Posts Tagged 'kentucky'

New monitoring efforts to track water quality improvements in KY and 11 other states

A task force of federal and state officials announced Wednesday two new efforts to monitor water quality through reductions in nutrients in Kentucky and 11 other states flowing from farms and other sources into local waterways that reach the Mississippi River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.

The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient (Hypoxia) Task Force, which began in 1997, set up the Mississippi River Monitoring Collaborative to analyze data from the states to see which conservation practices are working and where “new strategies” are needed, according to a news release.

The monitoring efforts will specifically track nitrogen and phosphorus throughout the watershed, according to the release.

Nutrient runoff from agricultural, urban and industrial sources has polluted waterways for decades and contributed to a hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico – an area of low oxygen that is largely uninhabitable by fish and other marine life, the release said.

The Task Force consists of five federal agencies, 12 states and the tribes within the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin.  For more information, visit http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/named/msbasin/index.cfm

 

“Startling” new estimates detail extent of white-nose bat syndrome epidemic

A hat tip to Lu-Ann Farrar for finding this and putting in her Kentucky News Review today.  It’s an important update especially since a white-nosed bat was found in the state last April:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (PDF) has issued a report saying that at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats have died from white-nose syndrome since its detection in 2006.

When the disease is found in a location, the mortality rate can be 100 percent.

“This startling new information illustrates the severity of the threat that white-nose syndrome poses for bats, as well as the scope of the problem facing our nation. Bats provide tremendous value to the U.S. economy as natural pest control for American farms and forests every year, while playing an essential role in helping to control insects that can spread disease to people,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

The disease was found in Kentucky in April 2011 in a little brown bat from a cave in Trigg County in Western Kentucky, about 30 miles southeast of Paducah. The Herald-Leader and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has collected information and reported on the disease.