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January 20-27, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Environmental educator training workshop

Locavore conversation


Save The Date:

Green Communities Workshop

Cuttyhunk Seal Watch



Spring Sustainability Courses filling fast

Weekly Green Tip:

Energy improvement tax breaks

Weekly Quote:

"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed." - Mohandas K. Gandhi

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Leaf Bullet News
Global Haiti Earthquake
Haiti Earthquake Science: What Caused the Disaster
The major earthquake that struck Haiti Tuesday may have shocked a region unaccustomed to such temblors, but the devastating quake was not unusual in that it was caused by the same forces that generate earthquakes the world over. In this case, the shaking was triggered by much the same mechanism that shakes cities along California's San Andreas fault. Read more here.

Why it is important to put a price on nature
THE insight that nature provides services to mankind is not a new one. In 360BC Plato remarked on the helpful role that forests play in preserving fertile soil; in their absence, he noted, the land was turned into desert, like the bones of a wasted body. The idea that the value provided by such "ecosystem services" can be represented by ecologists in a way that economists can get to grips with, though, is rather newer. Read more here.

Rooftop Solar
The Race is on for Solar Rooftop Space in Ontario
Flying into Pearson International Airport offers a view of the GTA that would make even the least excitable solar entrepreneur salivate.

What's the big deal? In a word: rooftops. Thousands of flat rooftops on hotels, manufacturing plants, warehouses, apartment and office buildings, schools, hospitals and shopping malls. Each is a sunlight sponge with the potential to take the sun's rays and convert them into emission-free electricity. Read more here.

Arctic Wind
McCully opens Antarctic wind farm
A new joint-venture wind farm at the bottom of the world is expected to cut diesel use by nearly 500,000 litres a year at Scott Base and McMurdo Station.

The wind farm on Ross Island in Antarctica was to have been opened remotely in Auckland by Hillary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State, during her visit to New Zealand. However, she abandoned her visit to return to Washington to co-ordinate the American aid effort for earthquake-devastated Haiti. Read more here.

TiresMillions of Old Tires Spark Recycling Frenzy
It’s like finding money on the street: the average tire contains the same energy as seven gallons of oil, and it has a heat content up to 16% higher than coal. That’s one reason why tire recycling is starting to catch on in a big way. It’s finally starting to put a dent in the notorious tire dumps in the U.S., many which are illegal. Read more here.

Personal Carbon Credits
Personal Carbon Credits - Cash Back
DOVER, Fla. — Icicles hang from the thermometer: 25 degrees, at dawn, and the strawberries that should be on cereal sit suspended beneath hard ice, shiny and clear as lacquer.

Michelle Williamson smiles. The ice, she says, did its job of keeping all but the ripest berries safe, and the worst has been averted. Again. For now. Read more here.

Contaminated House Dust Linked to Parking Lots with Coal Tar Sealant
Coal-tar-based sealcoat—the black, shiny substance sprayed or painted on many parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds—has been linked to elevated concentrations of the contaminants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in house dust. Apartments with adjacent parking lots treated with the coal-tar based sealcoat contained house dust with much higher concentrations of PAHs than apartments next to other types of parking lots according to new research released today on-line by Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T). Read more here.

Antarctic ice
Chilean Sea Bass: Don't Be Duped
A well-intentioned friend and excellent cook put miso-marinated "wild bass from Patagonia" before me recently, the fourth of many small courses lovingly prepared in honor of the New Year. I must have gasped. (I always think of myself as having a poker face, but apparently that isn't true.)

"The counter guy said that species had come back and was sustainable," my friend offered, aware of my views on seafood choices. He had been the victim of a too-common con. Some fishmongers and others throughout the seafood supply chain use masked names to obscure obviously "red-listed" items. "Bass from Patagonia" doesn't show up on any of the wallet cards as such. Chilean sea bass, however, does, and for good reason. Read more here.

Local Van Laarhoven
NStar chief not sold on Cape Wind
The head of one of the largest utilities in Massachusetts is not sold on the state’s largest wind power project.

NStar chief executive Thomas May said yesterday that although he believes in alternative energy, he’s not counting on the proposed Cape Wind project.

Cape Wind, which has been supported by the Patrick administration, would place wind turbines in Nantucket Sound to generate electricity. The plan has been mired in environmental, permitting, and other issues for nine years. Read more here.

Tiverton's proposed wind turbine would be more than 300 feet tall
TIVERTON — The town of Tiverton may soon be added to the list of those that are exploring renewable energy alternatives.

Millenium Renewable Energy LLC is considering installing a 343-foot wind turbine tower on top of a rock ledge near the Route 24 Main Road off ramp. If approved, the wind turbine would be the first in Tiverton. Read more here.

AS220 project includes artist residences, and a restaurant
PROVIDENCE — AS220’s latest downtown project will "reactivate" a little-used back alley, bring a new affordable restaurant to the city’s dining scene and offer artist living spaces, including some for young artists who no longer qualify for subsidized housing under the state’s child-welfare program, according to officials for the arts organization. Read more here.

