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August 12 to 19, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Duck Derby: Win dinner ANYWHERE

Invasive Species Update


Save The Date:

Family Concert

Fair Trade Futures Conference



Westport River Eco-Tours

Farmer's markets!

Weekly Green Tip:

37 Ways to Join the Gift Economy

Clip of the Week

Larry David: Earth to America
A lighter-hearted look at the environment
Larry David

Weekly Quote:

"Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites."
- William Ruckelshaus, Business Week, 18 June 1990

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Leaf Bullet News
NortonPortugal Gives Itself a Clean-Energy Makeover
LISBON Five years ago, the leaders of this sun-scorched, wind-swept nation made a bet: To reduce Portugal's dependence on imported fossil fuels, they embarked on an array of ambitious renewable energy projects primarily harnessing the country's wind and hydropower, but also its sunlight and ocean waves.

Today, Lisbon's trendy bars, Porto's factories and the Algarve's glamorous resorts are powered substantially by clean energy. Nearly 45 percent of the electricity in Portugal's grid will come from renewable sources this year, up from 17 percent just five years ago. Read more here.

And the Most Inspiring Good News Story of the Year Is...
At first, this isn't going to sound like a good news story, never mind one of the most inspiring stories in the world today. But trust me: it is.

Yan Li spent his life tweaking tiny bolts, on a production line, for the gadgets that make our lives zing and bling. He might have pushed a crucial component of the laptop I am writing this article on, or the mobile phone that will interrupt your reading of it. He was a typical 27-year old worker at the gigantic Foxconn factory in Shenzen, Southern China, which manufactures iPads and Playstations and mobile phone batteries. Read more here.

CanadaFloating Ice Mass Could Threaten Canadian Coast
A massive iceberg has broken off from a glacier in Greenland and has started drifting south into shipping lanes and waters occupied by oil rigs, according to a recent Associated Press (AP) report.

On Tuesday, AP writer Karl Ritter noted that the iceberg, which detached from the Petermann glacier in Greenland last week, was "an island of ice more than four times the size of Manhattan." Read more here.

Rice Rising temperatures threaten rice yield growth: study
Rising temperatures could slow the growth of rice production unless farmers adapt by changing management practices and switch to more heat-tolerant varieties, scientists say.

Rice is among the world's most important crops and a staple for people in Asia and Africa, with Asia producing and consuming more than 90 percent of the world's output. Read more here.

Charcoal takes some heat off global warming
Biochar can offset 1.8 billion metric tons of carbon emissions annually
RICHLAND, Wash. -- As much as 12 percent of the world's human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset by producing biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from plants and other organic materials. That's more than what could be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate energy, concludes a study published today in the journal Nature Communications. Read more here.

Marsh Signs of regrowth seen in oiled Louisiana marshland
Key life support for fauna, flora in Gulf of Mexico
Shoots of marsh grass and bushes of mangrove trees are starting to grow back in the bay where just months ago photographers shot startling images of dying pelicans coated in oil from the massive gulf oil spill.

More than a dozen scientists interviewed said the marsh here and across the Louisiana coast is healing itself, giving them hope delicate wetlands might weather the worst offshore spill in US history better than they had feared. Some marshland could be lost, but the amount appears to be small compared with what the coast loses every year through human development. Read more here.

WoodFinding New Life (and Profit) in Doomed Trees
THE wooden kitchen bar in the suburban home of Richard and Donna Majer has a canyonlike crack ripping right down its middle, which is exactly what the couple cherish most about it. It's not just furniture it's a story, complete with a moral.

"As I spend time with it, I see the beauty of the hard life the tree had," Mrs. Majer says. "And it helps me find the beauty in my own life's scars." Read more here.

Agua Rebranding Tap Water: NYC Water-On-the-Go Campaign
On a recent walk along New York City's Union Square Park, I came across a beautiful sight: walking in 95-degree humid heat, I saw fountains and fountains of cold, clean, and free drinking water. A city employee, wearing a 'NYC Water' t-shirt, urged me to hydrate and drink some of "the best tap water in the world." Not used to such humidity and heat, I took this as a much-welcomed request (I live in San Francisco where it is 60 degrees as I write this).

After some prolonged gulps, I heard the man explain the virtues of New York City's tap water: "It's Healthy, It's Affordable, It's Green, and It's Convenient." Read more here.

