Category Archives: Protection

Interactive Monarch Butterfly friendship map – take a look and feel free to add your story

Monarch map
Source: Environmental Defense Fund Monarch map
The Environmental Defense Fund has created a map of people and places all around the United States with a story of friendship to tell about Monarch Butterflies. Take a look at what others are doing to honor, help and protect Monarchs, and feel free to submit a story of your own.

Your own backyard is a great place to help butterflies and bees

Butterflies in field
Sourece: Judy Kesser via Monarch Joint Venture
Naturalist Don Torino suggests using your own backyard to help the butterflies and bees survive and thrive:

…There is still much more for us to do, especially in our own backyards.

This spring dig under some of that useless lawn, remove some non-natives and put aside some room in your flower beds for some milkweed and native wildflower nectar sources. Many local garden centers now carry multiple species of milkweed which will work in the backyard. Some better garden centers are now even setting aside spaces for native wildflowers like Milkweeds Goldenrod, Joe-pye weed and NY Ironweed to name a few.

Unlike many environmental issues which at times can seem overwhelming, this is an issue we can do something about. We don’t need to write to our Congressman or the Governor and hope that something gets done. Just plant some milkweed and other native wildflowers that provide nectar and you’ve just made our environment a better place.

Together we can turn our local communities into environments that are welcoming to the Monarch butterfly and that will give a fighting chance to a creature that can sure use our help.

If you have any questions on milkweed or other native plants feel free to contact me at Greatauk4@gmail.com

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Pres. Obama is making a flower highway for butterflies (really)

tagged monarch
Source: Anna Barnett on flickr
I know this headline sounds more like the title of a fantasy novel than a project the federal United States government is implementing. But it’s real – a real 1500 mile project that will connect Minnesota with Texas with habitat areas for Monarch butterflies all the way down the middle of our country. That’s the path these butterflies take on their way to winter in fir forests outside of Mexico City, Mexico. It will run north-south along Route I-35, pretty much the entire vertical length of the United States.

butterfly highway
Source: mexiconewsdaily.com

The Christian Science Monitor explains the plan:

The Xerces Society has already been working with the Federal Highway Administration to develop best practices for roadside management, including incorporation of flowering plants and milkweed and adapting mowing schedules to migration patterns… but the president’s plan is much broader than that.

“The idea is to use it as this iconic pathway to work with schools, farmers, ranchers, and park districts to improve habitats for 50 to 100 miles on either side of the I-35 corridor,” Dr. Black says.

North Carolina has a Butterfly Highway of its own. And, there are other Monarch protection projects coming to life in different parts of the United States – check out Monarch Joint Venture for details.

In May 2015 the Washington Post reported on Obama’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.

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Port Authority seems determined to kill off Newark kids by cutting them off from clean air

ej truck count tour
Source: Clean Water Action
The Village Voice reports that Port Authority diesel trucks make, “more than 1.4 million trips a year,” through Newark’s Ironbound radiating asthma and cancer-causing vapors everywhere. The smog is especially thick in the morning hours when students are walking to school.

The Voice quotes Newark Mom Tanisha Garner:

…and a few other locals are conducting a tour of sorts, pointing out where Sandy sent toxic water cascading through the neighborhood after the Passaic overflowed. Alexi Martinez, a 25-year-old student who has lived in the Ironbound his entire life, remarks that many of his friends carry inhalers. It wasn’t until he started working with the Ironbound Community Corporation that he discovered why.

“Learning about our problem here is going to be our best hope at solving it,” Martinez says. “Just going down to the port for the first time a few months ago was mind-blowing for me. There’s just so many trucks idling, so much pollution, trucks just chilling there for hours.”

A truck replacement service that was supposed to upgrade port service trucks to a safer form of combustible fuel caused more problems than it solved and was abandoned soon after getting started in 2010.

Learn about Clean Water Action and the Coalition for Healthy Ports NY NJ’s #ZeroEmissionsNow campaign to create healthier port neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey.

Speak up for NJ law to use only environment-saving native plants for state roadway areas

Native Plant legislative alertA proposed law would help clean New Jersey waterways by requiring all new Jersey roadway authorities to use ONLY native plants for landscaping, land management, reforestation and habitat restoration.

