Blog posts categorized by Environmental Report Cards
Conceptualization shows that coastal wetlands are likely to be affected by their ability to migrate landward or grow upwards as sea levels rise, and will be protected by underwater grasses and oyster habitat, which reduce wave action and erosion during storms. Image from the Chesapeake Bay Report Card 2013

Climate Change and resilience create new challenges in tracking ecosystem health status

Heath Kelsey ·
26 August 2014
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | 

Understanding resilience to climate change effects is critical to the future of environmental assessment and reporting. Changing air and water temperature, precipitation patterns and storm frequencies, CO2 concentrations, and sea level rise will add significant pressure to the natural and engineered systems that provide us services. Understanding system resilience to these changes is important to developing relevant monitoring, assessment, and reporting frameworks.

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Mississippi River at the conference venue showing the Crescent City Connection

The CEER Conference provides insight to the future of report cards

Heath Kelsey ·
21 August 2014
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | 

Alex Fries and I had the chance to represent UMCES at the Conference on Ecosystem and Ecological Restoration (CEER) on the New Orleans riverfront from July 28 to August 1, 2014. I presented on our … Alex Fries at the UMCES booth … CEER Conference a good venue for the Mississippi Report Card … There could not have been a more appropriate location to talk about a report card for the Mississippi River than New Orleans, Louisiana this July.

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Oklahoma report card song

Bill Dennison ·
10 June 2014
Environmental Report Cards | 

As part of the Mississippi River report card process, we held a workshop at the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma to discuss the Arkansas and Red River basins. I adapted the Rogers and Hammerstein classic "Oklahoma" to commemorate our workshop. Based on some karaoke singing in the evening of the first day of the workshop, we discovered some (not a lot, but some) singing talent within our group. We prevailed upon these karaoke singers to form a trio known as "J.D. and the River Rats".

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Jones Falls downstream of Mill No. 1.

Baltimore’s Annual Healthy Harbor Report Card

Bill Dennison ·
29 May 2014
Environmental Report Cards | 

Along with Caroline Wicks from the Integration and Application Network, I attended the release of the 2013 Baltimore Harbor report card on 28 May. The Integration and Application Network team developed the initial report card a couple of years ago, working closely with the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and Blue Water Baltimore and still provide data analysis support for the Baltimore Harbor report card.

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2013 Chesapeake Bay report released

Bill Dennison ·
23 May 2014
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | 

The 2013 Chesapeake Bay report card provides an important insight into how stormwater runoff affects the Bay. The contrast between the Upper Eastern Shore report card scores which are degrading over time versus the James River report card scores which are improving over time provides important insights. Both regions experienced intense rainfall in 2013, yet the report card scores responded differently.

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Memphis Tennessee

A new version of the song 'Memphis Tennessee' released

Bill Dennison ·
22 April 2014
Environmental Report Cards | 

Since Memphis, Tennessee is the blues music capital of the world, just upriver from the jazz music capital in New Orleans and a short distance from Nashville, TN, the country music capital, it seemed appropriate to capture our lower Mississippi River workshop in the form of a blues song. Memphis is where Sam Phillips at Sun Records recorded such music luminaries as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

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Barge traffic on the Mississippi River viewed from Memphis, TN. Arkansas is on the other side of the river.

Developing a Mississippi River report card: Lower Mississippi workshop in Memphis

Bill Dennison ·
8 April 2014
Environmental Report Cards |     1 comments

Once again, a contingent from IAN (Heath Kelsey, Bill Nuttle, Caroline Wicks, Brianne Walsh and me) gathered along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River to meet with a diverse stakeholder group to discuss the issues associated with the Mississippi River. In this case, we learned about the issues associated with the lower Mississippi River, which were surprisingly different from the issues in the Upper Mississippi River and the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers from our previous workshops.

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Cross Sound ferry approaching New London, Connecticut

Long Island Sound 'listening tour' to initiate environmental report cards: Part 2

Bill Dennison ·
27 March 2014
Environmental Report Cards | 

Following our Connecticut stops, we took the Cross Sound Ferry from New London, CT over to the tip of the north fork of Long Island at Orient Point. From the ferry we could see some important features of Long Island Sound. First, as we sailed out of the Thames River, we could see the rocky headlands, industrial development (particularly the submarine manufacturing base) and busy harbor traffic.

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Earthplace visit: (left to right) Bill Nuttle, Bill Dennison, Gary Wikfors, Dick Harris, Tripp Killin, Pete Fabroni, Norm Bloom, Caroline Wicks, Anthony Kung, Nikki Cantatore.

Long Island Sound 'listening tour' to initiate environmental report cards: Part 1

Bill Dennison ·
25 March 2014
Environmental Report Cards | 

Bill Nuttle, Caroline Wicks, Anthony Kung and I circumnavigated Long Island Sound, crossing it at both ends (over the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge on the western end and aboard the Cross Sound Ferry on the eastern end), and drove through most of the Connecticut coast and the length of Long Island. We visited five different groups of scientists, resource managers and local conservation groups in Connecticut and Long Island, New York in March (10-13).

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Conceptual diagram for the key issues affecting the coastal and marine resources in South Australia.

A New IAN Science Communication Course on Ecosystem Health Report Cards in Adelaide, Australia

Heath Kelsey ·
27 February 2014
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | 

Alex Fries and I had the chance to travel to Adelaide, Australia to deliver a two-day Science Communication Course to the South Australia Department of Environment, Water, and Natural Resources (DEWNR). The course focused on Ecosystem Health Report Cards. DEWNR is currently creating state-wide report cards in the marine, freshwater, terrestrial, and atmospheric environments, reporting on elements like pest species, soil health, reefs, seagrass, salt marsh, and dunes.

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