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September 15 to 22, 2011

In This Issue


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

This week:

Fairhaven 4th Annual Eco/Energy Fair

Fourth Annual Feast in the Field


Save The Date:

The 5th Annual Watershed Ride

Creating Community-Based Economies for Southeastern Massachusetts: Regional Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting



"Transition Town" Initiative in Southeastern Massachusetts

Internships available with the Energy Challenge!

Weekly Green Tip:

Advantages of rooftop solar power

Clip of the Week

Grow - Episode 1
"Round Table Farm" - Neysa and Travis ditch demanding career paths in Boston and follow their dream of organic farming all the way to Texas. In Austin's thriving local-food scene, growing their first crop opens their eyes and brings up more than fresh vegetables

Weekly Quote:

"On Global Warming: If we take all this actions and if it turns out not be true, we have reduced pollution and have better ways to live, the downside is very small. The other way around, and we don't act, and it turns out to be true, then we have betrayed future generations and we don't have the right to do that."
— Tony Blair

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Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors
Space Station

An article from National Geographic,"Space Debris: Five Unexpected Objects That Fell to Earth", makes the point that there is nowhere we can send waste that it won't come back to haunt us. While article is about the curiousities that came from the sky, it's also a serious matter that underscores whether we ship our garbage into space, sink it into the ocean, bury it under soil, or send it to less developed countries, it never really goes away. Hurrah for those searching for eco-friendly and bio-degradable solutions to human debris!

For inspiration, read about the woman who managed to make a year's worth of household waste fit in a quart size jar. She shares 10 tips on how we can do it ourselves.

While there are plenty of articles in this edition about how politics or policy foot-dragging is getting in the way of progress, hope comes from articles like the one about Nascar's efforts to go greener. It reminds us that whatever our challenges or starting points, we can all make efforts to be more environmentally responsible.

Leaf Bullet News
New Delhi Electricity Pole Smart Meters Take Bite Out of Electricity Theft
When Pedro Antmann, the World Bank's senior energy specialist, visits developing countries, utility officials almost invariably take him to the slums, where he sees tangles of electrical wires amid shanties.

"They want to show me everybody is stealing the electricity," Antmann said. Read more here.

Old Growth Forest Old-growth forests are irreplaceable for sustaining biodiversity
Old growth rainforests should be a top conservation priority when it comes to protecting wildlife, reports a new comprehensive assessment published in the journal Nature.

The research, which was led by Luke Gibson of the National University of Singapore and Tien Ming Lee of the University of California at San Diego and involved scientists from a range of international institutions, examined 138 scientific studies across 28 tropical countries. It found consistently that biodiversity level were substantially lower in disturbed forests. Read more here.

Power Station Pollution Climate investment needs "quantum leap", says U.N. official
The private sector needs to make a "quantum leap" by joining forces in lobbying efforts, radically changing business models and increasing investment in order to combat climate change, the U.N.'s climate chief said on Wednesday.

Leaders of 193 countries are set to meet for the next annual U.N. climate summit in November in South Africa, where governments will discuss ways to encourage investments to reach at least $100 billion a year by 2020 toward tackling climate change. Read more here.

Energy Tower in Grasslands Energy Crops: Achieving a Balance
There has been much debate about the net benefit of growing energy crops to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While it is accepted that energy crops can displace fossil fuel imports, the emissions from the cultivation of energy crops were until now uncertain.

Teagasc has carried out a number of research projects to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions associated with these crops. One of the surprising findings of the research was that the conversion of grassland to biomass, which was previously thought to lead to large soil carbon losses, in fact maintained or improved the carbon balance through higher annual carbon sequestration rates and lower than expected carbon losses from ploughing. Read more here.

Rice Farming Ancient Mediterranean Water Supply Networks Revived
Years of drought had dried up the ancient water supply networks existing around the Mediterranean Rim. However, with rainfall returning over the past 5 years, the hydraulic heritage has come to life again. The names of the tunnels that carry the revived streams -khettaras in Morocco, foggaras in Algeria or qanâts in Iran- evoke the trickling sounds of water. These underground infiltration galleries are the most characteristic and original illustration of local communities' recovery of ancestral schemes.

