Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Participate in World Water Monitoring Day Program

The World Water Monitoring Day Program has expanded. For the first time, participants can monitor their water any time between March 22 and December 31, 2009. In 2008, monitoring was limited to September 18 through December 18.

The goal of the World Water Monitoring Day Program is to engage one million people in one hundred countries in monitoring local waterways by 2012. In 2008, 73,510 people participated worldwide, which was a 60% increase from 2007, according to the program’s Year in Review. People can participate on their own or they can work as a team through their school, university, community, or common-interest group.

Participants test water for dissolved oxygen levels, pH, temperature, and turbidity (clarity). They report results on the World Water Monitoring Day Web site.

World Water Monitoring Day is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens in conducting basic monitoring of their local water bodies. For more information about the program, how to participate, or past results, go to the World Water Monitoring Day Web site: http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Floodplain Restoration Project Launched

The Nature Conservancy in Iowa is working to restore habitat on an 80 ac floodplain that is rich in biological diversity. The Nature Conservancy’s Swamp White Oak savanna, in southeastern Iowa, is the focus of this project. In the past, fire and seasonal floods limited plant growth and maintained the delicate ecosystem. Recently, however, inadequate fires have not limited growth leading to unnatural tree density. As a result, new oak trees have not had a chance to grow. In addition, floods have been so severe that they have interfered with native populations. Invasive plant species, including reed canary grass and garlic mustard, are also upsetting the natural balance of the savanna.

Research by Connie Dettman Rose will be used as a guide for the restoration plans. Rose has extensively studied survey records of native species.

“Restoration efforts will include opening of the closed canopy to a more savanna-like condition and invasive species removal. We will then return fire to the landscape,” said Jennifer Filipiak, director of conservation science for the Conservancy in Iowa.

For more information on this restoration effort, view the full article here.