The latest water-related news and events
The latest water-related news and events
A monthly e-newsletter from the North Central Region Water Network
June 2021
Lake Geneva, WI. Copyright (c) 2019 Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

Network News

One of the amazing things about water is how many aspects of our lives it touches. We are amazed every day by all the great work going on to care for our water. Here are a few examples from our corner of the world:
That said, we know many folks in the region have been impacted by flooding, drought, tornados, and other extreme weather events recently. If your community has been impacted and you are looking for resources and services check out the Extension Diaster Education Network's resource hub. Also feel free to reach out to our team here if there are additional water-related resources that you are needing right now. We will do our best to assist!
-Rebecca Power and Anne Nardi, the North Central Region Water Network team

P.S. Want your water questions answered by colleagues? Use the North Central Region Water Network listserv to get answers quickly. To subscribe, email
HABs Beach Warning, Madison WI

The Current Webinar Series
Beach Monitoring Policies, Practices and Outreach
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 2pm CT

It's summer and that means it's beach season. And when it comes to recreational lakes and swimmable waters in the North Central Region, beach monitoring is an ongoing challenge for water resource managers and outreach professionals. Tune into this month's edition of The Current webinar as we hear from water resource managers across the region on beach monitoring policies, practices, and outreach. Register here
Photo Credits: Steve Apps, Wisconsin State Journal. 
John McMaine working in the field

Network Spotlight
Network team awarded Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates Fellowships grant for watershed management summer internship program

A team of North Central Region Water Network extension professionals are kicking off a new project aimed at providing undergraduate students critical experience and exposure to watershed management work. The team which includes representation from seven North Central Region states, recently received a Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates (REEU) fellowship grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to host a five-year summer internship program centered around water resource management. Read on
Extension forester Charles Barden describes the seed orchard development for black walnut and bur oak, at the Geyer Forestry Center.

Leadership Spotlight
Charlie Barden works to engage Kansas Native American community in forestry and water work

Earlier this year the North Central Region Water Network was delighted to welcome Charlie Barden, Kansas State Extension Forester and Professor at Kansas State University, to the Network Leadership Team. While Charlie may be a new face on the leadership team, he is far from new to the Network. Back in 2017 and 2018, Charlie led two North Central Region Water Network seed-funded projects working to build collaboration between state and tribal land-grant institutions in the North Central Region. There are 20 Tribal Colleges and Universities in the North Central Region and while there are great examples of collaboration between state land-grants and tribal colleges on water-related issues there is ample room for growth. Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events
Nearshore Attached Filamentous Algal Blooms: A New and Growing Problem
July 7th, 11AM CT

We are all aware of the threat of harmful algal blooms in waterbodies with high nutrient levels, but why are algal blooms forming on the bottoms of clear lakes with low concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus? Join our next HAB webinar on Wednesday July 7th as Yvonne Vadeboncoeur, Professor of Biological Sciences at Wright State University, discusses her work on filamentous algal blooms and the rising threat they pose for nearshore habitats in lakes with high water quality. Dr. Vadeboncoeur will discuss the groundwater pollution, lake food webs, and the role of the public in better understanding this new threat to some of the world’s most iconic lakes. Learn more
Farming for the Future: Ecosystem Market Summer Series
July 13th, 11AM CT

Join the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership and organizations from Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin for a free four-part webinar series exploring new management options and financial opportunities for Midwest farmers. The series will provide farmers and their advisors with practical and straightforward information on innovative incentives. Learn more

Catching Carbon: Improving Soil, Navigating Markets
July 22nd, 1pm-4pm CT

Carbon credits are just one component of an emerging market for agriculture collectively known as “ecosystem services markets.” New opportunities may be on the horizon in terms of low carbon fuel standards, credits for biofuels production, direct carbon credit sales between farmers and buyers, water quantity and quality programs, and much more. Learn more about the science behind carbon, practices for carbon capture, and take a look at emerging opportunities for North Dakota corn producers during this FREE workshop. The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council is proud to bring North Dakota corn producers a free workshop at Hagge’s in Mapleton, ND (or JOIN VIRTUALLY) on July 22, 2021 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm CDT that will provide timely and valuable content regarding the science of carbon from experts in their field. Learn more

