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March 24 to 31, 2011

In This Issue

News:

Global, national, and local news

This week:

A pair of walks and a talk

More

Save The Date:

AHA! Night - Sustainable Earth

Electronics Recycling Event

More

Announcements:

Buy LOCAL Carbon Credits

New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest

Weekly Green Tip:

Ditch the Lawn Chemicals for Organics

Clip of the Week

Commuting by Bike
Just in time for spring, Grist's Umbra Fisk details how to commute safely on a bike
Movie!

Weekly Quote:

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
- William James

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Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
Global
Japan Japan radiation localized, no immediate threat: WHO
The World Health Organization believes the spread of radiation from a quake-crippled nuclear plant in Japan remains limited and appears to pose no immediate risk to health, the WHO's China representative said on Friday.

"At this point, there is still no evidence that there's been significant radiation spread beyond the immediate zone of the reactors themselves," Michael O'Leary told a group of reporters. Read more here.

JapanRecord participation with 5 days until the world unites for Earth Hour
Just 5 days out from the global lights-out event, Earth Hour 2011 has reached record participation, with 131 countries and territories registered to take part, on all seven continents, with all G20 countries, thousands of cities, and iconic landmarks and public figures set to join with hundreds of millions across the world to celebrate action for the planet.

This Saturday, 26 March, at 8:30pm local time iconic landmarks across the globe will go dark for Earth Hour. Starting with the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand and moving to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the lights out campaign will then sweep across Asia and the Middle East to darken landmarks and events in China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Read more here.

Food fight? The Coming Global Food Fight
As aggression mounts with the rise of food prices worldwide, small-scale farms rooted in local markets could avert international disaster—and lead the way to "food democracy."
Food prices around the world are surging. Between July of last year and this January alone, the price of wheat has doubled. Indeed, the cost of food has now passed the record levels of 2008, when angry citizens staged huge protests in dozens of countries. Currently, protesters across the Middle East include lowering food prices among their demands. When prices go up even a bit, millions more people starve. Read more here.

Water "Hydro-diplomacy" needed to avert Arab water wars
The United Nations should promote "hydro-diplomacy" to defuse any tensions over water in regions like the Middle East and North Africa where scarce supplies have the potential to spark future conflicts, experts said Sunday.

They said the U.N. Security Council should work out ways to bolster cooperation over water in shared lakes or rivers, from the Mekong to the Nile, that are likely to come under pressure from a rising world population and climate change. Read more here.

Spill Oil Spill in South Atlantic Threatens Endangered Penguins
A major spill of heavy crude oil from a wrecked freighter has coated an estimated 20,000 endangered penguins on a remote South Atlantic island chain, the local authorities and environmental groups said Tuesday.

More than 800 tons of fuel oil has leaked from the Maltese-registered ship, which ran aground on Nightingale Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, a British territory, early in the morning of March 16, local officials said. All 22 crew members of the M.S. Oliva were rescued. Read more here.

Bananananas Are Desalination Technologies the Answer to the World Water Crisis?
Investors and policy makers are increasingly advocating desalination technologies that use seawater to make freshwater. As reviewed in an EcoSeed Special Report, the interest in desalination technologies is growing due to the fact that there is insufficient fresh water to meet the daily drinking and sanitation needs of all those inhabiting the planet.

Desalination involves the process of removing salt from sea or brackish water to produce drinkable water. According to the International Desalination Association, there are over 13,000 desalination plants worldwide producing more than 12 billion gallons of water a day. Although this may seem like a lot, this represents only 0.2 percent of global water consumption. Read more here.

National
Blowout Report on Oil Spill Pinpoints Failure of Blowout Preventer
HOUSTON — A buckled section of drill pipe caused the malfunction of supposedly fail-safe equipment when a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico blew out last April, killing 11 workers and spewing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report released by the Interior Department on Wednesday.

The report, a detailed analysis by a Norwegian company that was hired as part of the federal investigation into the spill, could lead to design changes in blowout preventers, the industry-standard devices that are the last line of protection to prevent drilling disasters. It might also prompt changes in the procedures that rig workers use to control subsea wells. Read more here.

