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April 7 to 14, 2011

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Three Sustainability Films in three locations on three nights

AHA! Night - Sustainable Earth


Save The Date:

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

Exploring Vernal Pools



Do Something Reel Film Series

The Coaltion for Buzzards Bay is hiring!

Weekly Green Tip:

Choose a More Natural Shower Curtain

Clip of the Week

Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises
There are no real solutions, there are only responses." So say the expert contributors in The Post Carbon Reader, pointing to society's complex, interdependent systems squeezed by growing demand and declining resources.

Weekly Quote:

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
- H.G. Wells

Follow us!

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Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
Japan Seafood Japan sets new radiation safety level for seafood
The government set its first radiation safety standards for fish Tuesday after Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant reported radioactive contamination in nearby seawater measuring at several million times the legal limit.

The plant operator insisted that the radiation will rapidly disperse and that it poses no immediate danger, but an expert said exposure to the highly concentrated levels near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant could cause immediate injury and that the leaks could result in residual contamination of the sea in the area. Read more here.

Arctic freshwater pool could change climate
Scientists are monitoring a massive pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean that could spill into the Atlantic and potentially alter the key ocean currents that give Western Europe its moderate climate.

The oceanographers said yesterday that the unusual accumulation has been caused by Siberian and Canadian rivers dumping more water into the Arctic and from melting sea ice. Both are consequences of global warming. Read more here.

Algae Questions Emerge about Genetically Engineering Algae as Biofuels
For those wondering about the present-day status of developing algae into renewable fuels, rest assured, much is occurring. The field that is aggressively exploring the genetic modification of algae to produce superior strains of biofuels now has many big players, including companies like Exxon-Mobil, Sapphire Energy and Monsanto, to name a few.

While extensive research and development work such as this might be regarded as trailblazing work to a bright future for renewable energy, it also raises doubts among some about what the long-term effects might be for genetically modified strains of algae. Read more here.

Sealife Mutations Radiation in Japan Seas: Risk of Animal Death, Mutation?
In the past week, seawater samples taken near the nuclear power plant, on Japan's eastern coast, have shown elevated levels of radioactive isotopes, including cesium 137 and iodine 131, according to the New York Times. (See "Japan Tries to Avert Nuclear Disaster.")

All life on Earth and in the oceans lives with exposure to natural levels of ionizing radiation—high-frequency radiation with enough energy to change DNA. Most such genetic damage heals, but the addition of human-made radiation can make it harder for the body to repair broken genes. Read more here.

Fukushima Farmers For Fukushima's Farmers, Growing Uncertainty
As Japan continues to grapple with the effects of the March 11 earthquake, the prefecture of Fukushima faces some of the biggest challenges.

Fukushima's roads were damaged in the earthquake, its coast was battered by the tsunami, and now leaking radiation around the crippled Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has made parts of the prefecture unlivable.

The tsunami pushed seawater more than 2 miles inland in some places. Rail lines in Fukushima — Japan's third-largest prefecture — were destroyed along the coast; train traffic still hasn't resumed through the prefecture. Radiation from the leaking nuclear complex has forced tens of thousands of residents from their homes. The sale of many vegetables from Fukushima has been banned. Read more here.

Ozone Hole Arctic ozone levels in never-before-seen plunge
The ozone layer has seen unprecedented damage in the Arctic this winter due to cold weather in the upper atmosphere. By the end of March, 40% of the ozone in the stratosphere had been destroyed, against a previous record of 30%.

The ozone layer protects against skin cancer, but the gas is destroyed by reactions with industrial chemicals. Read more here.

Honey Bees Study reveals how bees reject 'toxic' pesticides
Bees can detect pesticide residues in the pollen they bring back to the hive and try to isolate it from the rest of the colony, the American government's leading bee scientist revealed in London yesterday.

They "entomb" the contaminated pollen in cells which are sealed over, so they cannot be used for food, said Dr Jeffrey Pettis, head of the Bee Research Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture. Read more here.

Mangroves Among the Most Carbon-Rich Forests in the Tropics; Coastal Trees Key to Lowering Greenhouse Gases
Coastal mangrove forests store more carbon than almost any other forest on Earth, according to a study conducted by a team of U.S. Forest Service and university scientists. Their findings are published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

A research team from the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest and Northern research stations, University of Helsinki and the Center for International Forestry Research examined the carbon content of 25 mangrove forests across the Indo-Pacific region and found that per hectare mangrove forests store up to four times more carbon than most other tropical forests around the world. Read more here.