These communities are now reinvesting in the maintenance of khettaras and in agriculture, especially young people returning to rural environments after experiencing unemployment in towns and cities. This is a risk owing to the uncertainties of climate, but fully assumed to revive collective action and to reappropriate the rules governing water-supply access, indeed in anticipation of possible new shortages in the years to come. Read more here.

Turbine and Sailboat Japan Plans Floating Windfarm Off Fukushima Coast
Japan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) announced it will invest as much as 20 billion yen ($260 million) in a project to build a pilot offshore wind project comprised of six, 2-megawatt (MW) floating wind turbines off the Fukushima coast, according to a Bloomberg News report. A feasibility study running through March 2016 will evaluate the project with an eye towards expanding capacity thereafter. Read more here.

Low-Tech Medical Device Medical kit from rich world 'rarely works' in poor settings
Three-quarters of medical devices sent to developing countries are unsuitable, according to the WHO. Problems such as a lack of trained operators, a shortage of engineers who might be able to repair broken devices, and poor access to electricity mean that a lot of donated equipment becomes unusable.

At the conference, held by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in the United Kingdom, experts discussed ten innovations that do work. These included a 'donkey ambulance' for transporting patients in rough terrain, and a stethoscope that can be attached to a mobile phone to allow doctors to monitor patients remotely. Read more here.

Solar Catamaran Around the World on Solar Power Alone
HONG KONG — Almost a year ago, the Turanor PlanetSolar, a sleek catamaran that bears a resemblance to a giant water beetle, set off from Monaco on a voyage around the globe. Later this month it will arrive in Singapore, having amassed proof that it is possible to traverse the world’s oceans on solar power alone.

The PlanetSolar is a pioneering experiment. Rather than trying to reproduce the vessel for commercial use, said Raphael Domjan, a Swiss national who set up the project in 2004, the point of the project is to prove that solar technology can do far more than it currently does. Read more here.

Oil Pipeline Worker Pipeline Spills Put Safeguards Under Scrutiny
DENVER — This summer, an Exxon Mobil pipeline carrying oil across Montana burst suddenly, soiling the swollen Yellowstone River with an estimated 42,000 gallons of crude just weeks after a company inspection and federal review had found nothing seriously wrong.

And in the Midwest, a 35-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich., once teeming with swimmers and boaters, remains closed nearly 14 months after an Enbridge Energy pipeline hemorrhaged 843,000 gallons of oil that will cost more than $500 million to clean up.

While investigators have yet to determine the cause of either accident, the spills have drawn attention to oversight of the 167,000-mile system of hazardous liquid pipelines crisscrossing the nation. Read more here.

Airplanes U.S. Air Force Has No “Green Energy Mission” But is Going Green Anyways
Yesterday’s Air Force Energy 101 Media Roundtable hammered home one main point about military sustainable energy policy as it relates to U.S. air power. In the words of Dr. Kevin Geiss, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Air Force for Energy, it comes down to this: “Fly, fight, and win…That’s what we’re here for. That’s our mission.” However, in the course of a wide-ranging discussion Dr. Geiss also made it clear that a new, sustainable approach to energy is going to be a key element in supporting “a stronger energy security posture” for the U.S. Air Force mission into the future. Read more here.

Birds in Flight Agency Takes New Approach To Save Everglades Land
In Florida, federal officials have released plans for a new wildlife preserve just south of Orlando. The Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge will include at least 150,000 acres, but there's a twist — most of it will remain under private ownership.

Visitors mostly come to central Florida for its theme parks and beaches, but long before Walt Disney set his sights on the part of the state where he erected a castle at the Magic Kingdom, it was known for its lakes, rivers and grasslands.

Charlie Pelizza with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the area includes dry prairie habitat, sand hills and scrub area found nowhere else in the world. Read more here.