Plant and grass fertilizers are a huge source of pollution for natural waterways, but native plants need no fertilizers. Native plants are also hearty and drought resistant, so they tend to thrive even when water becomes scarce – so they can keep on doing their job well: growing deep roots that retain topsoil and keep plants healthy. Those roots help stormwater seep into the ground where it gets channelled to the underground aquifers that

Please write or call your State Senator and Assemblyperson. Consult this handy guide to find your New Jersey State legislators.

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Aussie MP lights a river on fire – it’s that full of fracking gas

River being lit on fire
Source: Jeremy Buckingham via YouTube
Australian Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham introduces this video on YouTube:

Gas explodes from Australian river near fracking site. I was shocked by force of the explosion when I tested whether gas boiling through the Condamine River, Queensland was flammable. So much gas is bubbling through the river that it held a huge flame.

More coverage from:
The BBC
Buckingham’s web page
RT News

Matt Smith, Dr. WhoHat tip to Matt Smith for the share! By the way, our sharer is not the eleventh Dr. Who.

 

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Coral is a universe of exploding colors and brilliance, a celebration of life that we are killing

Coral
Source: Screen shot of Stoupin’s Slow Life – coral timelapse
Photographer Daniel Stoupin condensed 9 months of photographs into a three and a half minute timelapse that shows the fabulous universe of coral.

Which we are killing.

Fight for the Reef

Slow Life from BioQuest Studios on Vimeo.

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Most Big Brand foods and personal care items are made with unsustainable palm oil and it’s killing the world

Sustainably harvested palm oil
Source: NBPOL via RSPO website
Commercially harvested palm oil destroys wildlife habitat and contributes to global warming. That’s why we should be checking products to make sure they don’t contain it. 1 Million Women tells how to check products for palm oil and David Suzuki offers more suggestions:

  1. Shop from companies listed in the RSPO’s database of sustainable-palm supporters;
  2. Look for the RSPO trademark on products;
  3. Ask retailers to offer more certified sustainable palm oil products;
  4. Ask manufacturers to use certified sustainable palm oil;
  5. Visit the World Wildlife Federation to learn about other ways to get involved.

1 Million Women also explains why checking and boycotts are so important.

100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is produced in a way that helps protect the last remaining habitat for wildlife and preserves the livelihoods of producers. By buying from companies using either CSPO or sustainable alternatives to palm oil, you can enjoy some wildlife-friendly, guilt-free chocolates.

Why is palm oil such a big issue?

When tropical forests are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2 ), the gas that is the leading cause of climate change; tropical deforestation accounts for about10 percent of total global warming emissions (UCS 2013).

Indonesia was the world’s seventh-largest emitter of global warming pollution in 2009, and deforestation accounted for about 30 percent of these emissions (WRI 2013). Indeed, for that same year Indonesia ranked second (behind Brazil) in the amount of global warming pollution it produced because of deforestation (WRI 2013).

It’s estimated that 98% of Indonesian forest will be gone in 9 years due to palm oil plantations.

Palm Oil is a major problem, and it is up to us as consumers to make a difference. It is up to us to boycott the brands that contain palm oil, or who are not trying to source responsible palm oil, and protest against those who create this destruction…

How is standing up against sustainable palm oil going to affect the food and beauty products we use at home?

Standing up might mean giving up: crackers, ramen, chocolate eggs, easter bunnies and many commercial brands of soap – in favor of buying less commercial brand products. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, is it? Having the chance to save the world and be healthier at the same time sounds like a pretty good tradeoff to me.

For more information on the drive to produce only sustainably harvested palm oil visit the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

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Bergen Cty residents can purchase reduced price rain barrels and composters at the BCUA


For the convenience of Bergen County residents the BCUA offers 55 gal. rain barrels at the discounted price of $59 and Earth Machine composting bins for $60. Pick up is by appointment only at the Little Ferry plant at the foot of Mehrhof Road. Schedule your appointment by calling the BCUA Environmental Programs hotline 201-807-5825.

The BCUA accepts only checks or money orders. For more information about this and other community greening programs visit bcua.org.

