Webinar series: Improving Children’s Health through Federal Collaboration

2nd Thursday of every month from 2PM to 3:30PM MST

image of a child smiling
On this page:
The Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, Region VIII, have organized, in collaboration with other Federal partners, a one-year-long webinar series titled Improving Children’s Health through Federal Collaboration. Children, by their very nature, deserve our focused attention and care especially because:
  • Their bodily systems are still developing
  • They eat more, drink more, and breathe more in proportion to their body size
  • Their behavior patterns increase their exposure to environmental hazards.
image of a child smiling
Protecting the health of children where they live, learn and play is fundamental to making the world a better place for future generations. The purpose of this webinar series is to encourage coordination, collaboration and information sharing across government agencies and organizations, health care providers, educators, and the general public in addressing children’s health issues.
Please save these dates and join us for the following FREE webinars. Also find descriptions about each webinar below.

image of a child smiling

Descriptions of each webinar

November 10 – Children Grow Best in Healthy Environments
In celebration of Children’s Health Month, this first session will present an overview of children's special vulnerabilities to environmental exposures; prenatal developmental windows of susceptibility; common children's environmental hazards such as air quality, asthma triggers, lead, asbestos and pesticide exposure; and, resources to help you protect children from these exposures.
December 8 – Pediatric Environmental Health Resources for Community Health Professionals
This session will discuss resources and strategies for assisting primary care providers and other community health workers in addressing common pediatric environmental health issues. Topics will include taking an environmental exposure history; pediatric environmental health case studies; and how to access free medical consultation and training through the Rocky Mountain Region Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.
January 12 – Coordinated School Health: Clean, Green and Healthy Schools
School health programs are often a result of a “patchwork” of policies and programs with differing standards, requirements, and populations to be served. In addition, these programs are managed by professionals from multiple disciplines: education, nursing, social work, psychology, nutrition, and school administration, each bringing different expertise, training, and approaches. This session will explore how Federal, State and local agencies are working together to coordinate the various aspects of school health in order to eliminate gaps, reduce duplication of efforts, and leverage limited resources.
February 9 – Obesity Prevention
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If we don't solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. This session will highlight Let’s Move!, the First Lady’s initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation as well as HRSA’s Healthy Weight Collaborative, and how states are working to impact childhood obesity through their Title V Block Grants.
March 8 – Affordable Care Act
This Session will include an overview of the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, and highlight those sections of the law that are especially helpful for children and families. The Affordable Care Act Increases access to necessary preventative services to help keep children and families healthy. This session will describe the new protections for health insurance consumers, and provisions to lower costs and improve care.

April 12 – Communities Working Together for Better Health
This session will highlight projects where communities are working collaboratively with local, state and federal stakeholders to create healthier environments where children can live, learn and play. These community-based projects and programs focus on geographically, politically, demographically, and/or socially defined areas. Learn about resources available for project assistance, funding, outreach, training, education, and capacity-building.
May 10 – Successful Asthma Management
May is Asthma Awareness Month! Asthma affects almost 25 million people of all ages and races. Despite this prevalence, public awareness of common asthma triggers and effective asthma management strategies remains limited. Join us to learn the latest in successful asthma management including identifying warning signs of an attack, avoiding triggers, asthma clinical guidelines and successful intervention strategies.
June 14 – Healthy Homes
This session will highlight how Federal agencies are working in a coordinated fashion to address multiple housing-related hazards and childhood diseases. The Presentation will also include tools and resources available for communities to create neighborhoods and outdoor spaces that promote public health and encourage healthy lifestyles for all ages.
July – No Webinar This Month
August 9 – Children’s Environmental Health Research
The Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research ("Children's Centers") were established to explore ways to reduce children's health risks from environmental factors. The long-range goals of the Centers include understanding how environmental factors affect children's health, and promoting translation of basic research findings into intervention and prevention methods to prevent adverse health outcomes. This session will share latest research and discuss how the Centers foster research collaborations among basic, clinical, and behavioral scientists with participation from local communities.
September 13 – National Children’s Study
This session will provide an update on The National Children’s Study, the largest long-term study of children’s health ever conducted in the United States. The study plans to follow 100,000 children from before birth to age 21 to learn how the environment influences their health, development, and quality of life. Environment is broadly defined to include factors such as air, water, diet, sound, family dynamics, community and cultural influences, and genetics on the growth, development, and health of children across the United States.


