Having trouble reading this Atlas? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2010_06_23.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.

Sustainability Logo
June 23 to 30, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Sunset Kayak Tour

Wild at the Zoo Gala


Save The Date:

Swim Buzzards Bay

Bike the Bioreserve



Westport River EcoTours

Organic Agriculture Courses

Weekly Green Tip:

Cook Your Food, Not Your Kitchen

Clip of the Week

An Energy-Independent Future
The last eight presidents have gone on television and promised to move America towards an energy-independent future.
Jon Stewart

Weekly Quote:

"In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it's unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature."
- Mollie Beattie

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
Ice!Antarctic Sea Ice Paradoxically Growing
While Arctic sea ice continues to shrink as the world warms, the ice around Antarctica is actually growing, thanks to the influence of the ozone hole over the southernmost continent, scientists have reported.

But the south polar growth won't be permanent, they warn. Read more here.

EU sees solar power imported from Sahara in five years
Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday.

The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for power-hungry Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20% of its energy from renewable sources in 2020. Read more here.

Underwater collision forces BP to remove containment cap
After a day of record crude collection, BP suffered a significant setback Wednesday when a undersea robot accidentally bumped a vent, shutting it off and forcing the company to remove the containment cap through which oil from an undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico was being siphoned.

BP noticed gas rising through the vent that prohibits hydrates or ice-like crystals from forming in the cap, said Adm. Thad Allen, the government's response manager. Allen said BP removed the cap at 9:45 a.m. Read more here.

BPExxonMobile CEO: We're Not Well-Equipped to Handle Deep-Water Spills
As oil executives are testifying before the House Energy and Commerce environment subcommittee, BP's sub-sea well continues to spew millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

President Obama, visiting the Gulf coast Tuesday, tried to be a little upbeat, saying that the Gulf will recover from the oil spill and "thrive again." But there isn't much to be upbeat about just yet. Read more here.

TarballsDeepwater Horizon: The Worst-Case Scenario
Posted Jun 20, 2010 by Richard Heinberg
Reports from the Gulf of Mexico just keep getting worse. Estimates of the rate of oil spillage from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead just keep gushing (the latest official number: up to 60,000 barrels per day). Forecasts for how long it will take before the leak is finally plugged continue pluming toward August—maybe even December. In addition to the oil itself, BP has (in this case deliberately) spilled a million gallons of toxic Corexit dispersant. Biologists’ accounts of the devastation being wreaked on fish, birds, amphibians, turtles, coral reefs, and marshes grow more apocalyptic by the day—especially in view of the fact that the vast majority of animal victims die alone and uncounted. Warnings are now being raised that the natural gas being vented along with the oil will significantly extend the giant dead zones in the Gulf. And guesses as to the ultimate economic toll of this still-unfolding tragedy—on everything from the tourism and fishing industries of at least five coastal states to the pensioners in Britain whose futures are at risk if BP files for bankruptcy or is taken over by a Chinese oil company—surge every time an analyst steps back to consider the situation from another angle. Read more here.

The Nuclear Power Resurgence: How Safe Are the New Reactors?
As utilities seek to build new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and around the world, the latest generation of reactors feature improvements over older technologies. But even as attention focuses on nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels, questions remain about whether the newer reactors are sufficiently foolproof to be adopted on a large scale. Read more here.

Methane in Gulf "astonishingly high": U.S. scientist
As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday.

Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high." Read more here.

‘National Mission’
To anyone watching the oil spew into the Gulf of Mexico, the argument for curbing this country’s appetite for fossil fuels could not be clearer. President Obama was right last week when he called on America to unify behind a “national mission” to find alternative energy sources, sharply reduce its dependence on oil and cut its greenhouse gas emissions. Read more here.

SproutsSupreme Court on Modified Foods: Who Won?
A lawyer friend of mine who once served as a small claims magistrate said he knew he had handed down a fair ruling when both parties came away a little mad at him.

I don't know what he would think about yesterday's 7-to-1 Supreme Court decision to nullify a lower court ruling that imposed a nationwide ban on the planting of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa—the high court's first ruling on a GM crop. Both Monsanto, which produces GM alfalfa and was trying to have the ban overturned, and the environmental groups and seed company that supported the ban came away ecstatic. Read more here.