Power Plant Power plants can comply with green regulations: FERC
U.S. power plants can comply with new environmental rules without disrupting the supply of electricity if providers and local authorities have time to plan for the changes, energy regulators told congressional Republicans seeking to unwind the rules.

"I believe this nation can retire a significant amount of existing generation," said Philip Moeller, a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Read more here.

EPA Chief Greenhouse gas proposal to miss deadline: EPA chief
The Environmental Protection Agency will miss an end-of-month target for proposing greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, the head of the EPA said on Wednesday.

The administration of President Barack Obama is under pressure from business to cut environmental regulation that critics say is hurting the economy, and last week Obama backtracked on smog plans. Read more here.

Green Score Sign New Research Finds Universal Sustainability Scores Would Influence Consumer Purchasing
Sustainability-oriented consumers want one universal green score to help them make product buying decisions, according to new market research.

The survey found that shoppers would increase sustainable product spending if they could determine which products were truly green and which had been simply green-washed. Read more here.

SF Made Tag The Return of “Made in the U.S.A.”
In a time of layoffs and outsourcing, something surprising is happening in San Francisco and New York: manufacturing jobs are on the rise.

Just a hundred years ago, these cities were industrial epicenters; over time, factories came to be seen as relics instead of resources. Now, America's rich manufacturing history is returning in the form of small, high-end production lines that proudly proclaim they’re locally made. Read more here.

Closeup of Car Gentlemen, Start Conserving
Is green Nascar an oxymoron? After all, the sport is all about watching gas guzzlers drive at high speeds in circles for hours. Until 2007, race cars used leaded fuel. Tens of thousands of fans still drive to races in recreational vehicles and other gas hogs.

While the core of the sport remains unchanged, Nascar, its teams, track operators and sponsors are employing an ambitious set of green initiatives that includes collecting used fuel, planting trees to offset carbon emissions, and deploying sheep to keep the infield grass short. Read more here.

Woman in Equador Up to my knees in toxic oil waste...
You have to be aware of where you’re putting your weight. Test the ground before you put it down with each step. Use the fallen branches, roots and organic debris to help distribute your mass, sort of like snow shoes. One hasty step or misplaced, and you’ll be knee deep or even hip high in a mixture of crude oil, asphalt and water. And just like with quicksand - if you do go down, your best bet is to throw your weight forward or back so as to not find out how deep the pool is. And be sure to remember your Tyvek suit, volatile organics respirator, big rubber boots and gloves, and a whole lot of duct tape. Read more here.

Peak Oil, Peak Debt, and the Concentration of Power
When theorists approach the peak oil problem from the perspective of finding a substitute that will allow us to maintain our present energy infrastructure, their conclusion is one of despair. There may be many substitutes for oil as a concentrated form of storable energy, but none of them are nearly as good as oil itself. Those invested in the status quo would, quite understandably, like to maintain it, but it is becoming apparent even to the most highly invested that the status quo is doomed; that it can be maintained only temporarily, and at a rapidly accelerating environmental cost. Read more here.

Al Gore Al Gore: It's An Honor To Be Attacked On Climate Change
"There's a long tradition of people who don't like a particular message turning to attack the person delivering the message," former Vice President Al Gore just said on NPR's Talk of the Nation.

That's why, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee added, "I view it as an honor, really," to be the target of Republican jabs on the issue of climate change. Read more here.

Obama at Podium How green was Obama’s jobs speech?
Well, he talked the talk. But when it comes to the environment, will President Obama be able to walk the walk?

The President addressed Congress tonight to propose his “American Jobs Act” that would feature $447 billion in tax cuts, aid to states and infrastructure spending on roads and schools. Read more here.

Greenpeace Members Don't Make a Wave: Greenpeace at 40
Economic crises come and go, but the ecology movement is still here. It is still growing, as is Greenpeace. From humble Vancouver beginnings, Greenpeace now has offices in more than 40 countries and on all continents, populated by activists world-wide from all cultures joining together in common cause -- true warriors of the rainbow.

