CERF Submits Comments on WOTUS Proposed Rule

CERF, in conjunction with 11 other scientific societies, has submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in opposition of the proposed rule, Definition of “Waters of the United States” - Pre-proposal Outreach Comments, EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0480. The agencies have proposed to repeal the current 2015 Clean Water Rule the defines the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and replace it with a definition based on Justice Antonin Scalia's 2006 opinion, which would likely exclude many wetlands, headwater streams, and other waters that are currently regulated or that would be regulated under the 2015 definition. Read the entire letter.

CERF Selects Awardees for Rising TIDES Conference Mentoring Program

CERF is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Rising TIDES (Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society) Conference Mentoring Program awards.   Rising TIDES will jointly support underrepresented minority (URM) students and mentors to participate in CERF 2017 - 24th Biennial Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, 5-9 November 2017.

CERF received 75 applications from students based at institutions around the world.  From these applications, 11 student/mentor pairs were selected:

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CERF Condemns EPA Prohibition of Talks By Member Scientists

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) strongly condemns the actions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prohibit three EPA scientists, who are also CERF members, from presenting their research at “The State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed” workshop in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 23, 2017. Such censorship compromises the fundamental role of science to understand and report on our natural world, and goes against the EPA's long history of being an important partner in coastal research. Read the full statement.

Comments on Proposal to Rescind

CERF Submits Comments on Proposal to Rescind "Waters of the United States" Rule

CERF, in conjunction with 11 other scientific societies, has submitted comments on the proposed rule to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The American Fisheries Society (AFS), American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF), Ecological Society of America (ESA), Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS), International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR), North American Lake Management Society (NALMS), Phycological Society of America (PSA),Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) and Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) wrote in support of the sustainable management of the nation’s waters, and in strong opposition to the proposal to rescind the WOTUS definition.

The comments were submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the public comment period required under the agencies' rulemaking authority. They state that the proposed repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, unlike the 2015 Clean Water Rule itself, is unsupported by the peer-reviewed science and evidentiary analysis, has not been subjected to rigorous independent peer review, nor to a robust public comment process, and poses a significant threat to the integrity and security of our drinking water, public health, fisheries, and wildlife habitat while significantly increasing the risks and costs associated with flood and storm damage.

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Check Out CERF's Up! Summer 2017 Newsletter

The CERF Summer 2017 Newsletter is now available! Learn about CERF 2017 Conference, read up on our webinar series, and hear from our Affiliate Societies. Read CERF's Up online today!

 

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Supporting colleagues impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Dear CERF Members,

We are all watching with great sadness the events unfolding along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Having experienced these disasters firsthand, and living on the fringe of this event as it continues to impact coastal Louisiana today, I share your concern for all of those impacted by this disaster. We want to find ways we can reach out and assist our friends and colleagues based at the many research and academic institutions in the region. The CERF Executive Committee is monitoring the situation. We share your heartbreak for the suffering experienced by those caught in this extensive flooding, and the fear for those still awaiting help. And we know that once the waters recede and we move from rescue to assessment and recovery, we will see the full extent of the damage to the communities and ecosystems hit by this storm. Our thoughts are with all the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. 

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CASS requests extension of public comment period for WOTUS repeal

CASS requests extension of public comment period for WOTUS repeal

CERF has joined the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS) partners to urge the EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers to extend the public comment period for the proposed rule that seeks to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule (80 FR 37054), also known as the Waters of the United States or WOTUS. CASS is requesting at least a six month comment period, the same time period the agencies provided for comment on the 2015 Clean Water Rule.  CASS has already released a statement opposing the repeal of the WOTUS, and plans to submit public comments.

Read the full letter here.

Scientists Warn Repeal of Wetlands Rule Puts Aquatic Resources at Risk

20,000 Scientists Warn that Repeal of Wetlands Rule Puts Important Aquatic Resources at Risk

(July 27, 2017) Washington, D.C. - The Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS) opposes the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to repeal and replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule (Waters of the United States Rule or WOTUS). CASS urges the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider the far-reaching implications to aquatic resources from repealing the rule and calls for a meaningful opportunity for stakeholders to engage in the repeal and replacement of WOTUS to ensure the best available science is considered.

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adopted WOTUS to clarify longstanding confusion over which water bodies were protected under the Clean Water Act. The rule was developed using the best available science and with robust engagement of stakeholders. More than 1,000 peer-reviewed, published, scientific studies support the rule.[i]

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2017 CERF Scientific Awards Recipients

2017 CERF Scientific Awards

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation announce the recipients of the 2017 CERF Scientific Awards. The Federation recognizes excellence in and service to the fields of coastal and estuarine science, management and education through several scientific and service awards. The recipients of these awards embody the mission of CERF to advance understanding and wise stewardship of estuarine and coastal ecosystems worldwide by promoting research in estuarine and coastal ecosystems; supporting the education of scientists, decision-makers and the public; and facilitating communication among these groups.

In addition to our five long-standing awards, CERF is excited to present two inaugural stewardship awards; one in honor of Margaret A. Davidson to recognize an individual’s excellence in coastal and estuarine management, and the Coastal Stewardship Award to recognize exemplary stewardship activities of an organization, project, or program. The Distinguished Service Award recipient is selected by the CERF President; all other recipients are selected by award committees.

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CERF Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

CERF Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) is the proud recipient of a $47,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support "Broadening Participation in Coastal and Estuarine Sciences: A Workshop at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference." The overall goal of this program is to promote opportunities for all underrepresented minorities while cultivating a culture that actively engages and leverages diversity of all types throughout our organization.