Green roof Green Roofs Take Root in North America
Some 21,000 succulents call the roof of New York City's Con Edison's three-story Learning Center in Long Island City, Queens. The facility - some pales in comparison to the 2.5 living roof atop the Postal service facility in mid-town Manhattan. Meanwhile Chicago, the city that plays host to more green roofs than any other US City, added some 600,000 square feet of green roofs last year bringing their total coverage to a whopping 7 million square feet according to a December Yale Environment 360 article. The city of Toronto even went so far as to mandate that new buildings above a certain size will have to cover at least 60% of their roofs with vegetation. Read more here.

Highways The End Of The Road: Saying Goodbye To Freeways
Half a century after cities put up freeways, many of those roads are reaching the end of their useful lives. But instead of replacing them, a growing number of cities are thinking it makes more sense just to tear them down.

To Clevelanders like Judie Vegh, the whole idea of tearing down a freeway just sounds crazy. "I think it's a pretty bad idea for commuters because I commute every morning downtown," she says. Read more here.

Wifi? Google HQ Installs First Wireless Electric Car Charger
The system is the first to offer consumers a simple way to charge their EVs with the ease of hands-free, automatic technology.

Google is famous for giving the digital generation what it wants, so it only makes sense that the search giant would branch out into other technologies it feels are worth of its attention. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that they would already be dabbling in smart grid technologies, and positioning themselves to be a leader in the future of both energy creation and distribution. Read more here.

Battery A Battery That Charges in Seconds
Imagine being able to charge your cell phone in a matter of seconds or your laptop in a few minutes. That might soon be possible, thanks to a new kind of nanostructured battery electrode developed by scientists at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The researchers found that their electrode can charge and discharge up to 100 times faster than existing devices while holding the same amount of energy.

High-storage batteries that could charge and discharge quickly might make a number of still-marginal technologies much more attractive. For example, if you could recharge an electric car in minutes rather than hours, filling up your battery at a charging station would take no longer than the amount of time it takes to buy a tank of gas. Read more here.

Spill Source of latest Gulf oil spill determined
Just hours after a new sizable oil slick was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, a Houston-based energy company came forward to claim responsibility for the latest round of crude tainting the area.

Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners issued a statement last night expressing "surprise" that what it claimed was a minor leak from a well that's been out of use for some time could have produced miles-long slicks that garnered national media attention. The company has been in the process of permanently plugging the well -- located in a shallow area about 30 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La. Anglo-Suisse owned a cluster of five platforms in that area that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Read more here.

Pollan Author Michael Pollan explains the war on food movement
Ian Brown sits down with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and god of the food movement

IAN BROWN: Why is there a backlash against foodies, in favor of Big Agriculture?

MICHAEL POLLAN: You know how journalists work. They like to set up that kind of tension. But I think it's not that simple." Read more here.

Local
Boats Army Corps zeros in on rail route
NEW BEDFORD — Buses would get caught in traffic. Doing nothing is not an option. Attleboro is too problematic. So the Army Corps of Engineers has written a draft environmental report flagging Stoughton as the best option for extending commuter rail to Southeastern Massachusetts.

It's the same conclusion reached twice before when the state did environmental impact statements. But now the federal government is on board, clearing the way for the rest of the permitting process. Read more here.
Commentary - This commuter train is already running late

Rail route Patrick administration picks Stoughton route for South Coast Rail project
FALL RIVER — A commuter rail line using the existing Stoughton route has been chosen as the preferred path for linking Fall River and New Bedford to Boston, the state announced Monday.

Fall River would have two downtown rail stops whether the Stoughton route or another route through Attleboro was chosen. A third, far cheaper alternative option — a dedicated bus line along Route 24 — was rejected.

Among the two rail choices, the Attleboro route would have been costlier, included longer commuting times and taken longer to build than the Stoughton line. Read more here.
Commentary - OUR VIEW: Full speed ahead on South Coast Rail

Hy-Line Cruises now sees opportunity in Cape Wind project
A Massachusetts ferry company that once raised concerns about construction of a wind farm in Nantucket Sound is now embracing the energy project as a tourist destination.

Hy-Line Cruises and wind farm developer Cape Wind are scheduled to announce a deal Monday to create tours of planned 130 wind turbines being erected off the coast of Cape Cod. Read more here.

Clean up the environment? It's in the bag
Snagged in bare trees or flapping on a chain link fence, plastic shopping bags have become an unwelcome feature of the contemporary landscape.