News Sources Ignore EPA’s 1 in 100 Odds of Livable Future Without the American Power Act
The EPA found there is only a 1% chance of avoiding the increasing incidence of climate-caused catastrophes like floods, droughts and sea level rise without passage of this year’s American Power Act (APA) to place a cap on carbon emissions and then lower the pollution permittted each year.

This week the EPA released its findings on the environmental impact of the legislation: a 75% chance of a livable climate with passage of APA, only a 1% chance without it. Armageddon that is preventable, by our actions. Read more here.

RailsOfficials: South Coast Rail moves are delivering on a promise
FALL RIVER — There were no sounds of whistles being blown or trains chugging down the tracks, but two announcements made Thursday have officials saying the promise of South Coast Rail is coming closer to reality.

First, in a conference call that included Gov. Deval Patrick, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, U.S. Sen. John Kerry and U.S. Rep. James McGovern, and then at an appearance by Murray at the Gates of the City, the group touted the recent purchase of tracks in both the SouthCoast and Boston area as a “historic transaction” that will allow the project to move forward. Read more here.

MassDOT: State now controls key tracks for South Coast Rail
In what is being touted as a positive development for the South Coast Rail project, the state Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the state now controls 30 miles of tracks running from Cotley Junction in Taunton to Fall River and New Bedford. The $40 million deal with CSX also included tracks in the Boston area. Read more here.

State officials 'want to be prepared' for Gulf oil
State officials are taking steps to be ready for any environmental and legal fallout if oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster makes its way up to Massachusetts' shores.

Rep. William M. Straus, D-Mattapoisett, has scheduled a hearing for this morning on the preparedness of state agencies in the event oil reaches the Bay State. At the same time, Attorney General Martha Coakley sent a letter Monday to BP, along with 10 other attorneys general of East Coast states, seeking assurances that the oil company will pay all legitimate claims. Read more here.

Dartmouth Building Supply has large solar panel array
Munro Solar has completed one of the largest single solar arrays in Massachusetts, which will save its customers more than $4,000 a month in energy costs.

In less than five weeks, the bare corrugated roof of Dartmouth Building Supply’s 54,000-square-foot millwork and warehouse building was transformed into a 201,600 watt solar powerhouse. The array is expected to save Dartmouth Building Supply more than $1.2 million in energy costs during the 25-year life of the system, while offsetting 3,933 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Read more here.

Cove StUMass Dartmouth gets $964K for weatherization training
DARTMOUTH — The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has received nearly $1 million in federal stimulus money to create a weatherization jobs training center in New Bedford.

The university will work with area agencies including Citizens for Citizens and YouthBuild to find 40 contractors, at least 34 workers, and 20 YouthBuild members or other young people to be trained in the program, according to the university’s Office of Campus and Community Sustainability. Read more here.

Jack Spillane: Energy addiction rears its ugly head
On April 27, 2003, as many as 98,000 gallons of oil spilled from a Bouchard Transportation tanker that passed on the wrong side of a navigational marker as it entered Buzzards Bay.

The spill — which, of course, caused widespread outrage among local residents and a class-action lawsuit that some seven years later resulted in a guilty jury verdict — is but a dot on the horizon compared with what is currently going in the Gulf of Mexico. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Docent Training

June 24, 10:00 AM, Westport River Watershed Alliance Office
You can learn more about the Westport River watershed, get out on the water, and share with others your favorite parts of the area by volunteering as a River Docent this summer for WRWA’s popular boat tours. There is a training session on June 24th at 10AM at WRWAs main office at 1151 Main Road in Westport, MA in which you will be given a packet with information that will be useful for a tour, given some tips on leading a tour, and then we will go through a mock tour on WRWA’s skiff. If you are not able to make it on the 24th let us know, and we will see if we can time that works for everyone’s schedule. You can then sign up to give as many tours as you would like throughout the summer. Tours will run regularly on Thursdays and Fridays during July and August at 10AM and 1PM. They’re a lot of fun and a great way to get out on the river. If you have any questions please contact Charlie at (508) 636-3016 or via e-mail at outreach@wrwa.com. 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.

Animal Production in a Diversified Farm

June 27, 4:00PM - 7:00PM | Rehoboth, MA (directions)
Free workshop about integrating animal production into a diversified farm. Open to young farmers apprentices interns and any other interested person. A potluck dinner will follow the workshop. Sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association- www.nofari.org . Hosted by Northeast Organic Farming Association at the Rosasharn Farm: 57 County Street, Rehoboth, MA. Details here.

