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Thursday, January 05, 2017

Can It Be Buyer Beware When It Comes to a Sporting License?

This is an advisory the NY DEC just put out:

Anglers and hunters should be aware of at least two currently active non-DEC websites where one can, purportedly, purchase a fishing license, hunting license, or receive hunter education training that meets New York requirements:


Among other things, these sites offer information on how their products can simplify the purchase of a New York State fishing license or hunting license. Though some of the logistical licensing information is correct and may be useful, these sites also offer a consumer the ability to purchase time-saving downloads for recreational licensing services that are specifically NOT affiliated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The consumer on these sites should understand that they are only getting ‘assistance’ for their money and not an actual fishing or hunting license.  Additionally, the money being charged by these websites is not a ‘credit’ toward the purchase of any New York fishing or hunting license.

All of the New York licensing information that one needs can be found on the DEC Sporting Licenses webpage at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/365.html

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Deadly Oak Wilt Disease Found in Brooklyn and in Suffolk County NY

New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) announced today that the oak tree disease, oak wilt, has been detected in the borough of Brooklyn, Kings County and in the towns of Babylon, Islip, Riverhead, and Southold in Suffolk County. The disease was identified by the Cornell Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic after samples from symptomatic oak trees were collected by DEC Forest Health Technicians.

Oak wilt had previously been found in Scotia, Schenectady County, until it was identified in Canandaigua, Ontario County, and Central Islip, Long Island earlier this year. Since then, reports of symptomatic oak trees from concerned tree care professionals, as well as the public, have led to the additional detections. The confirmation of the disease in Brooklyn marks the fourth county where oak wilt has been confirmed in New York.

There is no known treatment to contain and kill the oak wilt fungus other than to remove the infected trees, as well as any surrounding host oak trees. At this time, DEC will remove and destroy oaks that have tested positive for the fungus. Testing for oak wilt must be done during the growing season when the fungus is active, so intensive sampling will take place across Kings, Nassau, and Suffolk counties starting next spring to determine the extent of the disease. Aerial surveys will be conducted beginning in July when signs of oak wilt will be most apparent.

DEC is in the process of issuing emergency orders to establish protective zones encompassing the entirety of Suffolk County and the borough of Brooklyn. The emergency orders will prohibit the removal of any living, dead, standing, cut, or fallen oak trees or any portion thereof, including branches, logs, stumps, or roots, and green oak lumber and firewood (of any species) out of the protective zones unless it has been chipped to less than one inch in two dimensions.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Oak wilt is a fast-moving disease that can kill a large amount of trees quickly. It is important to follow these emergency orders closely to prevent the disease from spreading and protect our trees."

Oak wilt is a serious tree disease in the eastern United States, killing thousands of oaks each year in forests, woodlots, and home landscapes. It is caused by a fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum. The fungus grows in the water conducting vessels of host trees plugging up these vessels and preventing water transport. As water movement within the tree is slowed, the leaves wilt and drop off, and the tree dies rapidly.

DEC asks the public to be on the lookout next summer for oak trees that suddenly lose leaves during the months of July and August and to report these occurrences to the Forest Health Information Line toll-free at 1-866-640-0652.

For more information about oak wilt or the emergency order, please visit DEC's website.

Friday, December 23, 2016

U.S. Acts on Seafood Imports to Curb Illegal Fishing & Fraud

The U.S. has established additional protections for the national economy, global food security, and the sustainability of our shared ocean resources. NOAA Fisheries will administer the Seafood Import Monitoring Program to further curb Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing practices and to identify misrepresented seafood imports before they enter the U.S. market.

The program requires that importers report information and maintain records about the harvest, landing and chain of custody of imported fish and fish products for certain priority species identified as especially vulnerable to IUU fishing and seafood fraud. The program will eventually expand to include all species.

“As a global leader in sustainable fisheries management and seafood consumption, the U.S. has a responsibility to combat illegal practices that undermine the sustainability of our shared ocean resources,” said Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator. “We designed this program to further ensure that imported seafood is legally harvested and truthfully represented, with minimal burden to our partners.”