Given away freely at grocery and department stores, the pesky bags litter city streets and gravitate to many suburban lawns.

But this weekend, shoppers in New Bedford and Dartmouth have an opportunity to break their plastic habit with the help of the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District. Read more here.
More coverage - Local municipalities to offer free cloth shopping bags

Mills Bicycle sharing program explored
Following Boston's lead, officials in Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville are kicking the tires on a regional bicycle-sharing program that, if approved, could launch within each of the communities in the next year and eventually expand to Arlington.

But setting up the regional program is complex, according to Nicole Freedman, Boston's director of bicycle programs, who said that though the city would like to launch bike sharing this year, nothing has been finalized. "It's essentially trying to start an entirely new transportation system,'' she said. Read more here.

State generates energy for green programs
The state's energy efficiency is a model for the rest of the country, a top Patrick administration official said yesterday.

Philip Giudice, the state's energy undersecretary, emphasized the administration's work to create opportunities for private companies, drop energy consumption, reduce waste and increase renewable energy use. Read more here.

Protesters NRC OK's 20-year extension for Vt. nuclear plant
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant a 20-year license extension yesterday, but the plant must still get state legislative approval to continue operating after its original license expires next year.

The NRC instructed its staff to issue the renewal March 10, the day before the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, but then placed a hold on the license because agency staff were too busy aiding Japan. Read more here.

Disaster raises fears on aging N.E. plants
The Japan nuclear crisis could not have come at a worse moment for New England's aging nuclear plants — heightening public concern about their safety at the very moment they seek to extend the plants' operating lives.

Vermont Yankee and the Pilgrim Nuclear Station in Plymouth, Mass., are nearing the end of their 40-year licenses and have sought approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate two more decades, as has the newer Seabrook Station in New Hampshire. The Yankee and Pilgrim reactors have the same design as the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. And yesterday, President Obama called for a safety review of all US nuclear plants. Read more here.

Is relicensing Pilgrim a risk worth taking?
So the Pilgrim 1 nuclear power plant in Plymouth is the second-most likely American power plant to have its reactor compromised by an earthquake.

That little nugget of information — that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission itself last year recalculated the likelihood of a damaging event at Plymouth down from 1 in 125,000 to a nerve-wracking 1 in 15,000 — doesn't sit easy on the mind. Read more here.

MBTA Composting of food scraps draws earthy crowd in R.I.
Americans throw away enough food each year to fill Yankee Stadium 130 times, one of the speakers at a composting conference said Tuesday.

"Would it smell as bad?" joked one of the recycling enthusiasts -- and an apparent Red Sox fan -- in the audience of 150 to 200 at the Rhode Island School of Design's Metcalf Auditorium. Read more here.

Wind project foes cite impact on property values
Critics of a wind energy project proposed for the town warned at a hearing Wednesday night that the nearly 500-foot turbines would be a nuisance to neighbors and a drag on residential property values.

Glen Berkowitz, president of Beaufort Windpower LLC, which is proposing six wind turbines on five different cranberry bogs in the town, told the Zoning Board of Appeals that his company is committed to avoiding negative impacts on residents. Read more here.

Somerset seeks bids for land parcel
Area farmers have a chance to bid on a town-owned parcel off Wilbur Avenue that the town has leased for farming for years.

Those interested in bidding on the 122-acre property must submit a bid on how much they are willing to pay in rent and what they plan to do with the property. The lease will last one year, beginning on or about Thursday, April 28, with two optional one-year renewal terms at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

"What Is A Watershed?" Geology Walk with Josh King

March 26, 10:00 am - 12:00 p.m., Westport Town Farm
Josh King will lead a walk at Westport Town Farm, focusing on the geology of the Westport River watershed and the movement of water through our watershed. The Westport Town Farm is managed by the Trustees of Reservations, who have a lot of great programs at the Farm and elsewhere throughout the year. Details here.

Seal Walk on Mishaum Point

March 27, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm, Mishaum Point
Join DNRT and guest leader Mark Mello (Research Director at the Lloyd Center) to walk Mishaum Point. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call DNRT at 508-991-2289. Details here.