Sustainability for All: Three Cheers for McDonald's
Often, when we think of sustainable companies and corporate social responsibility we think of Patagonia, Stonyfield, Seventh Generation and the like: companies that have sustainability as part of their DNA and stakeholder engagement as the foundation for company culture. But what about the sustainability efforts of not so green companies? What about the CSR initiatives at corporations that have bad reputations, make questionable products and are late to the CSR game? Is there room for them? Read more here.

Happy? But Will It Make You Happy?
She had so much.

A two-bedroom apartment. Two cars. Enough wedding china to serve two dozen people.

Yet Tammy Strobel wasn't happy. Working as a project manager with an investment management firm in Davis, Calif., and making about $40,000 a year, she was, as she put it, caught in the "work-spend treadmill." Read more here.

Fusion In Superman's Hometown, a Labor Dispute Over Health
Union workers at the nation's only uranium conversion plant, in Metropolis, Ill., have erected 42 crosses nearby in memory of workers who died of cancer. Twenty-seven smaller crosses symbolize workers who have survived the disease.

The memorial is a fitting backdrop for the contentious labor dispute that has shaken Metropolis the self-proclaimed hometown of Superman, which sits on the Ohio River at the southern edge of Illinois. Read more here.

KrugmanAmerica Goes Dark
The lights are going out all over America literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel. Read more here.

Trustees GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY: SouthCoast Youth Corps members get experience in 'green' careers
FALL RIVER If you love the outdoors and don't mind getting your hands dirty, the SouthCoast Youth Corps just might be a good fit.

Established in 2003 by the Trustees of Reservations, an environmental advocacy group, the program provides local teens with summer employment opportunities.

The Youth Corps tackles projects like planting trees, monitoring water quality, GPS mapping and removing invasive species. In addition, the students serve as trail guides and research assistants helping with environmental research and leading nature programs for children from the Fall River YMCA and the Family Services Association. Read more here.

SolarOrganic Farming Association questions safety of pesticide spraying in Massachusetts
TAUNTON The recent round of aerial pesticide spraying over southeastern Massachusetts is not expected to have any significant effect on local farms, state officials said.

"It's very reasonable for folks to have questions or concerns," said Nathan L'Etoile, assistant commissioner of the state Department of Agricultural Resources. "This pesticide is the most safe option. It's the same that's used on a routine basis by local mosquito control operations." Read more here.

Solar Norton celebrates the sun
Middle school unveils massive solar-energy project
NORTON - There was a lot of energy at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Norton Middle School Friday.

New panels atop the school cafeteria's roof harnessed some of that energy - the solar kind. Read more here.

Nightmare Contaminated soil cleanup has been a mess for Tiverton residents
TIVERTON Residents of the Bay Street neighborhood thought their prayers were answered when crews began removing contaminated soil from their properties last summer.

Nearly one year later, the nightmare continues.

"This is a worse battle than ever," said Gail Corvello, president of ENACTRI, a neighborhood group that has fought to clean up properties affected by the discovery of contaminated soil in 2002. "I never thought we would be fighting the people doing the cleanup." Read more here.

UPDATE: Bankruptcy halts cleanup of contaminated Tiverton area

Green Brigade Green Brigades find success this summer with environmental, training projects
DARTMOUTH By the time the Green Pathways Project was finished, 36 at-risk teens known as the Green Brigades had learned important job-readiness skills and environmental stewardship.

It was a win-win for the urban teens who divided their time between providing stewardship at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in South Dartmouth and transforming trash-strewn lots in New Bedford into verdant gardens. Read more here.

Berries FARM FRESH AND FUN: Middletown's Sweet Berry Farm blends eye candy, real treats
FALL RIVER Sweet Berry Farm, like owner Michelle Eckhart's mosaics, has evolved piece by piece into a food lover's work of art. The first sign of the culinary surprises in store at the farm on Mitchell's Lane is a table overflowing with freshly made breads zucchini, carrot, blueberry, banana lemon pound cake, cookies and cookie bars. Then there are the pies raspberry, cherry, blueberry and strawberry rhubarb. Read more here.

