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How to convince your friends to believe in climate change. It's not as hard as you think.
North American Leaders Urged to Restore Monarch Butterfly's Habitat
Cities Support More Native Biodiversity Than Previously Thought
New Jersey Top Ten Beaches Ready to Make a Splash Again in 2014
Radon testing: A simple but important winter endeavor for schools and homeowners
EARTH: Interview with Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell
Support the Peregrine Webcam
NEEF: National Study Results on the Environment
RELEASE OF REHABILITATED PEREGRINE FALCON
DEP Release: Richard J. Sullivan Passing
Meadowlands Super Bowl will give boost to clean energy
American Public Health Association adopts 17 new policy statements at Annual Meeting
Christie Administration Recognizes New Jersey Environmental Leaders at 14th Annual Awards Ceremony at State Museum
NJA: Pete Dunne Announces New Role
Christie Administration Honors New Jersey's Recycling Leaders
How to Stay Afloat in New Jersey
|How to convince your friends to believe in climate change. It's not as hard as you think.
|North American Leaders Urged to Restore Monarch Butterfly's Habitat
The following submission has been included by request.
Please take the time to read Erik Mollenhauer's message below and write a letter to President Obama. Get your kids to write letters and their friends to write letters. We can make a difference!
Please help the monarchs!
As you know, the eastern Monarch population is at an all-time low. What can we do to help?
NEXT WEEK, there is an important meeting between President Obama, President Nieto in Mexico and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Canada). The meeting will take place in Toluca, Mexico, not far from the Monarch winter colonies. Posted below is an article about that meeting. These folks are not meeting to talk about monarchs… but they could if they got enough pressure! We need lots of people… kids, parents, just-plain-folks… to write letters, send emails to President Obama. Asking him and the other leaders to take action NOW! The article below will give you talking points. The key is to have kids and schools write letters!
By ELISABETH MALKIN, February 14, 2014
MEXICO CITY - Hoping to focus attention on the plight of the monarch butterfly at a North American summit meeting next week, a group of prominent scientists and writers urged the leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada to commit to restoring the habitat that supports the insect's extraordinary migration across the continent.
Calling the situation facing the butterfly "grim," the group issued a letter that outlined a proposal to plant milkweed, the monarch caterpillar's only food source, along its migratory route in Canada and the United States.
Milkweed has been disappearing from American fields over the past decade as farmers have switched to genetically modified corn and soybeans that are resistant to the herbicide glyphosate that kills other plants. At the same time, subsidies to produce corn for ethanol have increased, expanding the amount of land planted with corn by an estimated 25 percent since 2007.
"We can't ask farmers to change their habits," said Homero Aridjis, the Mexican poet who wrote the letter, which was to be released on Friday.
Instead, the proposal encouraged planting milkweed on roadsides and between fields, and suggested subsidies for farmers to set aside land that is free of herbicides.
"This is a viable proposal. It is not impossible," said Mr. Aridjis, who signed the letter with Gary Paul Nabhan, a conservationist and writer at the University of Arizona. "Otherwise, we face an ecological genocide, because if we take away the monarch's plants we kill the monarchs."
On Wednesday, President Obama is scheduled to meet President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada in the Mexican city of Toluca, about an hour's drive from the volcanic mountains where the butterflies winter after flying thousands of miles.
This winter, the area that the butterflies cover dropped sharply, to 1.65 acres, the smallest ever. In 1996, the butterflies covered 45 acres across the oyamel fir forests, where they form giant fluttering colonies.
The Mexican government has proved successful over the past five years at halting most of the large-scale illegal logging that was long seen as the biggest threat to the monarch. But smaller logging continues.
"As Mexico is addressing the logging issues, so now must the United States and Canada address the effects of our current agricultural policies," the letter said.
About 20 leading butterfly specialists signed the letter, along with conservationists, writers, artists and filmmakers from Mexico, the United States and Canada.
|Cities Support More Native Biodiversity Than Previously Thought
|New Jersey Top Ten Beaches Ready to Make a Splash Again in 2014
(Sandy Hook, NJ)…… After taking a brief vacation in 2013 while New Jersey continued it's recovery from Superstorm Sandy, voting for New Jersey Top Ten Beaches is back. Given this winter's brutal below zero wind chill temperatures and seemingly endless string of snow storms project coordinators, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) and Richard Stockton College's Costal Resource Center are expecting a warm and welcoming wave of response when the voting opens for their 2014 New Jersey Top Ten Beaches survey (NJTTB) at noon on February 17th and continues through midnight April 30th.