“Local Meat: Benefits, Choices, Challenges”

June 28, 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Kingston, MA (directions)
Finding meat from animals raised locally, not on distant factory farms, can be a challenge. On June 28th, you’ll have an opportunity to meet and ask questions of local farmers who raise their animals humanely and sell the meat locally, as well as a chef who uses locally raised meat at her restaurant. The Kingston Public Library and the publishers of edible South Shore magazine present “Local Meat: benefits, choices, challenges,” the sixth program in the South Shore Locavores series that has been meeting in Kingston since January. The first programs were held at the Kingston Public Library, but so many people are interested in the topic that the program quickly outgrew the Library’s meeting room. To give more people an opportunity to attend, the June 28th program will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sampson Hall meeting room at 222 Main Street (popularly known as the Beal House), Kingston. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

A Similar Event: The 1979 IXTOC I Oil Well Spill Research Cruise: Lessons for the Deepwater Horizon MC252 Oil Spill

July 1, 6:15 p.m., Ocean Explorium
Dr. Farrington was aboard a scientific expedition that assessed the environmental fate of the IXTOC-l oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 1979. Lessons learned from that research cruise and how they inform our response to the on-going Deepwater Horizon spill will be presented and discussed. Details here.

Sunset Kayak Tour

July 8, 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.

Summmer of Science launch event

July 9, July 9, 1-3 p.m., Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Gov. Deval Patrick has been invited to speak about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Children can explore hands-on demonstrations showcasing the campuses’ summer programs. All are invited to enjoy free ice cream. Please respond by July 5 to Kathleen Kirby, Ph.D. Executive Director of CONNECT 508.531.1437 kathleen.kirby@connectsemass.org

Clambake XXV “Simply, The Best!”

July 9, Lloyd Center Headquarters
Personal “patron” and corporate “sponsorship” levels vary. Individual tickets - $150 Location: Demarest Lloyd State Park, Barney’s Joy Road, Dartmouth Open bar, Dinner, Dance, and Silent Auction. Back by popular demand… traditional New England boiled lobster clambake dinner and dancing to “Men in Black”. Purchase tickets online or call the Clambake Hotline at 508-558-2916. Details here.

NOFA/Mass Introductory Backyard Poultry Workshop

July 10, 3:00PM - 6:00PM, Acushnet (directions)
On Saturday, July 10, in five locations in every region of Massachusetts, Northeast Organic Farming Association/ Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass), is sponsoring five simultaneous workshops on how to raise backyard poultry. In Acushnet, Cynda Williams will teach a workshop on the basics of raising backyard poultry at The Clover Path Garden on 191 Quaker Lane from 3pm-6pm.

Williams who will be teaching the workshop in Acushnet raises certified organic chickens. In her workshop, participants will learn to choose breeds for their flock, to raise day-old chicks to maturity, to properly store and feed whole grains and sprouted grains, to provide good housing for all seasons, to establish fencing to protect the birds; to apply inventive ideas for shade and shelter; to discern whether organic is for you, to understand molting and flock health issues, and to check local laws and regulations for keeping poultry. Bringing a notebook and camera is advised. Handouts will be provided. Details here.

Discover Stand-up Paddling

July 17, 10:00 a.m. - Noon, Lloyd Center Headquarters
Stand-up Paddle Boarding is a fun way to explore the waterways, improve your balance and get a fantastic core workout. Anyone can Stand-up paddle! Certified guides specialize in teaching people with no surfing or paddling experience at all. The only prerequisite is that you are comfortable in the water, and want to try something new! The two hour introduction session will take place in the calm waters of the Slocum River. Details here.

Bike the Bioreserve

July 17, 10 AM - 12 noon, Watuppa Reservation Headquarters, 2929 Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
At nearly 14,000-acres, the full scale of the Bioreserve is hard to visualize. But from the seat of a bicycle the size of this large-scale protected landscape starts to become clear. The wide carriage paths and low-traffic forest roads of the Bioreserve offer some of the best riding in the region. Join us for a relaxed 8-10 mile ride for bikers of all ages. Bring your mountain or hybrid bike, water and a helmet. FREE. Details here.