2021 Drainage Tools Workshop

August 24th, 9am-3pm ET
Michigan State Univeristy Extension's 2021 Drainage Tools Workshop will be held virtually on August 24, 2021 from 9:00 am to 3:00pm ET. Learn the basics of using tools to make informed decisions about drainage for crop production and water-quality protection. The workshop will discuss conservation drainage design practices, tools to help design drainage systems that more effectively and maximize profit, and tools to inform decision-making. CCA credits available. Registration is free. Learn More

Funding and Opportunities

Call for Speakers & Abstracts: 2021 Eastern South Dakota Water Conference

The South Dakota Water Resources Institute is soliciting abstracts relating to water resources and water management for the 2021 Eastern South Dakota Water Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “Ground Truth – Water Resource Management and Remote Sensing”. The deadline for submitting an abstract is August 20, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m. CST. Abstracts are limited to a maximum of 1,500 characters and must be submitted via the online form. Oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions. Learn more

Healthy and Resilient Gulf of Mexico 2021 Request for Applications - Environmental Protection Agency
This RFA solicits applications from entities for projects to improve water quality, restore habitat, enhance community resilience, and increase environmental education in the Gulf of Mexico. The RFA is expected to result in the award of grants and/or cooperative agreements pursuant to Clean Water Act Section 104(b)(3). Under this RFA, EPA expects to award a total of approximately $9 million for about 30 projects in the four funding opportunities listed below. Applicants must apply for the specific funding of interest interested. Learn more

Cropping Systems Extension Specialist Position Opening - North Dakota State University Extension

The North Dakota State University (ND) Extension is looking for a highly motivated educator and to serve as an Extension specialist in agronomy for northeast North Dakota. ND Extension is an organization that values people who excel, adapt easily, exhibit passion for helping others, and are excellent communicators. The extension specialist is a member of a statewide Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources team responsible for providing leadership to create and deliver innovative learning experiences that empower North Dakotans to improve their lives and communities. Learn more

Agriculture Policy Specialist Opening - National Wildlife Federation
To support our mission, we are seeking an Agriculture Policy Specialist to join our Land Stewardship Team at the National Advocacy Center in Washington, DC.. In this role, you will advise and assist the Director of Agriculture Policy in NWF’s work on the conservation and climate provisions of the Farm Bill, and other agriculture related legislative and policy issues.  Portfolio issue areas will include: promoting climate beneficial agriculture practices and policy, diversification of agriculture systems, agriculture appropriations, and other conservation related agriculture policy issues. Learn more

EPA Announces $10 Million Available for States, Tribes, and Territories to Address Environmental Concerns - Iowa Water Center
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of Multipurpose Grant (MPG) funding to support states, Tribes and territories in addressing high-priority environmental issues, including PFAS, environmental justice and climate change. “Dedicating funds to states and Tribes will ensure we have all hands on deck addressing important challenges like PFAS and other emerging contaminants,”said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.“From tackling climate change to delivering environmental justice, these investments will enable EPA’s partners to advance solutions to our most pressing issues in every corner of the country.”
Read on

A quarter of global harvests at risk if agriculture does not adapt to climate change -
Shifts in weather patterns induced by climate change will increase extreme heat and reduce rainfall across major crop growing regions, with impacts on agricultural production. Will this trigger a decline in the supply of calories needed to sustain the world's growing population? Read on

Drought Status update for the Midwest - NOAA

Severe drought (D2) has expanded across the Upper Midwest, now affecting portions of Michigan, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. Moderate to severe drought (D1-D2) covers 70% of Michigan, 57% of Iowa, 46% of Minnesota, 34% of Wisconsin, and 9% of Illinois. Overall, 27% of the Midwest region is in drought. Read on

EPA Awards $2.5 Million for Iowa Farm-Focused Projects to improve Water Quality -

At a press event at the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the award of $2.5 million to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Practical Farmers of Iowa, as part of the Agency’s Farmer to Farmer grant program. Read on

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