State offers more incentive to do business in 'Gateway Cities'
Old manufacturing cities like New Bedford and Fall River could have an easier time luring businesses and developers thanks to a newly enacted package of tax credits and grants.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday signed into law an economic development bill that includes some of the provisions sought by the Gateway Cities Coalition, a group of 11 cities. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Invasive Species Update

August 12, 6:30PM, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Join Alexandra Echandi, Forestry Assistant from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, to hear about invasive species that are on the move in our state. You'll learn about the headline-making Asian longhorn beetle and a newcomer, the mile-a-minute vine. We will have samples of some of the invasives, including some from in and around New Bedford.

This talk is suitable for families with older children (12+) and will be of particular interest to hunters, fishermen, bird watchers, dog walkers, gardeners and anyone else who enjoys the natural regions of our area. 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.

Duck Derby's grand prize: Dinner for two, anywhere in the world

August 14, 10:30 a.m., Westport
You're not quackin' up: Buy a rubber duckie and you could win dinner for two anywhere in the world. That's the bottom line of the seventh annual Duck Derby, the popular fundraiser sponsored by the Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. Speaking of bottom lines, in a typical year the derby makes at least $30,000, which goes to support sanctuary programs. You can adopt a single duck for $10, a flock of five for $40 or 13 for $100 by calling the sanctuary at (508) 636-2437 or by visiting www.massaudubon.org/duckderby. More Details here.

Gardening for Wildlife

August 14, 1:00 p.m., Buttonwood Park Zoo
Cost: Free with zoo admission Did you know that parts of Buttonwood Park Zoo are Certified Wildlife Habitat? Join Education Curator Gail Janeczek to learn about how the zoo develops habitat for insects, birds and all living things. Take home tips and tricks for starting a wildlife haven in your own yard. If we get lucky, we may even find some baby butterflies! This program is suitable for adults and children ages 6 and older. Details here.

Historic Foodways Workshops

August 14, 4:00 - 8:00 p.m., Bristol, RI (directions)
An Evening with Amelia Simmons, an American Locavore. Minimal Food Miles! In fact, we've reduced them to 50 paces. Participants in this workshop will spend an evening at Coggeshall Farm Museum exploring what it meant to "eat local" in 1790's Rhode Island. Working from Amelia Simmons' American Cookery, the first American cookbook, originally published in 1796, guests will join the museum's costumed staff in the garden selecting heirloom produce for the evening's meal. Returning to the museum's 18th century farmhouse, participants will prepare several of Amelia's receipts at the hearth before sitting down to enjoy dinner by candlelight. This workshop is limited to eight participants and is intended for ages 16 and up. Reservations are required, please register no later than two weeks prior to the workshop. 4:00pm-8:00pm. $60.00 per person, $50 for museum members. Register by phone, 401.253.9062, or email, info@coggeshallfarm.org. 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.

Food Preservation Class

August 16, 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Providence (directions)
Cost is $5 and proceeds benefit Farm Fresh RI. Space is limited, please call ahead to register. Learn about canning, plus drying and freezing, so that you can enjoy the flavors of summer all year long! Hosted by Whole Foods at the Whole Foods: University Heights: 601 N Main St, Providence, RI. Contact Bonnie Frechette at (401) 621-5990 for more information. Details here.

Planning the future of transportation

August 17, 4:00pm to 7:00pm, Lawler Library (at Buttonwood) 745 Rockdale Ave., New Bedford
SRPEDD is holding two open houses to promote the update of our Regional Transportation Plan. Topics include Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation and Freight Movement. Details here (PDF).

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.

Dune Hike

August 19, 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. , Cherry and Webb Conservation Area (Town Beach) - Westport
The last time you were at the beach did you stop to take a closer look at the dune system behind you? This hearty ecosystem is home to many different plants and animals; however it is sensitive to human impact. Come explore the stretch of dunes at Cherry & Webb Beach and learn about the diverse characteristics of a dune system. See the different specialized plants and animals that have the ability to survive in this ecosystem. Learn how dune systems form and are a critical part of the barrier beaches that protect the mainland from strong storms. Discover the ecology of the dunes and learn about the history of the dunes in Westport. To register for this dune hike or for more information call the WRWA office at (508)636-3016. Please let us know if you do not have a beach pass since you need one to park at Cherry & Webb. Costs are $5 for non-members and free for members. Details here.

