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July 22 to 29, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Kayak the Westport River

Forest Exploration Hike


Save The Date:

Sustainability Leader to Speak in New Bedford

WRWA Summer Gala



Farmer's markets galore

Bioneers needs volunteers

Weekly Green Tip:

Simple Water-Saving Tips

Clip of the Week

The Story of Stuff
A must-watch about our system of extraction, distribution, consumption, and disposal.
Annie Leonard

Weekly Quote:

"Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man."
- Stewart Udall

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Leaf Bullet News
ChinaChina surpasses U.S. as world's top energy consumer
PARIS — China is now king of the world in energy consumption, surpassing the U.S. years ahead of forecasts in a milestone that left the Asian giant immediately rejecting its new crown.

China was not expected to overtake the U.S. in energy consumption until at least 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast in April. Read more here.

Sweaty yet?Jan.-June warmest first half of year on record
2010 tops 1998 temps; question now is whether 12 months will break 2005 record for warmest year
Global land and ocean surface temperatures in the first half of 2010 were the warmest January-June on record, the federal climate service reported Thursday.

January-June temperatures averaged 57.5 degrees Fahrenheit — 1.22 degrees F above the 20th Century average, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Its records go back to 1880.

That broke the previous record of 1.19 degrees F above average set in 1998. Read more here.

GlaciersOur Beaker Is Starting to Boil
David Breashears is one of America's legendary mountain climbers, a man who has climbed Mount Everest five times and led the Everest IMAX film team in 1996.

These days, Mr. Breashears is still climbing the Himalayas, but he is lugging more than pitons and ice axes. He's also carrying special cameras to document stunning declines in glaciers on the roof of the world. Read more here.

Plastiki Eco warrior's Pacific journey shows how 'dumb plastic' is killing our seas
"After 100 days at sea," David de Rothschild suggests, "you realise that it should be called planet Ocean rather than planet Earth." De Rothschild is speaking from the island of New Caledonia – "an odd little bit of France in the South Seas" – the night before his boat, the Plastiki, embarks on the final leg of a voyage that should finish in Sydney harbour in a fortnight. Read more here.

DrugsRanchers and Drug Barons Threaten Rain Forest
EL MIRADOR, Guatemala — Great sweeps of Guatemalan rain forest, once the cradle of one of the world's great civilizations, are being razed to clear land for cattle-ranching drug barons.

Other parts of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Central America's largest protected area, have been burned down by small cities of squatters. Read more here.

Breakin the law? Raids are increasing on farms and private food-supply clubs
When the 20 agents arrived bearing a search warrant at her Ventura County farmhouse door at 7 a.m. on a Wednesday a couple weeks back, Sharon Palmer didn't know what to say. This was the third time she was being raided in 18 months, and she had thought she was on her way to resolving the problem over labeling of her goat cheese that prompted the other two raids. (In addition to producing goat's milk, she raises cattle, pigs, and chickens, and makes the meat available via a CSA.) Read more here.

More colleges using green as selling tool
From tours of energy-efficient buildings to discussions about recycling rates and solar panels, universities and colleges across the country are increasingly putting on the green to attract students who are serious about environmental issues.

The trend is growing at schools large and small, public and private, says Mark Orlowski, founder and executive director of the Massachusetts-based Sustainable Endowments Institute. The non-profit research organization focuses on issues such as recycling, energy efficiency, food sourcing and investment priorities in higher education. Read more here.

BuilderInefficient builders about to hit a wall.
Like it or not, Maine's new mandatory residential energy code will take effect in December

FALMOUTH - The homeowners won't see it, but the stud walls of a new house being built in the Ridgewood subdivision here were stapled tight last week with a fine-mesh netting. Insulation contractors blew dense cellulose behind the netting, pumping it into tiny cracks through which heated air would otherwise escape in winter.

"You really need to fill all the nooks and crannies," said Jerry Brown, assistant manager at Quality Insulation in Yarmouth. "You need a solid seal." Read more here.

BPGulf storm threatens U.S. efforts to plug spill
BP Plc oil spill workers in the Gulf of Mexico prepared for a possible evacuation on Thursday as a brewing tropical storm threatened more delays in attempts to end the environmental disaster.

U.S. officials said they would decide on Thursday night whether to unhook surface ships and evacuate the site, but said the blown-out well would remain capped even if an evacuation forces a temporary halt to undersea surveillance. Read more here.

FarmPrairie Crossing in Illinois: The 'urban' farm of the future?
For the final stop on the Breaking Through Concrete tour, we're gettin' all peri-urban on y'all.

It takes almost an hour to drive from downtown Chicago north on I-94 to the town of Grayslake, Ill., home of the Prairie Crossing residential development -- "A Conservation Community" -- and its core farm, Sandhill Organics. Though billboards, office "parks," and standard Interstate culture dot the highway, the tall, mixed prairie grasses native to these Great Lake Plains become increasingly expansive. Read more here.

CowSteak or Veggie Burger: Which is Greener?
"How would you like your burger cooked?"

I froze. The waitress looked at me expectantly. "Medium. You want medium," my friend whispered. "Medium!" I said.

"You sure about that?" Withering look.

"I'm a lifelong vegetarian," I confessed. Read more here.

FishNew 'walking' fishes discovered in Gulf oil-spill zone
Pancake batfishes may be getting oiled before they get named

Two new fish species — with pancake-flat bodies, wiggling lures on their faces, and elbowed fins for "walking" on the seafloor — have been discovered in the path of spewing Gulf of Mexico oil. Read more here.