In addition to a global presence, we have built, over 40 years, an organization made up from all sectors of society and a myriad of cultures. We have scientists, lawyers, doctors, journalists, students, engineers, parents and grandparents, a myriad of disciplines necessary for founding our campaigns in science, our communications in simple language, to keep our action daring and safe and our ships at sea. Read more here.

Empty Cart 10 Tips for a Zero-Waste Household
A few years ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted a better world for our two boys, now 10 and 11 years old. We embarked on a journey to do our part for the environment: My husband quit his job to join a sustainability start-up; I tackled the home.

I started by adopting reusable water bottles and shopping totes, but slowly took it further by replacing disposables with reusables (toilet paper excluded), shopping in bulk with cloth bags, bringing glass containers to the store for wet items (meat, deli, fish, cheese, oil...), and even testing more extreme ideas, like shampooing with baking soda and vinegar for 6 months. A year's worth of our household solid waste now fits in a quart size jar. Read more here.

Blue Whale Spout Huge blue whale spotted off New England coast
Whale watchers got a treat over the weekend: They saw the world's largest mammal make its first appearance in the waters off New England in several years. Naturalists estimate the endangered blue whale to be a true behemoth at about 80 feet long.

The blue whale spotted 15 miles south of Boothbay Harbor on Sunday was nearly as long as a pair of 100-foot whale-watching boats that came in for a look. People aboard both boats cheered. Read more here.

Rochester selectmen oppose dam removal
ROCHESTER — Selectmen have added their voices to the opposition to the controversial plan to remove the Hathaway Pond dam.

The board voted Monday night to go on record against the Coalition for Buzzards Bay's proposal to remove the Mattapoisett River dam. Members are recommending the coalition reconsider its plan. Read more here.

R.I. Renewable Energy Siting Partnership finding feasibility of specific areas for energy development
Rhode Island ventured into new territory in 2008 when scientists started work on a plan for the state’s ocean waters that would determine the best areas for offshore renewable energy.

The Ocean Special Area Management Plan was the first and, so far, only document of its kind to win approval from the federal government, which has held it up as a model for other states interested in building marine wind farms and the like.

Now, many of the same people who worked on that groundbreaking plan have set their sights on land. Read more here.

Mass. lawmakers vote to bring casino gambling
BOSTON — Massachusetts is one step closer to bringing gambling to the state after House lawmakers approved a bill licensing casino gambling in the state.

The 123-32 vote Wednesday night followed eight hours of debate on the bill that would spread three resort-style casinos across the state and license one slots parlor. Those gaming halls would bring much needed jobs and tax revenue, proponents say. Read more here.

Public higher education needs to be priority, if UMass is to stay affordable
State public policy leaders need to make public higher education a priority for it to remain affordable, the new president of the UMass system said Wednesday.

The alternative, according to Robert L. Caret, is that the state's public universities will be run like private institutions with higher fees and tuition. Read more here.

SRTA gets federal money for New Bedford buses, Fall River terminal
Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Jim McGovern today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded over $1.6 million to the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) for projects that will benefit Fall River, New Bedford and surrounding towns.

The USDOT will provide $950,000 to help SRTA build a new bus terminal at 118 Fourth Street in Fall River. It will also provide $665,000 to purchase two new buses to replace vehicles that are over 16 years old serving the Greater New Bedford area. Read more here.

Fairhaven considers being pilot town for sustainability initiative
FAIRHAVEN — The town has developed a solid reputation as a sustainability leader in the region with an active committee that has created a farmers market, an annual Energy Fair, a community garden and more in its first four years of existence.

But while they're ahead of many communities, Fairhaven has plenty of company on the green highway. Conversations on sustainability issues are becoming increasingly common across SouthCoast, leading local leaders to wonder if the region is ready to go one step farther. Read more here.

New Bedford Historical Society wins grant for Johnson House
The 1772 Foundation, a national foundation focused on historic preservation and interpretation of historic sites, has awarded the New Bedford Historical Society a $25,000 grant for capital improvements on the Nathan and Mary Johnson House as part of the African-American Historic Sites initiative.

