Vernal Pool- Connecticut

Written by charlie   
Sunday, 05 April 2015 01:21
A few photos of a thawing out vernal pool in Huntington State Park, Connecticut on a blustery, early April Day. In comparison to last year, it's taking quite a bit longer to thaw out, and plants are just beginning to emerge - weeks later in comparison to last year.

Huntington State Park, Connecticut Vernal Pool

Huntington State Park, Connecticut Vernal Pool

Huntington State Park, Connecticut Vernal Pool
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 April 2015 01:44

Wetlands - 5th Edition

Written by charlie   
Saturday, 04 April 2015 02:01
I have never reviewed a book without reading it. However in this case I have not even cracked the cover of the just releasd 5th edition of Wetlands, by William J. Mitsch and James G. Gosselink, but do have a dog-eared 3rd edition, and refer to it continually. Sight unseen, the 5th edition, or any of it's predecessors, is worth scrimping for. It has been referred to as the bible for wetland science, and it is. Buy it and apply it.

From the publisher: "This latest edition contains brand new information on Wetland Ecosystem Services and an updated discussion on Wetland, Carbon, and Climate Change and Wetland Creation and Restoration. Due to popular demand, the authors have brought back five streamlined chapters on wetland ecosystems that had been removed from previous editions, and provided more robust ancillary materials including an online color photo gallery, PowerPoint slides, and several video case studies"

Additional info here .

4th Appeals Court and Wetlands

Written by charlie   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 00:00
Over 13 years ago, a permit to fill 4.8 acres of wetlands and build a small development of 10 homes in Chesapeake, Virginia, about 7 miles from the Northwest River, was filed by Precon Development Corporation, and denied by the Army Corps of Engineers. Precon sued and the case had been in the courts since.

This past Monday, in an unpublished decision, the 4th Appeals Court upheld that the Corps was acting within its regulatory authority when determining that there was a significant nexus between the wetland in question and the Northwest River. The 10 dollar descriptor, "significant nexus" is the result of a 2006 Supreme Court case, Rapanos vs. United States. This places the the burden of proof on the Corps by requiring them to prove the wetland in question is connected to a navigable water, and can significantly affect its integrity.

In this case, the Corps proved there was a hydrological connection between the property and river, primarily by a series of ditches, and the filling or degradation of the wetland would negatively impact the river, already suffering the ill effects of low oxygen levels.

Wetland related cases as they apply under the Clean Water Act have been in and out court since it was passed in 1972, and will continue to do so. At the heart of the argument is an individuals or businesses right to property under the 5th Amendment, which can directly conflict with the larger societal goal of protecting clean water and fragile wetlands.

Further Reading and Sources:
Precon Development Appeal
Fourth Circuit upholds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' finding of jurisdiction over 4.8 acres of wetlands in Chesapeake, Virginia

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