World Bank proposes to limit funding to coal plants
Following years of criticism from environmentalists and some governments the World Bank has proposed new rules regarding carbon-intensive coal plants, reports the Guardian. The new rules would allow lending for coal-fired plants only to the world's poorest nations and would only lend after other alternatives, such as renewable energy, had been ruled out.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has spoken a number of times of the need for nations to move away from fossil fuels in order to combat climate change, but the World Bank has still provided massive loans for fossil fuel projects. Last year it faced steep criticism after approving a $3.75 billion loan to South Africa to build one of the world's largest coal-fired plants. Read more here.

Ethiopia moving ahead on Nile dam
Defiant of Egypt's historic monopoly over its flow, Ethiopia is pushing ahead with a controversial plan to build a massive dam on the Nile river. Egypt and Sudan have maintained control of the Nile through a series of laws originally brokered by colonial powers in 1929.

But last May, six upstream countries signed a legally binding document that dispossessed Egypt of its right to veto decisions regarding the Nile's distribution. Buoyed by President Hosni Mubarak's recent ouster, and undaunted by criticism, Ethiopia insists that it will proceed with its plan even without international support. Read more here.

Cancun U.N. climate talks risk backsliding on Cancun outcome
Arguments over the agenda that have stalled U.N. climate talks in Bangkok this week show that some nations are trying to row back from hard-won agreements reached last December, Russia said on Wednesday.

The December deal in Cancun included a Green Climate Fund to manage $100 billion a year in aid to poor nations by 2020 and to limit a rise in average world temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. Read more here.

Wind Turbines Shift fossil fuel subsidies to back clean tech: IEA
Fossil fuel subsidies worth $312 billion should be realigned to ensure the growth of renewable energy and curb the world's reliance on carbon-intensive fuels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report.

Demand for fossil fuels is outstripping the deployment of cleaner technologies. Renewable energy has seen growth rates of 30 to 40 percent over recent years but coal has met 47 percent of global new electricity demand over the past decade, the IEA said in its "Clean Energy Progress Report" on Wednesday. Read more here.

Extinction Multitude of Species Face Climate Threat
Over the past 540 million years, life on Earth has passed through five great mass extinctions. In each of those catastrophes, an estimated 75 percent or more of all species disappeared in a few million years or less.

For decades, scientists have warned that humans may be ushering in a sixth mass extinction, and recently a group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, tested the hypothesis. They applied new statistical methods to a new generation of fossil databases. As they reported last month in the journal Nature, the current rate of extinctions is far above normal. If endangered species continue to disappear, we will indeed experience a sixth extinction, over just the next few centuries or millennia. Read more here.

Checken Feather Plastics Advance Toward Making Biodegradable Plastics from Waste Chicken Feathers
In a scientific advance literally plucked from the waste heap, scientists have described a key step toward using the billions of pounds of waste chicken feathers produced each year to make one of the more important kinds of plastic. They described the new method at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, being held in Anaheim, California the week of March 28. Read more here.

Green Car Energy Choices Are Bearing Down On Us, With Hard-To-Swallow Costs In Tow
Energy is not a thing.

It is not a cell phone. It is not a PS3. It is not a new Lexus. It is not a product in the sense we denizens of consumer culture have become so comfortable embracing. Find an intro-to-physics book, look up "energy" and you will find something like "the ability to do work." Read more here.

Puma Could Be First Brand To Measure Impact on Ecosystem Services
Sports and lifestyle brand Puma has instituted a new accounting methodology that it says will lead to the first-ever Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) statement. The EP&L statement will attempt to measure the full economic impact of the brand on ecosystem services

Ecosystem services is the term given to the valuable, natural functions of the planet’s ecological systems, such as water and air filtration. For years, sustainability advocates have called for corporate accounting systems that recognize the value of these services in an effort to protect and preserve them. Read more here.

Windows Government Scientists Put See-Through Solar Windows on the Fast Track
A company called New Energy Technologies, Inc. is getting a little help from the federal government to push its new transparent solar window coating out of the lab and into the hands of building owners. That help comes in the form of government researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as part of an ambitious program to help start-ups and other companies get new solar technologies off the ground, create more green jobs, and lower the cost of installed solar energy. Read more here.

GM Tops Clean Energy Patent List for 2010
GM registered the most clean energy patents in 2010, pushing Honda out of the top spot for the first time since 2002. 2010 was also a record year for cleantech patents in the US, according to the index published by law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C..