The 1772 funds will support the physical restoration of the interior of the main floor and basement of the Johnson House to support a visitor center and exhibit and interpretive space to highlight the role of the Johnsons and other New Bedford abolitionists in the Underground Railroad. Read more here.

Jean Fox New manager named for South Coast Rail
As South Coast Rail chugs forward to bring commuter train service to New Bedford and Fall River, it has a new conductor at its helm.

Jean Fox, a Freetown selectman and former youth council director for the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, is the new manager of South Coast Rail. Her predecessor, Kristina Egan, stepped down in June, saying she wanted to start a consulting company and wished to spend more time with family in Maine. Read more here.

New Bedford City Council gives green light to SMAST land transfer
NEW BEDFORD — The City Council Thursday night agreed to convey a 4-acre South End swath of land to the state that would allow for UMass Dartmouth to expand its School for Marine Science and Technology. The matter now goes before the city's School Committee on Monday.

The university has plans for a $48 million project that includes $45 million in construction costs and $3 million in new equipment. The plans call for razing the existing former Naval Reserve Center, located at 838 South Rodney French Blvd. The new facility would feature faculty and graduate student work space. Read more here.

Cape Wind foes fight power deal in court
BOSTON — Opponents of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm took another shot Thursday at derailing the project in front of the state's highest court.

During arguments before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, attorneys for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the New England Power Generators Association contested the constitutionality and cost effectiveness of a contract for half of the power from the Cape Wind project. Read more here.

Richard Merrick NOAA names new fisheries science adviser
Richard Merrick, who works at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, has been named chief science adviser for NOAA Fisheries.

In announcing the appointment Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Merrick has 26 years of experience with NOAA, beginning in Alaska where he spent 12 years. Since 1997, he has been attached to the Woods Hole-based science center, where he directed extensive research on sea mammals and most recently oversaw the regional fisheries' stock assessments. Read more here.

Freetown compost facility likely to get green light
FREETOWN — The Planning Board on Wednesday revealed that the proposed compost facility will likely be approved. They reserved Wednesday’s hearing for setting all conditions for approval. As of press time Wednesday, the meeting was still in session, as almost every condition drew either dialogue or debate among board members.

Since April, the Easton-based Peninsula Compost Group LLC has met with the Planning Board about its plans to occupy a 9-acre property and process annually 60,000 tons of separated organic waste, such as food scraps from restaurants and other institutions, and 20,000 tons of yard waste per year. Read more here.

Columnist off the mark on Green Futures' plan for Weaver’s Cove
With all due respect to Mike Moran, I have to take exception to his comments in his Sept. 1 column on the Green Futures plan for Weaver’s Cove. Mr. Moran in essence says that the plan is too visionary and impractical. Visionary it is, but it’s also practical.

When Green Futures first prepared this plan several years ago, it was to answer the question, “If LNG is not a good use for the Weaver’s Cove site, then what should go there?” Read more here.

Swansea schools consider solar options for power in near future
SWANSEA — Swansea schools may be going green with a solar project in the near future that could potentially save a substantial amount of money in energy costs.

A solar developing company, Solar Energy Hub, headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., made a presentation to the School Committee on Monday night at the request of Assistant Superintendent Robert Monteiro. Read more here.

Wind Farm Block Island Wind Farm Impacts Entire State
KINGSTON — Donald Carcieri may not have a plush office in the Statehouse anymore, but the former two-term governor is still lobbying for offshore wind energy. He believes Rhode Island Sound is the “Saudi Arabia of offshore wind in this nation,” and a study he commissioned in 2006 determined that offshore wind farms could supply at least 15 percent of the Ocean State’s electricity needs. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

SouthCoast Green Drinks

September 15, 6pm, Black Watch Pub, 266 Dartmouth St. New Bedford, MA
Green Drinks is an informal, open, post-work social event (i.e. happy hour) for people interested in “green” topics and initiatives happening both in our region and elsewhere. There is no set structure or itinerary and everyone is welcome to attend. Special complementary appetizers will be served. Details here.