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Indigenous women in Ecuador & allies march to defend the Amazon & protest environmental & cultural genocide

PUYO, Ecuador, March 9, 2016 – In recognition of International Women’s Day, Indigenous Amazonian women leaders of seven nationalities including: Andoa, Achuar, Kichwa, Shuar, Shiwiar, Sapara and Waorani nationalities and their international allies took action in Puyo, Ecuador, in a forum and march in defense of the Amazon, Mother Earth and for climate justice. Specifically, they came together to denounce a newly signed oil contract between the Ecuadorian government and Chinese oil corporation Andes Petroleum.

Indigenous woman of the Amazon with megaphone
Source: Mike Riech/Pachamama Alliance

By plane, foot, canoe, and bus, some five hundred women mobilized from deep in their rainforest territories and nearby provinces marching through the streets of the Amazon jungle town of Puyo.

Chanting, “Defend the forest, don’t sell it!” and carrying signs reading “No more persecution against women defenders of Mother Earth,” the march culminated in a rally in which each nationality denounced the new oil threat and shared traditional songs and ceremonies. The women spoke of other methods for protecting and defending the Amazon and its vital living systems, making it known that the women of the Amazon are not just victims of environmental and cultural genocide, but rather are vital solution bearers.

In addition to highlighting the grave social and ecologic implications of this new contract and the Ecuadorian government’s plans to tender several more oil blocks in the pristine, roadless southern Amazon, the women and allies brought light to their struggles and the ongoing criminalization faced as they stand to protect and defend their territories and lifeways based upon living in harmony with the natural world. A tribute was held in honor of Berta Caceres, the Honduran indigenous environmental leader who was killed last week for her years of work defending rights and territories from privatization, plantations, and most recently, a mega dam project.

The women of the Amazon were also joined by Casey Camp Horinek, WECAN delegation member and Indigenous leader of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, who shared her traditional songs and stories of how her people have been impacted by fracking activity.

Indigenous women of the Amazon-2
Source: Mike Riech/Pachamama Alliance

“Right now the oil company is trying to enter our territory. That is our homeland, this is where we have our chakras (gardens), where we feed our families. We are warriors, and we are not afraid. We will never negotiate,” explained Rosalia Ruiz, a Sapara leader from the community of Torimbo, which is inside the Block 83 oil concession.

“Although we are from three different provinces, we are one territory and one voice,” Alicia Cahuiya, Waorani leader declared.

As the march unfolded, the Ecuadorian government and Andes Petroleum held a meeting in the nearby town of Shell to organize an illegal entry into Sapara territory, knowing that key leaders would not be present. Outraged, a delegation of Sapara delivered a letter to the meeting, underscoring their peoples’ opposition to the oil project and governments tactics to divide the community. They successfully thwarted the government and company plans, and returned to the streets, victorious.

International allies including the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, Amazon Watch and Pachamama Alliance shared messages of solidarity and calls for immediate action to keep fossil fuels in the ground in the Amazon.

“On this International Women’s Day we are reaching across borders and standing together as global women for climate justice to denounce oil extraction in the Amazon and call for attention to the struggles and solutions of local women land defenders,” explained Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, “We all depend on the flourishing of these precious rainforests, the lungs of the planet. Now is the time to keep the oil in the ground and stand with the women who have been putting their bodies on the line for years to protect the forest, their cultures, and the health and well being of all future generations.”

“Today was a historic day for indigenous Amazonian women! It was the first time that hundreds of women and their allies marched for the Amazon, Mother Earth and Climate Justice. And the power of women was so strong that plans for oil companies entering Sápara territory today were halted. This is is a signal that the collective call to defend rights and territories by keeping fossil fuels in the ground is working,” says Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch.

Indigenous woman of the Amazon with banner
Source: Mike Riech/Pachamama Alliance

Belen Paez from Pachamama Alliance declared: “It’s a unique and historical moment to have the experience of solidarity and connection between indigenous women and activists from all over the world standing up for the rights of the Amazon rainforest and its people, we have all been waiting for this moment for so long, and that moment is now.”

The March 8 forum, action and press conference will be followed by a March 9 event and report back, ‘Women of Ecuadorian Amazon and International Allies Stand For Protection of the Amazon Rainforest’ to be held on March 9 at 17:00 at the Biblioteca FLASCO, Universidad FLACSO, Quito.

A solidarity action was also held at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, CA, to denounce the new oil contracts on Sapara and Kichwa territory and support women’s rights in Ecuador and around the world.