'New Beginnings' Organic Gardening Talk

March 29, 7:30 PM, The Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Museum, 396 County Street, New Bedford
SEMAP in collaboration with The Rotch-Jones-Duff House and local organic landscaper and gardener, Jessica Duphily Cook to offer a ‘New Beginnings’ talk on how to design and prepare your garden for springtime planting.  Learn more about the positive benefits of growing and enjoying your own vegetables, fruit and herbs.  Program content will provide an overview of organic gardening techniques and tried-and-true methods to guide you in creating a healthy landscape and beautiful garden environment.  Don’t miss this opportunity to begin your garden planning and kick-start the growing season!Details here.


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Seal and Bird Watching with the Lloyd Center at Cuttyhunk Island

April 2, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Copicut Rd, Cuttyhunk Ferry Company parking lot, 66B State Pier (off route 18) South Bulkhead, New Bedford *Rain date April 3
During early spring, coastal waters are active with migratory movements with many overwintering seals still present. At Gull Island, a small sandbar situated along the Elizabeth Island chain between Cuttyhunk and Penikese, seals haul-out at low tide. Harbor, Grey, and Harp seals and an occasional rarity may be viewed. Common seabirds such as eiders, scoters, and cormorants, and rarer species such as gannets, may be seen while on the boat. Details here.

Asian Longhorned Beetle Tree Survey - Volunteers Needed

April 2, 11:00am – 1:00 pm, Brooklawn Park (1997 Acushnet Avenue), New Bedford
In effort to protect New Bedford's trees from Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), the City of New Bedford and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources will conduct a tree survey at Brooklawn Park in New Bedford. City officials are seeking volunteers to help with the surveying process, no experience is necessary. As of yet, there have been no confirmed reports of ALB in New Bedford. Individuals interested in participating should meet at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 2, 2011 (rain date Sunday April 3, 2011) at the Brooklawn Community Center (located in Brooklawn Park, 1997 Acushnet Avenue), where a brief training session is planned. All supplies will be provided, including binoculars and refreshments. Volunteers should wear comfortable walking shoes or boots and bring drinking water. Please register for the event by calling the New Bedford Conservation Commission at (508) 991-6188. Details here.

Fuel Efficient Vehicles for Municipalities

April 6, 10–11 am, Webinar
With Steve Russell, Alternative Transportation Program Coordinator. Learn how your municipality can purchase fuel efficient vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save money for the city or town. Details here.

Utility Energy Service Contracts and Energy Project Incentive Funds

April 7, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., Webinar
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) will present a webcast on Utility Energy Service Contracts and Energy Project Incentive Funds on Thursday, April 7, 2011. Presenters Julia Kelly of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Phil Coleman of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and David McAndrew of FEMP will discuss how Federal agencies can partner with local utilities to fund energy improvement projects. Details here.

Hazard Tree Assessment

April 9, 9-11 AM, Bristol Community College, Room D108
Free educational program to be presented by Dennis Brodeur, -ISA and MCA volunteer arborist. Open to tree stewards, tree committee members and interested citizens. Details here.

Fall River Street Tree Planting Program Annual Meeting

April 9, 7 PM, Bristol Community College, Room C110
Please attend! Quorum needed! Open to tree stewards, tree committee members and interested citizens. Details here.

Woodcock Wanderings

April 9, 6:30 - 7:30PM, Copicut Rd, Fall River
Some guys will go to great lengths to attract members of the opposite sex. The reclusive American Woodcock is best known for its spectacular spring courtship flight. Staking out his territory, the male sings a nasal "peent" from an open clearing. He then takes flight, spiraling upward while the wind makes a whistling sound through his feathers. Dropping back to earth, he returns to the exact spot where he began to repeat the display over and over. Join Tom Athearn of Green Futures on this walk to witness the spring dance of the woodcock. Details here.

Sustainability Film Series: Tapped

April 13, 6:30 PM, UMass Dartmouth CVPA (Group 6) room 153
Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? Stephanie Soechtig's debut feature is an unflinching examination of the big business of bottled water. From the producers of 'Who Killed the Electric Car' and 'I.O.U.S.A.,' this timely documentary is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. Details here.

