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June 2 to 9, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Climate Action Plan Workshops

No Plastic Day


Save The Date:

Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting

Operation Clean Sweep



SouthCoast Energy Challenge Program Manager Sought

Last chance to get in on a CSA

Weekly Green Tip:

Recycled Pets(!)

Clip of the Week

Live Gulf Feed
BP's live Gulf of Mexico oil spill video feed from a Mobile, AL TV station (make sure to check out the "oil spill forecast" lower on the page)
Mr. W

Weekly Quote:

"Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals 'love' them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more."
- Edwin Way Teale

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Leaf Bullet News
TimberCountries agree to spend big to save world's forests
Oslo conference attended by 52 nations produces first concrete sign of global action on climate change since Copenhagen
Rich and poor countries today agreed on guidelines for releasing aid to save forests, in the first concrete sign of global action on climate change since Copenhagen.

Norway, which chaired this week's climate conference, said aid pledges to save forests had risen by $500m (£345m) since the UN climate conference in Copenhagen last December. Read more here.

BangladeshBangladesh—Eco Symbol?
Often derided as a basket case, Bangladesh might just have a thing or two to show the world about tackling climate change.
From the port of Sadarghat, the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka unfolds itself in an inclement palette of greys and browns. The Buriganga River, stretching out in each direction like a puddle of mercury, is dotted with hundreds of river craft, some dredging trash from the riverbed, others weighed down with passengers and piles of vegetables.

Moored nearby, bleeding rust, sits the country’s fleet of ‘rockets’—colonial-era paddle steamers fitted with belching diesel engines that ply Bangladesh’s extensive network of waterways. The road running along the riverbank, the old Buckman Bund of the British colonial era, is today a bottlenecked mass of overladen trucks and tinkling rickshaws. Read more here.

China green car policies put locals in driver's seat
Warren Buffett-backed Chinese automaker BYD is set to be among the biggest beneficiaries of Beijing's new drive to promote electric vehicles, which has left hybrid specialists such as Toyota a distant second.

After months of waiting, Beijing announced a pilot scheme on Tuesday for five Chinese cities in its bid to promote green cars in the world's largest and fastest growing auto market. Read more here.

Veggies!Go veggie, cut fossil fuels to aid planet: study
An overhaul of world farming and more vegetarianism should be top priorities to protect the environment, along with curbs on fossil fuel use, a U.N.-backed study said on Wednesday.

The report said food production and fossil fuel use caused pollution, greenhouse gases, diseases and forest destruction.

"How the world is fed and fueled will in large part define development in the 21st century," said the 112-page report by the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management. Read more here.

'Prepare for war': tensions rising over Brazil's controversial Belo Monte dam
Tensions are flaring after Brazil's approval of the Belo Monte dam project last month to divert the flow of the Xingu River. The dam, which will be the world's third larges, will flood 500 square miles of rainforest, lead to the removal of at least 12,000 people in the region, and upturn the lives of 45,000 indigenous people who depend on the Xingu. After fighting the construction of the dam for nearly thirty years, indigenous groups are beginning to talk of a last stand. Read more here.

OilScience of the Oil Spill: Our Reporting Team Tackles Five Key Issues
Mats of weathered oil and tar balls from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster could hit the western Florida Panhandle "in a day or two," Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday.

Sheen from the leading edge of the spill was spotted just short of 10 miles from Florida shores Tuesday night, and "thousands of tar balls" were in the water with it, Crist told reporters Wednesday morning. Read more here.

SpillSpecial Report: Inside BP's War Room
Last Wednesday, five weeks into the worst oil spill in U.S. history, BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward locked himself in a room on the third floor of the British oil giant's U.S. headquarters in Houston.

For the next five hours, Hayward, BP executives, senior engineers and the U.S. Energy Secretary and Nobel Physicist Steven Chu, who had flown in two days earlier, grappled with the latest plan to stem the thousands of barrels of oil a day gushing from a broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Read more here.

