Eco-East Enders to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

April 28 Gathering to Feature Renowned Carson Biographer, Linda Lear

March 2012 (Bridgehampton, NY) – Environmentalists throughout the world become reverent when they hear the name Rachel Carson, indebted to the woman whose book (Silent Spring) was a cornerstone of the modern environmental movement. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, and East End environmentalists are prepared to mark the occasion with a celebration for the masses.

From 4:00 to 7:00PM on April 28, 2012, the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt (FLPG, www.longpondgreenbelt.org), Canio’s Cultural Cafe (caniosculturalcafe.wordpress.com), Group for the East End (www.eastendenvironment.org), and the South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo, www.sofo.org) will present: Honoring Rachel Carson: Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring.

Local environmental enthusiasts and organizations from throughout eastern Long Island will come together to honor Rachel Carson and celebrate the environmental accomplishments that have occurred in our unique region over the past 50 years since Silent Spring was published (e.g., the return of the osprey population).

“The idea for this event was sparked by a discussion between the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt and Canio’s Cultural Cafe, while we were brainstorming the best way to celebrate the Friends’ 15th anniversary,” said Dai Dayton (President, FLPG). “We later found out that another event co-sponsor, Group for the East End, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year!”

Linda Lear, renowned lecturer and author of the biography Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, will make a special presentation as a featured portion of the event. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served as attendees reflect on the past and set their sights toward a sustainable future for the East End. Available for purchase will be Linda Lear’s book Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature and select titles by Carson herself.

The event will take place overlooking Vineyard Field in Bridgehampton, site of the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt’s (FLPG) seven-year-strong grassland restoration project. Located behind the South Fork Natural History Museum (377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike), the field was purchased for open space preservation by the Town of Southampton in 1998 and stands as one of the few remaining preserved grasslands in the town. The venue was chosen to embody the powerful conservation ethic that flowered from Ms. Carson’s Silent Spring.

“The South Fork Natural History Museum is thrilled to co-sponsor this event,” said Frank Quevedo (Executive Director, SoFo). “Vineyard Field is such a perfect location to enjoy and appreciate nature.”

Tickets are $50 each prior to April 10th and $60 each thereafter. Checks can be made out to “FLPG” and sent to “FLPG – Rachel Carson,” P.O. Box 1130, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. Please visit www.longpondgreenbelt.org for more information.

Sandra Ferguson, Friend of the Long Pond Greenbelt


By Sue Phelan, Director of GreenCAPE, April 19, 2012...Sue Phelan’s response to the Cape Cod Times April 2 article, Cape towns test chem-free property care.


University of Texas Students Vote to Ban Triclosan on Campus

(Beyond Pesticides, April 19, 2012) The University of Texas (UT) Student Government body unanimously passed a resolution last month to ban soap containing the toxic antibacterial chemical triclosan throughout campus. 

If the ban is accepted by the University administration, UT would be the first university in the country to take an official stance against one of the most prevalent and dangerous antibacterial products available. Triclosan, which can be found in many personal care products, has been linked to numerous human and environmental health effects. Recently the Canadian government declared triclosan as an environmental toxin, proposing regulations to restrict its use. 

Student Government (SG) representative and public affairs graduate student Robert Love, who initiated the ban, says that officials in several different campus purchasing departments are open to phasing out antibacterial soap. For financial and environmental reasons, the University phased out the use of the triclosan-containing soap in restrooms across campus in 2008; however, it is still being used in other places on campus. According to a university spokeswoman, a campus-wide phase out would require an official decision.

“What we’re saying is we need an outright ban on campus, and we need to kind of make a bold statement,” said urban studies senior and SG representative John Lawler in a statement to The Daily Texan. “In a lot of places it’s not being banned; it’s not being considered a harmful chemical.” 

Triclosan’s efficacy has been called into as a result of numerous studies, despite the fact that triclosan is marketed as a germ-killing substance. To the contrary, there is evidence that the widespread use of antibacterial compounds promote the emergence of bacterial resistance, which may actually contribute to greater vulnerability to bacteria.

