Plastic And The Great Recycling Swindle
Lisa Kaas Boyle | Jul 31, 2011 7:31 PM EDT

To sign a pledge to REFUSE Disposable Plastics and for more information please see www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org.


Help NGWA Promote Ground Water Awareness


 Ground Water Awareness Week (March 11-17, 2012) will shed light on one of the world’s most important resources - ground water. Ground water is essential to the health and well being of humanity and the environment, according to the National Ground Water Association, an AGI member society.

To learn more about Ground Water Awareness Week, visit the Virtual Museum of Ground Water History (
http://info.ngwa.org/museum/museum.cfm) or watch a “water well show” (https://info.ngwa.org/images/flash/RFD_TV/rfdtv.html). For additional educational activities and resources, see http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/awareness/Pages/Get-involved.aspx.


EPA oversight: Weighing the parts, ignoring the whole. Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives the green light for a score of agricultural chemicals to come to market. But after pesticide makers win approval for specific active ingredients, they then mix those chemicals with other chemicals. The result is a far different formulation that has bypassed government safety reviews. 100Reporters

EPA proposal cuts water infrastructure funds, increases air, water pollution grants. President Obama proposed a fiscal year 2013 budget containing $8.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, a $105 million decrease from fiscal 2012 achieved through cuts to state wastewater treatment and drinking water funds. Bloomberg BNA


TED Talk: Tyrone Hayes + Penelope Jagessar Chaffer: The toxic baby?

Filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer was curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant: Could they affect her unborn child? So she asked scientist Tyrone Hayes to brief her on one he studied closely: atrazine, a herbicide used on corn. (Hayes, an expert on amphibians, is a critic of atrazine, which displays a disturbing effect on frog development.) Onstage together at TEDWomen, Hayes and Chaffer tell their story.

Tyrone Hayes studies frogs and amphibians -- and the effects on their bodies of common farming chemicals.
Full bio and more links

Penelope Jagessar Chaffer made the film "Toxic Baby," exploring environmental toxins through interviews and surreal imagery.
Full bio and more links


'Inactive' phthalates widespread in medications

The use of phthalates as inactive ingredients in medicines and supplements is common but possible health risks from these exposures is not known. Feb 06, 2011. Kelley, KE, S Hernandez-Diaz, EL Chaplin, R Hauser and AA Mitchell. 2011. Identification of phthalates in medications and dietary supplement formulations in the U.S. and Canada. Environmental Health Perspectives http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1103998. Synopsis by Steven Neese.


No, that's not snow: Pesticides coat California's Central Valley 
...Decades of applied pesticides and fertilizers have delivered high yield, immaculate-looking fruit to many of the supermarkets in the U.S. and to the far corners of the globe, but not without a local cost. Heavy pesticide and fertilizer use in Central Valley orchards that produce household staples such as oranges, peaches, nectarines, grapes, olives, and walnuts has contaminated local community drinking water...


Rachel Carson: A Life in Perspective | University of Southern Maine  usm.maine.edu/environmental-science/rachel-carson

Rachel Carson at microscopeRachel Carson was one of the most influential people of the 20th Century and 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the path-breaking book, Silent Spring. As a trained scienctist with incredible literacy skill, Rachel Carson communicated to a global audience that humans are not separate from their environment and therefore the indiscriminate spraying of persistant pesticides was folly. She was able to change the public policy debate on the urgent need for environmental protection. Rachel Carson demonstrated that one person can change the world. 

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again? - Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson in Maine

Part of Rachel's inspirations and perspectives were shaped by her years spent on the Maine coast (she spent summers at Southport Island) studying and observing the natural environment. In celebrating Rachel Carson's connections to Maine and her impact on comtemporary society, multiple events are being planned at USM for the spring semester.

Rachel Carson in My Life: Memories and Meaning

Monday, April 16, 5:30 p.m., Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, Portland
Martha Freeman, USM, author of the book, Always Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964, will discuss a special collection of letters from Rachel Carson to her Maine summer neighbor Dorothy Freeman.

Film Screening: A Sense of Wonder

Monday, April 16, 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, Portland
Tuesday, April 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Brooks Faculty Dining, Gorham
Thursday, April 19, 1:00-2:30 p.m., LAC Room 287, LAC
This documentary-style film (55 minutes) is a one-actress play in which Rachel Carson recounts - with humor and anger - the challenge of getting her message to Congress and the public amidst widespread personal attack.
More information: asenseofwonderfilm.com. Discussion will follow the screening.
Panel Discussion Thursday, April 19, 5:00 p.m., Hannaford Lecture Hall, Portland
Sponsored by the Department of Environmental Science and the Women and Gender Studies Program
This discussion will highlight the influence of Rachel Carson on the perspectives and lives of five current female environmental leaders in Maine. The event will be moderated by Naomi Schalit, Executive Director of Pinetree Watchdog. Naomi is the former Executive Director of Maine Rivers and former reporter and producer for Maine Public Radio. Panelists include:
  • Pattie Aho, DEP Commissioner
  • Michele Dionne, Ph.D., Research Director, Wells National Estuarine Research Preserve
  • Melissa Welsh Innes, Maine State Representative (D-N. Yarmouth)
  • Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
  • Amanda Sears, Associate Director, Environmental Health Strategy Center


Why Carson still inspires 
Wednesday Journal, Tuesday, January 31st, 2012, Peggy McGrath, One View

Whenever I try to point out the debt of gratitude we owe to Rachel Carson, the response is often, "I know the name," but not much else.

I was in that camp myself until several years ago when I read her book, Silent Spring.

At that time, several women and I were concerned with the chemical spraying of mosquitos in Michigan. And there in her book, written 50 years ago, the same chemical was defined as toxic. What? Fifty years ago? That was when my exploration of environmental concerns intensified and became more focused.

2012 is the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring. What a perfect time to acknowledge Rachel Carson and reiterate her message. With political attacks on the EPA and existing environmental laws, we need her voice more than ever. It is acknowledged that without her book, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, and numerous other environmental agencies would not exist.

READ MORE http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/01-31-2012/Why_Carson_still_inspires