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Friday, August 29, 2014

Earth: The Operators’ Manual Movie Preview

Posted by hester on April 15, 2012

You are invited to a preview of Earth: The Operators’ Manual on Thursday, April 19th, 5:30-7:00pm at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 12th and H Streets, Northwest, Washington DC.

This three part documentary takes the unusual viewpoint that the issue of climate change is no longer red, blue, right, or left, and the way to solve the crisis doesn’t require political consensus in Washington. Instead, the documentary focuses on everyday Americans across the country that are taking steps towards saving money (and reducing their carbon footprint) through clean energy.

These people come from different political backgrounds, different geographies, and different occupations – often playing against their own types. An Admiral in the Pentagon who thinks climate change is a threat to national security. A cattle rancher from Texas who harnesses wind energy to save his family farm. An activist in Baltimore who uses clean energy as way to help struggling inner-city neighborhoods.

At the event on Thursday the 19th, you’ll be able to discuss clean energy and climate change with award-winning scientist Richard Alley, speak with activists and experts featured in the series, and watch clips from all three documentaries.

Earth Day 2012 in Leonardtown, MD

Posted by hester on March 15, 2012

Get the whole family involved – Come spend Earth Day in Leonardtown, MD! Talk to experts in soil and water conservation, animal rescue, solar energy, gardening, and recycling. See yarn spinning demonstrations and live animal exhibits. Join in the yoga classes (bring your mat!) or enjoy the scenic walk to the Wharf for free kayak and canoe rides. Kids are invited to hop in our moon bounce, sing along at the puppet show and make earth-friendly crafts that they can take home. Don’t miss the live entertainment, music and dancing, craft vendors, food and more! Leonardtown Earth Day Celebration 2012 is on Sunday, April 22nd from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Call 301-475-9791 for more information.

Why Did So Many Trees Fall in St. Mary’s County?

Posted by chris on November 7, 2011

The short answer of course is that there was a lot of rain and a lot wind. But there is another factor. More trees fell on the eastern side of the county, from Wildewood to the Patuxent River, and this area has a particular soil type that is especially vulnerable to rain events.

On Wednesday November 16 the Potomac River Association will explore the instability of the soils along the Patuxent River side of the county and implications of runoff for property owners and the Patuxent River. Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper, will talk about the relationship between the land and the health of the river. Fred is a brilliant and passionate advocate for the environment. Lifelong county resident Robert Willey will give a short talk and show his photographs about ugly runoff events of the Myrtle Point area. There will be a question and answer period with soil and tree experts.

The event is free and open to the public. Wednesday, November 16th, 7PM, at The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, 44219 Airport Road, California, Maryland.

For more information call 301-769-3840 – Download the Flyer

Charles County Going Green Expo 2011

Posted by hester on June 7, 2011

Start: June 18, 2011 10:00 am
End: June 18, 2011 2:00 pm
Venue: North Point High School

The Going Green Expo will be a high point for Charles County during the month of June. This

free event will be open to the community at large and will take place on June 18 at North Point

High School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year’s Expo was attended by more than 1,200

individuals and sponsored by 75 exhibitors and companies. The Expo will feature products and

services that will educate and inform residents and businesses on ways to save money by

adopting sustainable practices.

Area students also have an opportunity to participate by creating a video that addresses the

question: “Going Green What Does it Mean?” Contest winners will be announced during the

Expo and will receive cash prizes for their schools and a day at the NBC Studios in Washington,

D.C. The 2011 sponsors include: Chaney Enterprises, Saint Charles Communities, College of

Southern Maryland, Meridian, SMECO, Southern Solutions, Waste Management, Coca-Cola,

Elm Street Development, Chick-fil-A, Soleil Solar, Lowes of La Plata, HazTrain, GenOn,

Dillon’s Bus Service, PNC Bank, Charles County Technology Council, Golder Associates, and

Loiederman, Soltesz Associates. No registration for the Expo is necessary.

Wine in the Gardens

Posted by chris on May 24, 2011

Start: June 11, 2011 2:00 pm
End: June 11, 2011 6:00 pm
Venue: Summerseat Farm

Summerseat Farm would like to cordially invite you to an afternoon of fine wine, music and food in the beautiful gardens of

Summerseat Farm
Saturday, June 11, 2011
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

$20.00 per person

Cost includes a commemorative wine glass and a tasting of selected wines from wineries of the Patuxent Wine Trail

Chef Loic of the Café Des Artistes will present hors d’oeuvres to pair with the wine.

Summerseat Farm, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization operated entirely by volunteers. Your support will help us preserve over 120 acres of historic farmland dating back to the 18th century.