AHA! Night Sustainable Earth

April 14, 6:00 PM, Downtown New Bedford
The climate is changing, and it's time to make a statement. The evening will be filled with fun, as the group parades along the procession route with their eco-floats moving to the beat of the New Bedford High School Whalers Marching Band and NBPS All-City Middle School Marching Band & Colorguard. Eco-floats are anything a person or group can wear, roll, or carry along the procession route. The topics of this event are all about reducing, reusing, and recycling. All this begins at 5pm at Custom House Square (corner of William Street and Acushnet Avenue) The procession will begin at 5:30pm, travel through the downtown historic district, along Acushnet Avenue to the reviewing stand at 6pm where Mother Earth and Father Ocean will then be crowned. Everyone is welcome! Details here.

"Shrink Your Footprint Fair" is at AHA!

April 14, 6:30 - 8:00 PM, Ocean Explorium
The 4th annual Shrink Your Footprint Fair has teamed up with April's AHA! (Art History Architecture) night, themed Sustainable Earth. Hosted by the Ocean Explorium, the Fair will feature workshops for adults, teens, and families on how to live an economically healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. The fair will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at the Ocean Explorium, 174 Union Street, New Bedford, MA, following the Earth Eve parade. The event will feature workshops, exhibits, and vendors. Three workshops will be held, including "Sustainability 101" by the Marion Institute and P.O.W.E.R.; "Local Food: Your Carbon Food-print" by SEMAP and the SouthCoast Energy Challenge; and "Climate Youth Leadership" by ACE (the Alliance for Climate Education).

New Bedford Earth Day Parade

April 16, 1:00 PM, Custom House Square, New Bedford
Join the fun and march with us as we carry our "people-powered" papier maché float through downtown New Bedford to celebrate Earth Day. It's all happening as part of New Bedford's April AHA! Architecture Night, a FREE arts culture event that takes place on the second Thursday of every month in downtown. Details here.

Atlantic White Cedar Planting

April 16, 9AM - 12Noon, Copicut Woods
Celebrate the approach of Arbor Day by helping to plant Atlantic White Cedar trees as part of our cedar swamp restoration project. Seedlings grown in our tree nursery are now ready to be planted in the swamp to ensure this rare and beautiful forest type is around for generations to come. Wear boots and clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. Details here.

Electronics Recycling Day

April 16, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Westport
WRWA is hosting the 5th annual Computer and Electronics Recycling day on April 30th, so start gathering up all of your batteries, lightbulbs, computers, and electronics. The event was a big success last few years with tens of thousands of pounds of electronics recycled. Complete Recycling Solutions from Fall River will return this year to help rid you of unwanted technology at special discounted rates. For a pdf of accepted items and their prices click here. Please note: cash and checks only, no credit/debit cards will be accepted. They will load all of the items into their trucks and then dispose of them properly and responsibly. Details here.

Roots Down - Free Organic Gardening Workshops

April 19, 5:00 PM, Lawler Branch Library, 745 Rockdale Ave, New Bedford
NEW THIS YEAR: In addition to our monthly topic we'll include a special, in-depth focus on a specific crop(s). This week - Seed Starting 101 & 102 plus Enjoying Greens All Season Long! Details here.

A Day of Discovery in Our Living Classroom: Campus and Community Lessons

April 20, 9-3 pm, Woodland Commons and Campus Forest, UMass Dartmouth
Please join us for part or all of our day of unveiling and discussing our Living Classroom Initiative. The Living Classroom serves as the bridge between the University's traditional educational resources, the larger community and our natural environment. On April 20th, you can explore our newly-opened forest trails, join community members to discuss local agriculture and forestry initiatves, learn about the state-of-the-art energy projects planned for our campus, and help us to toast our 2011 Green Campus Awardees including Lyndsi Shusler (student), Facilities Designer Elizabeth Bender (staff), Political Science Professor Robert Darst (faculty), SEEAL Director Jennifer Marshall-Grantham (Community), and the Purchasing Department. Details will be posted shortly. Details here.

South Coast Sustainable Cinema - Food Matters

April 21, 7 p.m.- 9 p.m., Tabor Academy, Marion
'Food Matters' is a hard hitting, fast paced look at our current state of health. Despite the billions of dollars of funding and research into new so-called cures we continue to suffer from a raft of chronic ills and every day maladies. The film sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide 'Sickness Industry' and exposes a growing body of scientific evidence proving that nutritional therapy can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than most conventional medical treatments. Details here.

