United States Drought Monitor released June 23, 2015

U.S. Drought Monitor
http://www.drought.govView Originalu.s.drtmon6.23.2015
The U.S. Drought Monitor is unique, blending numeric measures of drought and experts’ best judgment into a single map every week. It started in 1999 as a federal, state, and academic partnership, growing out of a Western Governors’ Association initiative to provide timely and understandable scientific information on water supply and drought for policymakers.

The Monitor is produced by a rotating group of authors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Drought Mitigation Center. It incorporates review from a group of 250 climatologists, extension agents, and others across the nation. Each week the author revises the previous map based on rain, snow and other events, observers’ reports of how drought is affecting crops, wildlife and other indicators. Authors balance conflicting data and reports to come up with a new map every Wednesday afternoon. It is released the following Thursday morning.

Visit the US Drought Monitor for the current drought conditions by merely touching or inserting the following line in your Adobe .pdf browser: 20150623_usdm.pdf

The Map shows conditions as of  8 a.m.,Tuesday,June 23, 2015.  Areas shown in a wine-red/brownish color as in California are calculated to be “Exceptionally Dry.”  Spots of yellow throughout the nation indicate “Abnormally Dry” conditions.

The New Thompson Exhibition Building at Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea

One of the world’s most famous nautical museums is Mystic Seaport located at Mystic, Conn. on Long Island Sound and Long Island. It newest addition is the Thompson Exhibition Building. The replica 18th-century French frigate Hermione arrived in Yorktown to make her visit to America, while the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, the U.S.S. Constitution, arrived for needed repairs in dry dock.

From June 25th through June 28th, small craft registered boaters will share their craft with others. During the same time period more than 100 traditional and classic wooden boats of every type may be seen at the 24th Annual Wooden Boat Show. In addition to exhibitions, Mystic Seaport boasts some of the largest collections of maritime books, archives, collections, and ephemera.

The author has always maintained that the lifeblood of every nonprofit charitable organization is its body of volunteers. Hardcore and committed enough to volunteer their time to a worthwhile organization, these volunteers become regular members, annual and year-end plus-givers, large gift lifetime donors, gift annuitants, and large deferred donors whose motivations may but not always include some tax planning. But the bottom line is always a love for the organization. Mystic Seaport boasts “600 dedicated volunteers.” There are few organizations across America that can lay claim to a number of volunteers even close to the number who volunteer at Mystic Seaport. Something good must be going on at this museum!

From Florida’s old Kissimmee River to Disruption to Restoration (8 minutes),

Part I of the restoration of the Kissimmee River basin.  Unimpeded, southerly river flows in a sinuous, winding pattern, ultimately draining into Lake Okeechobee, were essential in maintaining a unique subtropical ecosystem that had existed for centuries. This ecosystem helped maintain the diversity of wildlife in the region as well as the health of Lake Okeechobee.

A series of heavy tropical storms and a particularly rain-soaked 1947 hurricane persuaded policy makers to channelize or straighten unwisely the once tortuous Kissimmee River.  Channelization or straightening of the Kissimmee disrupted this century’s old ecosystem, drying up wet areas and lakes.  Birds and other animals from the smallest microorganisms to the Florida panther dependent on the pre-existing ecosystem soon died off, destroying a functioning ecosystem.  Agriculture also introduced phosphorus and fertilizer products that sped up the population of cat tails and other invasive plants, drying up over time clean water and leaving “dirty” water behind.

In recent years, the Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District have joined together to restore the traditional flows of the river and clean water in one of the largest federal-state-industry cooperative construction projects in American history.  This film illustrates the beginning stages of restoration.

The Great California Drought – Before and After (2011-2015)

California governor Jerry Brown has ordered an historic 25% cut back in water usage throughout the State,  The drought has been deemed “catastrophic.” One water irrigation district has sued the State of California for state action which will ruin entire agricultural industries.  Calfornia produces over 90% of the Nation’s strawberries, brocolli, walnuts, and plums. The photographs below depict the topography of the land at Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville in 2011 and again, recently.  A San Francisco resident reports that he and his neighbors have taken out bank loans to drill 2,000 feet for water.  NASA predicts that California will be compleletly out of water by next year.

Aerial of Harbour Town Marina, Sea Pines, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Aerial of Harbour Town Marina, Sea Pines Plantation , Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Aerial of Harbour Town Marina, Sea Pines Plantation , Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Built in 1969 by acclaimed developer Charles Fraser, Harbour Town Marina has 100 slips on Calimbogue Sound, the second largest sound on the Atlantic coast (Long Island Sound is the largest) and part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  Designed by renowned land planners Wallace Robert & Todd and Sasaki & Associates, the Sea Pines development includes, condominium apartments, a retail shopping center, a championship golf course and pro shop, a tennis center, two stand-alone restaurants as well as a hotel and Marriott time-share development.   The master plan also includes an iconic working lighthouse. Legend has it that the firms almost came to blows over the design of the lighthouse striping.