Federal Tools for Urban Watersheds

Session Date & Time: 
June 4, 2011 - 1:30pm
Session Length: 
3 hours

Miki Schmidt & Nancy Cofer-Shabica, NOAA;

Donna Myers, USGS; Larry Knightner & Peter Rowe, HUD;

Alli Gold & Stuart Lehman, EPA; Keith Dyche, EDA ...and more

This workshop will showcase tools and resources from multiple federal agencies that would be useful for organizations working to improve urban watersheds and waterways. Federal staff will discuss a cross section of tools including computer software, online tools, technical training, educational materials, grant opportunities, and more. There will be opportunities to ask questions and talk with federal staff. This workshop is a project of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a collaboration between 11 agencies to revitalize urban waters and the communities that surround them. The partnership includes Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Transportation (DOT), Economic Development Administration (EDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Tool Descriptions
NOAA will present on tools available through the Digital Coast and useful for organizations working in urban watersheds. Highlighted tools will include Coastal County Snapshots and the Habitat Priority Planner, among others.

USGS Urban Portal Tool
A major emphasis of U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) water quality program is to understand how urbanization affects water quality. Studies by the USGS describe biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of urban surface and groundwater resources and relate current conditions and trends to factors such as changing land use, chemical use, and other human activities and natural features that influence the urban water quality. The urban portal is a gateway to information products such as publications, Web sites, and podcasts through which knowledge of urban water quality is made available to policy makers, water managers, and the public. The intended outcome is an improved scientific basis for decision makers to protect, preserve and wisely manage urban waters for safe drinking water, aquatic ecosystem health, native and endangered species preservation, and recreation. The portal can be accessed at http://co.water.usgs.gov/nawqa/urbanPortal/index.html .

EPA Tools
- Adopt Your Watershed and Surf Your Watershed http://water.epa.gov/action/adopt/index.cfm
- Catalog of Federal Funding
- Watershed Central and Watershed Wiki

Presenter Bio(s): 

Nicholas (Miki) Schmidt serves as chief of the Coastal Geospatial Services division, which leads the Coastal Services Center's GIS and remote sensing activities. An expert in applying geospatial technologies, Schmidt has had a long career with the federal government, including the U.S. Army's Strategic Defense Command and NASA's commercial remote sensing program, before joining NOAA in 1996. Schmidt holds a master's degree in geography and a bachelor's degree in marine science, both from the University of South Carolina.

Nancy Cofer-Shabica is a physical scientist at NOAA’s Coastal Services Center, focusing on coastal conservation and training projects. She enjoys working on collaborative conservation efforts with diverse partners and helping groups use spatial data and technology to achieve their strategic conservation goals. Nancy holds a bachelor's degree in english and master’s degrees in marine geology and marine policy.

Donna Myers is the Senior Water Quality Advisor and Chief of the Office of Water Quality (OWQ) for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Reston, VA. USGS water quality programs provide scientific assessments of the quality of streams and ground water in river basins and aquifer systems across the Nation. USGS water quality studies inform policy-makers on the science behind a wide range of water-quality issues ranging from nutrient enrichment to the impacts of contaminants on our Nation’s streams, rivers, groundwater, sources of drinking water, and stream ecosystems.

Alli Gold is an ORISE (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education ) Fellow in EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. She works on education and outreach for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and the National Lakes Assessment. Alli graduated from American University in May 2010 with a BA in political science and environmental studies. She previously worked at EPA in the nonpoint source control branch and published a paper entitled Rainwater Harvesting: Policies, Programs, and Practices for Water Supply Sustainability for the American Society Civil Engineers.

Stuart Lehman is an environmental scientist with EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. He provides technical assistance to states and watershed organizations that are using Clean Water Act, Section 319 funds to manage urban and agricultural pollution. Stuart has over 20 years of experience working on watersheds in Montana and Maryland and promoting stronger enforcement of pollution control regulations with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Keith Dyche serves as the Regional Environmental Officer for the Atlanta Region of the Economic Development Administration (EDA). His primary role is review of EDA projects for compliance with federal environmental regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act. Prior to joining EDA, he was an environmental consultant in the private sector for over 15 years