The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) reports 1,181 patents for the year, up by more than 170% over 2009 levels. That marks the largest year-to-year jump since the index began, and more than three times the difference between 2008 to 2009 figures. Read more here.

Editorial: No to a New Tar Sands Pipeline
Later this year, the State Department will decide whether to approve construction of a 1,700-mile oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast called Keystone XL. The underground 36-inch pipeline, built by TransCanada, would link the tar sands fields of northern Alberta to Texas refineries and begin operating in 2013. The department should say no.

State is involved because the pipeline would cross an international boundary. Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton first said she was “inclined” to support it, but has lately sounded more neutral. An environmental assessment carried out by her department last year was sharply criticized by the Environmental Protection Agency for understating the project’s many risks. The department has since undertaken another environmental review that will soon be released for public comment. It needs to be thorough and impartial. Read more here.

GrandinHow Happy Was Your Meal?
Dr. Temple Grandin says she knows the mind of a cow.

It’s not a fuzzy assertion—Grandin, an animal scientist at Colorado State University, is one of the hardest-nosed researchers you’ll ever meet. She is autistic and claims that she literally thinks like an animal—in pictures. She notices details that most people tune out—such as a hat dangling on a fence or a shiny reflection that could spook cattle. Read more here.

Secretary Chu Announces Over $110 Million in SunShot Projects to Advance Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing in the United States
Solar Manufacturing Partnerships will boost American competitiveness in the global solar energy industry and lower the cost of clean, renewable energy
As part of the SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the selection of up to $112.5 million over five years for funding to support the development of advanced solar photovoltaic (PV)-related manufacturing processes throughout the United States. The Department’s SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships will help the solar power industry overcome technical barriers and reduce costs for PV installations, help the U.S. regain the lead in the global market for solar technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come. Read more here.

Straws New Solar Thermal System Sucks More Energy from the Sun
A team from Wake Forest University is about to field-test a new home solar energy system that collects power not only from visible sunlight but from the sun’s heat, as well. The new solar-thermal system is still in the development stages but it has the potential to deliver a lot of renewable energy for the buck, so it could join a growing inventory of small scale distributed solar energy systems that turn homes and other buildings into micro-generators.

Wake Forest’s system consists of clear, thin tubes with a spray-on photovoltaic backing that converts visible sunlight to electricity. The backing also super-heats a a specially dyed oil that flows through the tubes. The heated oil could be integrated with a conventional geothermal heat pump, which would normally collect heat energy from the ground. Read more here.

Clean Tech Clean Tech venture funding hits $2.57 billion
Venture capitalists invested $2.57 billion in the clean technology sector in the first quarter, up 31 percent from a year earlier, with most of the money going to companies involved in solar power.

That was the most money invested into the space since the third quarter of 2008 -- when the financial crisis started -- a report from the San Francisco-based consulting company Cleantech Group LLC said on Tuesday. Read more here

71% of American Workers Value Employers’ Sustainability Commitments
American workers seek employment with organizations that are both financially successful and mindful about their impact on the environment, according to a new study on workplace values from Interface, Inc.

A public opinion survey conducted by Harris Interactive National Quorum on behalf of Interface, Inc. reveals that 63% of full-time workers believe a company’s impact on the environment is vital when evaluating a new workplace, and 61% say the same about the company’s profit margin. Meanwhile, an even greater majority—71%—value a commitment to sustainability, defined in this study as “environmental protection,” as an important or very important criteria. Read more here

BioLabel First USDA ‘BioPreferred’ Labels Granted to 60 Products
Biobased cleaning products, engine oils, and even biobased fiber spun into carpet and clothes are among the first products granted the new USDA BioPreferred label.

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan unveiled the first 60 products to receive the label, which designates biobased products that are composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients--renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. Read more here

In New York, E-Waste Recycling Law Takes Effect
A state law took effect on Friday requiring electronics manufacturers to make it free and convenient for New York residents to recycle their old or broken computers, television sets and gadgets. Although the widespread efforts will begin right away, it may take a while for that convenience to kick in.

Environmental advocates and New York City officials say that manufacturers have gotten off to a slow start educating the public and posting information on their Web sites about how consumers should proceed. Read more here

Kalia Lydgate Young Activist Creates Local Jobs While Promoting Sustainability
Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA, Kalia Lydgate's family often found themselves in financial straits. "I grew up in a poor neighborhood and things got rough for me. The Redwoods and the ocean--they became a kind of sanctuary."

Kalia's mother, an artist, introduced her to activism early on and she grew fascinated with the intersection of social justice and sustainability. "My mother worked with the Free Tibet movement," says Kalia, 24. "I remember meeting monks who had been tortured in Chinese prisons for decades, exposed to racism." Read more here

Our view: Turbines in South End look better all the time
New Bedford today is different than it was eight years ago, when the idea of powering the city's wastewater treatment plant with wind turbines was first proposed.

Budgets were bolstered much more generously by state aid and federal grants, and furloughs and layoffs were not part of the mayor's fiscal policy.

But wind power at Fort Taber was already a good idea in 2003, and it's a better idea now. Read more here.

Train City hoping to reverse population drop with commuter rail option
FALL RIVER — The city could reverse a decades-long population slide once it gets a rail link to Boston, city and regional officials have hoped for years.

A step forward was made last week when Mayor Will Flanagan unveiled plans for rezoning part of the waterfront and an area surrounding the proposed Fall River Depot station off the western end of President Avenue.

Attracting new residents is a priority, by either including housing directly in redevelopment projects or building commercial and office space that would make people want to move close by, Flanagan said. Read more here.

Gauging effect of rail service on population imprecise, data show
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says Rhode Island and Massachusetts are one of 24 states vying for $2.4 billion in federal aid that became available when Florida's governor canceled a high-speed rail project.

Rhode Island has asked for $31 million total for three projects — including adding a third track in at the station in South Kingstown, as well as studies about possible improvements at stations in Providence and at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick. Read more here.

RI, Mass. among states vying for high-speed train money
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says Rhode Island and Massachusetts are one of 24 states vying for $2.4 billion in federal aid that became available when Florida's governor canceled a high-speed rail project.

Rhode Island has asked for $31 million total for three projects — including adding a third track in at the station in South Kingstown, as well as studies about possible improvements at stations in Providence and at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick. Read more here.

Kerry, Frank and Keating ask for more fishing help
Sen. John Kerry and U.S. Representatives Barney Frank and Bill Keating asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke yesterday to allow fishermen to catch more fish next year – but stay within overall catch limits.

Fishermen are under a new management regime coupled with stricter catch limits on many species, and some say they are being forced out of New England’s historic fishing industry at a time when fish are finally coming back. Read more here.

Nuclear Fuel Pools Jam-packed spent fuel pools raise safety questions at region's nuclear plants
In an effort to preserve profits, New England's nuclear power-plant operators are stuffing spent nuclear fuel rods into already crowded storage pools that many believe are more dangerous than the reactors.

The spent-fuel pools at New England's oldest plants now hold up to five times more fuel than they were designed to handle. Pilgrim Nuclear Power Generating Station in Plymouth, for example, which was originally licensed to store 880 fuel assemblies in its pool, currently holds nearly 3,000. Read more here.

Slight radiation found in state air sample
Health officials in Massachusetts say a very low level of radioiodine has been detected in a routine air sample collected this week.

The state health department said Friday the March 29 sample was only slightly above the lowest detectable level, and is consistent with findings reported around the country since radiation leaks from a Japanese nuclear power plant was damaged by this month's earthquake and tsunami. The department said federal regulators have described the findings as being "hundreds of thousands to millions of times below levels of concern." Read more here.

State appeals to trawling giant to reconsider shutdown
NEW BEDFORD — As shock waves from the sudden closing of the NORPEL fish processing plant on Tuesday reverberate along the city's waterfront, state officials say they are reaching out to prevent the business from collapsing.

Richard K. Sullivan Jr., secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, told The Standard-Times on Wednesday he has personally communicated with company president Brady Schofield." Read more here.

Dartmouth wind energy project lands $400,000 grant
Plans to install two wind turbines at Dartmouth's water treatment facility on Chase Road received a boost Thursday with the announcement that the town has been awarded $400,000 for design and construction from the Commonwealth Wind Community Scale Wind Initiative.

Dartmouth's award was by far the largest among seven grants, totaling more than $700,000, handed out by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to support wind energy projects. Read more here.

Oysters Guest Opinion: Aquaculture good for environment, economy, health
Have you enjoyed Oysters Rockefeller, clams casino, mussels marinara, or maybe Coquilles St. Jacques recently? Chances are those shellfish were cultured overseas and imported to the United States. This adds to the cost and often reduces product quality. The clams, oysters, mussels and scallops could just as easily have been grown in local waters, simultaneously supplying fresh markets, employing local people, reducing our imports and improving our national trade balance. Read more here.

Feds to study economic challenges at Northeast fishing ports
Without mentioning catch shares or sector management, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Wednesday it is deploying "economic assessment teams" to six Northeast fishing ports "to identify economic challenges and opportunities facing local industries and communities."

Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk told The Standard-Times she is pleased with the news, especially because the EPA will be one of the parties involved. Read more here.

GUEST OPINION: Building a U.S. infrastructure bank
By Sen. John F. Kerry and Tom Donohue
We have differences on so many issues. But there's too much at stake now for political parties to focus narrowly on the next election.

The 21st century can be another American century, but only if we rebuild our nation and do the things that will keep America exceptional for generations to come. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Organic Lawns for Homeowners Workshop

April 7, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., Coalition for Buzzards Bay
A practical skills workshop given by Northeast Organic Farming Association Accredited Landcare Professional Jessica Duphily Cook of Quintessentiual Gardens in Westport. All aspects of organic lawn installation, maintenance and cultural best practices will be reviewed. Workshop Fee: $25. For more information or to register contact Kathy Litchfield at (413) 773-3830 or Kathy@nofamass.org. 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.

NOFA Statewide Organic Lawn Days

April 9
Join a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional at one of 12 locations across the state to learn about how you can take care of your own lawn or property organically. These three-hour intensive workshops will cover site analysis, transitioning from conventional to organic management, compost, amendments, mowing and watering practices you can implement to have a beautiful, low-cost, synthetic chemical-free lawn. Hands-on component and handouts included. Workshops to be held in Monterey, Northampton, Amherst, Boylston, Salem, Newburyport, Natick, Barnstable, Dartmouth, Arlington, Stoneham and Ayer. For more info: Kathy@nofamass.org or call (413) 773-3830. 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.

South Coast Sustainable Cinema: Food Matters

April 12, 7:00 PM, Tabor Academy Lyndon South Auditorium, 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.

The Destination Farm in Transition: New England FarmWays Agritourism Training

April 12, 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Zukas Hilltop Barn, Spencer, MA
Transforming a farm location into a destination, a farm stand into a retail venue, an historic property into an education center or an agricultural landscape into a full-out family experience takes some doing. The rewards can be great and so are the challenges. The local food movement has given the farm new energy and visibility but doesn't automatically translate into making your farm a popular visitor spot. The economy, the weather, town politics, on the farm costs, and the changing habits of visitors make for interesting choices for the farm operator seeking to take advantage of the latest trends in agritourism. Farm operators from around New England and our friends in New York are invited to join us to share stories, experiences and ideas. Registration: $85. 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.

Southcoast Multi-Use Pathways Meetings

April 13 and April 19, 6:30 PM, Town Hall, Dartmouth
Supporters and riders of multi-use pathways are invited to a meeting Wednesday, April 13 in Room 315 to form the Dartmouth /Southcoast Pathway Supporters. There will also be a Regional "People on Bicycles Connecting Southcoast Communities" Regional Meeting in Room 304 on Tuesday April 19 at 5:30 PM. For more information, contact Wendy Henderson at 508.910.1804 or whenderson@town.dartmouth.ma.us.

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).

AHA! Night- Movie Screening of "A Chemical Reaction"

April 14, 7 pm, Coalition for Buzzards Bay
Do you want to have a vibrant, healthy lawn without the use of toxic chemicals? In conjunction with AHA New Bedford Earth Day Events will be a FREE screening of the award-winning documentary film 'A Chemical Reaction' by author of the "Organic Lawn Care Manual" and founder of SafeLawns, Paul Tukey. The film tells the inspirational story of how the town of Hudson, Quebec banned chemical lawn and garden pesticides in 1991 when focus was brought to the issue by dermatologist, Dr. June Irwin. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

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.

Outer Cape Birding and Whale Watching Tour

April 17, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Meet at Shaws parking lot, Route 6 in Dartmouth
Enjoy a true coastal spectacle when you join Lloyd Center Research Associate Jamie Bogart on a birding and whale watching expedition to the outer Cape, where like the Lloyd Center landscape, forest meets sea. You'll witness birds swirling over the ocean, soaring with the shoreline breezes, and fluttering through the forest in a region where spring migrants and resident species intermingle for a productive birding venture. Specific stops will include Pilgrim Heights, a great hawk watching location; Beech Forest, a forest ecosystem with great evolutionary significance and a great spot for songbird viewing; and Herring Cove Beach, from which, with any luck, endangered Northern Right Whales may be viewed from shore. After the beach stop you'll lunch in Provincetown near the pier before boarding the 'Dolphin Fleet' vessel for the whale watching tou to Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary, where the whales will be visible at close range. Register online or call our event registration phone at 508-558-2918. For specific questions about this event, please contact Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505-X23, or via email at jbogart@lloydcenter.org. Weather reschedule date: Saturday, April 23. Cost: Members: $55 Non-members: $63 Pre-registration required. Deadline April 14 at 4:00 PM. Limit 12 persons. Details here.

Bay Babies

April 18-22, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Newport Exploration Center and Aquarium
There is nothing cuter than baby animals! Come check out the babies at the Exploration Center, make a mobile, hunt for eggs everyday at 2:00 and have your picture taken with one of the Aquarium's most adorable residents. In addition to weekends, we are open April 18-22 for school vacation. 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.

Trade in your old light-bulbs for energy savers

April 23, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. while supplies last, Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers' Market
Don't miss your chance during Earth Week to save energy and money by taking your incandescent bulbs out of circulation. On April 23, visit Lights Out, Green In's table at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers' Market and swap up to 5 incandescent bulbs for energy-saving CFL bulbs. The best part - IT'S FREE. The offer lasts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. while supplies last. Reduce your carbon footprint with this simple and free exchange at the farmers market located at Hope Artiste Village (1005 Main St, Pawtucket). This offer comes thanks to a partnership with National Grid as well as a RI DEM Earth Day grant provided by J.R. Vinagro/Patriot Disposal of Johnston, RI.

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.

SouthCoast Energy Challenge Small Business Information Session

April 27, 5:30 - 7:00 PM, The Ginger Grill, 778 Purchase Street, New Bedford
Small business owners, find out how you can reduce your business carbon footprint with this new initiative. Light dinner and drinks will be served. For more information and to reserve your space contact Karen Malcolm, Marketing & Development Coordinator, SouthCoast Energy Challenge, A project of SEEAL (the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance), (508) 996-8253 x206. Details here.

Sustainability Film Series: Inside Job

April 27, 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.

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.

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.

The Big Walk

May 7, 9AM - 4PM, Westport Free Public Library
Strap on your hiking boots and experience the vastness of the unbroken forest on a walk that s the full length of the 13,600-acre Bioreserve. The full hike is 14 miles but pick-ups will be available at 4, 8 and 12 miles. Details here.

Spring on the Farm

May 7, 1-3:30PM, Buttonwood Park Zoo
The sun is up, the soil is warm and it's time to get busy. Plant seeds, visit the animals, and learn about life on the farm with crafts and activities. Details here.

Organic Lawn and Garden Care

May 14, 10am-12pm, Westport Free Public Library
FREE! Sarah LaValley will present an interactive lecture on organic lawn and garden care with the Westport River Watershed Alliance. Sarah will teach the proper mowing techniques, how to select proper plants, how to control pests, when to water, and the basic steps to achieving a beautiful chemical free lawn and garden that also conserves water and saves you money. Organic lawns and gardens work to keep additional Nitrogen from entering our streams and the Westport River. Details here.

American Chestnut Returns

May 15, 1:00 p.m., Fall River to New Bedford
SRPEDD, Mass in Motion and UMASS Dartmouth will be hosting a bike ride during Bay State Bike Week on Sunday, May 15th at 1pm. The ride will be between Fall River and New Bedford, with a group leaving each city and meeting in the middle at UMASS Dartmouth. The ride length between Fall River and UMASS is approximately 10 miles, and from New Bedford to UMASS approximately 12 miles. Details here.

South Coast Sustainable Cinema - Food Matters

May 19, 7-9 PM, Fairhaven Unitarian Memorial Church
"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.". Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Do Something Reel Film Festival
Whole Foods Market presents a series of free film screenings providing a moving, eye-opening look at how the choices we make can have a huge impact on our bodies, our economy and our environment.

April 6 - Bag it
April 13 - Planeat
April 20 - Vanishing of the Bees
April 27 - Urban Roots

Brought to you by Whole Foods Market, Eco RI and Hope Artiste Village. Movies will be played from 7:30-9pm in the Greenhouse room of the Wintertime Market on Wednesdays. Hosted by Whole Foods Market at the Wintertime Market at Hope Artiste Village: 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI. Contact Bonnie Frechette at (401) 621-5990 for more information. Learn more here.
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
Choose a More Natural Shower Curtain
Know that strong smell as you unfold your new vinyl shower curtain? Those are chemicals being released into your air. Learn more here.

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