Participants wanted for 2010 Green Fair
OCHESTER — TEAMS and TRWA are seeking individuals and businesses that would like to display their environmentally friendly services or products at the 2010 Green Fair, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Colony Vocational Technical High School at 476 North Avenue in Rochester. Space is limited. Anyone interested should contact TEAMS at teams-info@hotmail.com and visit the web site www.teams-on-web.org for more information. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Presentation on an Economic Framework for Sustainable Agriculture

January 21, 10:00AM - 12:00PM, Kingston, RI (directions)
Michael Hamm, CS Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University will lead this presentation. He'll explore the following questions: If the regional population were to eat the USDA recommended daily portions of fruits and vegetables, what would be the increased consumption? How much of that food could be grown locally? How much more land would have to be in cultivation in order to produce that amount of food? What would be the economic impact of the agricultural expansion? Details here.

Project Learning Tree Workshop

January 23, January 23, 11pm – 12am, Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford
This is your chance to get your hands on a great book of environmentally based activities for children grades K-12! Energize your classroom and students with this national environmental curriculum that helps children learn how to think about nature, not what to think. To Register: Contact Jason Theuman at 508-991-6178 x31 or email at jason.theuman@newbedford-ma.gov

Calling all South Shore Locavores!

January 25, 7:00 8:30 PM, Kingston Public Library
Loca-what? Loca-vore! Sustainable? Organic? Carbon footprints? Free-range meat? Where does your food come from? And why should you care? These buzz words will be demystified by local organic farmer Ron Maribett, who, for the last decade, has worked to revive organic and sustainable farming on the South Shore. Guest speaker: Ron Maribett, Colchester Neighborhood Farm, Plympton. The series is free, but registration is required. You can register for the program in person at the Library, by emailing kilib@kingstonpubliclibrary.org, or by calling the Library at 781 585-0517 x112.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Moonrise Walk Sponsored by Allens Pond

January 29, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Allens Pond, Westport, MA
Instructor: Lauren Miller - Grassland Technician, Allens Pond, Fee: Adults $6.00m/ $4.00nm, Children $0. Join us to witness the full moon rising over Allens Pond, looking and listening for owls and other nightlife along the way. Hot chocolate will be provided! Instructions and Directions: Meet at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary Field Station, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport, MA, Phone 508-636-2437 to register or for further information. Registration is required. Register by mail: program registration form. (PDF 66K) Register by phone: with a credit card by calling 508-636-2437. Details here.

Eyes on Owls

January 30, 1:00PM, Westport High School
Who's watching you? Find out on January 30th, 2010 at 1pm at Westport High School when Eyes On Owls presents a live owl program in conjunction with WRWA. All who attend are in for some fun with educational close-up views of these secretive birds of prey. Naturalist Marcia Wilson will present "Who's Watching You? Owls of the World."

Wilson introduces the audience to owls found in New England and as well other parts of the world. A slide show begins the program by showcasing colorful wildlife photos by her husband Mark Wilson. Marcia imitates the owls' calls herself, paying special attention to the more common owls that we might encounter in our area. Details here. Free for kids, $5 for adults.

RI Local Food Forum

Wednesday, February 3, 7:00AM - 3:00PM, Providence, RI
A networking opportunity for farmers, restaurants and food service buyers.|| This year's theme is "Fresh for All". In addition to general networking and local food discussion, there will be a special focus on the exciting resurgence of RI agriculture is still just a few years in the making, and it's happening in large part due to the renewed interest of Rhode Islanders in where our food comes from. Yet this success presents new questions:
* Who is not being served by this recent success?
* How do we scale up to meet new demand?
Registration online. Free. Details here.

MCAN Green Communities Workshop

February 4, 6:30 - 9:00PM, City Hall Council Chambers, 77 Park Street, Attleboro
Learn how to make your town a ‘green community’ and qualify for new sources of state funding to promote municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Program will include update on statewide implementation of the program and specific challenges faced by communities adopting the "Stretch Code" and other requirements. Free and open to the public. To be held at Attleboro City Hall Council Chambers. Details here

Human and Environmental Impacts on Coral Reefs

February 4, Reception opens at 6:15pm, talk begins at 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford, MA
Explore the historical and current status of Coral Reefs around the globe. By understanding both human and environmental impacts on Coral Reefs we can take the first steps to save these threatened ecosystems. By Neal Cantin, Postdoctoral Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Details here

Grow A Garden At Your School - This Year!

February 6, 8:30AM - 12:00PM, Bristol, RI (directions)
A Very Special Workshop and Q&A with the Children's Garden Network. The Children's Garden Network Campaign 2010 is assisting communities to grow garden programs at every school in Rhode Island. Here's your chance to learn everything you need to know about year-round sustainable school garden education programs that work! Learn how to form a committed garden team, design a school garden layout, raise funds and access tools and other resources, incorporate garden activities into your class work, create a field guide for your school's environment, and ensure that students with special needs are always included. Bring your visions and questions for an open and exciting discussion - and let's get growing! Details here.

