Cathy Milbourn (news media only)
September 16, 2013
WASHINGTON — During Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, September 16-22, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages Americans to prevent or reduce pollution at the source. This year’s pollution prevention week comes just three months after President Obama’s speech at Georgetown University where he outlined his Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution that causes climate change.
In addition to the Climate Action Plan, which outlines a number of common sense steps the administration is taking to reduce carbon pollution like increasing renewable energy and fuel efficiency, there are also a number of steps Americans can take to reduce carbon pollution:
Save energy and money: Look for the Energy Star label to find energy efficient electronics and appliances, which can save up to $400 a year per household on energy bills and reduce carbon pollution from power generation. http://www.energystar.gov/
Find a fuel efficient car — Public transit or biking to your destination makes the most sense for the environment and your pocketbook, but the EPA Green Vehicle Guide can help you choose a more fuel efficient car and reduce air pollution from emissions and save money at the gas pump. The program also certifies fleet vehicles for commercial use http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/Index.do, http://www.epa.gov/smartway
Pollution prevention week focuses on other ways to protect the environment. In addition to reducing carbon pollution, Americans can reduce pollution by:
Saving water: Look for the WaterSense label to find water efficient products, which can save over 5,000 gallons of water per year per household and keep water supplies at safe levels. Lower water levels can contribute to higher concentrations of natural and human pollutants. http://www.epa.gov/watersense
Picking safer products: Look for EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Label on more than 2,500 products for home and industrial use. Choosing DfE-labeled products can prevent 40 pounds of potentially harmful chemicals from being released into a home and the environment. http://www.epa.gov/dfe
Using pesticides properly: If you need to manage pests in your home or garden, be PestWise– you’ll reduce risk to health and the environment from chemicals and save money with informed strategies. http://www.epa.gov/pestwise/live/index.html
Helping green the playing field — EPA just launched a new Green Sports Resource Directory to help teams, leagues, facilities and fans green the sports community. Visit the site to learn if your team is going green and check back often— the page will continually be updated with new stats, environmental victories and information. http://www2.epa.gov/green-sports
EPA also maintains the Greener Products Portal to help consumers, as well businesses, and institutional buyers identify greener, safer and more efficient products. The portal features all of EPA’s eco-labeling partnership programs, whose standards are based on scientific expertise and use the best available data. http://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts
Each year, EPA’s grant-funded pollution prevention programs alone report reductions in hazardous emissions by hundreds of millions of pounds, save hundreds of millions of gallons of water , save tens of millions of dollars, and reduce a million or more metric tons of carbon pollution equivalent that would otherwise contribute to climate change. The savings from new results usually continue for years into the future, so the cumulative impacts of these pollution prevention efforts over time become even more significant.
By being aware of how we generate pollution in our daily lives and taking steps to reduce impacts – by making greener product choices, and adopting commonsense and cents-saving measures— we can each reduce our environmental footprints and collectively improve the health of our communities and country.
Connect with EPA on social media for more P2 tips everyday, look for #P2Week and join the #SaferProducts Twitter Chat by following @EPAlive on Tuesday September 17th at 2pm.
More on pollution prevention, P2 Week, and EPA’s P2 programs: http://www2.epa.gov/p2week
More on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf
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Saturday November 16th, 2013
Location: Bernstein Park 5th Street & 5th Avenue Stock Island, FL 33040
In observance of America Recycles Day, Reef Relief is hosting a neighborhood cleanup in partnership with the Monroe County Solid Waste. Monroe County will, also, be running an E-waste and Hazardous Waste Collection. Meet at 9:00 at Bernstein Park. For more info call Reef Relief at 305-294-3100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLEWISTON, Fla. — On wind-whipped days when rain pounds this part of South Florida, people are quickly reminded that Lake Okeechobee, with its vulnerable dike and polluted waters, has become a giant environmental problem far beyond its banks.