Tradition of Sustainability Continues in New St. Mary’s Administration

Posted by chris on March 23, 2011

Start: March 25, 2011 3:00 am
End: March 25, 2011 5:00 pm
Venue: St. Mary’s College of Maryland

What is a college’s impact on the environment? This question will be addressed by a panel of experts, including Dr. Kevin Fletcher, executive director for Audubon International, at a symposium at 3 p.m. Friday, March 25, at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The talk, “Sustainability – Living Responsibly,” is part of a weeklong celebration in St. Mary’s City that includes Maryland Day and the inauguration of the college’s new president, Dr. Joseph Urgo.

Also furthering St. Mary’s environmental efforts, the college opens its new Healing Garden near the Health Center and will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony to initiate the St. Mary’s Arboretum Association. Trees are being planted across campus, students will gather to clean up the campus, and packets of Black-Eyed Susans (the state flower) will be handed out. Through the rest of the semester, there will be public sessions on making rain barrels and a tour of habitats, and a walking tour of identified trees will be available.

The college has a long history of environmentally oriented campus improvements:

  • In 2007, the college completed its first energy performance contract, reducing annual consumption of electricity by 16.5%, heating oil by 24%, and water by 35%. Furthermore, the student body also provided half of the funding for the installation of a geothermal heat pump system under the new James P. Muldoon River Center.
  • In 2008, St. Mary’s became the first college in Maryland to be awarded the Certification in Environmental Planning from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. The college is also the site of one of two pilot programs for green buildings funded by the state of Maryland, with Goodpaster Hall receiving LEED Silver certification.
  • In 2010, the college was one of four Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award Winners.
  • And this January, St. Mary’s created a plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2020, committing to reducing its baseline greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and offsetting the remainder through off-campus investments.

“Being pro-active about our ecological footprint is a trait shared by students as well as faculty and staff at St. Mary’s,” said Urgo. “Sustainability is a key element of the college’s mission and our curriculum − as well, many of our student-led activities promote living responsibly.”

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.

Volunteers Needed for the St. Mary’s River Cleanup April 9

Posted by chris on

Start: April 9, 2011 9:30 am
End: April 9, 2011 1:00 pm
Venue: Great Mills Canoe/Kayak Launch
Phone: 301-862-3517

St. Mary's River Cleanup

Enjoy a wonderful paddle while helping cleanup the St. Mary’s River, Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the 3rd Annual St. Mary’s River Cleanup hosted by the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association as part of the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s 23rd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup.

Volunteers will paddle the St. Mary’s River Water Trail picking up trash from the Great Mills Canoe/Kayak Launch to Adkins Road, continuing on to St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The public is invited to participate. Last year volunteers collected 20 bags of trash and recyclables, 12 tires, and approximately 300 tons of loose trash from the St. Mary’s River.

“The St. Mary’s River Cleanup gives the community an opportunity to improve the St. Mary’s River while enjoying the river first-hand” said Lindsay Tempinson, St. Mary’s River Watershed Association Program Coordinator.

Meet at the Great Mills Canoe/Kayak Launch, off MD Route 5, at 9 a.m. Bring your own canoe or kayak, life vest, and paddling gear. A few canoes or kayaks will be provided, so please contact the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association if you will need one.

To RSVP or for more information, please email info@StMarysRiver.org or call 301-862-3517.

Trash and litter has negative effects in many areas of life in the region:

  • It harms wildlife;
  • costs taxpayers precious funds for cleanup and removal;
  • is a public health threat by increasing breeding grounds for virus carrying insects
  • and rodents;
  • decreases property values;
  • and hurts businesses, recreation, and tourism.

There are more than 350 cleanup sites in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania that include not only stream beds and shorelines, but also fields, forests, parking lots and other ‘inland’ sites, where the trash can be removed before it enters streams and other waterways. Visit www.PotomacCleanup.org or call 202-973-8203 for additional sites.

Earth Hour 2011: Turn out your lights

Posted by hester on March 22, 2011

Start: March 26, 2011 8:30 pm
End: March 26, 2011 9:30 pm

Mark your calendars! At 8:30 PM on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour. Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of sustainability issues.

Last year 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

Go to http://www.earthhour.org to learn more

Join the American Chestnut Land Trust for Hiking Trail Maintenance Day.

Posted by hester on March 21, 2011

Start: March 26, 2011 9:00 am
End: March 26, 2011 12:00 pm

Coming Up Saturday, March 26, 2011

9:00am – 12 Noon

Meet at ACLT south side trailhead on Scientists Cliffs Road, Port Republic

Join ACLT Staff and volunteers as we work on the hiking trails in preparation for spring and summer hikes. Trail clearing, weed whacking, sign posting…a great day to enjoy the outdoors!

