friday, February 8, 2008

SCOUR AT BRIDGES – What's it all about?

What is scour?
Scour is the hole left behind when sediment (sand and rocks) is washed away from the bottom of a river. Although scour may occur at any time, scour action is especially strong during floods.

Swiftly flowing water has more energy than calm water to lift and carry sediment down river

What is involved in a bridge–site examination?

A bridge–site examination for scour begins in the office of the Massachusetts Highway Department, where historical engineering information and bridge plans are reviewed. The examiner then visits the bridge site, walking upstream and downstream from the bridge and taking notes on the condition of the river channel. Other characteristics of the river are noted, such as locations of river bends near the bridge and what possible effects these may have on the bridge. Many things affecting scour are examined, such as the type of rock or sediment carried by the river and the angle at which the river flows toward and away from the bridge. The number of trees growing on the river banks also is noted because tree roots can help keep soil from being washed away. The area under and near a bridge is examined for scour holes and other evidence of scour.

Why be concerned about scour?

Online Stormwater Training

Today (Feb.9, 2008), we added a reciprocal link to Online Stormwater Training
This link may be found on our link page

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Wetlands & Watersheds Article Series

The purpose of the Wetlands & Watersheds Article Series is to expand the Center’s current watershed protection guidance, tools, and resources to provide guidance to local communities on how to integrate wetlands into larger watershed protection efforts.

Center for Watershed Protection

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Urban BMP Performance Tool

This Urban Stormwater BMP Performance Tool
has been developed to provide stormwater professionals with easy access to approximately 220 studies assessing the performance of over 275 BMPs. Additional studies will be added to this collection periodically. This Tool presents information previously compiled by the International Stormwater BMP Database Exit EPA Site and by the State of California in an easy to use search and sort format. In the future, EPA hopes to add more studies to this collection, particularly ones that evaluate the performance of "green infrastructure" or "low impact development" BMPs.
Choosing effective stormwater BMPs is one of the key challenges facing anyone interested in improving or protecting the quality of our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Having access to studies of BMP performance that have been conducted by public agencies, academic researchers, non-profit groups, and others will help make better decisions. This tool provides access to summary information on studies that have been published in recognized journals or that have met detailed criteria Exit EPA Site established by EPA. This tool is not a statistical analysis of the data and, as such, the numbers presented should not be the sole basis for selecting BMPs. The purpose of this tool is to give users an easy to use website to access, read, and explore the literature on BMP performance. EPA hopes that this information will be used to conduct more thorough considerations of BMP selection and placement.

Read more

Monday, January 7, 2008

Arctic Alaska villages caught in slow-motion disaster onslaught

GLOBAL WARMING: Spiraling costs to move imperiled coastal communities pit needs against limited resources.


Published: October 22, 2007
Last Modified: October 22, 2007 at 01:23 PM

The cost of relocating villages that face extinction in the next decade or so -- sooner if the wrong storm hits the wrong place at the wrong time -- is staggering. Even by Alaska standards.
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
• Moving Newtok, a Bering Sea coast town of 315 being squished and swamped by two rivers, could cost as much as $130 million. Or $412,000 per person.

• Moving Shishmaref, a strip of sand in the Chukchi Sea that's home to about 600 people, could cost as much as $200 million. Or $330,000 per person.

• Moving Kivalina, a shrinking barrier island in the Chukchi that last month saw most of its 380 residents run for safety from the season's first storm, could cost as much as $125 million. Or $330,000 per person.

Meanwhile, millions more are needed to protect people and facilities threatened by catastrophic erosion until they move.

Where will all the money come from?

read more

Friday, January 4, 2008

Life in Our Streams: A Green World

Vegetation along rivers and streams, called riparian vegetation, plays an important part in maintaining and improving the quality of our rivers and streams. The type, density and width of riparian vegetation provide a crucial link between terrestrial and stream ecosystems.

Native vegetation along the streambank provides food and shelter, while also providing a corridor for the movement of wildlife. Riparian vegetation provides vegetable matter, which breaks down and provides food for aquatic invertebrates. Shade from riparian vegetation helps maintain cool water temperatures in pools. In addition, fallen branches, large woody debris and aquatic plants provide habitat for fish and invertebrates.

Riparian vegetation is important in the prevention of stream bank erosion. Vegetation binds soil and and creates a “roughness” that reduces stream flow rates, particularly during floods. Vegetation at the base of riverbanks is especially important to riverbank stability, particularly on outside bends of meanders and on other banks where flow is deflected.Vegetated riparian zones maintain water quality by filtering sediment and nutrients, and reducing the amounts of water entering a water course. Any vegetation that provides a dense cover at ground level will be an effective filter. Riparian vegetation of course, has an inherent aesthetic and intrinsic worth that is difficult to value in monetary terms.
A wetland with different types of plants.

Wetlands are very productive ecosystems and can be thought of as “biological supermarkets.” Wetlands provide large amounts of food, which attract many different animal species. In addition to being “biological supermarkets” for other animals, wetlands produce a number of natural products used by humans, including fish and shellfish, cranberries, timber, wild rice, blueberries, as well as medicines that are extracted from wetlands soils and plants.

There are several types of wetland plants depending on where they live in the wetland:
Emergent plants are those that, although rooted under the water, emerge through the water’s surface (eg. sedges)
Submerged plants are those that stay submerged in the water column (eg. bladderwort)
Floating plants are those which live entirely on the water’s surface (eg. duckweed)

Wetland plants that require water and proper hydric soils at all times are termed “Obligates”. Those that are a little more forgiving in their environmental requirements are termed “Facultative”. Often, both can be found in a wetland.

Wetlands also absorb and retain stormwater helping to slow flooding. Wetlands are also useful in filtering out pollutants from Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD). Long a part of passive treatment technology, wetlands can capture and retain metals from AMD that would otherwise settle out in a stream.

For more information:

The Value of Wetlands
from the World Wildlife Fund