Beginning in May, huge downpours ushered in the most significant threat in almost a decade to the bulging lake and its 80-year-old earthen dike, a turn of events with far-reaching consequences. The summer rains set off a chain reaction that devastated three major estuaries far to the east and west, distressing residents, alarming state and federal officials and prompting calls for remedial action. Read more
(202) 441-2398 (Cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 29, 2013
Use of “surrogates” to measure incidental take would improve program’s
implementation, decrease unnecessary regulatory burden and costs
In order to make the implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) more effective and less burdensome, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) are proposing to amend regulations governing Incidental Take Statements (ITS) for endangered species.
An ITS describes the amount or extent of “incidental take” of a threatened or endangered species (e.g., harm to that species) that is anticipated to result from an action by a federal agency. ITSs are produced by the Services as part of a biological opinion resulting from consultations with the federal agency under Section 7 of the ESA.
The Services are proposing to change the regulations that implement Section 7 to codify the use of a surrogate, in appropriate circumstances, to express the anticipated amount or extent of take. The changes will also allow for flexibility in how the Services prepare ITSs in situations where assessing and monitoring take of endangered and threatened species may be extremely difficult, time-consuming or expensive.
The Services have found that in many cases, the biology of a listed species or the nature of the proposed action makes it impractical to detect or monitor take of individual animals. Additionally, impact to some species may not be in the form of direct or immediate harm to individuals, but rather a decrease in biological fitness due to reduced ability to breed or shortened lifespan. In these cases, evaluating impacts to a “surrogate” (e.g., habitat, ecological condition or similarly affected species) may be the most reasonable and meaningful way to describe the amount or extent of anticipated take of listed species.
“The endangered species act is a critical safety net for the nation’s fish, wildlife and plants, and to date has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species, as well as promoting the recovery of many others,” said Gary Frazer, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Assistant Director for Ecological Services. “We welcome comment on this proposal as we take steps to strengthen the implementation of the ESA by improving conservation effectiveness, reducing administrative burden, enhancing clarity and consistency for impacted stakeholders and agency staff, and encouraging partnerships, innovation and cooperation.”
The Services are further proposing to codify the use of Programmatic Incidental Take Statements for ongoing or long-term federal actions. Programmatic Incidental Take statements would be authorized for use in situations where a programmatic action undergoing Section 7 consultation, such as a federal land use plan, is described in such general terms that the amount or extent of incidental take of a species cannot reasonably be measured, but where subsequent “step-down” consultations on individual actions will occur where incidental take can be quantified.
These changes are meant to clarify and codify the current policy of the Services regarding the use of surrogates, and to address recent court decisions related to ITSs for programmatic federal actions.
The rule is consistent with Executive Order 13563, which calls for a retrospective analysis of existing rules to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective and less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives, and was included in the Department of the Interior's Final Plan for Retrospective Regulatory Review.
For more information on the proposal, please visit www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/ITS.html.
The proposed rule will publish in the Federal Register in the next few days and will be available to the public at www.regulations.gov. The Federal Register publication of this notice will also be available at www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm by clicking on the 2013 Proposed Rules link under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.
The Services are accepting comments for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. All public comment must reference the Federal Register docket number. The Service’s will make this number available at www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/ITS.html as soon as it is designated. Written comments and information can be submitted by one of the following methods:
Electronically: Use the federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to the designated docket number
- U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, [insert docket number]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203
The Services intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Comments and materials, as well as supporting documentation used in preparing the proposed rules, will be available for public inspection at www.regulations.gov under the above docket number. In addition, details on the kinds of information the Service is seeking are available in each proposed rule.
The Services will post all comments on www.regulations.gov. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Services are not able to accept email or faxes.
The Service is actively engaged with conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Endangered Species Program, visit www.fws.gov/endangered.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels at www.noaa.gov/socialmedia.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/usfwsand download photos from our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.
– FWS –
Reef Relief & Big Pine Kayak Adventures are hosting a cleanup of No Name Key as part of the International Coastal Cleanup event. Wear clothes that can get wet/dirty and shoes that will stay on in mud. A refillable water bottle is suggested. This is a kayak cleanup and kayaks are being provided by Big Pine Kayak Adventures.
