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July 15 to 22, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Bike the Bioreserve

Creating Backyard Biodiversity


Save The Date:

Swim New Bedford Harbor

NOFA Summer Conference



Organic Agriculture Courses

Farmer's markets in full swing

Weekly Green Tip:

Energy Efficiency Helps Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

Clip of the Week

Crawfisher Drew Landry Uses Folk Song To Urge Oil Spill Commission To 'Do The Right Damn Thing'

Weekly Quote:

"Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge."
- Thomas Edison

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Leaf Bullet News
AtlanticFishing for pollution in the Atlantic
Plastics abundant, but answers elusive
Researchers from the Sea Education Association have removed tens of thousands of plastic fragments from the Atlantic Ocean over the past six weeks in what many believe is just a small part of a giant collection of debris in the middle of the ocean. Read more here.

WaterNew Maplecroft index rates Pakistan and Egypt among nations facing "extreme" water security risks
New research evaluating the water security of 165 countries rates the supply of clean, fresh water to the societies and businesses of 10 nations at "extreme risk."

According to the Water Security Risk Index, released by Maplecroft, a firm specialising in corporate risk intelligence, Somalia (1), Mauritania (2), Sudan (3), Niger (4), Iraq (5), Uzbekistan (6), Pakistan (7), Egypt (8), Turkmenistan (9) and Syria (10) are the countries with the least secure supplies of water. Read more here.

WaterArid Australia Sips Seawater, but at a Cost
New research evaluating the water security of 165 countries rates the supply of clean, fresh water to the societies and businesses of 10 nations at "extreme risk."

According to the Water Security Risk Index, released by Maplecroft, a firm specialising in corporate risk intelligence, Somalia (1), Mauritania (2), Sudan (3), Niger (4), Iraq (5), Uzbekistan (6), Pakistan (7), Egypt (8), Turkmenistan (9) and Syria (10) are the countries with the least secure supplies of water. Read more here.

WasteIn a Russia to create new national parks and reserves nearly size of Switzerland
Polar bears, walruses, sea otters, and other endangered species are all set to benefit from a Russian decision to boost its national protected areas to nearly 3 percent of its territory by 2020, a move which helps the country to meet its international obligations to protect biodiversity.

The Russian government's decision establishes 9 new nature reserves and 13 national parks covering a total area of over 3.8 million ha by 2020. Russia is also introducing marine buffer zones of over 1 million ha. Read more here.

BPProject's Fate May Predict the Future of Mining
BLAIR, W.Va. — Federal officials are considering whether to veto mountaintop mining above a little Appalachian valley called Pigeonroost Hollow, a step that could be a turning point for one of the country's most contentious environmental disputes.

The Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit in 2007 to blast 400 feet off the hilltops here to expose the rich coal seams, disposing of the debris in the upper reaches of six valleys, including Pigeonroost Hollow. Read more here.

Whittling Away the Petroleum Reserve
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced last week that he will open 1.8 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in northern Alaska to oil and gas leasing. He pledged to protect habitat for migratory birds and caribou near Teshekpuk Lake, an ecologically sensitive area inside the 1.8 million acre tract — welcome news. Even better news would be a pledge by the secretary to go slow on any future development in the reserve. Read more here.

River wild
To some, dams are quaint, historic, and a boon for birds. To others, they cause flooding, harm fish, and meddle with nature. Can one town sort it all out?
It's 72 degrees, and the only white in the sky is a contrail streak from a passing plane. Perfect for paddling the Shawsheen River in Andover, as Bob Rauseo does every day he can.

Today Rauseo, a bear-like man with a gray cotton-candy beard, a frayed baseball cap, and bifocals, is joined by Bob Marsh and "Kayak" Jack Brady; both are members of the Shawsheen River Watershed Association, an all-volunteer nonprofit headed by Rauseo that's dedicated to protecting and restoring the river and its watershed. Read more here.