Earth Day Beach Clean-up

April 23, 10 a.m.- 12 p.m., Tabor Academy, Marion
After a long and cold winter, get out and enjoy the spring air while preparing local beaches for the summer sun. Join the Westport River Watershed Alliance to clean up some of the shoreline areas of Westport, MA. Clean-ups will be held at Cherry & Webb Beach, Gooseberry Island, and East Beach. You can choose any one of the locations and someone will be there with trash pickers, trash bags, gloves, and refreshments. Call (508)636-3016 or e-mail outreach@wrwa.com with any questions or to let us know you're coming. Details here.

Exploring Vernal Pools

April 30, 9 a.m to 11 a.m., Russells Mills, Dartmouth
Meet at Russel Mills parking lot. Fee: FREE. Join Education Coordinator Shelli Costa in an up-close and personal exploration of some local vernal pools. These seasonal water bodies provide crucial breeding habitat for mole salamanders, wood frogs, and other species. We will be getting our hands wet looking for frog/salamander eggs and other critters that are dependant on these pools. Details here.

Sustainability Film Series: Inside Job

April 13, 6:30 PM, UMass Dartmouth CVPA (Group 6) room 153
'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. Learn more at http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/ or http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Job-Matt-Damon/dp/B0041KKYBA Details here.

American Chestnut Returns

April 30, 10 a.m., The Bioreserve
The once mighty American Chestnut was virtually wiped out by a blight that was introduced more than 100 years ago. But now, thanks to the work of the American Chestnut Foundation, this keystone species is ready to make a comeback. Come learn about the status of the American Chestnut today, the plans to reintroduce blight-resistant trees to our forests and parks, and how you can help these majestic trees return to their rightful place in the New England landscape. Details here.


Leaf Bullet Announcements
Local Agriculture Opportunities
Building Agricultural Skills for the Southcoast - Our apprenticeship program is at the heart of our on farm educational programs. In 2009, we initiated a formal apprenticeship program through collaboration with 2 New Bedford community organizations to provide a summertime urban agricultural apprenticeship. This season we are expanding our training programs to offer full-season agricultural production apprenticeships, as well as hope to continue our urban agriculture partnerships. Come learn the craft of organic agriculture on a small scale diversified vegetable farm.  Learn more here or here (PDF)
New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest
The New Bedford Conservation Commission is proud to announce the first ever New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest! We are looking for your best photograph(s) of any flora, fauna, or natural landscape in New Bedford’s wetlands. The goal of this contest is for everyone to become more aware of wetlands in New Bedford and of their beauty and benefit to the environment. Photographs will be displayed at New Bedford City Hall and the public can vote for their favorite photo(s). The top 12 photographs will have their credited picture in the 2012 Conservation Commission electronic calendar. There is also a drawing to win great prizes just for entering the photo contest. Pictures will be accepted until September 30, voting begins October – November 4th and winners will be announced in December.

For more information and to read official rules, view New Bedford wetland locations and to print an entry form visit  http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/WetlandPhotoContest.htm
2011 Decision Maker Workshops with The Coalition for Buzzards Bay
In the winter of 2011, The Coalition for Buzzards Bay will be hosting a mini-series of workshops for the region's Decision Makers on the topic of Reducing Nitrogen Pollution in Wastewater. These two, free workshops will be highly beneficial for individuals whose professional or community work involves the management of wastewater or natural resources. To register for either workshop, contact Rob Hancock at 508-999-6363 ext 222 or Hancock@savebuzzardsbay.org. More details here.
DOE Technical Assistance Program February Webinar Schedule
The DOE offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. No travel, no lost time out of the office, and no cost - The DOE makes it easy to get the information you need, today. Join your colleagues to better understand how the DOE can help you lower operating costs, improve your energy management program, and expand your professional development. See the schedule here.
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Happy New Year from everyone here at the Marion Institute, where to celebrate 2011 we have just introduced our $7 Carbon Diet which is your chance to offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to our Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. So here's hoping you, and our planet, have a great new year. Donate here.
Sustainability Assessment: Responsibility and Renewal
Our sustainability assessment, "Responsibility and Renewal," the work of dozens of UMD community members, was published a few weeks ago. Packed with information about our current state and our collective dreams, the publication is available online at: http://issuu.com/umdpublications/docs/responsibility_renewal_assessment We also have beautiful printed copies for use in classes and offices--call us for more information. Download it here (PDF).
Sustainability Newsletter for Fall/Winter
We've launched out fall/winter newsletter! Check out articles about our Living Classroom project, the restoration of the Cedar Dell Vista, our partnership with John Perkins, our mill project in New Bedford, and much more. Download it here (PDF).
New Bedford's Ocean Explorium seeks volunteers
The Ocean Explorium is currently in need of adult volunteers for our admissions and gift shop operations.