In a comment to The Statesman about the possibility of illness spreading on campus after antibacterial soap is phased out, Mr. Love said, “The science doesn’t support that. The science shows that antibacterial soap is no more effective than regular soap and water … outside of extreme conditions of disease.”

Public Radio International’s Living on Earth recently interviewed Beyond Pesticides research associate Nichelle Harriott about the toxicity of triclosan (download the show).

Beyond Pesticides in 2004 began voicing concern about the dangers of triclosan and in 2009 and 2010 submitted petitions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which call for the removal of triclosan from consumer products.

Since then, many major companies are quietly and quickly removing triclosan from their products. After opening the petition for public comment in 2011, over 10,000 individuals told EPA via email and docketed comments to ban triclosan. Additionally, scores of public health and advocacy groups, local state departments of health and the environment, as well as municipal and national wastewater treatment agencies, submitted comments requesting an end to triclosan in consumer products.

Take Action: Encourage your community go triclosan-free. Urge your municipality, institution or company to adopt the model resolution that establishes a commitment to not procuring or using products containing triclosan. For more information, see Beyond Pesticides’ Ban Triclosan page.

Sources: The Statesman and The Daily Texan
Silent hives. Over the last few weeks, several new studies have come out linking neonicotinoids to bee decline. The studies are appearing just as “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson’s seminal study of the effect of pesticides on wildlife, is about to turn fifty. It’s hard to avoid the sense that we have all been here before, and that lessons were incompletely learned the first time around. New Yorker  http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/04/new-studies-colony-collapse-disorder.html 
 "The world of systemic insecticides is a weird world, surpassing the imaginings of the brothers Grimm. It is a world where the enchanted forest of the fairy tales has become a poisonous forest. It is a world where a flea bites a dog and dies…where a bee may carry poisonous nectar back to its hive and presently produce poisonous honey."--Rachel Carson 
322 Green Colleges, The Princeton Review’s Guide 2012 Edition
In conjunction with Earth Day, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and The Princeton Review are pleased to announce the third annual release of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition. The guide profiles the top institutions demonstrating exemplary leadership in sustainability through their academic offerings, infrastructure projects on campus, student engagement and career preparation. This book is the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges and serves as a valuable resource for the 68% of prospective students who say they are looking for a green campus. Read the press release, view the article in USA Today or search the guide for your alma mater or dream green school!


Writer Rachel Carson Still Relevant, 50 Years after 'Silent Spring'MPBN News
It was Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. The book's 50th anniversary was marked with a series of events at the University of Southern Maine this week. Murray Carpenter reports on why Carson still matters to many Mainers.

SEAL SITTERS / Living on Earth April 20, 2012  On the shores of Alki Beach in western Seattle, Seal Sitters, a group of concerned neighbors, have come together to protect the urban beach’s seal pups.Alki Beach is a popular destination for Seattle natives, and it’s also home to some of the region’s seal population. Seal pups are left alone on shore while their mothers search the sea for food, and curious people and dogs endanger the young seals. But a group of concerned neighbors called Seal Sitters have banded together to protect the pups and educate people. Seal Sitter founder Brenda Peterson, author of the children’s book “Leopard and Silkie” and 11 year old volunteer Etienne, spoke with host Bruce Gellerman about their quest to save seal pups.


SEAL SITTERS / Living on Earth April 20, 2012 
Seal Sitters website
Brenda Peterson’s website
Photographer Robin Lindsey’s website
Leopard and Silkie website


The University of Southern Maine is planning a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's ground-breaking book, "The Silent Spring," which is credited with launching the environmental movement.


Rachel Carson: A Life in Perspective

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 scientist 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 persistent 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.
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 contemporary society, multiple events are being planned at USM for the spring semester.
Rachel Carson in MaineOne 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

Panel Discussion
Thursday, April 19, 5:00 p.m., Hannaford Lecture Hall, Portland
Sponsored by the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
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-Yarmouth)
  • Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
  • Amanda Sears, Associate Director, Environmental Health Strategy Center
USM alumna Kate Cheney Chappell ’83, co-founder of Tom’s of Maine and an accomplished artist and poet, has developed an art show on the inspirations of Rachel Carson. Ms. Chappell will also speak at the panel discussion and share a DVD she has produced regarding her art and connection to Rachel Carson.
Rachel Carson in My Life: Memories and Meaning

Monday, April 16, 5:30 p.m., Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, PortlandMartha 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 about the film can be found at asenseofwonderfilm.com. Discussion will follow the screening. 

