Friday, June 22, 2012

Episode 116 (June 25, 2012): Osprey


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 25, 2012.

This week we feature another mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 15 seconds and see if you can guess what’s making the high-pitched, chirping sounds.  And here’s a hint:  You won’t find an image of this bird on the back of a U.S. quarter, but you can find it commonly along Virginia’s tidal and coastal waters in spring and summer.

SOUND. 

If you guessed an Osprey, you’re right!  Sometimes mistaken for Bald Eagles, adult Osprey differ from our national bird in having white under their wings and dark marks on their head and tail.  Like Bald Eagles, however, an Osprey’s sharp talons, hooked beak, and keen eyesight make it a raptor, a word whose Latin root means “to seize.”  While many raptors capture a variety of animals, aquatic-based Osprey feed almost completely on fish—giving rise to its nickname, Fish Hawk.  A ban on the use of the pesticide DDT in the United States greatly helped the recovery of severely diminished populations of Osprey, eagles, and other birds, whose eggshells were thinned by the chemical.  Osprey nest along shorelines, rivers, and marshes in the Chesapeake Bay region from spring to late summer.  Thanks to Lang Elliott of NatureSound Studio for permission to use this week’s sound.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES 
Acknowledgments: The sounds of Osprey were taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott and NatureSound Studio (online at http://www.naturesound.com/corepage/core.html).  Sounds of Osprey were used previously as part of Virginia Water Radio Episode 56 (week of March 7, 2011; now archived).

Sources: A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, by Chandler S. Robbins et al. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001); Life in the Chesapeake Bay, by Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006); the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s “Bird Guide” Web site at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search; the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Web site at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/birds/raptors/; and the Chesapeake Bay Program Web site at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/fieldguide/critter/osprey.  Another good source is “Birds of North America Online” at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna, but a subscription is needed.

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Episode 115 (June 18, 2012): Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan Phase II


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 18, 2012.

This week, we focus on the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, clean-up plan.  Established in December 2010 by the U.S. EPA, the Bay TMDL seeks to reduce the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment that flow into the Bay and cause a range of water-quality and habitat problems.  The Bay TMDL requires states to submit Watershed Implementation Plans, or WIPs.  The so-called “Phase II WIP” focuses on what localities will do to help meet statewide goals.  After Virginia’s submission of its Phase II WIP on March 30, 2012, the Commonwealth held a series of public meetings on the document.  The following five-minute excerpt is from a presentation at the May 30 meeting in Covington, by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s James Davis-Martin, describing what happens next in the Bay TMDL process.  Please note that the word “model” refers the EPA’s computer program used to predict how land use actions affect pollution reaching the Bay, and “federal backstops” refers to potential actions by EPA if states don’t meet their Bay TMDL goals.

Davis-Martin Excerpt (4:34).

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES 
Acknowledgments and Sources: This episode’s comments by James Davis-Martin of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) were recorded by Virginia Water Radio in Covington, Va., on May 30, 2012, and used with permission of the speaker.  The comments were excerpted from Mr. Martin’s “Next Steps” presentation during the May 30 meeting (full comments were about 14 minutes).  A copy of Mr. Martins’ slide presentation at the DCR’s Bay TMDL Phase II WIP public meetings is available at the DCR’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL Web site, http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/vabaytmdl/.  The U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TDML Web site is http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/.  


Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Episode 114 (June 11, 2012): Envirothon


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 11, 2012.

This week, we feature voices of Virginia high-school students competing in Virginia’s Dominion Envirothon.  Conducted by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Envirothon challenges teams of five students to show their knowledge and skills about aquatics, forestry, soils, and wildlife, and to make a 20-minute oral presentation on a current environmental issue.  For the 2012 competition, teams presented proposed solutions for a real-life stormwater-management problem in the Fairfax County community of McLean. The teams were required specifically to consider low-impact development, or LID, practices as alternatives to more conventional stormwater-management techniques.  Have a listen for about 3 minutes to an excerpt from this year’s state-level competition, held in May at James Madison University.  The excerpt starts with brief comments from two Association staff members.

SOUND. 

Envirothon offers students a chance to learn about natural resources and to develop communication and teamwork skills.  If you’re interested in starting a team in your area, contact your local soil and water conservation district.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES 
Acknowledgments and Sources: Thanks to the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts for permission to record presentations at the 2012 state-level competition.  More information about the Envirothon and about Virginia soil and water conservation districts is available online at http://vaswcd.org/; from the Association at 7308 Hanover Green Drive, Suite 100, Mechanicsville, Virginia 23111, phone (804) 559-0324, e-mail kendall.tyree@vaswcd.org; or from your local soil and water conservation district.

Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Episode 113 (Week of June 4, 2012): American Beaver


Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 4, 2012.

This week, we feature another mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making this splat and splash.  And here’s a hint: You can guess this if you get BUSY.

SOUND. 

If you guessed a beaver, you’re right!  That was the sound of an American Beaver smacking its tail on the water surface as the animal submerged.  The tail slap is a defensive behavior for a beaver protecting the territory around its colony.  Beavers live either in burrows dug into stream, lake, or pond banks, or in lodges they build from wood and mud, with entrances below the water surface.  The animals build dams to deepen the water level and provide more protection from predators.  Besides their paddle-like tail, beavers have several other adaptations for aquatic life, including a streamlined body covered by well-oiled fur; webbed hind toes; coverings to keep water out of their nose and ears; and a flap behind their teeth to allow them to use the teeth underwater.  After European settlement of North America, trapping and habitat changes eliminated beavers from much of their natural range, including from Virginia by the early 1900s.  But reintroduction into Virginia starting in the 1930s led to successful reproduction, and beavers now occur again throughout the Commonwealth.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES

A short video clip of the beaver heard in today’s episode, showing the animal swimming and making a tail splat, is available on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mulEJhKGhl0.

And below are two photos of this week’s sound-maker.  Photos, video, and audio were all taken along a Virginia stream on June 2, 2012.




 
Sources: Information on the American Beaver was taken from Virginia Water Central, April 2005 (pp. 14-15), available online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/watercentral.html; and from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Web site at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/?s=050069 (accessed 6/4/12).


Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.

Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.