 “This rule is a critical step forward in combating IUU and seafood fraud. It sends an important message to the international seafood community that if you are open and transparent about the seafood you catch and sell across the supply chain, then the U.S. markets are open for your business,” said Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State. “The rule will build on similar global efforts and will provide confidence to our consumers in the seafood they eat while also leveling the playing field for honest fishers across the globe who play by the rules.”

The U.S. will use the existing International Trade Data System to collect seafood catch and landing documentation for the priority seafood species. This data system is the U.S. government’s data portal for all imports and exports. Information collected through this program is confidential and will not be available to consumers. Similar information for domestically harvested seafood is already reported under numerous existing state and federal regulatory requirements.

 January 1, 2018, is the mandatory compliance date for most priority species listed in the rule. Due to gaps in availability of information regarding U.S. farmed shrimp and abalone, implementation for these species will be effective at a later date. NOAA and Food and Drug Administration have committed to working together to identify potential pathways to close these data gaps through FDA's food safety authorities. This process will include data gathering and a stakeholder engagement process.

The Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, called for the formation of this program. NOAA sought public comment for the proposed design of this program, and the final rule reflects feedback from international partners, the fishing and seafood industries, trade and consumer sectors and conservation community. For more information about this program, visit http://www.iuufishing.noaa.gov/.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Will Nearshore Wind Farms Impact NY & NJ Fisheries?

The Department of the Interior announced the nation’s sixth competitive lease sale for wind farms in federal waters. Yesterday's lease sale offered 79,350 acres offshore New York for potential wind energy development.
The provisional winner of today’s lease sale is Statoil Wind US LLC, which bid $42,469,725 for lease area OCS-A 0512.

Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with an additional source of electricity.

“We are excited to have submitted the most competitive bid in a highly attractive project, Statoil’s first offshore wind lease in the United States. We now look forward to working with New York’s state agencies and contribute to New York meeting its future energy needs by applying our offshore experience and engineering expertise,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil´s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions.

The New York Wind Energy Area spans 79,350 acres, and covers water depths between 65 and 131
feet. It starts approximately 11.5 nautical miles from Jones Beach, NY. From its western edge, the area extends approximately 24 nm southeast at its longest portion. The lease area consists of five full Outer Continental Shelf blocks and 143 sub-blocks. A map of the lease area can be found here.

 Statoil will conduct studies to understand the seabed conditions, the grid connection options and wind resources involved in the lease site.

“We will work closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on these studies and throughout the permitting process, and in connection with power offtake options,” says Rummelhoff.

Statoil is a Norwegian company primarily focused on upstream oil and gas operations. From a daily production of approximately 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), more than 270,000 BOE stem from the company’s onshore and offshore oil and gas fields in the U.S. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016 signed by President Obama

Bill confirms outdoor recreation industry is a significant economic drive

 The bill, known as the Outdoor REC Act, passed the House of Representatives and the Senate in November

This new piece of legislation requires the Department of Commerce, in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, to assess and analyze the contributions of the outdoor recreation industry, including recreational fishing, to the United States economy. The legislation will help to ensure that sportfishing industry jobs and recreational fishing’s economic impact are accounted for as part of the gross domestic product (GDP).

In a significant step forward for the outdoor recreation industry and the sportfishing community, yesterday, President Obama signed into law the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016.

“At a time when jobs and economic opportunity are high on everyone’s list, the Outdoor REC bill’s passage gives the outdoor recreation industry its own metric by which to quantify its impact on the nation’s economic activity,” said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) President and CEO Mike Nussman. “We have advocated for years that recreational fishing and boating were significant economic drivers. It’s gratifying that the House and the Senate, in a bi-partisan effort, passed this bill which the President has now signed it into law.”

Nussman continued, “It’s important to note that in many rural areas, where jobs are at a premium, it’s fishing, boating and other outdoor activities that provide steady employment for many people.”

The passage of the Outdoor REC Act was needed to make sure that the outdoor economy—and it’s estimated six million jobs and $646 billion in economic activity—receives official government recognition for years to come.

“ASA applauds Congress and the President for enacting this legislation, bringing the outdoor recreation industry’s importance to jobs and the economy into the national spotlight,” said ASA Government Affairs Vice President Scott Gudes. “We appreciate that outdoor recreation is now formally being recognized by the federal government for its impact on jobs, business and the economy.”