The USM Library has an online guide to Rachel Carson at http://usm.maine.libguides.com/carson. 
For more information, contact Travis Wagner at twagner@usm.maine.edu or 228.8450.
Celebrating Rachel Carson's Legacy

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication Rachel Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring, considered the most significant influence in mounting an era of environmental awareness and action around the world.

Rachel Carson Homestead » Chatham University
Perspectives on Silent Spring at 50 May 11-12, 2012  Chatham University is sponsoring a two day event commemorating Rachel Carson’s epic Silent Spring written 50 years ago. Register now!  https://www.chatham.edu/sse/events/silentspring50/register/

Earth Day event celebrates life of Rachel Carson | Iowa Great Lakes ...Kaiulani Lee created the play based on the journals and letters of Rachel Carson , who has been called “the patron Saint of the environmental movement. 


DDT and Rachel Carson
Carson Scholars http://carson.arizona.edu/  

Rachel Carson's Legacy - YouTubeMade for 50th Anniversary of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFKCfhfCWKg  

The Institute of the Environment Carson Scholars Program cultivates and advances interdisciplinary environmental scholarship at the University of Arizona. The program is designed to build a network of graduate students and faculty devoted to furthering knowledge and awareness of Earth’s natural environment and  its interactions with people. The program also encourages individual initiative, innovation, and communication. Carson Scholars, through their emphasis on excellence in interdisciplinary environmental scholarship, problem-solving, and communicating science to a broad audience, will become leaders in the advancement of collaborative solutions to environmental challenges among the public, private, NGO, and academic sectors.

The program is dedicated to the vision created by Rachel Carson who, through her writings and work, alerted the world to the dangers of chemical pesticides and launched our modern environmental movement.


EPA Rejects Ban on Dioxin-Tainted "Agent Orange" Herbicide

New 2,4-D-Resistant GMO Corn Will Increase Use 50 Times Over
It is well known that the toxic herbicide 2,4-D causes cancer, hormone disruption, genetic mutations, neurotoxicity, Parkinson's Disease, and birth defects. But, instead of relying on independent research on the dangers of 2,4-D, the EPA looked at contradictory evidence submitted by the herbicide's manufacturer, Dow Chemical. This bias caused the EPA to reject a ban on the dioxin-tainted Agent Orange herbicide. The EPA's failure to ban or limit the use of 2,4-D paves the way for the USDA to approve Dow Chemical's new genetically engineered 2,4-D resistant corn. If this Agent Orange corn is approved, it will increase the use of 2,4-D 50 times over. The manufacture and use of 2,4-D is the 7th largest source of dioxin pollution. Dioxin is the most toxic compound synthesized by man.
Dioxin pollution never goes away, and instead accumulates in the environment, in the meat, fish, eggs and dairy we eat, and, ultimately, in our bodies. Recent Environmental Working Group studies have found that nursing infants are exposed to a daily dose of dioxin that can be 15 to 17 times higher than the level EPA considers safe to protect the endocrine and immune systems.
Take Action:
Call EPA's Fail! Tell the EPA You Won't Accept a Decision on 2,4-D Based on Dow Chemical's Biased Studies!
Tell USDA to Stop Agent Orange Corn!

IPM in Child Care Centers: Protecting Children from Pests and Pesticides Webinar, April 24, 2012, 1:00 PM - 2:30 EST PM

The first part of the presentation defines Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and pesticides, and then explains the relationship between the special vulnerability of young children and pesticides use in child care centers. The second part of the presentation enumerates the actions needed to eliminate pests through IPM. We discuss how pests sneak into centers, and what types of conditions they are looking for. 