LOL OIL Visualized: Tesla owner talks smack using world's greatest vanity plate
Owning one of the world's most electrifying and exclusive four-wheelers not enough for you? In that case, you'll probably be wanting a bright orange paintjob and a vanity plate that rubs pretty much every other road user up the wrong way. Read more here.

Science'Summer of Science' beats the beach, kids discover
BOURNE — Air conditioning may be cool, but math and science are way cooler.

So much so that the Massachusetts Maritime Academy recently hosted a "Summer of Science" celebration to highlight the many programs area colleges are offering to prepare and inspire young students to go into math, science and technology-related fields. Read more here.

PondCape ponds lack pollution cleanup
Freshwater ponds may be the poor relations in the Cape's wastewater debate.

Most of the concern — and money — has been focused on the bad effects of excess nitrogen in local bays, salt ponds, and harbors because that's where nearly everything we put into our groundwater ends up. Officials estimate the effort to clean up high levels of nitrogen from the Cape's marine waters, including sewers and new wastewater treatment plants, will cost between $4 billion and $8 billion. Read more here.

Africa Local volunteers already planning next relief trip to Africa
FALL RIVER — One day medical staff worked to save a child with internal worms so severe the worms could be seen moving under the child's skin.

The next day they were in another village where the children gathered to sing Happy Birthday, in English and Swahili, celebrating with Elizabeth Rockett on the day she turned 17. Read more here.

Flanagan wants former schools turned into revenue generators
FALL RIVER — The signs that four city buildings were once schools still remained, but any hopes of educating students had long passed.

Now the blackboards are joined on the walls by mold, and peeling paint decorates the walls instead of motivational posters reminding first-graders to read. The halls of the Brayton Avenue school, once filled with students grabbing their lunches, are now littered with the carcasses of dead birds. Read more here.

WineriesBill would allow wineries to sell at farmers markets
Local vintners are raising a glass to state Rep. William M. Straus for pushing a measure that would allow them to sell their wines at Bay State farmers markets.

"This is a wonderful example of how our government can actually create opportunities for business, which seem to be few and far between these days," sais Bill Russell of the family-run Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery. Read more here.

Digton 'Idyllic' spot in Dighton is now a state park
Dighton — Thanks to the generosity of Berkley resident Ron Medeiros, the Wildland's Trust and contributions from the Sheehan Family Fund, a 56-acre area of land is slated to become a state park.

Located at 1387 Somerset Ave., the state-owned space, named Sweets Knoll State Park, is home to two miles of old railroad bed that can be cleared for a walking and biking path, a small pond with sunfish, frogs and hermit crabs, 30-plus miles of riverfront property, picnic areas and a kayak and canoe launch. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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.

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.

Lakeville Litter Lifters

July 24, 9 a.m., at the intersection of Routes 18 and 105
The Lakeville Litter Lifters will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Routes 18 and 105. Those interested in helping to beautify the town are invited to take part. The group headed by Martha "Mike" Schroeder. For more information, call (508) 946-0141 or e-mail Lakevillelitter-lifters@hotmail.com.

Open Barn Event

July 24, 10 a.m. to noon, Watuppa Reservation, 2929 Blossom Road, Fall River
The Fall River Water Department and Friends of the Watuppa Woods will host an open barn event. Oak beams, antique hand tools and lots of volunteer hours are helping to restore an old barn at Fall River's historic Watuppa Reservation headquarters, and the public can take a peek at the building project. 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.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

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!

In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street One Sleepover at a Time.

August 5, 7 PM, The Apponagansett Meeting House
Peter Lovenheim had lived on the same street in suburban Rochester, New York much of his life. But it was only after a brutal murder-suicide rocked the neighborhood that he was struck by a fact of modern life in contemporary American communities: No one really knew anyone else. Thus began Peter's search to meet and get to know his neighbors. Being inquisitive, he did more than just introduce himself. He asked, ever so politely, if he could sleep over.

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.

Noted Global Sustainability Leader to Speak in New Bedford: "BP and Other Robber Barons: We Reject Your Apology; We Demand Change"

August 9, 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Come listen to sustainability advocate, global economist, and renowned author John Perkins speak about the most pressing issues of our times: preserving the natural world and shunning the kinds of unchecked capitalism that trades humanitarian and environmental ruin for ruthless financial gain. Perkins speaks out about the British Petrolium's Gulf oil spill and how it is an indicator of how unsustainable our unrelenting pursuit of oil is today. It is a wakeup call that we are finally hearing because it is close to home, though other peoples around the globe have experienced similar devastation for the sake of fossil fuel and oil industry profits.

Meet John Perkins and hear him speak about how his vision of "a new priority: a sustainable and just economy" can take shape and requires the thoughtful actions of every individual. Perkins will speak at the New Bedford Oceanarium on August 9 at 7p.m. Admission is free, though pre-registration is requested so that maximum number of attendees can be estimated. This event is hosted by the University of Massachusetts Office of Campus and Community Sustainability. For more information, and to save your seat, call 508-910-6484. 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
Simple water saving tips
The FAO has warned that within the next 20 years, two thirds of the earth's population could face serious water shortages. There are simple things that all of us can do to reduce our water usage. Pick up some tips. Learn more here.

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