Gudes further said, “The Outdoor REC Act will also ensure that the outdoor industry's economic statistics will be measured in the same comprehensive way as other business sectors, such as the automotive and apparel industries. This is important because industry economic impact estimates also include data that show the non-direct impact that the activity has on the economy. For example, it would also include sportfishing’s contributions to travel and tourism, not just the purchase of tackle.”

ASA is an active part of a team representing a wide-range of outdoor industries that will work with the Department of Commerce to shape how outdoor recreation is defined and ensure our reach and impact are recognized.

In his post-campaign remarks, President-elect Trump has voiced his support for maintaining fishing and hunting on our nation’s public lands.

Friday, December 02, 2016

NY Conservation Officers Have a Busy First Half of November

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2015, the 268 ECOs across the state responded to 25,000 calls and issued 22,000 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don't receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment."

Recent missions carried out by ECOs include:

Exotic Bird Seizure - New York County
On Nov. 10, ECO Adam Johnson received information from Region 2 investigators regarding the sale of a White Cockatoo taxidermy mount from a store in Lower Manhattan. The White Cockatoo is a threatened species, therefore making it illegal to possess or sell any part of the bird. Officers Johnson, Spencer Noyes, and Wes Leubner went to the store where the White Cockatoo was on display along with numerous exotic animal mounts. After confirming the store had no permit to possess or sell the White Cockatoo mount, the bird was seized and the owner of the store received two summonses for illegal commercialization of wildlife and the possession/sale of threatened or endangered species or parts.

Lake Ontario Tributaries Popular for Illegal Fishing - Monroe County
On the night of Nov. 11, Lt. William Powell, ECOs Brian Wade, John Lutz, John Stansfield, Todd Smith, Eoin Snowdon, and Joshua Wolgast conducted a saturation patrol in response to complaints of subjects sneaking into Lake Ontario tributaries to spear and net spawning trout. It was a busy night and by 4 a.m. the following morning, ECOs apprehended seven individuals from Rochester, New York City, and New Jersey, seized 16 illegal fish, and wrote a total of 18 tickets for taking over the limit of brown trout, taking fish by means other than angling (spearing), fishing during closed hours, failing to comply with the lawful order of a Conservation Officer, and trespassing. Three coolers full of fish were seized as evidence and all subjects were issued tickets returnable to the Town of Webster Court.
ECO's with illegally caught trout

Striped Bass Seizure - Kings County
On Nov. 16, ECOs Mary Grose, John Walraven, Chris Macropoulos, Jeff Krueger, and Brad Buffa were patrolling Gerritsen Creek in Kings County on a DEC Police patrol boat when they encountered a boat returning to port. The captain of the boat stated he had two striped bass on board and quickly showed the fish to the officers. However, further inspection of the vessel located 12 additional striped bass in a mesh bag that also contained a weighted PVC pipe. Grose interviewed the captain and determined that he was a commercial fisherman, although he did not have the necessary carcass tags and other paperwork. The ECOs issued the captain summonses for possession of untagged striped bass, possession of striped bass out of the slot limit, failure to have a VTR, and failure to provide his food fish permit.

Hunting Deer with Bait ... Again! - Sullivan County
On Nov. 19, just before dusk, ECOs Bob Hodor, Matt Burdick, Melissa Burgess, Lt. Mike Bello, and a New York State Police Trooper concluded an investigation involving a hunting camp in the town of Fallsburg. Members of the family camp had been ticketed in 2013 after an investigation revealed that all of the ground blinds and tree stands associated with the camp were heavily baited for the purpose of attracting deer. Earlier this fall, ECOs Hodor, Burgess, and Lt. Bello revisited the camp and found that the hunters were still using bait. This year's investigation resulted in the ticketing of five hunters, all for the violation of hunting deer with the aid of pre-established bait.

Trespasser With Too Many Tags - Putnam County
On Nov. 19, ECOs Craig Tompkins and Tony Drahms followed up on a trespassing complaint reported the day before in the town of Southeast. ECO Tompkins responded and confirmed that the land was legally posted, but also located a tree stand on the property. Returning to the location the following day, the ECOs observed a subject walking from the tree stand on the posted property. As it turned out, the man was tracking a deer he shot while trespassing. During the interview with the subject, ECOs determined the man was in possession of his brother's DMP tags and bow/muzzleloader tag as well as his own. The hunter was issued tickets for trespassing on posted property, illegal taking of protected wildlife (deer), and possessing the license of another person. A small buck and the brother's tags were seized as evidence and the tickets are returnable to the Southeast Town Court.