Green Futures Monthly Meeting

August 19, 7:00 p.m., Union United Methodist Church, corner of Highland Ave.& Pearce St., Fall River, MA
Please make every effort to attend. Bring a friend! Email: info@greenfutures.org. 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.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Seining For Subtropicals

August 21, 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters
Members: $20 Non-Members: $25
Pre-registration required
Leader: Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director Join Mark on a short canoe paddle from Tripp's boatyard to the edge of the eelgrass beds at the mouth of the Westport River. You will be using a seine (special kind of fishing net) to try to nab seahorses, jacks (a perch-like marine fish), groupers and other southern species that enter our waters in late summer. Plan on getting wet (including your shoes, shells can be sharp, so no bare feet!) Bring a lunch and sun protection. 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.

Farm Day @ Chamberlain Farm

August 22, 12:00PM - 4:00PM, Berkley (directions)
Farm Day is a chance to taste and sample locally grown items. Not only will you get a chance to purchase fresh from the farm, you will be able to sample some of the best that Southern New England has to offer. Food Sampling of: vegetables and fruit, cheeses, wines & beers, meats, seafoods, baked goods, pig roast. Live music, cash bar, grill open, hayrides, cranberry bog tours, pony rides, horseshoes, local artifact display, local historian and yard sale! ADMISSION IS FREE! Hosted by Chamberlain Farm at the Chamberlain Farm: 12 Friend Street, Berkley, MA. (Details here.

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust's 2010 "Barn Bash" Square Dance

August 28, 6:00pm-10:30pm, at the Sylvan Nursery Barn 253 Horseneck Road, Dartmouth
Please join DNRT and its local supporters for a fun-filled evening of delicious food and lively square-dancing to benefit land conservation in Dartmouth. Food by Morton's Fork Catering. Dancing to the calling of Linda Leslie & the music of "Three Cats and a Dog". Details here.

Kayak the Westport River

August 29, 9AM - 1PM, Osprey Sea Kayaks, 489 Old County Rd, Westport, MA
Paddle north from The Let to Spectacle Island, viewing protected properties along the way. Bring water, sun block and water shoes. Please pre-register. Details here.

Fair Trade Futures Conference

September 10-12, Quincy, MA
rom September 10-12, 2010, the Fair Trade Futures Conference will bring together entrepreneurs, students, advocates, faith community members, and interested individuals, in Quincy, MA for the largest Fair Trade event in North American history! The event will include workshop, debates, site visits, discussions, social activities, and an exposition of 50+ Fair Trade vendors to educate and inspire about the holistic approach to business and poverty alleviation that Fair Trade provides. Details here.

Feast in the Field

September 10, 6:00PM - 10:00PM | Portsmouth, RI (directions)
You are cordially invited to join us for the Third Annual Feast in the Field - a unique culinary experience celebrating locally produced seasonal foods, native wines and a spectacular coastal New England setting To Benefit New England FarmWays (NEFW) Since 2005, NEFW has benefitted farm operators in southern New England through training programs, technical assistance and marketing support to position and promote their farms as places of significant history, culture, ecology and beauty; farmers as stewards of our lands and natural resources; and agriculture in its many forms as essential to the economic development and quality of life we enjoy in the region. This year's Feast is part of NEFW's 2010 Campaign - "The Farm Southern New England''s Next Great Destination." Details here.

Chaos, Fractals, and Patterns in Nature

September 11, 10AM - 12Noon, Watuppa Reservation Headquarters, 2929 Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
Free. No description yet. Details here.

Fifth Annual Slocum River Regatta

September 11, Demarest Lloyd State Park, Barney's Joy Road, Dartmouth
Price varies by event category. Pre-registration required. This event is open to single/double racing/recreational shells, single/tandem kayaks, canoes, single/double fixed-seat rowboats five-oared whaleboats (with cox), all in men's, women's and co-ed categories. Races will start and finish near the mouth of the Slocum River (nearby the Lloyd Center's pier and dock) and traverse a two-mile closed-loop buoyed course on the tidal waters of one of New England's most beautiful estuaries. The emphasis of the regatta is on good fun and enjoyment of the scenic Slocum River. A post-race light lunch and awards ceremonies will follow the race. Details here.

Sunset Kayak Tour

September 16, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 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.

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
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.
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.

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
37 Ways to Join the Gift Economy
You don't have to participate in a local currency or service exchange to be part of the cooperative gift economy. Any time you do a favor for a family member, neighbor, colleague, or stranger you're part of it. Here are some ways you can spend time in the gift economy, where you'll find fun, freedom, and connection. Learn more here.

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