MiceCan a Stimulating Life Ward Off Cancer?
A provocative new study suggests that mice raised in spacious cages with lots of toys and companions are more resistant to cancer than mice living in standard cages. The work, which finds that exercise alone doesn't explain the anticancer effect, is drawing both excitement and skepticism.

The study builds on research dating back to the 1960s, which has found that raising mice in an "enriched environment" spurs neural growth and learning. Recent research even suggests that a stimulating cage environment late in life can help restore memory in animals with neurodegenerative disease. Neuroscientists Matthew During and Lei Cao, both of Ohio State University and Cornell University, wondered whether these profound effects on the brain could influence how the body responds to cancer. Read more here.

Coulomb to electrify California with 1,600 shiny new EV chargers
Fret not, Cali residents. Your state government may be desperately sinking into the quagmire of its own extravagance, but cash will always be found to fund good old "private" enterprise. Coulomb Technologies is expected to today announce the rollout of 1,600 ChargePoint stations across the sunny state, aided in part by a $3.4 million grant from the California Energy Commission. The principal aim of these installations will actually be research, as the state tries to figure out EV usage and recharging habits. Read more here.

PlaneSun-Powered Solar Impulse Plane Completes First Night Flight
The Solar Impulse airplane landed in Switzerland this morning after a 26-hour flight that proved that a solar-powered airplane can fly in darkness. The propeller plane has nearly 12,000 solar cells on its 207-foot lightweight carbon-fiber wings. The cells stored enough energy between takeoff at 7 a.m. yesterday and nightfall last night to get pilot André Borschberg through the night at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet. Read more here.

Editorial: Big Oil's Good Deal
No industry enjoys the array of tax breaks and subsidies that the oil and gas industry does. No industry needs them less. For all the damage it has caused, the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may provide the political momentum to end this special treatment.

President Obama's 2011 budget, proposed before the spill, would eliminate $4 billion in annual tax breaks for oil and gas companies. Bills in both houses introduced after the spill would achieve many of the same results. Read more here.

U.S. utility-first climate bill sparks opposition
Two U.S. business groups opposed on Wednesday the latest version of a climate change proposal circulating in the U.S. Senate, saying it was unfair to power companies and would hurt energy-intensive industries.

Senators John Kerry, a Democrat, and Joe Lieberman, an independent, have crafted a draft bill focusing on capping greenhouse gas pollution from electric power utilities first. It scales back previous ambitions for a broad attack on emissions. Read more here.

Free Intuit Partners with Freecycle for Office Recycling Programs
As more of us try to concoct ways to become more "green" or "sustainable," one of the most tried and true methods to reduce one's carbon output is to just not buy new items in the first place. It's easy to focus on solar panels, composting bins, double-paned windows, or weatherizing your home. But if more of us would be content using used products, that alone would make a huge step in reducing the depletion of our resources. Read more here.

Editorial: A Climate Change Corrective
Perhaps now we can put the manufactured controversy known as Climategate behind us and turn to the task of actually doing something about global warming. On Wednesday, a panel in Britain concluded that scientists whose e-mail had been hacked late last year had not, as critics alleged, distorted scientific evidence to prove that global warming was occurring and that human beings were primarily responsible. Read more here.

FarmersFall River's newest farmers market sprouts Thursday
FALL RIVER — The city will complete its trifecta of farmers' markets when the downtown market opens at 11 a.m. Thursday.

With fresh fruit and produce sold in a courtyard off of South Main Street, Fall River will have weekly markets in the north side, the south side and the center. Read more here.

Dartmouth approves solar panel farm
DARTMOUTH — The Select Board voted unanimously following a public hearing Monday night to grant a special permit to Con Edison Development for an approximately 7,000-solar panel farm on the Dartmouth side of the New Bedford Business Park.

"This is just a win-win all the way around," Select Board member Shawn D. McDonald said, explaining it won't tax the town's infrastructure because of its location in the business park. Read more here.

GardenNonprofit group makes farmers of urban teens
Food Project provides produce to local markets
It sits on a plate in an office in Dorchester: a rocklike mass the color of Pepto-Bismol.