Cook out and picnic lunch for volunteers at Noon. Please notify the office if you plan to participate. For more information call 410-414-3400 or email us at volunteer@acltweb.org.

New Food & Water Watch Report Warns of Public Health and Environmental Risks of Chemical

Posted by chris on November 11, 2010

Activists Mobilize to Ban Arsenic in Maryland Poultry Production

New Food & Water Watch Report Warns of Public Health and Environmental Risks of Chemical

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of a movement to ban the use of arsenic in poultry production in Maryland, the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch today partnered with community leaders throughout the state to educate the public about the environmental and public health problems associated with the chemical.

A known poison, arsenic is often added to chicken feed in the form of the compound roxarsone to control the common intestinal disease coccidiosis, to promote growth and as a cosmetic additive. Chronic exposure to arsenic has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological deficits and other health problems.

“The FDA approved this drug in 1944 when FDR was president. Since then, science has shown it’s a dangerous, unnecessary contaminant in our food supply,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Maryland has an opportunity to demonstrate true leadership on this issue by banning the use of arsenic in its poultry facilities.”

The seventh largest broiler-producing state in the U.S., according the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Maryland sold nearly 300 million broiler chickens that year. On the Delmarva Peninsula alone, 1,700 chicken operations raise 11 million chickens per week. Researchers estimate that between 20 and 50 metric tons of roxarsone are applied to crops there every year via poultry waste. Groundwater tests on both sides of the Chesapeake Bay’s Coastal Plains found arsenic in some household wells reaching up to 13 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) tolerance limit. Arsenic in chicken litter can convert to more dangerous forms of arsenic than those originally used in feed. This is why a bill to ban arsenic in chicken feed was introduced earlier this year in the Maryland House of Delegates.

“A week ago today, Maryland’s conservation-minded voters turned out in force to send a message that protecting the health of our air, land, water, and residents is an important priority,” said Jen Brock-Cancellieri, deputy director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “We hope that after reading this report, Maryland’s legislators will continue to speak up for their constituents and support legislation to ban the unnecessary use of arsenic by the poultry industry.”

These concerns are reinforced by a new report on the poultry industry’s use of arsenic also released today by Food & Water Watch. Poison-Free Poultry: Why Arsenic Doesn’t Belong in Chicken Feed exposes the dangerous, widespread use of arsenic in the poultry industry and calls on Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action to update antiquated rules and protect consumers.

“We should be able to eat chicken without consuming harmful additives, but Marylanders are inadvertently exposing themselves and their loved ones to a known carcinogen hidden in a seemingly nutritious meal,” said Jenny Levin, an advocate for Maryland PIRG. “As a proud poultry production state, Maryland should ban the use of arsenic in chicken feed immediately, thereby protecting a valuable industry and the health and trust of its citizens.”

Dr. Keeve Nachman, Director of Farming for the Future Program at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future notes that “approval of roxarsone for use in poultry and swine production is based on sorely outdated science that ignores both our present-day understanding of arsenic’s toxicity and the potential for arsenic to contaminate soils, water and crops where animal waste is spread.”

Although approved for use in the chicken industry by the FDA over six decades ago, the average American’s annual chicken consumption has since tripled from less than 20 pounds in the 1940s to nearly 60 pounds in 2008. Yet the FDA hasn’t revised its allowed levels for arsenic residues in poultry since 1951.

Additionally, new studies show that arsenic residues may be higher in chicken meat than previously known. USDA data suggests that the typical American is eating between 2.13 and 8.07 micrograms of total arsenic per day through consumption of chicken meat.

“The science shows the use of arsenic in chicken feed is dangerous and that viable alternatives to arsenic exist,“ said Hauter. “The FDA needs to stand up to the big chicken companies and make public health its priority.”

The report outlines the shared responsibility by the FDA, USDA and EPA for fixing a fragmented, antiquated system to regulate arsenic. It concludes with recommendations to these agencies to mitigate the damage already caused by arsenic in livestock feed and calls for a ban on future use of arsenic for livestock production.

“One of the main reasons why we have found such strong demand for the chickens grown on our pasture is that we don’t use arsenic to raise them,” said Ted Wycall, owner of Greenbranch Farm, located on the Eastern Shore. “Consumers are smart; they don’t want to eat food containing arsenic. Pasture-raised poultry is in big demand locally and nationally. Farmers should consider this a tremendous business opportunity; we need more of us doing this.”

The full report can be downloaded here: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/report/poison-free-poultry

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.