Now in its seventh year, the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches project was started in 2008, to encourage stewardship and pride in the state's beaches while promoting a little healthy competition between New Jersey's favorite beach towns. It's since become a pre-summer favorite with residents Jersey Shore visitors alike.
According to Kim Kosko, Director of Communications for NJSGC, "We all have fond memories and personal favorites when it comes to the beaches we love best. But this year we're asking people to take a little time to really think about the criteria that make the places they pick worthy of winning a spot on the 2014 Top Ten list. We want them to realize how important our beaches and other coastal assets are and that we're all responsible for their well being. What we do today directly impacts the future of shore communities."
Kosko also noted that during the voting hiatus the Top Ten Beaches coordinators assembled a task force to review the voting process and other project components. "It will changes things up a little and hopefully levels the playing field for all shore towns from Sandy Hook to Cape May."
This year's Top Ten Beaches will also incorporate an innovative tie-in project that has ten New Jersey artists painting sponsored rain barrels with iconic shore images. Dozens of New Jersey artists applied for a chance to paint the containers and turn them into functional works of art. The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium's 2014 Top Ten Beaches Rain Barrels will be showcased at the NJSGC 12th Annual State of the Shore Media Event on May 22. The beautified rain barrels will then roll out on tour around the state throughout the summer and be displayed at selected New Jersey beach communities and special events. This unique program promotes environmental awareness and stewardship of all our coastal and water resources. The public will also be invited to vote for their favorite barrel online for People's Choice after they are unveiled at the May 22nd media event. Details about the rain barrel project, its cooperating sponsors and the selected artists will also be featured on the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches web site www.njtoptenbeaches.org.
The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey's marine and coastal environment. NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information, visit NJSGC on the web at njseagrant.org or on social media at facebook.com/NJSeaGrant and twitter.com/NJSeaGrant
|Radon testing: A simple but important winter endeavor for schools and homeowners
|EARTH: Interview with Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell
Alexandria, VA - EARTH Magazine sits down with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to discuss the role of geoscience at the Department of the Interior, which includes the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees the offshore development of both renewable and conventional energy resources.
Secretary Jewell, who began her career as a petroleum engineer, discusses the role of science in reconciling conflicts in the management of federal lands, and shares how her transition from the private sector, where she was chief executive officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc., has provided insight into the management of DOI's 70,000 federal employees, and the new 21st Century Conservation Corps initiative (http://21csc.org/)
Read more online and in the April issue of EARTH Magazine: (http://bit.ly/1dP2DI0)
Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.
|Support the Peregrine Webcam
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has been streaming live video of a peregrine falcon nestbox from a Jersey City rooftop since 2001. The webcam has allowed viewers to observe these magnificent birds as they raise young each year and continue their resurgence in the state.
Unfortunately, funding constraints now threaten the continued operation of the webcam. However, over the past month the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ (CWF) has been actively fundraising to upgrade the webcam hardware and host the live stream.
As part of the CWF fundraising effort January has been dedicated as the "Month of the Falcon" to bring more attention to peregrine falcons in New Jersey. The foundation has featured amazing photographs of peregrines, along with life history information and a summary of reintroduction efforts of the species in the Garden State on a blog at http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/blog/category/raptors/month-of-the-falcon-raptors/ .
Donations are still needed to help fund the purchase of the new webcam. To make a donation, please visit http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/education/falconcam on the CWF website.
For information about the webcam, including all editions of Nestbox News which chronicle the annual activity at the nestbox, visit http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/peregrinecam/index.html on the Division's website.
|NEEF: National Study Results on the Environment
"How many Americans are using environmental information to make everyday decisions?" Six out of ten American adults take some sort of action when learning about the environmental issues facing the world
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) commissioned a groundbreaking national study to measure environmental behavior and attitudes. The results provide NEEF a baseline for its vision that by 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the well-being of the earth and its people.
Survey highlights include:
61% of adults visited a park or nature center in the last 12 months.