The hardened blob is the seven-year-old remains of a strawberry milkshake from a fast food franchise, which has yet to show any signs of decay because of its artificial preservatives. The staff of the Food Project, a local nonprofit that promotes urban gardening, uses the old milkshake as a visual teaching tool to impress upon its summer interns the importance of choosing fresh local foods. Read more here.

Green firms uniting to flex political muscle
Press senators on climate bill
WASHINGTON — Stonyfield Farm is slapping its familiar cow logo on more than just containers of yogurt these days. The New Hampshire-based organic food maker is one of more than 50 local companies to lend its corporate name to a political lobbying campaign aimed at persuading Congress to support climate and energy legislation on Capitol Hill. Read more here.

Garden Fall River's Oak Village Apartments residents show their community garden
FALL RIVER — They ventured from the mercy of air conditioning to the hammer of July heat, a dozen gardeners, long lifetimes of experience celebrated by crowns of silver hair.

They are the brains of the operation.

The brawn stood beside them, 10 men and women selected for aptitude and desire to take part in YouthBuild, a program of work and learning en route to a high school degree.

Their joint effort covered the fertile ground around them. Read more here.

Coverage of Freetown Rail Meeting:

Freetown residents weigh in on proposed rail 'village'

FREETOWN — The small-town rural nature of Freetown will be changing, but the question is how.

With a rail station proposed for South Main Street, about 100 residents gathered Tuesday at a workshop Tuesday at Independence Harbor in Assonet to "say to developers that this is what we want the town to look like," Selectman Lawrence N. Ashley said. Read Standard Times Coverage here.


Residents get an early look at plans for a Freetown rail station

FREETOWN — Residents gave mixed reviews to a preliminary planned commuter rail station off South Main Street that was unveiled Tuesday, with some looking forward to a village-style development and others not wanting to see more buildings and traffic. Read Herald News coverage here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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.

Taunton River Research Presentations

July 17, 6:00PM, Kettle Pond Farm in Berkeley (directions)
Carissa Gervasi and Jennifer Linehan, research students working with Dr. David Taylor of Roger Williams University, will present with Dr. Taylor research concerning summer flounder populations of the Taunton River, the presence of mercury in sediments and organisms, and other current and future projects. While the research covers environments in the greater Narragansett Bay, special focus will be on the Taunton River. Dinner and refreshments will be served. 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.

River Exploration Day

July 22, 10:00AM, Kettle Pond Farm in Berkeley (directions)
Dr. Taylor will return to Kettle Pond Farm for the fourth yearly River Exploration Day event, when we will use beach seines to collect fish and other organisms from the river to identify. Water quality and ecology will also be discussed. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Kayak the Westport River

July 24, 9AM - 12Noon, Osprey Sea Kayaks, 489 Old County Rd, Westport
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.

North American Butterfly Association Butterfly Count

July 24, 9AM - 3PM, Lloyd Center, Dartmouth
Members: $8 Non-Members: $10 Pre-registration requested Please pre-register. Participate in this unique daylong scientific research project, sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association. Counting for the Bristol County area will take place in Dartmouth and New Bedford. Participants should bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided. Long pants and a hat are recommended. A copy of the NABA summary report can be purchased for an additional fee. Details here.

Forest Exploration Hike with Gary Plunkett

July 25, 1:00PM, Kettle Pond Farm in Berkeley (directions)
This program will begin with a light lunch with organic veggies fresh from the garden, and dessert and refreshments will be provided following the walk. Gary Plunkett will lead a nature walk, sharing natural history stories with tree identification lessons. 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.

Slocum River Kayak Tour

July 31, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Lloyd Center, Dartmouth
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.

The Barn Dance for 2010

July 31
Join the Westport Land Conservation Trust for its 6th Annual Barn Dance! Dinner prepared by local businesses and volunteers. Dancing to the music of Eight to the Bar. $45.00 per person. Tickets available at Country Woolens, 842 Main Road in Westport. Advance sales only; no tickets at the door. Call 508-636-9228 or email to jlynch@westportlandtrust.org for more information or to be a Barn Dance volunteer!