Mary Oliver to deliver Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture December 16, 2011

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education at Florida Gulf Coast University is excited to announce that its Annual Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture Weekend will be held Feb. 17-18, 2012. This year's guest lecturer will be the celebrated winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Lannan Foundation Literary Award, and the National Book Award for poetry- Mary Oliver.

The Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture is a signature event of the Center that brings public intellectuals to discuss issues such as sustainability, ethics, democracy, and literature. This year's Lecture will be a poetry reading with commentary, and will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Saint Michael and All Angels Church on Sanibel Island.

Mary Oliver is widely recognized for her lyrical poems that use vivid imagery to portray the natural world. The Center has chosen Mary Oliver for this year's Lecture because her poetry renders the gravity, grace, and beauty of the ordinary world and inspires a universal sense of wonder. Much like Rachel Carson's unparalleled contributions to human understanding of our environment, Mary Oliver's work has inspired deep appreciation for the wildness and beauty of the nature.

The Eighth Annual Fundraising Celebration will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Sanibel Island beachfront home of Peter and Mallory Haffenreffer. This is the major fundraising event for the Center and helps to further its sustainability initiatives locally and globally.

The lecture will be free and open to the public. Seats will be reserved for contributors to the Eighth Annual Fundraising Celebration. Invitations to the Lecture and Fundraising Celebration will be mailed out in early January to the Center's mailing list. Contact the Center by email at cese@fgcu.edu or by phone at 239-590-7166 if you would like to be added to the mailing list.


Effective Policies to Reduce Exposures to Pesticides in Schools

The Grassfed Primer

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) is a national nonprofit organization that audits, certifies and supports farmers raising their animals according to the highest welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range.

We published The Grassfed Primer to help people to identify and purchase meat and dairy products from real grassfed farms. We hope that it helps to explain the problems with feedlot farming systems, but also the significant solutions that real grassfed farming can offer, and why it is important to choose a "grassfed" label that really means what it says.

Find out more about real grassfed farming and Animal Welfare Approved: download The Grassfed Primer here.

Called a “badge of honor for farmers” and the “gold standard,” AWA has come to be the most highly regarded food label when it comes to animal welfare, pasture-based farming and sustainability.

All AWA standards, policies and procedures are available on the AWA website, making it one of the most transparent certifications available.

AWA’s online directory of farms, restaurants and products enables the public to search for AWA farms, restaurants and products by zipcode, keywords, products and type of establishment.

Visit www.AnimalWelfareApproved.org/product-search

Animal Welfare Approved
1007 Queen Street | Alexandria | VA 22314
(800) 373-8806
EPA Must Improve Oversight of State Enforcement   December 15 2011


On December 9, 2011, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General issues a report entitled EPA Must Improve Oversight of State Enforcement.

The EPA Office of Inspector General evaluated the enforcement in 50 states and 10 EPA regions of three environmental enforcement programs: Clean Water Act, NPDES program, Clean Air Act Title V program and the RCRA Subtitle C program over the time period, fiscal year 2003 through 2009. The findings contained in the report include:

"EPA does not administer a consistent national enforcement program."

"State enforcement programs frequently do not meet national goals."

"States do not always take necessary enforcement actions."

"State enforcement programs are under performing."

"EPA's enforcement programs cannot assure equal and sufficient protection of human health and the environment to all U.S. citizens."

Louisiana Enforcement

According to the Office of Inspector General's report, from Fiscal Year 2003 through Fiscal Year 2009, Louisiana had the lowest enforcement activity level of all of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 states. EPA Region 6 consist of the states of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Louisiana Ranked
  • in the lower half of states in the US for Clean Water Act enforcement
  • in the lower quartile of states in the US for Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (regulation of Hazardous Waste) enforcement

Louisiana was one of five states that emerged as persistently underperforming over the analysis period.

Based on interviews with officials from the state of Louisiana and EPA Region 6, as well as external personnel, Louisiana attributed their poor enforcement performance to:
  • Lack of resources
  • Natural disasters
  • A culture in which the state agency is expected to protect industry.