Sunny!The Sun is Setting on Petrochemicals, with a Little Help from Lovley Microbes
Derek Lovley, that is. The University of Massachusetts researcher has already introduced a revved-up species of electricity-generating microbes to the world, and now he and a team of scientists are experimenting with microbes that can convert solar energy into chemicals. As part of the growing trend in bioplastics, biofuels and green chemistry, the finding could help lead the way out of the fossil fuel mess.

The U.S. and other countries are still racing to exploit fossil fuel riches, but as British Petroleum’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico clearly illustrates, it’s a race into an increasingly oppressive future. As Lovley and many other researchers are demonstrating, a safer and healthier alternative is in sight. Read more here.

That won't workOp-Ed: Our Epic Foolishness
If a bank is too big to fail, it’s way too big to exist. If an oil well is too far beneath the sea to be plugged when something goes wrong, it’s too deep to be drilled in the first place.

When are we going to stop behaving so stupidly? We nearly wrecked the economy and we’re all but buried in debt. But we can’t break up the biggest banks, and we can’t raise taxes. Now we’re fouling the magnificent Gulf of Mexico and ruining entire communities along the southern Louisiana Coast. Read more here.

FarringtonSMAST dean lends his expertise in Gulf spill
NEW BEDFORD — When Dr. John W. Farrington, interim dean of the UMass School of Marine Science and Technology, hears the comparisons of what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the 1989 Exxon Valdez catastrophe in Alaska, he feels personally compelled to offer a much closer comparison: the 1979 blowout of the Pemex Ixtoc-I oil rig in Mexico's Gulf near the Yucatan Peninsula.

Farrington has more than a passing interest. He has studied the effects of oil in ocean waters his entire scientific career. And in 1979, he was aboard a scientific expedition to the Gulf to assess the environmental effects of a massive, now almost forgotten oil spill that bears eerie similarities to what is happening now. Read more here.

SpillEnlisted to help in Gulf
New England companies are working on cleanup, studying spill’s effects
A handful of New England companies have set up operations in the Gulf of Mexico, helping to deal with the massive oil spill there — guiding seaworthy data-collecting robots, measuring currents, and analyzing oil and water samples.

Now over a month old, the spill is considered the worst in US history. One of the first companies on the scene was Applied Science Associates of Rhode Island, which had a crew in the Gulf region within days of an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which triggered the spill. Under a contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Applied Science is compiling data for a “spill impact model,’’ said Nicole Mulanaphy, an environmental chemical engineer with the company. “Where we come into play is trying to identify how much damage has been done to the environment,’’ she said. “Right now, we’re in the data collecting phase.’’ Read more here.

BeaumontCompany's solar system eliminates power costs
NEW BEDFORD — Beaumont Solar, after helping its customers reduce or eliminate their electricity bills since 2007, finally decided late last year to do something about its own power bills.

"If we're doing this for our customers, we really have to do it for ourselves," said Phil Cavallo, owner of Beaumont Solar. Read more here.

Jeff SnyderLittle Compton man films Gulf oil spill for CNN
Little Compton, R.I. — Last Friday, Jeff Snyder was home in Little Compton, R.I. The following day, he was aboard a 26-foot catamaran off the coast of Louisiana, surveying the damage from last month’s catastrophic oil spill.

Snyder is president of SeaVision Underwater Solutions, a company that specializes in marine survey operations. Recently, a producer from CNN contacted him about shooting footage of the underwater conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. Using a remote-operated underwater robot fitted with a camera, Snyder spent the entire weekend shooting video from several different depths up to 60 miles away from the source of the leak. Read more here.

Dartmouth passes new turbine bylaw
DARTMOUTH — Town Meeting passed a zoning change Tuesday on the siting of wind turbines on town land, a move that could scuttle litigation brought by neighbors against a proposed $9.5 million municipal turbine off Chase Road.

The bylaw eliminates the need to obtain a special permit from the Select Board when seeking a turbine on town property. The Select Board has said, however, it still will hold public hearings and any turbine project still requires Town Meeting approval. Read more here.

Unhappy Disagreement stalls turbines at Noquochoke Orchards
Westport — Susan and George Smith spent about three years planning, applying for, and installing three wind turbines at Noquochoke Orchards, their 37-acre farm on Drift Road.

