Barry Conservation District

VERTICES, LLC. has partnered with the Barry Conservation District (Barry CD) to create a Thornapple interactive map (below), which displays various layers of information of the Thornapple River Watershed, including the Watershed Management Areas (WMA), land use and hydrography of the watershed.  This visual representation of information allows for a detailed analysis of the site to determine the pollution levels of the water. For more information about the project, visit www.barrycd.org The full map can be viewed here

Rain Barrel Registry

By capturing rainwater, rain barrels encourage water conservation and help reduce stormwater pollution. The Rain Barrel Registry will showcase the many thousands of rain barrels now in use around the US and provide incentive for more people and communities to get involved and make a difference. This app and interactive website were developed in partnership with River Network and IMRivers by Vertices, powered by Mappler. Visit http://www.imrivers.org/rainbarrelinfo/ for more information Rituparna Ganguly, Research Assistant at VERTICES, ritu@vertices.com

Growing Food Demand Strains Energy, Water Supplies

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Groundwater tables have fallen precipitously, 600 feet below the ground in some places, requiring even more powerful pumps to bring water to the surface. Over-consumption has taxed the power grid, constraining the electricity available for others. Many countries that rely on farming are unstable because because of the relationship between energy and groundwater. A man irrigates his field with an electric water pump east of Gauhati, in northern India. Excessive water pumping has strained both water and energy supplies in India, China and other hot spots around the world. Read the full article here Source: The National Geographic Rituparna Ganguly, Research Assistant at VERTICES, ritu@vertices.com

A Long-Dry California River Gets, and Gives, New Life

One of the largest river-restoration projects has begun to the Owens River in Los Angeles, California. Read article here Rituparna Ganguly, Research Assistant at VERTICES, ritu@vertices.com

World Water Day is Today

There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 liters of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat. To learn more about World Water Day or to  find out about events happening near you visit the website here Rituparna Ganguly, Research Assistant at VERTICES, ritu@vertices.com

World Water Day 2012

Tomorrow, March 22, 2012 is World Water Day. World Water Day focuses its attention on the importance on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. To learn more about World Water Day and what you can do to help, please visit the World Water Day website here Rituparna Ganguly, Research Assistant, VERTICES, ritu@vertices.com

Two Grant Opportunities

Grant Opportunities
Dear Friends of Environmental Conservation,
The Captain Planet Foundation recently announced the Funding for Youth Environmental Projects. The grant applications are due on May 31, September 30, and January 15 of each year. We would like to create a partnership with your organization for this grant! The goal is to fund and support hands-on environmental projects for children and youth. The Captain Planet Foundation primarily makes grants to U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million. Click here for more information including all eligibility requirements. Another grant opportunity has also been offered in Virginia. The Virginia Environmental Endownment recently announced the Virginia Mini-Grant Program. Click here for more information including all eligibility requirements. We have been working with several environmental communities to incorporate their ideas into interactive maps and  iPhone applications. The interactive mapping services have been used by clients such as Mississippi River Trail and Susquehanna Greenway. To learn more, please visit http://www.imrivers.org. Please feel free to contact us at gis@vertices.com or 732 418-9135 with questions or to discuss your organization’s particular needs. Wansoo Im, Ph.D. IMRivers t: 732 418 9135 gis@vertices.com

California River Report with Mixed Results

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Image from the NY Times: California Department of Fish and Game, "Delta smelt seen through a microscope at the California Department of Fish and Game".

Read the Full NY Times article HERE. A report on the Sacramento and San Joaquin delta ecosystem was released just before Christmas with a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that the abundant rain and snow fall in California over the past year has helped improve the delta’s ecosystem. To keep a small fish known as the delta smelt from extinction and the delta ecosystem from collapse, farmers near the delta were mandated to limit their water intake. This past year provided enough water for the smelt, ecosystem and the farmers. Along with better management in the delta, the ecosystem has seen improvement in many fish species, particularly the smelt and striped bass. On the other side of the report, the fish species shad did not fair as well as other populations. Even worse is the identification of an invasive aquatic weed known as spongeplant. The plant sits and spreads rapidly on top of the water, choking the river and indigenous aquatic species. The spread of the plant could also have a negative impact on the delta’s pumping and irrigation delivery systems, which experienced problems in the past with the spread of another invasive species called the water hyacinth. The dry winter is preventing the spongeplant from obtaining the amounts of water it needs, but so then are species like the smelt. Barringer, Felicity. “California’s Delta Ecosystem Is Healthier, For Now”. Green: The Blog About Energy and the Environment; The New York Times. 29 December, 2011. Web. Meghan Karlik IMRivers mkarlik@vertices.com

New Drilling Methods of the Marcellus Shale Maybe Possible in Chemung County, NY

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Read the NY TIMES article HERE. New York State is pending new rules for the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Trenton Black River rock formation in Chemung County is an area where companies have been drilling for natural gas and may now experience an increase in gas production if the new rules are approved. The danger for humans is in the possible contamination of drinking water but there are environmental impacts as well such as ecosystem disruption and the use of millions of gallons of water per each drilling well. A lawsuit was filed for contaminated drinking water in Chemung County, but the New York Department of Environmental Conservation found that it was unlikely that the gas wells caused methane contamination of the water wells. Navarro, Mireya. “In Drilling Safety Debate, Hydrofracking’s Not the Only Target”. The New York Times. 28 December, 2011. Meghan Karlik Project Manager IMRivers.com mkarlik@vertices.com

Madrid, Spain: Redefining the Waterfront

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IMAGE from the NY TIMES: James Rajotte for The New York Times. "The sun sets over the Madrid Rio park."

CLICK HERE for the NY Times Article. Madrid Rio, a park still under construction in Madrid, is transforming the Spanish capital and its waterfront. The park is over six miles long and is reviving a stretch of the Manzanares River by taking over land that was once occupied by highways. The highways have been torn down and redirected around or under the park so that the new public space filled with bike paths, playgrounds, fountains, and a wading pool called “the beach” could be created. The park connects the city back with the river as well as reconnecting neighborhoods that were separated by the old highway. Hopes that many American cities will transform abandoned and disenfranchised urban areas to public use have become more tangible with the success of projects like the Madrid Rio. Cities affected by population decline and highways that cut right through neighborhoods can use the Madrid Rio as a template to bolster economic activity and make refurbished communities more attractive. Urban revitalization by reclaiming industrial areas to natural states may be the way of the future for many American cities that will need to redefine themselves due to industrial and population decline. The impact of building green, public spaces in urban cities is massive especially for its residents; as Madrid official, Ms. Martinez, states: “Now people who opened their windows to the sound of cars, open their windows to the sound of birds”. Kimmelman, Michael. “In Madrid’s Heart, Park Blooms Where a Freeway Once Blighted”. The New York Times. 26 December, 2011. Meghan Karlik Project Manager IMRivers mkarlik@vertices.com