Specific IPM steps are described, such as setting pest thresholds, inspecting for evidence, monitoring for pests, and identifying points of entry. 

The audience is shown how to eliminate the pests’ ways of entering child care centers by creating and maintaining barriers, and shown why sanitation and maintenance are so important. 


"Growing Green: Ask the Experts about Organic Gardening and Landscaping" March 26, 2012, Newton Free Library.  Ellie Goldberg, Green Decade/NewtonSarah LIttle, Toxics Use Reduction Consultant and author of Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards, a quick-start guide for homeowners (NOFA/MA; Jessica Banhazl, Green City Growers; Risa Edelstein, President, Ecological Landscaping Association.

At a recent Green Decade/Newton program, expert landscapers and gardeners Risa Edelstein, Jessica Banhazl and Sarah Little shared secrets for creating ecological, edible, and extraordinarily beautiful yards and gardens. They explained how to promote soil fertility and conserve water and energy while preventing and correcting pest problems and invasive plants without poisons and synthetic chemicals.  Participants learned about resources for homeowners and landscapers and the list of 160 NOFA accredited organic lawn care professionals who service Newton at www.organiclandcare.net." The recorded program will be shown on NewTV.  For more resources go to www.greendecade.org/greencap.html.

The program celebrated the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, a book that started a worldwide environmental movement with the message that our health is intimately connected to the health of our environment. The program was organized and moderated by Ellie Goldberg, former co-chair of GreenCAP, the Green Decade/Newton Committee for Alternatives to Pesticides.

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The Non-GMO Project is a collaborative effort between consumers, retailers and industry to help reduce and eliminate genetically modified organisms in our food and also to demand better food labeling.  There are many ways to get involved with the Project.  To learn more, visit www.nongmoproject.org/  


Low doses matter hugely, say scientists
It's been the official mantra of pesticide companies for decades: "The dose makes the poison." While it makes intuitive sense — you'd think that the more of a chemical you're exposed to, the sicker you'll get — the science has, in fact, been saying otherwise for years.
A team of 12 scientists recently released a report calling on EPA to completely revamp the way they evaluate chemicals, to better reflect this now fully understood reality: Tiny amounts of certain chemicals can have devastating effects on human health.Read more »

Is this the new normal?

Ymuna River, India

The Yamuna is the largest tributary of the Ganges River. Where it flows through Delhi, it's estimated that 58 percent of the city's waste gets dumped straight into the river. Millions of Indians still rely on these murky, sewage-filled waters for washing, waste disposal and drinking water. Y


SOURCE:  The 15 most toxic places to live
Dangers Posed By Pesticides During Pregnancy
Lynne Peeples, Huffington Post

An expectant mother's exposure to commonly used pesticides might pose risks to her developing fetus comparable to those long associated with tobacco smoking, new research suggests...  READ MORE
Organic phosphates are "among the most poisonous chemicals in the world," Rachel Carson suggested 50 years ago in "Silent Spring."

Carson wrote about the "dangerous interaction of chemicals," specifically how malathion and other organophosphates, when combined, were 50 times more toxic than their effects simply added together. She explained that the "toxicity of an organic phosphate can be increased by a second agent that is not necessarily an insecticide," pointing to plasticizing agents like the controversial compound bisphenol A.


Rethinking 'Invasive Species':Environmentalism Gone Awry? 2012 Conference, October 7 & 8, 2012, University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law
The war on "invasive species" has been founded more on ideology than science. A conference examining the question is much needed and long overdue. ~Michael Pollan,Author of The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore’s DilemmaKnight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley. 
The ever expanding war on 'invasive species' is giving 'green cover' to the widespread use of inadequately tested pesticides that threaten the health of the very soil and water that sustain all life. It is time to reexamine the underlying assumptions and motivations for this campaign and explore creative rather than destructive responses to changes in our environment.

The conference will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and will be held-most appropriately-on Columbus Day when, in 1492, the ecosystems of the 'Old' and 'New' Worlds were forever transformed. This event is being planned and sponsored by FearlessFund.  

More information and contact: fearlessfund.info