Trespassing to Hunt - Broome County
On Nov. 19, ECO Andy McCormick responded to a complaint in the town of Union regarding a group of hunters trespassing on private property. The complainant stated that he had confronted the men and the discussion nearly became violent. The group did not have permission to be on the property. Officer McCormick checked the area and attempted to locate the responsible parties, but found no signs of them. On Nov. 20, the complainant contacted ECO McCormick again, advising him that two of the hunters had returned to hunt the same property. Both ECOs McCormick and Anthony Rigoli responded, tracked the two on the property, and found them hunting again. Both subjects were ticketed for trespassing and were advised not to return.

Lots of Tags But Too Early to Shoot - Saratoga County
On the morning of Nov. 20 at 7 a.m., the opening weekend of the Southern Zone regular season for deer hunting, ECOs Rob Higgins and Steve Shaw responded to a call from a complainant who had witnessed a man shoot at a group of deer in the dark approximately 30 minutes before the start of legal hunting hours. The complainant confronted the hunter and his father about the legality and danger of the incident, but the two men scoffed at the subject. The ECOs found the deer that the hunter had shot - a nine-point buck field dressed at 210 pounds. The hunter and his father were interviewed and ECOs verified that the taking was illegal. The man who shot the deer was issued tickets for hunting deer during closed hours and killing a wild deer except as permitted by the Conservation Law. The deer was seized as evidence and donated to the Saratoga County Venison Donation Program. All charges are pending in the Town of Ballston Court.

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Three Plead Guilty to Trafficking in More Than $740,000 Worth of Glass Eels

Three individuals pleaded guilty in federal district court in Charleston, South Carolina, to trafficking more than $740,000 worth of juvenile American eels aka “elvers” or “glass eels,” in violation of the Lacey Act.  Harry Wertan, Jr., Mark Weihe and Jay James each pleaded guilty to selling or transporting elvers in interstate commerce, which they had harvested illegally, or knew had been harvested illegally, in South Carolina.
The pleas were the result of “Operation Broken Glass,” a multi-jurisdiction U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) investigation into the illegal trafficking of American eels.  To date, the investigation has resulted in guilty pleas for ten individuals whose combined conduct resulted in the illegal trafficking of more than $2.6 million worth of elvers.

The guilty pleas were announced today by Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake for the District of South Carolina, and Director Dan Ashe of the USFWS.

“We will not allow the rivers of the United States to be the poaching grounds for international seafood markets,” said Assistant Attorney General Cruden. “The American eel is an important but limited natural and economic resource that must be protected.  Trafficking only undercuts the toil and honest efforts of those who obey the law.”

“This case underscores the role U.S. citizens often play in wildlife trafficking and demonstrates that this deadly trade does not solely impact large, charismatic mammals in distant countries,” said Director Dan Ashe for USFWS. “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement agents work tirelessly to save wildlife from the threat traffickers pose here at home, and together with the Department of Justice, bring these individuals to justice for their illegal activities.”

Eels are highly valued in east Asia for human consumption.  Historically, Japanese and European eels were harvested to meet this demand; however, overfishing has led to a decline in the population of these eels.  As a result, harvesters have turned to the American eel to fill the void resulting from the decreased number of Japanese and European eels.

American eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea, an area of the North Atlantic Ocean bounded on all sides by ocean currents.  They then travel as larvae from the Sargasso to the coastal waters of the eastern United States, where they enter a juvenile or elver stage, swim upriver and grow to adulthood in fresh water.  Elvers are exported for aquaculture in east Asia, where they are raised to adult size and sold for food.  Harvesters and exporters of American eels in the United States can sell elvers to east Asia for more than $2000 per pound.

Because of the threat of overfishing, elver harvesting is prohibited in the United States in all but three states: Maine, South Carolina and Florida.  Maine and South Carolina heavily regulate elver fisheries, requiring that individuals be licensed and report all quantities of harvested eels to state authorities.  Although Florida does not have specific elver-related regulations, the limited population of elvers in Florida waters makes commercial eel fishing impossible.