Now a disagreement between Noquochoke Orchards and the utility company NSTAR is keeping the turbine blades from spinning — and the farm from reaping the benefits of clean, renewable energy. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

The Bering Strait Fur Trade: Native and Foreign Competition for Its Control in the Nineteenth Century

June 3, 6:15pm, Ocean Explorium
John Bockstoce will deliver a fully illustrated lecture on the competition among native and foreign nations to control the flow of furs across Bering Strait from North America to Asia, a competition that involved Russia, Great Britain, the United States and fifty native nations. Details here.

Wildflower Walk

June 5, 9:00 am – 11:00 am, Destruction Brook Woods in Dartmouth - directions
With guest leader Martha “Mike” Schroder.

Tour the ecoNewBedford Energy Star Townhouses

June 5, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Deconstruction Brook Woods in Dartmouth - directions
You are invited to tour the ecoNewBedford Energy Star Townhouses and sample buy-local refreshments on Saturday June 5, 7-9pm followed by Hazelwood Park Summer Fair fireworks at 9pm. Hear how this eco-friendly project is wrapping up from the N9NE Promotions perspective at www.econewbedford.blogspot.com

No Plastic Day

June 8, All Day
No Plastic Day is a world wide event intended to bring awareness of the over consumption of disposable plastic goods such as plastic bags and bottles. It is well known that there are floating islands of trash in most of the world's oceans. The huge amounts of plastic trash we all discard daily doesn't decompose, doesn't break down, and most of it is toxic to the animals that accidentally consume it. Details here.

Public Hearings under the Global Warming Solutions Act: Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions Target and Draft Climate Implementation Plan for 2020

June 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Lakeville Public Library (4 Precinct Street)
The meetings will begin with two short informational presentations. The first presentation will be an overview of the Commonwealth’s work on a 2020 emissions target and the Draft Climate Implementation Plan. The second presentation will summarize the results of the technical analysis of GHG reduction potential for 2020. After a brief time for clarifying questions, the formal hearing will be opened for testimony. Details here.

Climate Action Plan workshops

June 9, 8:00-4:00 pm, UMass Dartmouth Woodland Commons and Library Browsing Area
Colleges & Universities are encouraged to send represenative teams of faculty, staff, students and administrators for a chance to network with peer institutions and learn best practices in the creation, submission, and implementation of campus climate action plans.

Workshop topics:

  • Energy Efficiency: Low & No Cost Non-building efficiency programs
  • Pathways toward zero net energy buildings
  • Reducing Scope Three Emissions: Commuting and Travel
  • Reducing Carbon Through Offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
  • Financing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects
  • Massachusetts Energy Policies and Campus Climate Programs
Individual opportunities to have your questions answered by the experts! Details here.

Southeast Regional MassRecycle Meeting

June 9, 9:00 a.m. – noon (sign-in and refreshments at 8:45 a.m.), Mansfield Town Hall, 6 Park Row
Discussion topic = *RECYCLING EDUCATION: Classroom Tools for Teaching Recycling and Composting to Students With presentations/demos from Quincy, Norwood, Framingham and MassDEP's Green Team. Also including a round table discussion of public space/ event recycling. Please RSVP to Kathi Mirza by 6/4/10. I can be reached at macse2@tmlp.net or 508-821-9469

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Regional Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting

June 10, 3-5 p.m., AD Makepeace, Wareham, MA (directions)
With a focus on sustainable food and agriculture. Guest Speaker: Scott Soares Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Details here.

Summer Bird Walk

June 12, 8:00am – 10:00am, Lloyd State Park
The public is invited to join Lloyd Center Research Associate, Jamie Bogart, on Saturday, June 12 for an early morning walk at Demarest Lloyd State Park. Observe a rich variety of bird species, many of which nest within the forest, estuarine border, salt marshes and sand spit habitats that constitute this treasured location. Of particular interest are the endangered shorebirds (piping plover, least tern) of the beach, with many other species expected. Details here.

River Run 2010

June 12, 9:00 a.m., Westport
Join WRWA and Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures for the 7th annual River Run on the Westport River. The day will start off with paddlers racing on either a 3.5 mile Family Fun Course or the 6.5 mile Challenge Course. It will be followed with a celebration at the Head of Westport with food, children's games, and awards for the paddlers. For more information and for registration details click here or call us at (508)636-3016. Details here.