We will be meeting at 10:00am at the Old Wooden Bridge Fishing Camp located at 1791 Bogie Drive, Big Pine Key, Florida 33043. We plan to finish up at 1:00pm.
Please RSVP by, email to email@example.com or call us at 305-294-3100.
If you are interested in car pooling please email or call Reef Relief with where you are located and if you need or would like to offer a ride.
If it’s legal, it shouldn’t be. Residents draw the line against backyard oil drilling near Florida Panther National Refuge and protected wetlands and call on Governor Rick Scott to tell the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to deny the permit.
Contact: Karen Dwyer, Ph.D. 508-847-6992 firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Preserve Our Paradise
NAPLES, FL—Saturday, August 31, citizens will turn up the heat in a march to Governor Rick Scott’s home to stop the expansion of oil drilling in South Florida. Collier Resources leased 115,000 acres for oil exploration to Hughes Oil, who early in May, applied for permits to set up a large scale drill site in Naples — a 1000 feet from family homes and adjacent to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Western Everglades.
Participants say NO oil drilling in their backyards, panther habitats, and protected wetlands. Although it’s legal, it shouldn’t be. New oil drilling will contribute to environmentally damaging climate change as well as endanger residents, water, wetlands, and wildlife.
The drill site and entire lease area is one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the nation. It is surrounded—east, south, west, and north—by a vast array of wetlands. These public lands, acquired at great cost, protect rare plants and animals as well as safeguard vital watersheds and provide recreation. Consider the Picayune Strand State Park, Rookery Bay, and Everglades National Park, directly downstream. Congress authorized a 30-year Everglades Restoration Plan. Why allow oil drilling to endanger that $10 billion dollar project dedicated solely to restoring the South Florida ecosystem? The Everglades is an “American treasure,” says the Army Corps of Engineers, “on par with the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and California’s ancient Redwoods.”
Others fear the federally endangered Florida panther (approximately 100 remaining) won’t survive further habitat loss. The Western Everglades south of the Caloosahatchee River is the only remaining home for this beleaguered species that struggles to survive on 5% of its former range. The drill site gets extensive use from panthers since it lies adjacent to the Panther Refuge. No amount of mitigation can offset the negative impact of losing more habitat. Once the Florida panther is extinct, it can’t be called back.
Participants say they don’t want another Deepwater Horizon—with its long chain of documented misjudgments, operational failings, and oversight mistakes. They want to protect the aquifers that supply Florida with its drinking water and save the watersheds that sustain wetlands. “It’s about our water,” they say. Accidents happen. And over time, pipes leak. And injected chemicals migrate. One accident could ruin aquifers and wetlands for generations to come. The risks are too great and benefits, too small 5] Oil drilling is not in the public interest — especially not in Florida. Its Floridan Aquifer is one of the world’s most productive aquifers that extends into four states and its Karst geology has a natural propensity for sinkholes and makes it extremely susceptible to groundwater contamination. 
Governor Scott’s support of the oil industry has helped fuel a resurgence of oil drilling in Naples, his hometown. By land and by sea, citizens will march and paddle from the Naples Pier to the Governor’s beachfront home. Banners and flags will spell out concerns: Outlaw Oil Wells Next to Homes; Oil Drilling Isn’t Safe; Don’t Mess with Everglades Oil; Save Our Stonecrabs; Oil, Not Worth a Panther’s Whisker; Collier Oil Goes Overseas. In the Governor’s backyard, residents will build an oil rig to make visible why they don’t want to live in an emergency evacuation zone, only feet from a hazardous drill site, with a 145’ oil rig. They’re calling on Governor Scott to tell the state to deny the permit. Closing with a candlelight vigil, they’ll invite everyone, from legislators to land barons, to partner with them in preserving South Florida.