“This investigation is an outstanding example of the dedication and ingenuity shown by multiple agencies working together to expose and curtail the illegal trade of American eels,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Luis Santiago Southeast Region for USFWS. “Today’s pleas are a success in our collective efforts to conserve and protect an important American fishery.”
“Today’s pleas in the illegal trade of American Eels are a tremendous step in preserving this important fishery,” said Colonel Chisolm Frampton for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division.  “A multitude of state and federal agencies did outstanding work to bring this case to successful conclusion.”

The offenses in the case are felonies under the Lacey Act, each carrying a maximum penalty of five years’ incarceration, a fine of up to $250,000 or up to twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss, or both.

Operation Broken Glass was conducted by the USFWS and the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section in collaboration with the Maine Marine Patrol, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Law Enforcement, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Conservation Police, Virginia Marine Resources Commission Police, USFWS Refuge Law Enforcement, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement, Massachusetts Environmental Police, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Law Enforcement, New York State Environmental Conservation Police, New Hampshire Fish and Game Division of Law Enforcement, Maryland Natural Resources Police, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission Division of Law Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Yarmouth, Massachusetts Division of Natural Resources, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Police Department and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Delaware River Basin Commission Approves Drought Management Special Permit

Basin Placed in “Drought Watch” Stage Effective Immediately

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) at a special meeting today issued a special permit for coordinated operation of regional reservoirs, out-of-basin diversions, and Delaware River flow objectives in response to persistent dry conditions.

“The special permit unanimously approved today provides for enhanced coordination of operations of regional reservoirs, diversions, and flow objectives during the ongoing, extended period of below-normal precipitation,” said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini. “Today’s action also makes clear that the entire basin is currently deemed to be in a ‘drought watch’ stage.”

The DRBC’s primary drought management objective, which complements the basin states’ drought response efforts, is to provide for conservation of regional reservoir storage for purposes of water supply and flow augmentation in the Delaware River and salinity control in the Delaware River Estuary.

The special permit issued today under section 10.4 of the compact that created the DRBC in 1961 provides a single set of water resource management responses to address dry conditions both “basinwide” and in the “lower basin,” which is the portion of the basin downstream of Montague, N.J.

Under the special permit, the transition from one possible drought stage to another – from “watch” to “warning” to “drought” and back again to “normal” – will be based on the combined storage in three reservoirs located in the Catskill Mountains at the headwaters of the Delaware River in New York State. Releases from these New York City reservoirs provide about half of the city’s water supply and support a minimum flow target in the Delaware River at Montague established by the U.S. Supreme Court Decree of 1954.  Combined storage in the three reservoirs is now approximately 40% of capacity.   In accordance with the provisions of the compact, today’s resolution has also been unanimously approved by the parties to the decree, which include Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York State, and New York City.

Out-of-basin diversions to New York City and portions of New Jersey established by the 1954 decree will be reduced depending upon the drought stages defined by the special permit.  However, a reserve “bank” of water established by the decree parties over the course of the past year in anticipation of a dry period such as the current one will be available, allowing New Jersey to minimize the effects of possible diversion reductions.

The Delaware River flow objective at Montague and a second flow objective at Trenton, N.J. will also be reduced and will be dependent on the location of the “salt line” in the Delaware River Estuary if the basin enters into the most serious “drought” stage of operations.

The purpose of the Trenton flow objective is to control the movement of the “salt line” or “salt front” in the tidal Delaware River.  Adequate freshwater flowing downstream is needed to repel the upstream advancement of “salty” or “brackish” water from Delaware Bay to keep it away from drinking water intakes serving residents in Philadelphia and New Jersey and industrial intakes along the river.

“As of Nov. 20, the salt front is 19 river miles upstream from its normal location for the month despite significant freshwater reservoir releases,” said Tambini. “The current salt front location is still 21 miles downstream of water supply intakes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Under the “drought watch” stage operations initiated today, several hydroelectric, recreation, and federal reservoirs may be requested to either store or release water.  In addition, releases may be required from Merrill Creek Reservoir, a facility in Warren County, N.J. constructed by a consortium of electric utilities, to replace evaporative losses caused by power generation.

