Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Student run farms on college campuses are cropping up at record levels across the U.S. In 27 states and at 60 colleges, these farms are providing an opportunity for students to learn sustainable farming techniques while incorporating healthy and locally grown produce into the college dining programs, area farmers markets and restaurants. Another 200 colleges across the U.S. have joined the farm-to-college program wherein local farmers provide universities with locally grown produce. As students begin preparation for the fall 2005 semester, the record harvest from these quickly expanding programs clearly indicates the "buy local" movement is on the threshold of mainstream fruition. Learn more and get involved http://www.organicconsumers.org/btc.htm


Monday, August 15, 2005

Warming hits 'tipping point'

Siberia feels the heat It's a frozen peat bog the size of France and Germany combined, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas and, for the first time since the ice age, it is melting

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Thursday August 11, 2005
The Guardian

A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

Full story:


Big plans for small wind farms

Single turbine approach avoids approval turbulence

Posted: Aug. 13, 2005

While large wind farms in Wisconsin face major regulatory and environmental hurdles, Ed Ritger is breezing along one wind turbine at a time.

Full story:


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Support GLIN Daily News: http://www.glin.net/news/sponsor/
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Great Lakes Daily News: 15 August 2005
A collaborative project of the Great Lakes Information Network and the Great
Lakes Radio Consortium.

For links to these stories and more, visit http://www.great-lakes.net/news/

Beach combers vs. beach owners
A lot of lakefront property owners believe that beach strolling amounts to trespassing, a dispute that has wound up in the courts in at least two Great Lakes states. Source: Great Lakes Radio Consortium (8/15)

Lessons learned from wetland rescue?
Developers often build new ponds when they drain and fill existing wetlands. One group of people is trying something they hope will be more successful: moving a wetland, piece by little tiny piece. Source: Great Lakes Radio Consortium (8/15)

Silt clogging more than just shipping channels
The Toledo shipping channel requires the most dredging of any Great Lakes port due to sediment from Ohio farms, but there seems to be little agreement on what to do with the resulting material. Source: The Toledo Blade (8/15)

EDITORIAL: Devils Lake deal defeat for Canada
Some time this week, the state of North Dakota will thumb its nose at Canada and start pumping water out of Devils Lake, sending it north across the international border. Source: The Toronto Star (8/15)

2 hospitals made incinerator deals
An agreement to shut down the last two hospital incinerators operating in the Chicago area will still allow them to burn trash and emit toxic waste for another five years. Source: Chicago Tribune (8/15)

Report: Wetlands violations on incline
Wisconsin environmental officials are reporting an increasing number of violations of wetlands protection laws. Source: The Appleton Post-Crescent (8/15)

Not enough fun in sun? Beach cleaning debated
A city council member and some residents are upset over the Wisconsin DNR's refusal to allow the city of Two Rivers to groom and remove vegeation along its entire Lake Michigan beachfront. Source: Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter (8/15)

The Great Lakes: An endangered legacy
While much of the damage inflicted on the Great Lakes over the years is beginning to heal, other threats are intensifying: This special report package features multiple stories addressing issues facing the Great Lakes and what is being done to address them. Source: The Detroit News (8/14)

Big plans for small wind farms
While large wind farms in Wisconsin face major regulatory and environmental hurdles, one group of wind-energy investors is cruising along one turbine at a time. Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (8/14)

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at http://www.great-lakes.net/news/inthenews.html
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Great Lakes Daily News is a collaborative project of the Great Lakes
Information Network (www.glin.net) and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium
(www.glrc.org), both based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

TO SUBSCRIBE and receive this Great Lakes news compendium daily, see

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: Send a message to majordomo@great-lakes.net with the
command 'unsubscribe dailynews' in the body of the message.

TO SUBMIT A NEWS STORY: www.glin.net/forms/news_form.html
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

CONTACT: Larry Bank, (608) 262-6104, bank@engr.wisc.edu


MADISON - Long polymer "bandages," designed so that troops could quickly repair or reinforce bridges to bear the weight of 113-ton military tank transport vehicles, now could be used to quickly and inexpensively strengthen aging rural bridges and concrete culverts around the country.

