EPA: Sense of Wonder Contest

To honor the late preservationist and ecologist Rachel Carson, the EPA, Generations United, and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc., are holding a photo, essay, and poetry contest "that best expresses the Sense of Wonder that you feel for the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes." In her book The Sense of Wonder (written in the 1950s and published in a magazine in 1956), Carson used lyrical passages about the beauty of nature and the joy of helping children develop a sense of wonder and love of nature. Maximum award: publication on the websites of EPA Aging Initiative, Generations United, and Rachel Carson Council, Inc. Eligibility: entries must be joint projects involving a person under age 18 and a person age 50 or older. Deadline: June 10, 2011.


Green Ribbon Schools

April 26, 2011  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announces plans to create a Green Ribbon Schools program that will be run by the U.S. Department of Education with the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

A Texas live oak, the official tree depicted on the Education Department's official seal was planted in the plaza at 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., facing the National Mall.

Also attending
  • U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
  • White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley
  • Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig
  • American Forests CEO Scott Steen
  • Fifth grade students from D.C.'s Amidon Elementary School Knowles Elementary
  • Jośe Rodríguez (Teacher Ambassador from Cedar Park, Texas)
The program will promote public schools that show exemplary efforts to:
  • raise environmental literacy, both inside and outside the classroom; 
  • reduce a school's environmental footprint by improving energy efficiency and resource use; and 
  • increase a school's environmental health.
"At Earth Day Network, we are particularly excited to have collaborated with three key leaders in the Green Schools movement – the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, the National Wildlife Federation, and the U.S. Green Building Council – to make this initiative happen. This exciting new program has the potential to invigorate and empower schools nationwide for growing the 21st-century economy. By encouraging schools to apply for this award, powerful strides will be taken to ensure we meet our shared goal of greening America’s schools within a generation."  

Read more:
Official Tree 
Arne Duncan


Protecting NYC water


New York City's is among the best urban water supplies in the world, and will remain so through summer 2011. After that, hydraulic fracturing ("hydrofracking") beneath the New York City aquifer may begin causing contamination of our City's water supply.

Gas Drilling in NYC Watershed is an unacceptable risk to New York's water supply. Such drilling would wreak havoc on the environment, contaminating surface and groundwater supplies, and damaging the watershed.

To alert more New York City residents to the dangers of contamination posed by hydraulic fracturing in the City's Marcellus Shale / Catskills aquifer, please help us post the following notices.

The website is http://www.nyc-dep.org/spreadtheword.html
DEP would like to send you information and updates regarding Natural Gas Drilling in the Watershed. To subscribe to periodic emails on this subject click here.


Our 'Toxic' Love-Hate Relationship With Plastics

Susan Freinkel notes that plastics have had enormously beneficial impacts — like making blood transfusions safe and common. But scientists are also now discovering that chemicals from plastics are leeching into our bloodstreams — and the effects of that are largely unknown.

Our 'Toxic' Love-Hate Relationship With Plastics  Science writer Susan Freinkel chronicles the rise of plastic in consumer culture — and its effects on the environment and our health — in Plastic: A Toxic Love Story. Freinkel says plastics leach potentially harmful chemicals into our bloodstream — and that scientists are now figuring out what that does to our bodies. (NPR, FRESH AIR)

Think Outside the Bottle/Take Back the Tap

Take Back the Tap, April, 20
Bottled Water Myths  http://www.storyofstuff.com/pdfs/storyofbottledwater_myth-v-reality.pdf

Blue Gold, Maude Barlow
Chris Jordan 's work attempts to place the impact of consumerism in perspective. For his latest project he traveled to the Midway Islands, near the heart of the Pacific Trash Gyre , to photograph the decomposed bodies of chicks that have been fed plastic litter by confused parents. http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#CF000313%2018x24

Reese Halter |  Calgary Herald |  01.25.2009



High levels of toxic lead found in air outside Chicago school. Residents in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood complained for years about metallic-tasting smoke rolling down their narrow streets but had little evidence it was harmful. Now they have proof. Chicago Tribune, Illinois.

Cancer scientists get pushy about prevention

As evidence linking pollutants and cancer becomes increasingly clear, scientists around the world are calling for something to be done — and they're getting downright pushy about it. Well maybe not pushy, exactly. But definitely pointed and impatient as they urge policymakers to take steps now to protect us from chemicals that cause cancer. Read more.

...           According to some, like cancer prevention advocate Dr. Samuel Epstein, mainstream cancer groups such as the American Cancer Society (ACS) have a long history of promoting that status quo, fastidiously keeping the focus of research and policy discussions away from the dangers of cancer-causing chemicals. Chair of the national Cancer Prevention Coalition and past president of the American Public Health Association, Epstein recently authored a scathing critique of ACS's record on cancer prevention entitled More Interested in Accumulating Wealth than Saving Lives.