The DRBC held a public hearing on Nov. 9 to solicit public input on the persistent dry conditions throughout the basin and how to address them, as required by the compact before being able to take today’s action.

The below-normal precipitation totals throughout most of the Delaware River Basin, with the resulting effects on streamflows, groundwater levels, reservoir storage, and soil moisture, have prompted New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York to declare drought watches or warnings under their respective drought operating plans in 36 of the 42 counties that lie entirely or partially in the basin.

The DRBC is urging all water users to fully cooperate with requests by the basin states to curb water use where drought watches and warnings have been issued and is encouraging all basin water users to maximize water efficiency wherever possible. “Over 15 million people rely on waters of the Delaware River Basin,” said Tambini. “During times of shortage, they also rely upon coordinated action by the basin states, decree parties, and federal government jointly through the DRBC to meet the basin’s drought management objectives.”

The DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for managing the water resources within the 13,539 square-mile Delaware River Basin without regard to political boundaries. The five commission members are the governors of the basin states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' North Atlantic Division, who represents the federal government.

More information, including links to basin state drought pages, updates about water resource conditions, and water savings tips, can be found at www.drbc.net.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Delaware River Basin Commission Is Holding A Special Drought Meeting

Meeting to be Held November 23, 2016 at 11 AM in DRBC's Goddard Room
The DRBC will hold a special meeting for the purpose of considering a resolution pursuant to section 10.4 of the Delaware River Basin Compact to preserve and protect water supplies during the present dry conditions by means of coordinated actions to manage out-of-basin diversions, regional reservoir releases, and Delaware River flow objectives. The Commissioners will have the option of attending this meeting via teleconference.

DATE: The special meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. and is expected to last for less than one hour.

LOCATION: The meeting is open to the public and will take place in the Goddard Room of the Commission’s office building at 25 State Police Drive in West Trenton, New Jersey. Directions can be found at http://www.nj.gov/drbc/contact/directions/. Please note that web-based map applications do not provide reliable directions to DRBC’s office building.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission will consider action pursuant to section 10.4 of the Delaware River Basin Compact, which would enable it to implement a coordinated response to dry conditions throughout the basin. In particular, the resolution would empower the Commission to provide for the conservation of regional reservoir storage through phased reductions in diversions, reservoir releases, and flow objectives for purposes of water supply and flow augmentation in the Delaware River and salinity control in the Delaware River Estuary.

In anticipation of the need to consider action under section 10.4, the Commission on November 9, 2016 conducted a public hearing on the persistent dry conditions throughout the basin and how to address them. There will be no opportunity for public comment at the special meeting on November 23.

The proposed resolution will be posted as soon as it becomes available. Reservoir storage and relevant drought related information is available via http://www.nj.gov/drbc/hydrological/drought/index.html

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela Bush, Commission Secretary and Assistant General Counsel, DRBC, at pamela.bush@drbc.nj.gov.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Cold Facts on the ‘120-Degree Rule’

You may have put your boat away for the season, but the occasional warm fall day still brings plenty of paddlers out on the water. Knowing when to wear the thermal protection offered by a dry- or wetsuit is key. However, a long-assumed guideline meant to help paddlers make the right decision, sometimes known as the “120-degree rule,” may instead put paddlers in danger.

The 120-degree rule adds the air and water temperatures to determine when thermal protection is required. It assumes that if the total is above 120 F, that no dry- or wet-suit is needed.

“Using this simple formula,” says BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner, “a paddler could mistakenly believe that if air temperature is the low 70s and water temperature is hovering around the low 50s, that thermal protection is not necessary. That could not be farther from the truth.”

Sensenbrenner says that warm fall or spring days give paddlers a false sense of security. “Water temperatures have plunged, but the warm sun on your face hides the reality that accidentally going overboard at this time of year could quickly lead to trouble.”

According to research, sudden cold-water immersion can kill in several ways: involuntary gasp reflex and hyperventilation, cold incapacitation, and immersion hypothermia. Not wearing a life jacket compounds the drowning risk.

A word to the wise? “Always wear a life jacket when in an open boat or on deck, and consider the water temperature when dressing for your next boating adventure,” says Sensenbrenner. For more on cold-water boating including what to wear, go to BoatUS.org/cold-water-boating.