Fourth Annual Feast in the Field

September 16, 6:00PM - 9:30PM, Portsmouth, RI
This year's Feast is our culinary celebration of local foods and native wines prepared by an outstanding gallery of Rhode Island's finest maitres de cuisine including Chef Derek Jolie (Blackstone Caterers, Middletown), Chef Casey Riley (Castle Hill Inn and the Newport Restaurant Group), Chef Bruce Tillinghast (New Rivers, Providence), Chef Derek Wagner (Nick's on Broadway, Providence), Chef Champe Speidel (Persimmon, Bristol), and Chefs Scott Amaral and Steve Cory of Sweet Berry Farm. Details 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.

A Mushroom Walk in the Woods

September 17, 1:30 - 4pm, Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Rd, Middletown RI.
Join Joe Metzen, Master of Mushrooms from the Audubon Society of R.I. for an indoor and outdoor presentation on RI mushrooms. History, folk lore, and identification will be discussed during a classroom presentation. Afterwards, participants will head out on the trail to discover what fungus is growing among us at NBS. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Please register in advance. Member $10. Non-Member $12. Details here.

Saturday Supper - Whole Grains Exposed (tips, tools, and recipes)

September 17, Kettle Pond Farm, Berkley
You know you should eat them – let us help! Learn what they are, how to cook them, why they are better for you, and how to find them at the store. It will be a jam-packed lesson filled with fun facts and yummy hints. Details here.

Fairhaven 4th Annual Eco/Energy Fair

September 18, 1-4pm, Fairhaven High School Lawn
The 4th Annual Eco/Energy Fair in Fairhaven will be held during the weekly Farmers Market. There will be vendors selling and explaining alternative energy, non-profit groups and many other great booths. for more info check out www.greenfairhaven.com or contact Ann Richard at ann.richard@gmail.com or call her at 1-508-991-8315.

Clamboil Fundraiser for Fall River Street Tree Planting Program

September 19 4-8 p.m., Lepage's Seafood & Grille, 439 Martine St., Fall River
Fundraiser to benefit tree planting in Fall River. Take out or eat in. $20.00 per person. Children's menu available. Tickets: In advance at Lepage's or from - MARYANNWORDELL2851@COMCAST.NET or call Priscilla Brightman at 508-672-1027.

Public Meeting of The Natural Resource Damages Trustee Council for the Buzzards Bay

September 21 and 22nd 6-9 p.m., Massachusetts Maritime Academy on 9/21 and Heritage State Park on 9/22
The Natural Resource Damages Trustee Council for the Buzzards Bay oil spill has scheduled two public meetings as part of the development of a Restoration Plan (RP) to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of natural resources injured by the April 2003 Bouchard B-120 barge oil spill and spill clean-up in Buzzards Bay. The development and implementation of the RP will be funded by a May 2011 Natural Resource Damages (NRD) settlement of $6 million with Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. The public is invited to learn about the process for developing the RP and is welcomed to offer input on potential restoration projects addressing the injured natural resources.

Format of the public meetings will include an informal poster session beginning at 6:00 p.m., and a formal Trustee Council presentation beginning at 7:00 p.m., followed by a question and answer session. Following the public meetings, information obtained during the meetings will be used by the Trustee Council and technical agency staff to develop the RP and project alternatives. Once completed, a Draft RP will be released to the public for review and comment. Contact jennifer.viveiros@state.ma.us for more information.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Swansea library's 'Gardening through the Year' series

September 22 7pm, Swansea Public Library
Join expert gardener John Whitney from the Redwood Nursery and Garden Center as he presents a program on why autumn is a great time to be in the yard. Topics covered in this free workshop include trees and shrubs, lawns, bulbs and perennials. He will teach what needs to be pruned and pulled now before the winter sets in. Learn how to improve your gardening skills in this fun and informative workshop. Sign up today as space is limited. For more information, contact the Swansea Public Library at 508-674-9609 or email at carol.gafford@sailsinc.org.