Creating Backyard Biodiversity

July 18, 1-4:30 p.m., Westport River Watershed Alliance office, Westport, MA and Tiverton, RI
This lecture and field tour is an opportunity for sharing the experience of one who has spent twenty years creating and sustaining a variety of microhabitats in a suburban backyard. His ¾ acre “sanctuary” that began as an empty building lot now has a meadow, shrubland thicket, woodland, and a small pond and marsh. There is practical advice for creating and sustaining wild places, dirty fingernail stuff such as managing invasive plants and pond muck, mowing suggestions for cool and warm season grasses, and finding and introducing native plants that survive wild competition — Natural Landscaping 101. This workshop shows the exciting potential for natural beauty and biodiversity in a limited suburban land area with successional habitats and common southern New England native plants. Details here.

Kayak the Westport River

July 24, 9AM - 12Noon, Osprey Sea Kayaks, 489 Old County Rd, Westport, MA
Take a paddle down the East Branch of the Westport River and a get water view of some of the exceptional properties The Trustees have been working to save. From the Head of Westport to Hix Bridge you’ll see why protecting land along this scenic river has been a major priority. Bring water, sun block and water shoes. Please pre-register. Details here.

Swim Buzzards Bay

July 31, 8:15 AM, Davey's Locker in New bedford
The Swim is a 1.2 mile open-water swim through outer New Bedford Harbor from Davy's Locker in New Bedford to Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven. Each year, hundreds of swimmers ages 12 and up plunge into Buzzards Bay and prove that the Swim is for every age, shape, size, ability, and fitness level. The course through warm water draws serious competitors, first-timers, families, teams, and everyone in between. Please pre-register. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Organic Agriculture certificate courses open for September
Bristol Community College (BCC) announces the opening of registration for its Organic Agriculture program with courses leading to a 29-credit certificate in organic agriculture. Courses are offered in the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters. Organic Farming Practices I is the first of a two-semester course sequence focusing on soils and raising crops organically. Other courses include plant biology, water management, and sociology of food, famine, & farming. Additional courses planned for the Spring semester (2011) include Natural Beekeeping. Upon completing the coursework students can do an on-farm practicum with local farms to apply the theory learned in the classroom. The certificate will provide graduates with the skills to strengthen their farming/gardening capabilities as producers, consultants, or employees of the regionally developing small-scale agriculture sector. BCC is an open enrollment college and students are invited to enroll in the program or to take single courses to meet their own needs.

Details about the program and course descriptions are online, or email Dr. Jim Corven at james.corven@bristolcc.edu
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.
Farmer's Markets!
With the arrival of summer comes the arrival of farmer's markets! Support local growers, raisers, craftspeople, and other businesses at your local farmer's markets this summer. See the local list here.
The Marion Institute seeks an Executive Assistant
We are looking for a motivated, responsible and creative change-maker able to work on a number of exciting projects. The majority of time will be spent assisting me and a portion of time will be split between two programs: the Travel Initiative and Connecting for Change: A Bioneers by the Bay Conference. For more details or to apply please visit here.
Westport River EcoTours
Eco-tours of the Westport River are available on Thursdays and Fridays until Labor Day Weekend. There will be a tour at 10 AM to noon and another from 1PM to 3PM on Thursdays and Fridays. If none of those time work for you, give us a call and we will see if we can find another time during the week to take you on a journey down the river. There is a limit of four people per tour, and children under the age of 13 must wear a life preserver at all times. It is $25 per person for WRWA members, and $35 non-members. Please call our office at (508)636-3016 to book a tour. If you are paying with a credit card please give us your information when you reserve your tour – your card will not be charged until after the tour. The boat leaves from Dock D-Slip 1 from F.L. Tripps on Cherry & Webb Lane, so please meet us there at least ten minutes before departure time. Learn more.
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.
Monday - Thursday, July 6th - July 9th 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Monday - Friday, July 12th – July 16th 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Inquiry-Based Science: Investigating Water & Energy Concepts in the State Frameworks - for kindergarten through 8th grade teachers.

Locations: Lloyd Center (Dartmouth), Whaling Museum (New Bedford), Buttonwood Park Zoo (New Bedford), Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary (Norfolk).

Join us as we discover the natural history of the estuary and a diversity of freshwater resources. Investigate the various species that live here, how they are adapted to survive in a marine or aquatic environment and how we are connected to these invaluable resources. We will utilize these significant natural resources to create an inquiry-based program that will highlight the many forms of water and energy that cycle through the region. Learn more 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
Cook Your Food, Not Your Kitchen
When it's hot, save energy, and feel more comfortable, with these simple suggestions. Learn more here.

Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Sustainability Almanac. If you unsubscribe, we'd appreciate if you could tell us what prompted the unsubscription.