The first major disaster to impact Louisiana during the review time frame (Fiscal Year 2003 through 2009) occurred in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality personnel indicated the agency could not enforce because it was overwhelmed by a natural disaster.

EPA's goal establishes that 100% of major emitting facilities and large quantity waste generation facilities be inspected every two years (Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA).

Louisiana Clean Water Act Enforcement 
Only 9% of facilities inspected
Significant Non Compliance identified 3%
22% of final enforcement actions contained penalties

Louisiana Clean Air Act Enforcement 
Only 31% of facilities inspected
Significant Non Compliance identified 15%
18% of final enforcement actions contained penalties

Louisiana RCRA Enforcement 
Only 2% of facilities inspected
Significant Non Compliance identified 2%
8% of final enforcement actions contained penalties

In 2001, citizen's organizations filed a petition with EPA to withdraw the Louisiana Clean Water Act NPDES program authority. The petition was based on many failures of the program including the lack of timely review of permit applications and the lack of adequate enforcement. Louisiana Environmental Action Network was one of the citizens organizations that filed the petition.

In addition citizens also filed petitions with EPA to withdraw the Clean Air Act and RCRA delegated programs from the state of Louisiana. Louisiana Environmental Action Network was one of the Citizens organizations involved in these two petitions.

LEAN was involved extensively in meetings with EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality concerning the petitions to withdraw the EPA delegated programs from the state of Louisiana.

Office of Inspector General Recommendations:

Establish clear and consistent national enforcement benchmarks so that EPA's enforcement expectations are clear and consistent for state governments and the regulated community.

Establish a clear and credible escalation policy for EPA intervention in states, that provides steps that EPA will take when states do not act to ensure that the CAA, CWA and RCRA are enforced.

Establish procedures to reallocate enforcement resources to intervene decisively when appropriate under its escalation policy.

Develop a state performance scorecard to publicly track state enforcement activities and results from year to year.

The full report can be downloaded from this link:


"Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities"

Two decades ago, Democrats and Republicans together sought to protect Americans from nearly 200 dangerous chemicals in the air they breathe. That goal remains unfulfilled.

Today, hundreds of communities are still exposed to the pollutants, which can cause cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues. A secret government 'watch list' underscores how much government knows about the threat – and how little it has done to address it.



DRILLING DOWN: Learning Too Late of Perils in Gas Well Leases

From The New York Times:  DRILLING DOWN: Learning Too Late of Perils in Gas Well Leases
Americans have signed millions of leases allowing oil and gas companies to drill on their land, but some landowners are finding out the hard way what their contracts actually say.  http://nyti.ms/rUyQBM
Environmental Threats to Health: An Ecological Approach Throughout the Lifespan
October 24, 2011
Ted Schettler, Science Director
Watch the talk here.

Emilio F. Moran Lecture 12/8/2011

Pioneering anthropologist is 2011 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecturer

Michigan State University  12/02/2011 | Press release wired by noodls on 12/01/2011 15:39

Contact: Sue Nichols, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Office: (517) 432-0206,
Emilio F. Moran, an ecological/environmental anthropologist, will deliver the 2011 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture on Dec. 8 in the Lincoln Room of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the Michigan State University campus.

As an anthropologist, Moran's research focuses on how people and the environment interact in complex and sometimes unanticipated ways. His more than 30 years of scholarly study of that interaction have put him at the forefront of a new interdisciplinary field called environmental anthropology.

Moran is one of only a few anthropologists worldwide to study the importance of the human dimensions of global environmental change. He also is recognized as one of the first social scientists to integrate geographic information systems into anthropological research. Moran is the Rudy Professor of Anthropology and Distinguished Professor and serves as director of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change at Indiana University.

Moran also will receive an honorary degree while on campus.

Moran's lecture "Rethinking Human-Environment Interactions" is presented by the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and supported by the National Science Foundation; the MSU offices of the President, Provost and Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and MSU AgBioResearch.

The Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture Series is a platform for prominent scientists and scholars to share their ideas about global challenges and opportunities with MSU students, faculty, staff and the general public.