Tire and Car Battery Recycling Day

September 24 9 am-12 noon, Shawmut Avenue Transfer Station, 1103 Shawmut Avenue, New Bedford
For a small fee, New Bedford and Dartmouth residents can recycle used tires. Car batteries are accepted at no charge. The event will take place rain or shine. Tires are recycled in a variety of applications such as in rubberized asphalt, marine floats, and fuel for cement plants and paper mills. The following fees apply: $1 each for car tires; $5 each for light duty truck tires; $15 each for heavy duty truck tires (no more than 6, no off-road equipment tires). Please note: New Bedford and Dartmouth residents only. Proof of residency is required. Tires greater than 24 inches are not accepted. No commercial loads. Cash or checks only. Marissa Perez-Dormitzer, District Recycling Coordinator, at (508) 979-1493 or recycling@newbedford-ma.gov.

New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival

September 24-25 11am-5 pm, Fisherman’s Wharf/ Pier 3 — Steamship Pier
The theme is “Then and Now: Tradition and Innovation in New England’s Working Ports.” Festival programming will explore cultural traditions in commercial fishing communities, pay tribute to industry innovators and consider how the industry has changed over time in terms of everything from technology to regulations. This year’s Working Waterfront Festival will feature “Seafood Throwdowns” on both Saturday and Sunday. Watch as participating chefs compete to create a winning dish using a surprise seafood ingredient and local produce. Chefs can bring three of their favorite ingredients; once they discover the secret seafood, they get $25 and 15 minutes to shop the Festival Farmers’ Market. A panel of judges, including fishermen and food writers will determine the winning dish. Festival goers will find music, dance, poetry, artisans, demonstrations, a kid’s area, harbor tours, a tugboat muster and more. Details here.

UMass Dartmouth Fall Forest Forum

September 29, 8:30 am to 3pm, Woodland Commons and UMass Dartmouth Campus Forest.
Nature walks and talks combine for a day that explores the critical role of private landowners in maintaining healthy South Coast tree stands. This forum has three different potential audiences: landowners, professional foresters, and K-12 teachers. Tools and informaiton to make informed decisions in planning for the future of land and its current use will be shared. For local teachers, lesson plans and tours of the campus forest will be available. Details here.

New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest Deadline Approaching!

September 30 Deadline
The New Bedford Conservation Commission is looking for your best photograph(s) of any flora, fauna, or natural landscape in New Bedford’s wetlands. Photographs will be displayed at New Bedford City Hall where the public can vote. The top 12 winners will have their credited picture in the 2012 Conservation Commission electronic calendar. Voting begins in October. Winners will be announced in December.

For more information and to read official rules and to print an entry form visit  http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/WetlandPhotoContest.htm

The 5th Annual Watershed Ride

October 2, 7:30 AM or 11:15, Horseneck Beach or Dexter Lane Recreation Area, Rochester
Enjoy a spectacular scenic 75-mile route from Westport to Woods Hole, while raising funds to Save Buzzards Bay. The fully-supported one-day cycling event every October celebrates and builds awareness of the Buzzards Bay watershed.

Or choose the half-ride option that begins at the Dexter Lane Recreation Area in Rochester Center and joins the main route for a 35-mile ride to Woods Hole. Each route has a $300 fundraising minimum requirement. Details here.

Gasland (Sustainability Film Series)

October 5, 6:30 PM, UMass Dartmouth CVPA-153 auditorium
Note that this was shown at the Unitarian Church during the Spring. 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.

Creating Community-Based Economies for Southeastern Massachusetts: Regional Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting

October 6, 1-4pm, UMass Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center, Fall River, MA.
Open to the public, this informative panel and discussion session will explore how the SouthCoast can make progress in building a more robust economy based on progressive sustainability principles. featuring presentations by, and a conversation with, Doug Hammond, Community Systems Engineer, founding Board Member and former Executive Director of BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies; and Edgar Cahn, Visionary Economist, Founder of TimeBanks USA and Co-Founder of the Antioch School of Law. Details here.