Seal watch and island tour - Cuttyhunk Island

February 7 (Feb 6 if bad weather on 7th),10AM - 2PM, Cuttyhunk Ferry Company parking lot, state pier, off route 18 in New Bedford
Venture out to the Elizabethan Chain to view overwintering seals 'hauled out' at low tide. Seals migrate from colder northerly waters in search of warmer, shallow embayments for wintering habitat - these secluded islands being a perfect topover.

Departing from New Bedford State Pier on the fabulous 'MV Cuttyhunk' vessel, you'll be treated to views of the open bay and the islands, rafts of winter waterfowl, and perhaps a wandering seal. Details here.

Slocum's River Long Walk

February 7, 1 - 4PM, Slocum's River Reserve (directions)
The extensive conservation efforts led by The Trustees make it possible to walk from the Slocum's River to the Westport River almost entirely on protected land. Before watching the Super Bowl, get outside and stretch your legs on this 4.5-mile walk from the Slocum's River Reserve to the Buzzards Bay Brewery (where you can stock up for the game). Be aware that trails may be icy, snow covered, or muddy. Transportation will be provided back to your car. Details here.

Animal Tracking

February 13, 9-11AM, Miller Brook Conservation Area, Copicut Road, Fall River
Join Bill Sampson, senior keeper at the Buttonwood Park Zoo, to learn the art of tracking animals in winter. Although the forests of the 13,600-acre Bioreserve might at first appear uninhabited in winter, they are, in fact, full of life all year round. While a few animals do head south or hibernate away the winter months, most remain in New England and are active all year. Most of the Bioreserve’s mammals are out and about, forging for food and leaving their tracks in the snow. Rabbit, deer, fox, coyote, turkey, and fisher are just some of the animals whose tracks may be found. Details here. FREE.

Annual Owl Prowl

February 21*, 3:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m., Lloyd Center (van departs at 3:30 a.m.)
Venture out into various locations in the quiet, dark winter woods of Dartmouth during the predawn hours, when local owls of our region are highly active. Screech, Great Horned, Barred, and Long-eared owls are potential species heard and seen.

Around sunrise, you'll depart the forest to visit Barney's Joy beach, where other seabirds and the beautiful winter beach itself can be enjoyed. On occasion, diurnal owls such as Short-eared and Snowy owls can be seen.
(*Weather reschedule date- Sunday, February 28th) Details here.

Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival 2010

February 25 - 28, various locations and times
For the 2nd year in a row, Save The Bay brings you some of the most popular short films from the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival -- the largest of its kind in North America! This year the films will be shown over three days in three locations:
Thursday, February 25
6:00 - 8:00 pm La Grua Center 32 Water St., #7 Stonington Common Stonington, CT
Friday, February 26
6:00 - 8:00 pm Jane Pickens Theatre 49 Touro St., Newport, RI
Sunday, February 28 4:00 - 6:00 pm Avon Cinema 260 Thayer St., Providence, RI Details here, or order $10 tickets here

Nest Box Building

February 27, 1 - 3PM, Watuppa Reservation Headquarters, 2929 Blossom Road Fall River
Help to improve bluebird habitat by building nest boxes to be installed at a number of our South Coast reservations. The populations of these beautiful birds have been in decline due to a shortage of natural nesting cavities and competition from non-native species. By helping to build well-designed nesting boxes you can encourage the return of these birds and improve the biodiversity of our region. Details here. FREE.

Leaf Bullet Announcements

Learn Organic Beekeeping

Organic Beekeeping Practices course will be offered at Bristol Community College (BCC) in Fall River for beginning beekeepers from February 22 through March 29. Honeybees are responsible for almost 1/3 of our food and we need more beekeepers. It's a great hobby and can be a small business too. More information and registration is available at the BCC website. Look under Noncredit Course Search, "Home & Garden" courses. Questions? james.corven@bristolcc.edu.

Lloyd Center Seeking Director of Development

The Lloyd Center for the Environment, a highly regarded research and educational organization, headquartered in Dartmouth Massachusetts, seeks an experienced Director of Development to work closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in developing and executing an aggressive fundraising strategy. Details here.

Spring Sustainability Courses

UMass Dartmouth is pleased to announce its spring, 2010 sustainability courses. See the course list here.

Winter Study 2009/2010

Mondays at 7 PM (with an option to join us at 6PM for a simple Soup, Salad, and Bread Potluck Supper)

Healthy Crops: A New Agricultural Revolution - Jan 25th through approx. Feb 22nd/March 1st

We'll plan on gathering for 6 evenings for each book, leaving a little room in the schedule for any weather related cancellations.

To register for the either Winter Study (registration is free) please contact Derek Christianson at 508-992-1868 or derekchristianson@gmail.com.

We'll also be coordinating a wintertime garden planning course held in New Bedford in January and February... Planting Seeds in January stay tuned for more details.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip

Energy-efficient home improvements can bring you tax savings

Making energy-efficient improvements to your home will do more than reduce your energy costs - it will also reduce your tax bill.

The tax credit for energy-efficient windows or doors, air conditioners or furnaces, or other energy-saving improvements disappeared in 2008, but returned for 2009 and 2010 - at an even higher value. This is one case where procrastination paid off. Learn more here.

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