With initial funding from the Army Corps of Engineers, Lawrence Bank, professor of civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his then-student Anthony Lamanna, perfected these bandages, or fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) strips. They then patented the strips through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

In wartime, the strips could be key to keeping important transportation routes available, says James Ray, a structural engineer for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. "The main thing these strips would be used for is if the bridges don't have sufficient capacity to start with," he says. "The military loadings are very heavy compared to what bridges are normally designed for."

Using fiber-reinforced composite strips to bolster concrete structures isn't a new idea. Crews have been gluing them in place for more than a decade.

But transforming the crumbly, cracked and pockmarked underside of a decades-old concrete bridge into a surface suitable for glue takes good weather, a lot of time and more than a little labor.

"You have to sandblast; you have to repair with a mortar," says Bank. "Typically on bridges, you're doing things overhead, which is also unpleasant."

Fastening the strips to the bridge with a tool akin to a power nailer seemed like an obvious alternative. The problem, however, was that existing strips, which contain only longitudinal fibers, wouldn't hold up when the fasteners punctured them. They split, much like a dry board might crack when a nail hits the wrong place.

"When you attach with fasteners, you have to have different properties in the strip," says Bank. "You have to have high bearing strength - which is that you could press on the strip with these fasteners and it's not going to crack and split."

Sort of like duct tape without the stick, Bank and Lamanna's reinforcing strips combine carbon fibers, glass fibers and glass mats. The mats, which are woven in tight crisscrosses, are key to the new strips' success.

"If you make a hole in the strip and you push on the hole, the weave allows it to carry that load," says Bank. "If you just have these longitudinal fibers, if you make a hole and you push on it, it's going to slide."

Bank's strips, which are stiff but not rigid, act like super-strong bandages that workers can quickly and inexpensively attach to the underside of a bridge with powder-actuated concrete fasteners.

To test the strips, county workers installed them on the decaying 1930s Stoughton Road bridge in Edgerton, Wis., in 2002. "It was really bad," says Tom Hartzell, Edgerton public works director. "There were some big cracks that went all the way through."

During the installation, which took three workers less than a day, a thunderstorm whipped up. The bridge was in such poor condition that rainwater and run-off poured through the cracks. "You cannot use a technique where you bond on strips in that environment," says Bank.

Total cost for strengthening the bridge was about $8,000; eventually, Edgerton replaced it at a cost of $196,800, including plan development, state review, old bridge removal and new bridge construction.

In Wisconsin, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) evaluates all of the state's bridges every two years and assigns them a sufficiency rating. If a bridge's rating is below 50, it probably is on the docket for partial federal funding for replacement, says DOT bridge maintenance and inspection engineer Matt Murphy, who monitors the structures in Wisconsin's 10 southwestern counties.

Of the 1,800 small bridges - structures greater than 20 feet long - in those counties, as many as three dozen might have sufficiency ratings below 50. In that case, they're probably load-posted, which means that they're not safe for heavier vehicles like tractors or milk trucks to cross. "It's an inconvenience to the traveling public and the locals," he says.
- Renee Meiller, (608) 262-2481, meiller@engr.wisc.edu

For questions or comments about UW-Madison's email
news release system, please send an email to:

For more UW-Madison news, please visit:

University Communications
University of Wisconsin-Madison
27 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: (608) 262-3571
Fax: (608) 262-2331

Thursday, August 04, 2005

China Plans To Have A Quarter Of The Country Forested By 2020

the middle forest
Beijing, China (AFP) Aug 02, 2005
China plans to have a quarter of the country covered by forest within 15 years as it tries to repair the damage loggers have done to fuel the runaway economy, state media said Monday.

The State Forestry Administration said forest coverage will reach 23 percent in the next 10 to 15 years, an increase of five percent.

"The increase in forests will outpace what the country consumed or lost during the growth of its economy," administration director Zhou Shengxian was quoted as saying by the China Daily.

Addressing a conference in Beijing, he said new plans have been made for planting trees throughout China.

Full story: