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August 4 to 11, 2011

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news, plus our new Voices section

This week:

Neighborhood volunteer canvass day & cookout

Aha! Night - WAVES at Coalition for Buzzards Bay


Save The Date:

WRWA Summer Gala

An evening celebration with Carlo Petrini, the president and founder of the Slow Food International Movement



Take the SouthCoast Energy Challenge!

Artist to Donate Sales to RI Nature Conservancy

Weekly Green Tip:

Use Windows for Cross Ventilation

Clip of the Week

Chill your beer without using any electricity
A one that is not cold is scarcely a one at all, but keeping beer frosty on a hot day normally sucks up energy. Not anymore. This ancient innovation uses clay pots, sand, and water to keep stuff cool even on a hot day.

Weekly Quote:

"The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable."
- John F. Kennedy

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Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors
San Francisco Unicorn Plant

Because so much sustainability-related news can be heavy to handle, we intentionally like to seek out some upbeat tidbits. No need for a hard search this week as much of the news seems positive. None the less, we couldn't resist pointing out to you this story on the rediscovery of plant nicknamed the San Francisco Unicorn. The Franciscan manzanita (pictured) is one of the rarest plants in the U.S. — so rare, in fact, that it was declared extinct in the wild in 1947. But it was rediscovered in 2009 living on a highway median near the Golden Gate Bridge!

With the world on the edge of its seat waiting to see what raising the U.S. debt ceiling will do to global economics, and ongoing concerns about pollution, food, and population, it's good to have the lighthearted mixed in. This week, we're pleased to see reports on recognition for sustainable retail brands, and the continuting contributions of NASA's technology for earth science in the wake of the space shuttle program demise.

Still, while the rediscovery of the rare San Francisco Unicorn is a happy occurance, it is not likely to be the norm as our first story warns us. The worldwide problem of habitat loss threatens all our precious flora and fauna with extinction eventually. Biodiversity cannot survive in a median strip.

Leaf Bullet News
Protected Ocean and Land Protected Land, Ocean Areas Not Enough to Prevent Mass Biodiversity Loss
HALIFAX — A pair of Canadian scientists say protected spaces on land and in the world's oceans are not enough to stem the worsening problem of biodiversity loss.

Peter Sale of the United Nations University says conservationists are relying too heavily on marine and terrestrial protected areas to address species decline. Read more here.

Eroding Utah Landscape First True View of Global Erosion
Every mountain and hill shall be made low, declared the ancient prophet Isaiah. In other words: erosion happens. But for the modern geologist a vexing question remains: how fast does this erosion happen?

For more than a century, scientists have looked for ways to measure and compare erosion rates across differing landscapes around the globe -- but with limited success.

"Knowing the background rate of erosion for a place is extremely important," says University of Vermont geologist Paul Bierman, "if you want to compare it to what's coming off the landscape today because of human impacts like agriculture, development, and forestry." Read more here.

NASA Research Airplane NASA's Eyes In The Sky Study Pollution On Earth
NASA, the agency best known for exploring space, is trying to answer some urgent questions about air pollution right here on Earth.

For much of July, the agency flew research planes between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore as part of a mission known as DISCOVER-AQ. The planes, along with weather balloons and ground stations, were gathering data on how pollutants such as ozone and particulates behave in the atmosphere. Read more here.

Global Green Brand Winners Toyota, 3M, Siemens Top List of ‘Best Global Green Brands’
Toyota topped a list of “Best Global Green Brands” released this week, followed by 3M and Siemens. In its first global report focusing exclusively on green, brand consultancy firm Interbrand says it evaluated public perception of environmental sustainability, as well as demonstrated performance.

According to the report, Toyota is a leading example of making the environment a core management priority, while also engaging in a meaningful way with audiences around the world. Read more here.

Underwater Mineral Deposits Pacific islands seek protection from deep-sea mining
MANILA - Surging interest in deep-sea metal mining in the Pacific Ocean has prompted island nations to work together to develop the scientific capacity needed to protect their environment.

The move follows the discovery of large deposits of rare-earth metals such as scandium on the seabed near Hawaii, Tahiti and other locations in the eastern South Pacific and central North Pacific. The latest discovery was reported by Japanese researchers in Nature Geoscience earlier this month (3 July). Read more here.

Stock Exchange Board Shanghai Stock Exchange to Launch Index for Low-Carbon Companies
Last year, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) produced a report, the goal of which was to help the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) improve the quality of sustainability reporting by Chinese companies.

While SSE was "one of the first stock exchanges to issue a directive for companies to publish a sustainability report," IFC noted, "Existing frameworks provide guidance that is either too vague or too broad." One way in which stock exchanges can encourage corporate sustainability reporting, IFC found, is by establishing sustainability indexes, as has been done in South Africa and Brazil. Read more here.

Carbon Filters Carbon Capture: Pipe Dream or Key to our Energy Challenges?
Every year, about 30 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide are released around the world, with almost half that amount coming from coal. In the U.S., coal provides almost half our electricity, making it tough to simply stop burning it. However, every ton of coal burned releases harmful emissions into our atmosphere, oceans, and rivers, warming the planet, and increasing public health risks.

The coal question may be America’s single biggest energy challenge. But what if we could capture carbon dioxide directly from the smokestacks of power plants? energyNOW! correspondent Dan Goldstein explored how several innovative carbon capture and storage, or CCS, technologies could keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and help prevent the climate from changing. Read more here.

Food Stamps The Surprising Economic Value of Food Stamps
While the fight in Washington over the debt ceiling seems to be over, it is not clear yet what cuts will be made in the food stamps program. Although food stamps would be exempt from the automatic cuts, they still might be subject to cuts coming from the special bipartisan committee that would be established to find up to $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts.

The debate we witnessed in the last couple of weeks over the future of food stamps has been mostly an ideological one, focusing on whether food stamps provide important assistance to the poor or have been overused and rife with fraud. Although the debate is over budget, the economic value of the food stamps was somewhat ignored. Those who did take a look at it actually found some surprising results. Read more here.

Obama Sustainability Jobs Where are the Jobs? Increasingly, They’re in Sustainability
Unemployment is still hovering around 9%, an unencouraging picture for politicians looking to get reelected in 2012. For President Obama, the good news is in the green movement. Sustainability related job postings continue to surge forward, even as the rest of the economy stagnates.

Even the Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News right wing media empire, has jumped on the green job bandwagon, saying “positions tied to sustainability and renewable energy” represented a potential “bright spot.” Read more here.

Natural Gas Tanks A Move to Capture “Fugitive” Natural Gas Emissions
Natural gas drillers in the United States would have to take steps to rein in “fugitive” greenhouse gas emissions under proposal unveiled today by the Obama administration.

The emissions that escape during drilling, transporting or storing of natural gas have stirred widespread controversy, forcing a rethinking of whether natural gas is as environmentally friendly as sometimes claimed. One of the industry’s main selling points has been that when burned at the power plant for electricity, natural gas produces half the greenhouse gas emissions of coal. Read more here.

Obama and Cars Automakers Agree To Big Boost In Mileage Standards
President Obama and automakers ushered in the largest cut in fuel consumption since the 1970s on Friday with a deal that will save drivers money at the pump and dramatically cut heat-trapping gases coming from tailpipes.

The agreement pledges to double overall fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, bringing even greater under-the-hood changes to the nation's automobiles starting in model year 2017. Cars and trucks on the road today average 27 mpg. Read more here.

Nuclear Plant Workers Seeking Consensus in a Squabbling Nuclear Family
Months after the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, an agenda for American reactors is beginning to take shape.

The five members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have been divided about how rapidly they should decide on the recommendations made by its six-member task force on Fukushima. All five appeared on Tuesday morning before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, whose members pushed them to decide what steps should be taken promptly. Read more here.

Humans and Bears Human Run-Ins With Bears May Portend Deeper Changes
COLORADO SPRINGS — Griffin W. Smith has some practical advice to offer about bears. As a cross-country trail runner, he has seen them in the woods many times in southern Colorado.

“But when a bear is in your kitchen, it seems bigger,” said Mr. Smith, 21, a biology major who was at home last week from college when he came downstairs for breakfast and found a black bear by the refrigerator, slurping from the dog’s dish. Read more here.

Report Offers Framework to Guide EPA On Incorporating Sustainability in Its Decision Making
A new report from the National Research Council presents a framework for incorporating sustainability into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's principles and decision making. The framework, which was requested by EPA, is intended to help the agency better assess the social, environmental, and economic impacts of various options as it makes decisions. Read more here.

Report Offers Framework to Guide EPA On Incorporating Sustainability in Its Decision Making
A new report from the National Research Council presents a framework for incorporating sustainability into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's principles and decision making. The framework, which was requested by EPA, is intended to help the agency better assess the social, environmental, and economic impacts of various options as it makes decisions. Read more here.

An economic paradox: so much work, so few jobs
A former colleague, who lectured on U.S. foreign policy, always emphasized "the final importance of our first assumptions." How we define a problem, he posited, determines how we seek a solution and whether a solution can be achieved.

For months, economists and politicians have focused attention on job creation, arguing over the government's role in creating jobs, whether tax breaks for businesses and wealthy taxpayers results in job creation, how to stimulate spending in order to spur the economy, etc. Despite their best efforts, the job market continues to stagnate, with most states and urban centers experiencing high unemployment. Read more here.

Man and Child To Touch A Future Sky: Raising Children In Changing Times
We have received a tremendous gift – to be alive at the edge of these changing times. It’s not an easy gift, if we look open-eyed into possible futures. Yet within this gift lies the tremendous opportunity (and yes, responsibility) of crafting tools to place in the hands of those who come after, to enable them to shape the world in which they live through their own vision. Read more here.

The Recovery Is Dead, Long Live the Recovery
The die has been cast. Obama's "nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists," as an editorial in the normally sedate New York Times described the deal to raise the debt ceiling, is a disaster in the making. It rules out a vigorous government response to the persistent economic stagnation in which joblessness, housing foreclosures and an ever-widening gap between the top 2 percent and the rest of Americans have become the norm. Read more here.

American Diet Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables
WHAT will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits? The need is indisputable, since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet. (Yes, it’s SAD.)

Though experts increasingly recommend a diet high in plants and low in animal products and processed foods, ours is quite the opposite, and there’s little disagreement that changing it could improve our health and save tens of millions of lives. Read more here.

Face Carving Mainstream media blows yet another climate denier story out of proportion
It happens every few months, now. Somebody (often with a scientific credential of some sort) reports they’ve found a flaw! Somewhere! In the science of climate change! OMG!

And the climate deniers jump on it, as if one flaw is proof that the entire house built up painstakingly by scientific research over the past 100 years is COMPLETELY wrong. Read more here.

Crops Is GE Food Necessary on a Warming Planet?
Last week, GreenBiz ran a story about Arcadia Biosciences entitled “Biotech Food as a Necessity in a Warming Planet.” The story describes the California company’s efforts to develop new crops such as rice that has been genetically engineered for improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The idea here is that, according to Arcadia CEO Eric Rey, “When you can grow more food using the same inputs of land, water and fertilizer, everyone — farmers, consumers, hungry people and anyone who cares about CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere — is better off.” Farmers today use $60 billion worth of nitrogen fertilizers, much of which ends up in rivers and oceans causing dead zones as the result of runoff. Read more here.

Smart Grid Are Today's Workers Smart Enough for Tomorrow's Smart Grid?
As the U.S. moves toward adopting a smart grid, is its workforce smart enough to keep up? That's the underlying question of a new report from the Gridwise Alliance. "The U.S. Smart Grid Revolution" takes a close look at worker trends and issues related to the smart grid.

The overall smart grid concept involves the use of digital devices and information, real-time communication between electricity providers and users, and hooking up devices and products that can interact with the grid, all of which can drive better energy utilization. Read more here.

New Bedford Manufacturers Manufacturers are adding jobs as business picks up
Written off as dead by many, manufacturing is in fact alive and well. It’s even gaining a little more energy after suffering through the worst of the recession.

The New Bedford area’s manufacturing sector, which produces everything from golf balls and men’s clothing to catalytic converters and o-rings, has added an estimated 700 jobs since a low point nearly two years ago. Rebounding sales have buoyed local companies such as Precix Inc., the former Acushnet Rubber Co., which makes fuel seals and o-rings in New Bedford Read more here.

Darn It Company New Bedford company leverages core strengths in new markets
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Darn It! Inc. president Jeff Glassman proves diversity and ingenuity are key to not only surviving, but thriving, during economic challenges.

Glassman reinvented his family-owned manufacturing business in the 1990s, creating Darn It!’s quality control and refurbishing division which solves problems that arise when products come into the United States. Instead of throwing product away or returning it overseas, the retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer contacts Darn It! Read more here.

Court case behind it, Deepwater Wind resumes work
PROVIDENCE — When the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued a ruling earlier this month upholding a long-term contract for the sale of power from Deepwater Wind’s proposed wind farm off Block Island, it was a green light for the company to resume work on the project.

As the case dragged on for nearly a year, with the outcome uncertain, Deepwater suspended costly geological and oceanographic studies that are crucial to the design and engineering of the five-turbine wind farm. Read more here.

Fall River Sewage Fall River sewage facility fails, dumps raw sewage into Taunton River
FALL RIVER — About 500,000 to 900,000 gallons of raw sewage poured from Fall River's sewage facility into the Taunton River near the city pier until early this morning, likely due weather-related issues that shut down power for more than six hours, city officials said.

“We believe it was either a power surge or the station was struck by lightning,” Administrator of Public Utilities Terrance Sullivan said. Read more here.

Fall River Waterfront Charting the course for Fall River's waterfront
When it comes to shaping the new face of Fall River’s under-utilized waterfront, the first developments to take shape have the potential to spur others to follow or spurn others away. If the current trajectory of the Waterfront and Transit-Oriented Development District ordinance is any indication, the city is headed in the right direction.

The Fall River City Council’s Committee on Ordinances and Legislation on Thursday night will discuss two controversial zoning regulations that have been improved and amended to reflect citizen input. Planning Director James Hartnett worked on two regulations: the electronic sign ordinance and the Waterfront and Transit-Oriented Development District ordinance, designed to make waterfront development more flexible. Read more here.

Fall River Interchange Stimulating Greater Fall River's economy
While some Americans have argued that much of the stimulus was wasted on unnecessary projects as our infrastructure continues to crumble, one local project was hailed last week as one of Massachusetts’ most ambitious stimulus-funded projects that stands out as a wise use of such dollars.

On Wednesday, Simon visited the new Exit 8B interchange off Route 24 on the Fall River-Freetown line, where he drove along the new road connecting the interchange to Airport Road in Fall River and walked across the new Route 24 overpass. The interchange, which could open as soon as the end of the year, is a critical piece of Greater Fall River’s economic development puzzle. Read more here.

Two firms pitch 'solar farms' on Fall River land
FALL RIVER — Two major companies are eyeing 30-acre sites on the fringes of city industrial parks to install thousands of solar panels that would generate lower-cost electricity.

Newton-based SunGen Mark Andover LLC and Boston Asia Capital made brief presentations to the Redevelopment Authority last week, and discussions with the firms continue, city officials said. Read more here.

Bottle Return Machines Legislators from Fall River, adjacent towns yet to back an expanded bottle bill
Expanding the 5-cent deposit to include bottled water, sports drinks and other beverage containers may finally have enough support to gain legislative approval after years of effort, according to supporters.

Nearly half of Massachusetts cities and towns have passed resolutions supporting expansion of the state’s bottle bill — which now requires deposits only on soda and beer bottles and cans — and about 80 lawmakers are co-sponsors of such legislation. A recent MassINC poll also reported that 77 percent of the public supports wider use of bottle deposits. Read more here.

Alternative energy firm wins patents
A Cambridge company developing technology to make ethanol more efficiently said it has been granted two key US patents.

Unlimited Technologies has made significant progress toward its goal of finding a way to produce 25,000 gallons of ethanol per acre, spokeswoman Felicia Spagnoli said yesterday. Read more here.

Marine Museum Marine Museum's finance, management issues worry founders
FALL RIVER — Once considered a gem along the city’s waterfront, the worn façade of the long-dormant Marine Museum gives public testament to years of neglect.

Its management shrouded in secrecy and its finances and records in disarray, several founding members of the museum fear the facility, near Battleship Cove, has become a mere shadow of what they established more than four decades ago in 1968. Read more here.

Acushnet Co. closes on sale to Korean group
FAIRHAVEN — It's a done deal: Fortune Brands Inc. Friday closed its sale of the Acushnet Company to a consortium led by Fila Korea Ltd. and Mirae Asset Private Equity. The sale was originally announced on May 20, ending months of speculation about who might be interested in the company as it was spun off from Fortune Brands.

The Acushnet Company, famous for its Titleist golf balls, had sales in 2010 of $1.2 billion, making it one of the largest golf equipment companies in the world. Read more here.

Backyard Bear Peaceful conclusion to bear scare in Mattapoisett
MATTAPOISETT — Becky Zora's morning stroll down an old road near her secluded home turned into a stride-for-stride sprint with her grandchildren's Jack Russell terrier and two black bears early Tuesday.

Zora started walking the dog, Chloe, shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday on a thickly forested dirt street in Mattapoisett off Aucoot Road. Still on her leash, Chloe poked in the brush that surrounds both sides of the old path near Zora's home, startling a large animal that was hiding in the bushes. Read more here.

SouthCoast 411: Rebates available for energy-efficient appliances
So far, Bay State consumers have reserved about half of the $2 million available for rebates on energy-efficient refrigerators and air conditioners.

It's a much slower pace than last year's appliance exchange, when consumers snatched up $5.5 million in rebates in 2½ hours. Read more here.

'A price to pay in Massachusetts'
Cities and towns can expect less help from Uncle Sam as lawmakers seek to cut $2.1 trillion over the next decade.

While it will take days and months to sort out the specifics, the debt deal could result in fewer federal dollars for local transportation projects, education funding, environmental cleanups and community development grants, local officials and observers said. Read more here.

Slot Machine SouthCoast officials split on impact of Patrick's casino concession
A day after Gov. Deval Patrick said he was willing to discuss licensing one slot parlor to advance casino legislation, local leaders remained split Friday on the issue of gambling in Massachusetts.

Patrick said Thursday he would agree to one slot parlor in order to reach a deal with lawmakers on expanded gambling in the Bay State, as long as the license is awarded through competitive bidding. Last year's efforts on a casino bill were thwarted in part by Patrick's disapproval of a plan to allow racetracks to host slot parlors without bidding for a license. Read more here.

Rail advocates urge sophisticated approach to swamp impact
NEW BEDFORD — A former mayor and the head of the regional planning agency are turning the tables on the Environmental Protection Agency over the South Coast commuter rail project.

Former Mayor John K. Bullard and SRPEDD director Stephen C. Smith posted a lengthy blog on boston.com Friday, asserting that while the EPA is following its mandates in studying the effects of a rail project, it is missing the big picture, and in doing so it is failing to protect the environment. Read more here.

Scallopers Georges Bank fishing areas open to scallopers
NEW BEDFORD — Scallopers steamed out of the city's harbor Sunday bound for two rich — but previously closed — fishing grounds on Georges Bank to harvest their 18,000-pound scallop allotments.

Many of the vessels headed out Saturday and some are planning to leave today to the two areas — Closed Area 1, about 40 miles east of Nantucket; and Closed Area 2, about 100 miles east of Nantucket. Read more here.

A small local museum saves a very big whaling-era mural
It was a great SouthCoast nautical treasure, but it wasn't buried on a remote island or located 20,000 leagues under the sea.

No, it was affixed, for 90 years, to the porch ceiling of a Mattapoisett waterfront home.

But now, thanks to the intrepid president of the Mattapoisett Historical Society, it will be a historical and fine art treasure that forever tells the tale of Southeastern Massachusett's greatest claim to grandeur, the whaling era. Read more here.

Salvation Army's food pantry running bare amid federal funding cuts
NEW BEDFORD — SouthCoast food providers are struggling to fill their pantry shelves in the wake of federal cuts to the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

The funds for Bristol County decreased by nearly one-third, falling to $312,000 from $459,000 last year, said Bill Shell, director of the United Way's Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts. Read more here.

Postal Cartoon A changing U.S. Postal Service
Facing a deficit of more than $8 billion, no one denies that the U.S. Postal Service needs to make some major adjustments and create efficiencies in the way it delivers services to customers. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a city like Fall River, with multiple post offices and a declining population, would find two of its post offices on a review list for possible closure. Read more here.

Lang: SMAST deal will happen before I leave office
NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Scott W. Lang says a deal that would allow SMAST to expand in the South End will be completed before he leaves office.

"I believe that SMAST is moving forward at a level that we can feel pretty good about," he said. Read more here.

Decade-long saga accelerating to an end
NEW BEDFORD — After more than 10 years of political jostling and environmental cleanup, demolition crews have finally begun to tear down the old Aerovox mill complex, three months ahead of schedule.

Jim Ricci, New Bedford's water superintendent and a liaison to the project, said deconstruction was scheduled to begin in mid-October but instead started on July 20. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Massachusetts Marketplace Festival

August 6th, 10 am to 4 pm, Wellesley
New England farmers, specialty food producers, and artisans will come together for the 15th annual Massachusetts Marketplace Festival on Saturday, August 6th at the Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley. Homemade crafts, soaps, baked goods, popcorn, teas, herbs, fine art, and annual plants from vendors located throughout Massachusetts and New England will be available for sampling and purchase. Details here.

Wildflowers and Arrangements

August 7th, 1pm, Westport Town Farm, 830 Drift Rd., Westport
The Trustees of Reservations invite you to come pick flowers in our gardens, then get some helpful tips for arranging a beautiful bouquet. Our Westport Town Farm garden will be filled with colorful daisies, black-eyed Susans, zinnias, and more. Enjoy the garden and make some festive arrangements to decorate your home. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Cost: Members: FREE. Nonmembers: $10. Phone: 508.636.4693 x13. E-mail: kheard@ttor.org Details here.

Zoo Crew Summer Program for Children

August 8th to 12th, 9am to 3pm, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Zoo Members: $175 per week for one child. (Siblings are $150 each) Non-Members: $200 per week for one child. (Siblings are $175 each) Zoo Crew is a summer program for children ages 8-12. The week has a balance of outdoor and classroom learning opportunities, educational games and activities, crafts, and fun! The program runs 9:00AM-3:00PM, Monday thru Friday. For more information or to register, please call the Zoo's education department at (508) 991-6178 x 31. August 8-August 12 Get details here.

River Rats

Tuesdays August 9 and 16, 10-11am, Gooseberry Island, Westport
Thursdays August 4, 11 and 18, 10-11am, Cherry and Webb, Westport
Join Westport River Watershed Alliance this summer at the beach, for children ages 3-6. Each session will feature an hour at the beach during which participants will listen for shore birds, use nets to catch fish and crabs and explore the sand for hidden creatures. Hands-on investigations, activities, games and crafts will help participants learn about animals at the beach. Cost: $8 members/ $10 nonmembers Details here.

Neighborhood volunteer canvass day & cookout!

August 6th, 1 pm to 4 pm, Buttonwood Park, New Bedford
All are welcome at the first major canvas of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge. Sunday, August 7 at 1:00pm, at the Warming House at Buttonwood Park in New Bedford, MA. We will gather at 1:00 pm for a group canvas training, where volunteers will recieve t-shirts, instructions, and a brief training. We will canvas neighborhoods immediately around Buttonwood for about 2 hours, then return to the park for a cook out! If you are interested in volunteering to canvas with us, please RSVP with your name and t-shirt size!! All are welcome. Details here.

Baking Demonstration At Harlow House - Steamed Brown Bread and Cornbread

August 11th, 1 pm, Plymouth
Harlow Old Fort House in Plymouth will offer demonstrations by master baker Kirsten Atchison. Kirsten grew up in Germany where dinner is called “Abendbrot” (evening bread) and afternoon coffee and cake is a national institution. Now a resident of Plymouth, Kirsten has enjoyed recreating her favorite German breads as well breads and cakes from all over the world. Details here.

Tide Pool Trek

August 11th, 1-3 pm, Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
Take a trek down to the shore and discover first hand the amazing life at the rocky shoreline of Narragansett Bay. Use nets and magnifying glasses to investigate the species that call this tidal zone home. Intended for adults and children of all ages. $2 fee. Registration is required. Call (401) 949-5454 ext. 3041. Details here.

Aha! Night - WAVES at Coalition for Buzzards Bay

August 11th, 5-9pm, Buzzards Bay Center, 114 Front Street New Bedford, MA
WAVES are the key to navigating Buzzards Bay and the ocean. Visit the Buzzards Bay Center to observe the properties of waves, explore how sound behaves to help ships navigate, build a bay floor model, and see video of people having fun in the waves of the bay during of the recent Buzzards Bay swim. Discover how people and animals use WAVES to find their way and have fun in a clean and healthy Bay! Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

37th Annual Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference

August 12th - 14th Amherst,
This year we'll be presenting two workshops at the Summer Conference: (1) a beginner workshop "Interpreting Soil Tests" - Accurately gauging nutrient needs in our soils is a critical step in making sound fertility decisions. We will set out to demystify soil test results, from cation exchange capacity (CEC) and base saturation to ppm and lbs/acre. Hands on activity included to help participants gain confidence in interpreting soil test results. (2) an advaced workshop "The Case for Full Spectrum Fertility" - An examination of our pre-transplant fertility protocol. Join us as we discuss the steps taken at Brix Bounty Farm in the critical week leading up to transplanting. Focusing on soil fertility we aim to create prime soil conditions for vigorous root growth and thriving transplants. Inoculants, amendments, and energy in depth. Details here.

Braintree Farmers Market Urban Farm Day

August 13th, 9am to 1pm, 1 JFK Memorial Drive Braintree MA
Learn about urban homesteading at the farmers' market. The market will feature information on backyard chickens, composting worms, gardening, simple food preparations, community gardens, rain barrels and beekeeping. Details here.

Birding on South Beach, Monomoy Island

August 13th (raindate August 14th), 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monomoy Island National Wildlife Refuge (meet at Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot, Route 6, Dartmouth)
Enjoy a day of birding on South Beach in the Monomoy Island National Wildlife Refuge! Most migrating shore birds which travel the Atlantic “flyway” stop over on Monomoy, making it one of our area’s greatest birding sites. You may see Godwits, Whimbrels, Dowitchers, Glossy Ibises, Oyster-catchers, Black Skimmers, Roseate Terns and many more. Bring a lunch, your binoculars (if possible) and footwear that won’t mind getting wet. Great trip for experienced and novice birders alike. Cost: Members: $36, Non-members: $48. Cost includes van transportation to and from South Beach. Pre-registration required by noon on Friday, August 12th. Limit: 14. Register online or call the Lloyd Center's event phone at 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505 x23. Details here.

WRWA Summer Gala 2011

August 13th, 5pm - 8pm, Coggeshall Lane (off of River Road), Westport
The 2011 Summer Gala and Silent Auction will be held on Saturday, August 13th. The theme for the event is "Moon River" as there will be a full moon that night. The event will be held at a property on Coggeshall Lane off of River Road in Westport, MA. Details here.

Kids World Festival

August 13th and 14th, 11am - 6pm, Fall River's Heritage State Park
For one weekend it will be a kid’s world and the rest of us will just be living in it. On Aug. 13 and 14, Heritage State Park will turn into the Kids World Festival, giving families a free activity to wile away their summer days. Both days will feature a mix of activities and displays intended to stimulate kids’ minds, ears, eyes and senses. Among the attractions will be Animal Instincts Live. Owner Bob Schenck said the attraction will highlight animals from around the world including a species of tortoise that can grow to become the second largest in the world to the appearance of the world’s smallest parrot, measuring around 3 inches. Details here.

Lecture: "Jaws" Revisited: The White Shark in New England

August 17th, 7-8pm, Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
White sharks are coming back to New England's coastal waters, drawn in by the growing gray seal population. Marine biologist and shark expert Dr. Gregory Skomal will present highlights from marine scientists who study the ecology of white sharks in the North Atlantic. You may have seen him on the Today Show after he successfully tagged Great White Sharks off of Chatham, MA. After the lecture, he will be available to sign copies of his book "The Shark Handbook" available in the Audubon Nature Gift Shop. $8 members, $10 non-members. Registration is required. Call (401) 949-5454 ext. 3041. Details here.

Explore the Bioreserve - Fighting Rock Corner

August 20th, 9am, Intersection of Wilson, Bell Rock and Blossom Roads, Fall River
Join us on the walk. Learn the fascinating history of Fighting Rock and where the rock is now. The walk will also follow the old Indian trail known as Mowry Path. Walk in the footsteps of Weetamoe and King Philip. From Mowry we will walk to Hogs Rock, around Doctor Durfees Mill Pond, over the Esker Trail, and then back to our starting point at Fighting Rock Corner. Estimated length of walk is 5 miles. Bring water, snacks, insect repellent. Wear walking shoes/sneakers. No sandals/open-toed shoes. Free. Email: info@greenfutures.org Details here.

An evening celebration with Carlo Petrini, the president and founder of the Slow Food International Movement

August 23th, 7pm, Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
Slow Food Martha Vineyard presents Terra Martha, an evening celebration with Carlo Petrini, the president and founder of the Slow Food International Movement. Named a "Hero of the Year" by Time Magazine and one of The Guardian's "50 People Who Could Save the World," Petrini will present a talk on the international Slow Food movement, and forging a new global network of sustainable food communities. Tickets available online through TicketsMV, and at specific outlets around Martha’s Vineyard. General admission is $10 and $20 for premium seats. For additional information, contact us at slowfoodvineyard@gmail.com. Details here.

Webcast - Using Community-Wide Behavior Change Programs to Increase Energy Efficiency

August 25th, 2 to 3:30pm, Online
Part two of a two-part U.S. Dept of Energy webcast series - This webcast will focus on how state and local governments can move beyond technology dissemination and engage employees to adopt energy efficiency behaviors and enhance the savings potential of retrofitted buildings. The webcast will highlight key program design considerations and present 2-3 case studies to illustrate how state and local governments can influence employee behaviors by providing end-users with information about their energy use and recognizing staff that exhibit energy leadership at work. Grantees that attend the webcast will learn about approaches to implementing policies and programs that influence energy-related behaviors. The webcast will highlight how government organizations can: • Make energy use visible; • Provide staff with tools to manage their consumption and change their behaviors; • Provide staff with motivation (e.g., goals, budgets); and • Make saving energy easy and fun. Registration and details here.

Immigrant Tales and Tastes

August 26th, 5:30 to 8:30pm, Plymouth
Enjoy a tantalizing selection of ethnic noshes as a diverse range of residents share tales of the immigrant experience in Plymouth. Learn about growing up non-Irish in a town without a St. Patrick's Day parade, the Italians who didn't live in North Plymouth, and more surprising tales of local ethnicity. Fee. Reservations required. Email pasm@verizon.net or call 508-746-0012 for more details.

Kettle Pond Farm Saturday Supper - Heirloom Varieties

August 27th, Berkley
What is an heirloom vegetable anyway? Come by for some learning and tasting. Learn about what they are, why we use them and taste test the varieties on the farm. Details here.

6th Annual DNRT “Barn Bash” Square Dance at the Sylvan Nursery Barn

August 27th , 6 to 10:30 pm, Westport
Contact the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust at 508-991-2289. Details here.

Garden Workshop Series: Garden Grub - Outdoor Cooking Class

August 27th, 10am to 12pm, Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Rd, Middletown, RI
Look forward to one Saturday per month of garden workshops in this series. August 27: Garden Grub - Outdoor Cooking Class; September 17: Native Plants and Backyard Habitats; October 15: Native American Gardens and Games; November 19: Preparing your Garden for Winter. Program Cost: Members- $10; Non-members - $12. For more information or to register, please call (401) 846-2577. Details here.

Seining for Subtropicals

August 27th, 10:30 am to 3 pm, Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Join Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director, 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. Cost: Members $20, Non-members: $25. Pre-registration required by noon on Friday, August 26th. Register online or call the Center's event phone at 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Mark at 508-990-0505 x 22. Details here.

Migration Stop-over Walk

August 27th, 8-11am, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Westport
Join a staff member as we search for migratory birds in the salt marsh, within our shrublands, and out on Little Beach spit - where often hundreds of terns will be staging before migrating south for the winter. Fee: Adults $4.00 member / $6.00 non-member, Children $4.00 members / $6.00 non-members. Registration is required. Register by phone with a credit card by calling (508) 636-2437. For more information, email gpurtell@massaudubon.org. Details here.

Dartmouth Grange Fair

September 9 - 10, Dartmouth
A Celebration of Rural Community at the Dartmouth Grange in historic Russells Mills Village. More information to come. Details here.

Wild Edibles Walk

September 10, 1-3pm, Copicut Woods, Fall River
Ever wonder how long you could survive in the woods by living off the land? Well, Southeast Massachusetts is home to more than 150 species of wild edible plants and late summer is the season of fruits and nuts. From wild grapes and blueberries to hickory nuts and edible roots, join Education Coordinator Linton Harrington for walk and an all-natural snack. Trustees of Reservations Members: FREE. Nonmembers: $5. Phone: 508.636.4693 x13. E-mail: kheard@ttor.org Details here.

Organic Pest and Disease Control Course

September 12th to Oct 24th, 6-9pm, Bristol Community College, Fall River
The course is designed to benefit farmers, gardeners, nursery growers, landscapers, land managers, and community organizations. The course will be a practical survey of principles and practices for effective management of pests and diseases in SE Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The course will be available as a 1 credit college accredited course ($166 tuition) or as a noncredit course ($75) through the Center for Workforce and Community Education. Online enrollment is available at www.bristolcc.edu. The course will meet Mondays (6-9 pm). Dr. Jim Corven, Email: james.corven@bristolcc.edu. Enroll here.

SEMAP's 1st Annual 5K Bog Jog

September 17, 9am-12pm, Tihonet Village Market, 146 Tihonet Road, Wareham
Run/walk through A.D. Makepeace property and bogs...run on trail roads through the woods, then break through the dense forest out into the sunshine and around a bog and then back into the tree-covered trail. Register today and check back for more information on prizes, event activities and sponsors. Pre-Registration Fee: $20.00. Race Day Registration Fee: $30.00. All registrants receive a super cool race t-shirt at registration. Racers will receive a local food goodie bag at the finish! YUM! No strollers, dogs, scooters, or roller blades allowed. Contact: Sarah Cogswell, SEMAP, scogswell@semaponline.org, 508-542-0434. Registration and details here.

The Lloyd Center's Sixth Annual Slocum River Regatta

September 17, Time: Varies by event. Meeting Place: Varies by event.
This event is open to single/double racing/recreational shells, single/tandem kayaks, canoes, single/double fixed-seat rowboats – five-oared whaleboats (with cox), stand-up paddleboards, 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 new 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. Entry application forms and more information available soon. Cost: Varies by event. Pre-registration required. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Launched!
The Energy Challenge is your chance to save money while conserving energy and protecting your environment. We invite you to be among the first to register for the Challenge, which will launch publicly in August. All you need to do is visit www.SouthCoastEnergyChallenge.org to register. The SouthCoast Energy Challenge is an initiative of the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEAL). Please, take the Challenge today by registering at www.SouthCoastEnergyChallenge.org. You'll learn different actions to help you start saving right away, and, you'll have the option to track your actual utility savings online. There's even an easy on-line carbon calculator you can use to measure your own household's annual carbon footprint! Get details here.
DOE Releases Annual Market Reports for Wind Energy, Advanced Vehicles, and Fuel Cell Technology
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released three 2010 market reports which detail the market conditions and trends for wind energy, advanced vehicles, and fuel cell technologies. Taken together, these three market reports illustrate growth in deployment and manufacturing across all three technologies—improving the nation’s global competitiveness in the clean energy economy and creating clean tech jobs for U.S. workers. Get details here.
UMass Dartmouth to Offer BPI Certification Courses in August
Upon completion of this 7 week program and successful completion of exams students will be certified in BPI standards. BPI (Building Performance Institute) is a national standards development and credentialing organization for residential energy efficiency retrofit work. Students completing the program and exams will be:
  • Level 1: BPI Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer
  • Level 2: BPI Building Envelope Professional Certification
  • Level 3: BPI Building Analyst Certified

Course Dates: August 10th-September 20th
Get details here.

Sustainable "Center Cafe" Opens in South End "ecoNewBedford" District
The Center Café is the last piece of the demonstration project on Brock Avenue called ecoNewBedford. It serves coffee and ice cream, salads, home-made soups, and lite sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches, fruit-yogurt smoothies, and waffles are served any time. The café open early morning and into the evening. A 400 square foot private meeting room can be reserved by local organizations or for use as a flexible workplace. Offsite catering is available. Occasional presentations on topics ranging from Setting New Directions, Empowering Creativity, and Active Lifestyles are planned. Artists are hanging their work for sale in the Café, and a selection of gifts is also available.

The Center Café is the last piece of the demonstration project on Brock Avenue called ecoNewBedford. It serves coffee and ice cream, salads, home-made soups, and lite sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches, fruit-yogurt smoothies, and waffles are served any time. The café open early morning and into the evening. A 400 square foot private meeting room can be reserved by local organizations or for use as a flexible workplace. Offsite catering is available. Occasional presentations on topics ranging from Setting New Directions, Empowering Creativity, and Active Lifestyles are planned. Artists are hanging their work for sale in the Café, and a selection of gifts is also available. Get details here.
Artist to Donate Sales to RI Nature Conservancy
Little Compton artist Kris Donovan will partner with the Rhode Island Nature Conservancy during July and August. Donovan will donate 10 percent of all painting sales to the conservancy and the Dundery Brook Boardwalk Trail Project in Little Compton. The gift will help to build the new 1.3 mile long Dundery Brook Greenway Trail, a boardwalk path through a forested wetland in Little Compton. The trail is a project of The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island and, thanks to a matching grant, all gifts will be doubled. Visit Donovan Studio at 9 Francis Lane during the upcoming South Coast Artists Open Studios Tour on July 16 and 17 and Aug. 20 and 21 or any time by chance or appointment. Donovan’s work can also be seen at the Donovan Gallery at Tiverton Four Corners and Gallery Eleven Fine Art, 11 State St., Bristol. Call 401-683-8308 or email info@krisdonovan.com for information or an appointment, or visit www.krisdonovan.com. Get details here.
Organic Agriculture I course open for September
Bristol Community College (BCC) announces the opening of registration for the Organic Farming Practices I (OFP 114). This is the first of a two-semester course sequence and is designed for farmers, gardeners, landscapers, land managers, community development organizations, consumers, and public policy decision makers seeking practical alternatives for long-term sustainable food production and land use. This course will include the rationale and outlook for sustainable agriculture, soil fertility and management, tillage options, cover crops, crop rotation plans, composting, and organic crop production. BCC is an open enrollment college. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. The course will begin on September 12 and meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 pm until December 16. Information and registration is available online at http://www.bristolcc.edu Questions? email Dr. Jim Corven at james.corven@bristolcc.edu Get details here.
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. 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 $100 per tour for WRWA members, and $140 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. Get details here.
Department of Energy Webcasts
This interactive page will help you quickly find live webcasts that fit your schedule, or on-demand webcasts and pre-recorded training presentations to view at your convenience. You can choose your time zone as well and filter the list by week, month, webinar series, eligible activity or topic, or presenter. 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. Get details here.
Organic Pest & Disease Control Course
Bristol Community College announces a new course in Organic Pest & Disease Control. The course is designed to benefit farmers, gardeners, nursery growers, landscapers, land managers, and community organizations. The course will be a practical survey of principles and practices for effective management of pests and diseases in SE Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The course will be available as a 1 credit college accredited course ($166 tuition) or as a noncredit course ($75) through the Center for Workforce and Community Education. Online enrollment is available at www.bristolcc.edu. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. The course will begin on September 12 and meet Mondays (6-9 pm) until October 24. More information: contact Dr. Jim Corven (james.corven@bristolcc.edu).
Volunteering at Sharing the Harvest Community Farm
Get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and have a positive impact on your life and others. Volunteers help in every stage of farming here. If you're interested in volunteering, our drop-in hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 9:00AM to 1:00PM - Wednesday afternoons from 2:00PM to 5:00PM. For more information about volunteering, please visit www.ymcasouthcoast.org and search for Sharing the Harvest. You can also contact us by email at sharingtheharvest@ymcasouthcoast.org or via phone at 508 993 3361 extension 13.
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
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to the Marion Institute's Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. 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).
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
Use Windows for Cross Ventilation
Keep cool and comfortable with less air conditioning by opening up your windows in the mornings and evenings when the temperatures are typically more pleasant. Learn more here.

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