The funding will allow CERF to support the participation of ten underrepresented minority (URM) students and their mentors to participate in CERF 2017 – 24th Biennial Conference. The students and their mentors will participate in a workshop with expert panelists and key CERF members and partners who are leaders in diversity, with the goal of inspiring and motivating URM students to pursue career pathways in coastal and estuarine science. The Conference Mentoring Program is currently accepting student applications.

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In Memoriam: Margaret Davidson

Remembering a trail-blazing and visionary leader in coastal resource management issues

Margaret A. Davidson passed away in Charleston, South Carolina, on 23 May 2017. Margaret was a hard-working, trail-blazing, and visionary leader in coastal resource management issues. She will be remembered for her passion and achievements toward sustainable management of coastal resources, as well as for her incredible generosity with and support for the people within the global coastal resources community.

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Governing Board Seeks Comments on Draft Visions IV Strategic Plan

The CERF Governing Board is pleased to present a draft of the Visions IV strategic plan for public comment. The new 5-year plan will guide CERF activities for the period 2017-2022. Visions IV was developed by the Governing Board and eight committees over the past 18 months, with extensive grassroots input from members and Affiliate Societies. The Board seeks final comments on the draft plan from members and Affiliate Societies through a 60-day comment period. The Board will respond to comments before voting on the final plan this summer, to be presented at CERF 2017 in November.

Read full Draft of the Visions IV Strategic Plan

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CERF Urges Congress to Reject Cuts to Science Funding

CERF has signed on to two multi-organizational letters urging Congress to reject the Administration-proposed cuts to science funding in their Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) appropriations process. The letters, led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), were in response to the the release of the full President's budget on 23 May 2017, which proposed drastic research funding cuts, including an 11% cut to NSF, a 32% cut to NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the elimination of the National Sea
Grant College Program, a 44% cut to the EPA's Science and Technology budget, and a 15% cut to USGS. More information on the impact of the President's budget on science funding can be found on the AAAS website.

The letters stress the leadership role that the U.S. plays in innovation, and the importance of research to the U.S. economy. The AIBS letter notes that, "over the past 50 years, roughly half of our nation's private sector economic growth has resulted from research and development." Research and development improve public health, safety, and quality of life; create public and private sector jobs; and spur economic growth. The letters applaud the long-standing bipartisan support by Congress for science funding, and encourages Congress to continue this support in the FY18 appropriations. 

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Now Accepting Applications for Rising TIDES 2017 Conference Mentoring Program

 

CERF is pleased to announce the Rising TIDES 2017 Conference Mentoring Program, which will jointly support 10 underrepresented minority (URM) students and mentors to attend the Biennial CERF Conference in Providence, RI, 5-9 November 2017. The program includes financial support to participate in a Rising TIDES workshop, scientific sessions throughout the week, and other conference activities.

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Voting is Now Open for the CERF Governing Board and Proposed Constitutional Amendment!

We invite all CERF Voting Members to make their voices heard!

Voting is officially open for:

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CERF submits testimony to the House and Senate Appropriation Committees in support of NOAA, NASA, and EPA aquatic science programs

CERF has joined with the Consortium for Aquatic Science Societies to submit Outside Witness Testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of robust funding for aquatic science programs within NOAA, NASA, and EPA. The statements respond to the current Presidential Administration's proposals to drastically cut programs that support the research, conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems required by all U.S. citizens, who rely on clean and abundant water for their health and well-being.

Read full letters here:
FY18 House OWT EPA support CASS
FY18 Senate OWT EPA support CASS

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CERF signs on to testimony in support of FY18 geosciences funding

CERF has signed on to outside witness testimony in support of Fiscal Year 2018 funding for NSF, NASA, and NOAA, with particular emphasis on the contributions their support for the geosciences make to national security, economic competitiveness, and public safety. The testimony, supported by 130 institutions, was submitted to the Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, for both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

View full House letter

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President Twilley addresses CERF policy actions in letter to members

CERF President Robert Twilley has written a letter to members in response to recent US federal policy developments that undermine science and science funding, and to the concerns raised by members in light of these threats. The letter, included in full below, has been reviewed by and receives the full support of the CERF Executive Committee.

In it, Dr. Twilley states that "…one of the most important messages resulting from threats to our profession as scientists, and to the organizations that use science to improve the quality of life in our society, is a renewed commitment to communicate the value of our work to constituents in our local communities every day. We have to commit to telling our story of how the science of healthy coastal ecosystems has value for all of society, and sustains our wealth as a nation." He also states, "the Executive Committee of CERF has endorsed the values of science in our society that are being promoted by the March for Science planned for Earth Day, April 22."

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CERF signs on to multisociety letter on FY17-18 R&D budget

CERF has joined 285 organizations in support of robust investments in scientific research. The letter to U.S. Congressional Leaders emphasizes the importance of America's research enterprise in our prosperity, including its contribution to job creation and commercial growth, and its role in U.S. competitiveness and innovation in a global economy. The letter urges the U.S. Congress to reject recently proposed cuts by the Administration and promote bipartisan support for sufficient research funding in FY17 and FY18. View full letter.

Check out CERF's NEW Program: Rising TIDES!

CERF is pleased to announce a new comprehensive program for enhancing the diversity and inclusion of our scientific society and CERF conferences, Rising TIDES (Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society).

The overall goals of Rising TIDES are to promote opportunities for all underrepresented and underserved minorities while cultivating a culture that actively engages and leverage diversity of all types throughout our organization. Learn more