From the Bow Seat announces its contest for 2014, which will appeal to all learners!
The contest invites high school students to tackle the issue of Plastic Pollution in the Ocean, individually or collaboratively, through ART, ADVOCACY or ESSAY options.
The 2014 Ocean Awareness Student Contest is an outgrowth of From the Bow Seat, a 64-minute documentary about environmental issues impacting the world’s oceans. The contest and the film provide opportunities for high school teachers and home school instructors to challenge their students to explore real-world threats to marine life. Contest information can be found at www.fromthebowseat.org/contest
Submissions to the 2012-13 Essay Contest grew by over 50 per cent, with participation from students in 15 states and Canada. The Essay Contest award winners will be announced on October 15, 2013.
Once again, the focus of this year’s contest is creating next-generation ocean stewardship and encouraging students to think critically and cross disciplinarily about the ocean. However, some exciting changes in the contest rules will broaden its appeal to students and expand its applicability to more areas of the curriculum:
1. This year’s theme is Plastics Pollution in Ocean, a timely topic that is increasingly in the news, as we see evidence of growing plastics gyres in both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, and as debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami arrives on our shores. The topic aligns with both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards for Human Impact.
2. Students may submit entries in the form of a 5-8 page essay, an art project, or 5-10 minute video highlighting their advocacy campaign.
3. Students may work independently or collaborate in groups.
4. More awards will be given to students, teachers, and school science and art departments. This year, the number of cash awards has been increased dramatically. There are now cash prizes for all three categories of Art, Essay, and Advocacy: $1,500 for First Prize, $1,000 for Second Place, $500 for Third Place, plus $250 for 10 Honorable Mentions.
In addition, the First-place winners’ high schools will receive $1,500, and three Teachers Recognition Awards of $750 each will be presented. See contest site for all rules and submission requirements.
International Coastal Cleanup: Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (3109 E Sunrise Blvd, Ft Lauderdale); Sat Sept 21, 9am; Sign up here!
Keep Broward Beautiful: Saturday, Sept 21; Find a site near you to collect!
Keep Miami Beautiful: Saturday, Sept 21; Find a site near you to collect!
Keep Palm Beach Beautiful: Saturday, Sept 21; Find a site near you to collect!
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.