East Over Bird Walk

June 13, 7-9:00 a.m., East Over Reservation
Bill Gil of the Paskamansett Bird Club leads a walk through the forests and fields in search of Orioles, Bobolinks and Bluebirds. Details here.

Fourth Annual Green Office / Green Facility Conference

June 15, 8 am - 2:30 pm,LaCava Center, Bentley University
Whether you own your office or lease it, whether your facility is large or small, there are ways to make it more sustainable, healthier for the staff, and more cost-effective.

Listen to representatives of leading New England Businesses and institutions that have made “green” work for them. Details here.

Spring Lecture Series: Basking with Humpbacks

June 15, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Buttonwod Park Zoo
The Buttonwood Park Zoological Society’s Spring Lecture Series continues! Rhode Island-based author Todd McLeish will take us along on an entertaining journey with biologists who are studying these creatures to better understand the complex threats they face. He follows basking sharks—the second largest fish in the sea—as they search for food, helps harbor porpoises escape from fishing nets, snorkels in search of wild bay scallops, and learns how the blood of horseshoe crabs is used in medical research. Along the way he visits the islands where rare seabirds nest, tracks humpback whales on their long migration to the Gulf of Maine, and watches as stranded sea turtles are released back into the ocean. Details here.

Green Drinks hosted by Farm Fresh RI

June 17, 6-8:00 p.m., Providence (directions)
The Providence Green Drinks monthly gatherings (held on "Thirsty Third Thursday") provide a great opportunity to meet with people in the region who are personally and/or professionally interested and involved in a variety of environmental, conservation, and sustainability issues. It's an informal and fun time, plus you can find out all you want to know about RI farmers markets! Details here.

Summer Solstice by Candlelight

June 18, 7-9:00 p.m., Copicut Woods
Celebrate the arrival of summer and the quiet beauty of Copicut Woods at twilight with a candlelit walk down Miller Lane. We?ll begin by making candle lanterns that will light our way down the trail at dusk. Details here.

Breeding Bird Walk

June 19, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., Lloyd Center
Rise early to see and hear avian life during the peak of breeding season on our unique Hardscrabble Nature Preserve with its forest, freshwater wetlands, and estuary habitats. In addition to learning about the birds encountered during this early morning stroll through the Center’s trail system, participants will discover other interesting aspects of nature on the Lloyd Center property. Details here.

Operation Clean Sweep - Volunteer!

June 19, 8:30 a.m - 12 p.m., Ruth Street between Ashley St and Salisbury St., New Bedford
Help keep New Bedford clean! To date OCS volunteers have cleaned up more than 47 tons of trash from New Bedford neighborhoods. Community service groups, clubs, businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate in this community event. Also, this is a great way to earn your community service hours. To learn more, visit www.operationcleansweep.net and pre-register or call (508) 979-1493. Also, find us on facebook.

Slocum River Kayak Tour

June 19, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Lloyd Center
Members: $45 Non-Members: $55. Pre-registration required. Limit: 8 Suitable for ages 14 and older. Meeting place: Lloyd Center Headquarters The Slocum River is a peaceful scenic estuary, offering extraordinary views, great birding and paddling. Come explore the many coves and marshes along this classic New England landscape. Paddlers of all abilities are welcome. All tours include basic kayak equipment and instruction by certified guides. Details here.

Town Farm Bird Walk

June 19, 7 - 9AM, Westport Town Farm (details)
Explore the hay fields and salt marsh along the Westport River in search of songbirds, waterfowl and osprey with Bill Gil of the Paskamansett Bird Club. Details here.

Disappearing Act: A World Without Honeybees

June 22, 6:30PM - 8:30PM, Local 121 in Providence (directions)
This film highlights the importance of honey bees in our food system. Follow the bees, imagine a life without them, and then see what a store would look like if they weren't there. A fascinating watch AND a great film for Pollinator Week. More details are forthcoming.

Doors open at 6:15 and the film starts at 7. Bonnie Freschette, bee champion, and Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods University Heights will be around to answer your bee questions. Details here.