All volunteers for the Ocean Explorium receive training, uniform shirts and other benefits. Volunteers are invited to learn about aquarium operations, behind the scenes as well as in the public eye. Learn more here.
Brix Bounty Farm Hosts 3rd Annual Winter Studies Series 2010/2011
Mondays at 7 PM (with an option to join us at 6PM for a simple Soup, Salad, and Bread Potluck Supper) 2 Six-week Sessions Session I: Mondays Dec 13th – Jan 24th. Focus on Community, Economics, & Agriculture Projects.

Session II:  Mondays Feb 7th – Mar 14th – Topic:  “Sustainable Agriculture In Depth"

Mondays February 7,14,21,28 & March 7,14 2011- Winter Study Session II at Brix Bounty Farm – Focus “Agriculture in Depth” - We’ll cover two texts:  Biological Transmutations by C.L. Kervran and Anatomy of Life & Energy in Agriculture by Arden. B. Andersen.

Join us we examine 3 pieces which explore future possibilities for a more complete and viable economic system focusing on sustainable wealth and community connections. Learn more here.

SEMAP Announces First-Ever Membership Drive!
At Thursday's Annual Meeting, SEMAP's executive director, Bridget Alexander Ferreira, announced SEMAP's first-ever membership drive. "We want to keep the momentum from the relaunch going," said Alexander Ferreira. "Our goal is 500 new and renewing members by January 1, 2011," she continued. With SEMAP's newly established 501(c)(3) designation as a charitable non-profit, donations are now tax deductible and with the new website, memberships can be taken on-line. Invest in your community – invest in you - support SEMAP. See "Get Involved" above to become a member, volunteer or sponsor. Join here.
EPA Webcasts and Podcasts: Local Climate and Energy Webcasts
The Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series assists local governments as they explore topics related to local government climate change and clean energy efforts. These monthly webcasts highlight EPA resources available to local governments and present examples of successful climate and energy programs and policies implemented locally. Presentations, recordings, and other supplemental materials are available sorted by topic or sorted by date. Learn more here.
Coalition For Buzzards Bay seeks many positions
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay is growing and we are looking for talented, energetic, and passionate staff members and volunteers to help further our mission. Check out the opportunities here.
Take Action: Help Support EECBG Funding
We need your help. In order to secure ongoing funding for the EECBG program, we must show how cities and counties are effectively using their EECBG dollars to create jobs, reduce energy consumption and curb carbon pollution. The Energy Block Grants Work! campaign invites you to join us in showcasing how your community and your colleagues throughout the nation are effectively using your EECBG funding. Right now we need information on how your community is using its EECBG funding. We will develop a profile of your clean energy projects for our national report and include your locality among the many EECBG stories we intend to promote.

The EECBG program will not be funded again if cities and counties sit on the sidelines. With your support, we can successfully demonstrate that Energy Block Grants Work! Learn about the grants here.
Essay Contest for Kids and Teens
Like A Drop of Water's writing contest offers young people, ages eight through seventeen, world wide the opportunity to share their ideas on how they and their countries can reduce climate change and pollution. We hope parents, grandparents and teachers will feel free to share their ideas with their young author. Teachers and their students may submit a class essay as well as serve as judges. Learn about the contest here.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
LawnDitch the Lawn Chemicals for Organics
Ahh spring ... the TruGreen and ChemLawn yard signs are popping up as the smell of synthetic chemicals fill the air.

It might make you cringe knowing that tons of toxic chemicals are dumped on lawns and public grounds every year to jolt grass and plants to life. But much of these artificial fertilizers also seep into the water table, or turn to dust and blow through the air we breathe. They even cling to pets and people who walk, run and play on treated grass. Learn more here.

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