Cooking Night with Sonol and Victor

August 7, 6:00PM, Kettle Pond Farm in Berkeley (directions)
Join us for a night of international cuisine featuring Kettle Pond Farm produce! Sonol, a friend of the farm, will demonstrate the preparation of Indian-style dishes, and Victor, a current KPF intern, will share with us how to make some of his traditional French favorites. Details here.

Birding On Monomoy Island

August 8, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot, Route 6, Dartmouth
Enjoy a day of birding on Monomoy Island, Massachusetts’ National Wildlife Refuge! Most migrating shorebirds which travel the Atlantic “flyway” stop over on Monomoy, making it one of our area’s greatest birding sites. You may see Godwits,Whimbrels, Dowitchers, Glossy Ibises, Oyster-catchers, Black Skimmers, Roseate Terns and many more. Transportation provided. Details here.

NOFA Summer Conference

August 13-15, Amherst, MA
Dartmouth's Brix Bounty Farm will be joining a great array of workshop presenters on the nutrient density track, with a Saturday afternoon workshop presentation "A Farmers Report Along the Path to High Brix". They highly recommend the conference as a terrific learning opportunity, a great way to meet organic minded gardeners, farmers and consumers from the Northeast. They also have a popular children's' and teen program. Details here.

Make Your Own Berry Basket

August 14, 10:00 AM - 1:00PM, Kettle Pond Farm in Berkeley (directions)
Learn beginning basketmaking with Sharon of Hilltop Gardens by making a berry basket from start to finish! A light lunch will be provided. Pre-registration required. All materials, lesson and lunch provided for $30.00. Details here.

2010 WRWA Summer Gala

August 14, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fitton Farm, Westport
The 2010 Summer Gala and Silent Auction will be held on Saturday, August 14th from 5-8 P.M. The theme for the event is "River Revelry" and will be held at Fitton Farm at 564 River Road in Westport, MA. Details here.

Oak-Holly Forest Hike

August 15, 1 - 3PM, Cornell Farm, Dartmouth (directions)
The rare oak-holly forest is found in abundance at the newly opened Cornell Farm. Join naturalist Garry Plunkett to explore and learn about this unique habitat along the Little River. Details here.

Slocum River Kayak Tour

August 19, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Lloyd Center, Dartmouth
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.

Sunset Kayak Tour

August 19, 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.

Family Concert

August 21, 6 - 8PM, Westport Town Farm (directions)
The South Coast Chamber Music Society will perform compositions that celebrate open spaces and natural settings. Bring your own picnic supper, chairs, blankets and flashlights.

This concert is supported by the Westport Cultural Society through a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust administered by Bank of America. 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
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.
Sharing the Harvest Volunteers Needed
In the Dartmouth YMCA's Sharing the Harvest July newsletter they have put out a call for volunteers to help them bring in the harvests for 2010. It's a great way to get your hands dirty, pitching in to help grow food for the Hunger Commission of SE Massachusetts and community members in need. They have volunteer drop in hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays 9AM-Noon and Thursdays 2:30PM-5PM. For more information just stop by the Dartmouth YMCA or call their volunteer coordinator, Donna at 508-993-3361 x13 or email: sharingtheharvest@ymcasouthcoast.org.
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.

Bioneers Seeking Volunteers

Volunteering at Bioneers by the Bay is a wonderful and economical way to experience the conference as well as a tremendous opportunity to help a great cause. We will give you a one-day pass in exchange for your full-day volunteer shift. 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
Energy Efficiency Helps Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure
Energy-efficient homes have significantly lower default and delinquency rates than typical homes, according to an internal analysis conducted for a major financial institution last year. Here's yet another reason why it makes no sense that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have effectively killed Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), a financing tool that has helped make efficiency improvements affordable for thousands of American homeowners. Learn more here.

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