Sunset Kayak Tour

June 24, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. , Lloyd Center Headquarters
What better way to end the day than a peaceful paddle along the Slocum River. You'll feel your stress dissolve as you glide along this spectacular estuary, enjoying the setting sun. Watch wading and shorebirds flock to feed, see fish jump and await the multitude of color changes in the sky. This is a wonderful and relaxing way to explore the delicate ecosystem of this salt marsh. Details here.

Women's Full Moon Canoe Trip

June 24, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters
Sorry gents, this one’s for ladies only! Enjoy canoeing the historic Slocum River. Transportation to launching site and all equipment provided. Bring footwear that won’t mind getting wet, as well as a snack and libation (non-alcoholic). Details here.

Wild at the Zoo Gala

June 26
SAVE THE DATE for the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society’s Annual Fundraiser and party with a purpose! Have a Wild Night at the Zoo and help sustain the Zoo’s educational and conservation programs. The event includes a dinner buffet, open bar and a photo with our Asian elephants, Emily & Ruth!

Stay tuned for more information! Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Program Manager For Hire
SEEAL (Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance) is launching the “Southcoast Energy Challenge,” to engage and mobilize all SouthCoast residents to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One goal of the project will be to weatherize more than 10,000 homes. The project, modeled after initiatives in Washington D.C. and Minnesota, will promote individual action as well as friendly competition among towns, schools, churches, and other community organizations.

The primary focus of the Southcoast Energy Challenge Program Manager will be to help the region’s residents save money by saving energy in their homes. The Challenge Program Manager will give presentations and work directly with businesses, congregations, schools, and other groups to acquaint them with the Energy Challenge, to outline ideas on how they can reduce their energy usage, and ultimately to help them reduce their carbon footprint. A major goal for the Program Manager is to help make energy conservation fun and easy. The selected candidate will be asked to enter into a six-month contact.

Resumes must be submitted no later than Tuesday, June 22nd. Read more about the position here (PDF).
Summer and Fall Sustainability Courses
We are pleased to announce our summer and fall sustainability courses, including several online-only courses for those hot summer months. See the course list here.
Save the date: ADULT Sustainability Camp
How to Improve and Maintain Personal & Planetary Well-Being. Sponsored by The Second Half: Life Long Learning Institute & University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Retirees Association. $125/participant includes field trips, lunch, and interactive class sessions with renowned faculty presenters. Click here for more information and to register.
Save the date: Sustainability Camp
We will be offering our third Sustainability Camp at UMass Dartmouth this coming July 12-16. This year's camp will focus on building a sustainable school. Offered for middle school students, the camp costs $80, with scholarships available. Click here for more information and to register.
NewsletterSpring Sustainability Newsletter Launched
We're proud to announce that the spring newsletter has been published! Check it out to learn about the imminent launch of our Sustainability Assessment and Climate Action Plan, find out about our plans to turn the long-neglected UMass Dartmouth Forest into a living classroom, get updates on numerous campus sustainability proejcts, and find out about our growing Green Navigator program. Download the newsletter PDF here.
CSASign up for your local "CSA"
As New England eases its way into spring with its ususal fits and starts, it's time to start thinking about joing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA is a prepaid subscription to a farm's produce for the season. Most CSAs give shareholders a weekly supply of veggies, herbs, fruits and sometimes even eggs and meat. You know it's fresh and you get to meet the farm and people who grew your food! The prepaid CSA arrangements also makes it a source of financial security for the farmer. Find a list of CSAs here.

Bioneers Seeking Workshop Proposals

Please SAVE THE DATE for the 6th Annual Conference, Thursday October 21st - Sunday October 24th, in historic Downtown New Bedford MA.

We are now excepting workshop proposals for the 2010 conference. To submit a workshop proposal please download the form below and e-mail it back to us at glenn@marioninstitute.org. Thank you for your participation, we can't wait for your ideas! Details here.

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.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Recycled Pets
Did you know that you can turn a cat into 16 birds or a dog into 22 ferrets simply by recycling them? OK, so that's not really true; but by getting a recycled pet you can lessen the collective environmental impact of our need for animal companions while doing something very humane to boot. Learn more here.

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