Low Impact Landscaping Workshop

October 20, 10am-12pm, Westport Public Library,408 Old County Rd., Westport, MA
Aimed at local homeowners, this workshop will teach participants ways to beautify their property while protecting the water quality of our ponds, streams and the Westport River. Bob Hartzel of Geosyntec Consultants in Boston is leading the workshop. Free. For more info: 508-636-3016. Details here.

Connecting for Change: A Bioneers by the Bay Conference

October 21-23 3 days of forums, exhibits, and demonstrations in downtown New Bedford.
A SOLUTION based gathering that brings together a diverse audience to create deep and positive change in their communities. Join the movement. Register before September 26th to receive your early bird discount, saving you 30% off the full ticket price! Conference highlights include: - Amazing Keynote Speakers - Dozens of Workshops and Tours - An Exhibition Hall, - Film Festival - Open-mic Night - Farmers' Market - Family Activities. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
"Transition Town" Initiative in Southeastern Massachusetts
On September 12, UMass Dartmouth's Sustainability Office and the Fairhaven Sustainability Council hosted a presentation on the genesis and growth of Transition Towns from a single project in Totnes England just five short years ago to several hundred intiatives worldwide. The key notion of the Transition Town initiative is that systemic, locally-based responses to climate change and peak oil can help communities develop resilience and hope. The discussion drew interested parties from Marion to Seekonk to Bridgewater and towns in between for a broad-based exploration. Three major concerns/questions arose: (1) How can a Transition Town --or any other sustainability initiative--respond creatively and constructively to the very real economic distress many of our community members are faced with? (2) How can a systemic initiative like Transition Town be developed that honors the wonderful work and efforts already going on across the Southcoast in such areas as energy, food, and waste. How do we move forward both regionally and on a town by town basis? (3) The UMass Dartmouth Office of Sustainability, the Regional Council on Sustainability and SRPEDD are interested in providing space to discuss these issues and to providing support to towns who would like to investigate developing an initiative. Two upcoming related meetings are: (1) October 6th, Regional Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting, 1-4 pm, ATMC Fall River: Creating Community Based Economies in Southeastern Massachusetts. Discussion will include local currencies, Time-Banking, and other alternate economic structures. (2) Bioneers Regional Transition Town Discussion to be scheduled during the Connecting for Change Conference, October 21-23. Town meetings will also be held on a regular basis. More information to come. To learn about the "Transition Movement in the United States, visit http://transitionus.org/transition-town-movement. or read the "Transition Handbook" by R. Hopkins.
Internships available with the Energy Challenge!
The SouthCoast Energy Challenge is now seeking qualified, college-aged or older interns to fill three or more positions: Online Marketing & Media Internship, and Outreach & Organizing Internships. The Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEAL) has launched the SouthCoast Energy Challenge to engage and mobilize residents to become more thoughtful and efficient energy consumers. The program aims to reduce energy consumption by 15% among 35,000 SouthCoast households over three years. This approximately 120 million pound reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to taking about 10,000 cars off the road! The Challenge promotes individual action as well as friendly competition among towns, schools, businesses, congregations, and nonprofits. Learn more.
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.
September Special at Sustainable "Center Cafe" in South End "ecoNewBedford" District
The Center Café is the last piece of the demonstration project on Brock Avenue called ecoNewBedford. During September, stop in to learn about the eco-friendly design and enjoy an entire half-price menu from 4 to 7 pm, including coffee and ice cream, salads, home-made soups, and lite sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches, fruit-yogurt smoothies, and waffles are served any time. 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.
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.
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 year ago and is avaiable online as a model for others who might want to pursue sustainable change. 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
Advantages of rooftop solar power
A major solar farm project is impressive, but so is a small rooftop solar power system in my opinion. Those comparatively few solar panels do so much more than just crank out free electricity. Learn more here.

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