52% of adults consider zoos, nature centers and parks as trustworthy sources for environmental problems and issues.
77% of adults turn the lights off when leaving a room.
9% of adults compost.
59% of adults consider an environmentally conscious lifestyle a lot of work.
The research surveyed 1,500 individuals between 18 and 74 years of age with demographics in balance with the U.S. Census.
For more information about NEEF and this survey, please visit http://neefusa.org. Stay tuned for more data.
NEEF is the nation's leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, connecting people to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet. Follow NEEF on Facebook & Twitter @neefusa.
|RELEASE OF REHABILITATED PEREGRINE FALCON
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE RELEASES REHABILITATED PEREGRINE FALCON,
HIGHLIGHTING STATE'S RESURGENCE OF BIRDS OF PREY
State Income Tax Check-off Provides Public with Opportunity to Support Endangered Species Protection Efforts
The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife today released a rehabilitated peregrine falcon from Twin Lights of the Navesink Historic Site in Highlands, Monmouth County, to draw attention to the continued resurgence of birds of prey in the Garden State.
"The health of our wildlife populations is a good indicator of the overall health of the environment," said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Chanda. "This is particularly true of birds of prey, also known as raptors, which have made remarkable recoveries in New Jersey over the past several decades. Populations of peregrine falcons, ospreys and bald eagles continue to climb in New Jersey."
The annual state income tax Check-off for Wildlife provides critical support to the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program, which works to promote and protect growing populations of bald eagles, peregrine falcons and ospreys.
Peregrine falcons are experiencing record productivity rates. Twenty-six pairs of peregrines now occupy appropriate nesting habitat in New Jersey. Though still small, the population exhibited high productivity last year, with all but two pairs successfully fledging at least one young. The 24 nests produced 57 young for a success rate of 92 percent and a production rate of 2.19 young per active nest.
Peregrines can be found nesting on bridge towers, water towers, and high buildings. Some peregrine falcons relocated from New Jersey have even been used to help rebuild populations in West Virginia. Peregrines relocated from New Jersey between 2006 and 2011 have been confirmed inhabiting the mountain areas of West Virginia and western Maryland.
The osprey population, meanwhile, has reached a milestone - nearly 550 pairs now nesting in the state. This total possibly surpasses numbers that have nested in the state prior to steep declines in the 1950s and 1960s due to habitat loss and pesticide contamination.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife, aided by volunteers, documented 542 osprey nests last year. These specialized predators are found predominantly in coastal areas, with heaviest populations found around Barnegat Bay, Great Bay, Cumberland County's Maurice River marshes, the Avalon-Stone Harbor area, bays around the Wildwoods, and Raritan Bay.
Bald eagle populations, meanwhile, continue to soar to new record highs each year, with 148 territorial pairs counted in 2013, up from 135 in 2012. Of these, 119 pairs actively nested, meaning they laid eggs. Ninety-six nests produced 176 young. The annual Midwinter Eagle Survey in 2013 counted 297 bald eagles - 264 in southern New Jersey and 33 in the northern part of the state.
The male falcon released today was found in Montclair with a dislocated shoulder. It was rehabilitated by the nonprofit Raptor Trust, a key partner in the state's work to protect and enhance populations of birds of prey. The falcon is estimated to be less than a year old and was likely migrating from its birth area in Canada when it was injured. The source of the injury is not known.
Twin Lights, operated by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, is situated atop a 200-foot high bluff, affords a sweeping view of dangerous Atlantic waters near Sandy Hook. The area round the lighthouse provides ideal habitat for falcons, which can achieve dive speeds upwards of 200 MPH.
"Peregrines are like the cheetah of the bird world, and the area around Sandy Hook and the Navesink Highlands provides plenty of high spots for perching and open bays and rivers for hunting," said Kathy Clark, supervising biologist with the DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. "It's likely that this falcon will spend the rest of the winter here, and may even linger longer."
Check-off funds go to support wildlife conservation programs and are used to match or leverage funds from the federal government's State Wildlife Grants program. The sales of Conserve Wildlife license plates also help fund the program.
In addition to the New Jersey Endangered Wildlife Fund, taxpayers may choose to designate contributions to other worthwhile programs. Details are included in the Form 1040 instructions. Contributions to any of these check-off funds will reduce your refund commensurately.