WHAT: March to Governor Rick Scott’s Home to Stop Expansion of Oil Drilling in South Florida
WHO: Concerned citizens
WHERE: Meet on beach at Naples Fishing Pier, 25th 12th Ave. S., Naples, FL 34012
March on beach to 3150 Gordon Drive in Old Naples, Gulf of Mexico beachfront
WHEN: Saturday, August 31, 5:00 PM
***VISUALS: Signs/New Banners/Flags/Armbands/Kayaks/Bamboo Oil Rig/Red Tag/Candles ***
 Other concerns highlighted in previous events, include public safety, emergency evacuation, fire hazards, oil and toxic brine spills, heavy traffic danger to school children, risk to water levels of adjacent wetlands, industrial noise, and declining property values.
 The Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge lies to the east, the Belle Meade Tracts to the west, the Picayune Strand State Forest to the south, and the Fakahatchee Strand State Park to the southeast. The Camp Keais Strand also connects the area to the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW Lands) and the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary to the north.
 Although the application states, “The Well location does not contain habitat for federal or state listed wildlife species. . . . No listed species have been observed on-site”—this is incorrect. A report by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) documents an actual panther observation inside the proposed drill site and telemetry charts of collared panthers provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) show a high level of panther activity. This alone, should trigger consultations from the agencies responsible for protecting endangered species: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the FWC. The panther is also an “umbrella species,” and protection of the panther’s habitat protects numerous state and federally listed plants and animals. See, Matthew Schwartz, South Florida Wildlands Association Public Comments to DEP, June 30, 2013. Also, the rancher who leases the proposed drill site, reports he loses a number of calves to panthers every year. He accepts this as part of the risk of doing business in panther habitat.
 See, Abrahm Lustgarten, “Injection Wells: the Poison Beneath Us,” ProPublica, June 21, 2012.
 New oil production in Florida is “likely to amount to a drop in the barrel compared to black gold booms that the controversial practice of ‘fracking’ has generated in once obscure sites in Texas, North Dakota and other states,” reports Curtis Morgan (Oil Industry Eyes South Florida Again, Sat. May 12, 2013). Also, in the first public meeting, Hank Kremers with Hughes Oil said his company was a small Texas outfit and it would bring no jobs to the area and the oil would be transported in trucks to Ft. Lauderdale for overseas exportation.
 See, Wikipedia, Floridan aquifer and USGS National Karst Map Project.
 In May, Governor Scott’s veto of H.B. 4001 caused the biofuel startup Algenol to suspend plans to build commercial scale facilities in Florida. The same month, Scott vetoed the $7.5 million FGCU Innovative Hub/Renewable Energy Institute, foregoing another opportunity to jumpstart the state’s economy and support renewable energy rather than old technologies like oil and gas drilling. See also, Amanda Peterson Beadle, “Florida Gov. Rick Scott Supports Oil Drilling in the Everglades,” Climate Progress, Sept. 7, 2011.
 Please see Facebook Preserve Our Paradise to sign the petition, write the DEP, and join events. The DEP has received over 3500 signatures on a petition, and over 600 public comments; the public comment period is still open and the DEP has asked Hughes Oil to run a sonic log and take water samples. A DEP decision could be made by September; residents will be notified at a public meeting. Citizens have called on federal, state, and local officials to urge the DEP to deny the permit. Senator Dwight Bullard sent an official letter requesting the DEP deny the permit.
An analysis of water, sediment and seafood samples taken in 2010 during and after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has found higher contamination levels in some cases than previous studies by federal agencies did, casting doubt on some of the earlier sampling methods.
The lead author, Paul W. Sammarco of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, said that dispersants used to break up the oil might have affected some of the samples. He said that the greater contamination called into question the timing of decisions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reopen gulf fisheries after the spill and that “it might be time to review the techniques that are used to determine” such reopenings. Read more
Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000-pound orcas, or "killer whales," soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black-and-white mammal is like a two-faced Janus—beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. The documentary Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who—unlike any orca in the wild—has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong? Shocking, never-before-seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca's extraordinary nature, the species' cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades, and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1hr 23mins
Release Year: 2013
Country Of Origin: USA