Separate reports highlighting the success of the raptor restoration efforts and providing detailed charts and analysis are available at www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/.
For more on the Endangered and Nongame Species Program, including facts on species that the program works to protect, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensphome.htm.
For more on Twin Lights, visit: www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/twin-lights/twin-lights-index.htm.
|DEP Release: Richard J. Sullivan Passing
CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION REMEMBERS THE LIFE OF RICHARD J. SULLIVAN, FIRST DEP COMMISSIONER AND LONGTIME PINELANDS COMMISSION CHAIRMAN
(13/P112) TRENTON - The Christie Administration and New Jersey's environmental community today are remembering the life and achievements of Richard J. Sullivan, the first Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and former longtime chairman of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.
Sullivan, recognized as one of the state's pioneers in environmental protection through his dedication to public service, died today with his family by his side. He was 86.
"Richard Sullivan was one of New Jersey's leading advocates for environmental protection, his career in public service coinciding with the birth and growth of the environmental movement," said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin. "He truly embodied what is good and noble about public service, and leaves a legacy that is still evident here at the DEP and across the state in the places from north to south that have been protected as a result of his love for the environment."
Governor William T. Cahill appointed Mr. Sullivan to serve as the first DEP Commissioner in 1970. He served until 1974.
The DEP was created on America's first official Earth Day - April 22, 1970. Mr. Sullivan guided the DEP as New Jersey became the third state to consolidate all of its environmental programs under one agency. Today, the DEP is recognized as a national leader in pollution prevention, open space preservation and innovative environmental strategies.
"Richard is still the model for environmentalism. His personality, his intellect, and his way of doing business were perfect for that moment in time," said Candace Ashmun, a long-time friend and who has served on the Pinelands Commission for three decades. "He created an agency that could deal with a lot of big problems, and still had a heart. The state is infinitely better because of Richard. We are never going to forget him."
"Richard represented the epitome of what every public servant should strive to be - a man of immense integrity, with a sense of fairness, and a focused commitment on devising and implementing the best public policies for New Jersey's natural and cultural resources," said Terrence D. Moore, the Pinelands Commission's first Executive Director, serving from 1979 to 1999. "Everyone who has ever worked with Richard counts it as a privilege and among the most rewarding times in their lives. He was not only a fine public administrator, but a true gentleman in every circumstance."
During his tenure as DEP Commissioner, Mr. Sullivan earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for preservation of parks and open space. His work helped establish Liberty State Park, today the most visited state park in New Jersey. A 36-acre natural area at Liberty, known as the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area, that protects tidal wetlands in the Hudson River Estuary was dedicated in Mr. Sullivan's honor in 2005.
Mr. Sullivan also is regarded as one of the architects of the Pinelands Commission, created in the late 1970s to protect this million-acre ecologically unique region that spans most of South Jersey.
Then-Governor Thomas H. Kean appointed Mr. Sullivan to serve as the Commission's second chairman in 1988, a position he held for 10 year. As chairman, Mr. Sullivan was regarded as being instrumental in maintaining the environmental standards set for the Pinelands while making the agency more accessible.
The Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy & Education located at the Commission's headquarters in New Lisbon, Burlington County, is named in his honor.
"Richard Sullivan was a trusted advisor and friend to his successors, as well as a mentor and a role model for many environmental leaders," said Michael Catania, a longtime land-preservation advocate and former DEP Deputy Commissioner. "Richard's incredibly broad expertise, his humility and willingness to be a resource for others, and his ability to treat everyone with the utmost respect have all contributed to the civility of our discourse, and ultimately to the wisdom of our environmental policies."
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the O'Brien Funeral Home at 2028 Route 35 in Wall Township.
|Meadowlands Super Bowl will give boost to clean energy
|American Public Health Association adopts 17 new policy statements at Annual Meeting
Getting Kids Outdoors – New Support from the Health Community
If you value play outdoors and nature-based play... a new policy statement was just voted on by a leading health authority that can be used as reference for support info for plans, grants, reports, etc. On Nov. 5 the American Public Health Association voted on several new policy statements at its annual meeting. Below is the one that relates to nature-based play and recreation:
20137 Nature, health and wellness — To aid in promoting healthy and active lifestyles, encourages land use decisions that prioritize access to natural areas and green spaces for residents of all ages, abilities and income levels. Calls on public health, medical and other health professionals to raise awareness among patients and the public at-large about the health benefits of spending time in nature and of nature-based play and recreation. Also urges such professionals to form partnerships with relevant stakeholders, such as parks departments, school districts and nature centers. Calls for promoting natural landscaping...
These brief descriptions are not comprehensive and do not include every point, statement or conclusion presented in the policy statements. Upon finalization and copy editing, full policy statements will be available at www.apha.org/advocacy/policy in early 2014. For more information on any of these policy statements, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Press release: http://www.apha.org/about/news/pressreleases/2013/2013adoptedpolicystatements.htm
|Christie Administration Recognizes New Jersey Environmental Leaders at 14th Annual Awards Ceremony at State Museum
|NJA: Pete Dunne Announces New Role
NEW JERSEY AUDUBON NEWS RELEASE
Pete Dunne, NJ Audubon's longest serving staff person, plans to leave Cape May to assume a statewide ambassadorial role
Thirty-seven years ago, a 25-year old birder named Pete Dunne came to Cape May to expand New Jersey's bird conservation focus in the region. Ultimately becoming the Cape May Bird Observatory's Director, Dunne used his promotional and communication skills to advance Cape May's fame as North America's premier bird watching location. A fame it justly deserved and one that the 62-year old senior employee now wants to see expanded to incorporate the entire Garden State. Some may recall Dunne as the author of the column, In the Natural State, that was a regular feature in the New Jersey Sunday Section of the New York Times between 1976 and 2001.
"Cape May is not a geographic aberration," says Dunne, who was raised in the northern part of the state and moved to South Jersey in 1976. The fact is, all of New Jersey is a bird-rich eco-tourist destination. What has lagged is awareness. In geographic fact, the entire state is a bird supporting peninsula - Cape May is just the southern tip - akin to a Baja, New Jersey. "What I hope to do with the balance of my career is confer upon New Jersey the same appreciation Cape May enjoys among bird watchers," states Dunne.
New Jersey Audubon's statewide sanctuary network is the ideal promotional vehicle for this ambition, but it is New Jersey and its multitude of protected natural areas that constitute the star attraction. "We have it all here," says Dunne, "all the ingredients that made Cape May famous plus an extraordinary diversity of breeding, wintering and migratory birds. in addition to great natural spectacles like world renowned hawk migrations at both ends of the state. We enjoy a statewide tourist infrastructure. We're served by three international airports and our compact geographic size is an advantage, too. Visitors can drive from what is essentially Canadian-zone forest in the northern part of the state to coastal Carolina habitat (in Cape May) in less than three hours."
This diversity of habitat is precisely why New Jersey hosts the World Series of Birding - an event started by Dunne and organized by New Jersey Audubon. Only in Texas and California have more species of birds been recorded in a single day than in New Jersey. Yes, Texas and California have wonderful natural areas and great bird diversity, but no more than New Jersey. Yet tens of thousands of European birders travel to Texas and California every year. But, it's not just visitors that Dunne hopes to excite. "New Jersey residents have a National Geographic Special on their doorstep," proclaims Dunne. Suburbia is fast becoming a forest landscape with houses tucked in. Today Wild Turkey is almost as common a suburban bird as American Robin."
When John James Audubon visited the state in 1829, turkeys were extirpated. Now they're back in numbers - attesting to New Jersey's environmental health. Birds vote with their wings. If they're here, the environment supports them. And, if we as decision makers continue to exercise wisdom, birds will continue to be part of every New Jersey residents dowry.
Unfettered of his duties as Cape May Bird Observatory Director sometime this summer, Dunne hopes to move seasonally between New Jersey Audubon's Northern and Southern Centers serving as a "bird watching ambassador."
New Jersey Audubon President Eric Stiles summarizes: "Pete has touched many lives through the wonder of birds and birding. As a birder, teacher, natural history maven and master chronicler of the natural world, I want to personally thank Pete for all he has accomplished as CMBO Director and will accomplish as our top ambassador…Pete and I will be spending the months ahead planning the transition."
|Christie Administration Honors New Jersey's Recycling Leaders
|How to Stay Afloat in New Jersey
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