Pictured: Don Corrigan with his new book, “Nuts About Squirrels” in Washington D.C.
Is it true that climate change is causing squirrels in America to migrate north or to move to different elevations in mountain areas? Do humans bear any responsibility for the disruption of the habitat for squirrels? Are squirrels better equipped than humans to deal with global warming and climate change?
These were some of the serious questions author Don Corrigan was peppered with at the recent U.S. Popular Culture Association convention in Washington, D.C., from April 16 to 21.
Corrigan’s book, “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Conquered Popular Culture,” debuted at the McFarland Publishing book site at the convention on April 16 — and promptly sold out. McFarland marketing guru Savannah Clemmons said the book appears to be “a must” for squirrel fans.
Read more below. Also find a list of Corrigan’s local book signings!
Missouri Environmental Education Association announces new Executive Director Lesli Moylan.
“I’m excited and humbled to lead this amazing organization into its next chapter. It has been documented that the single most important factor for a person to choose an environmental career is a caring adult who fostered a love of nature in them during childhood.” Moylan said.
Jan Weaver is retiring after 12 years with MEEA. Since she started, first as a contractor and then as part time staff, MEEA has grown from 160 to over 400 members.
More from MEEA’s press release and newsletter below.
Workers unclogging bags at recycling sorting facility. Source: Tampa Bay Recycles
OneSTL released information about the newly coined “Plastic Bag Awareness Day” in St. Louis. The impact of plastic bags on the environment is extensive and the bags take a toll on recycling efforts, which can be plainly seen in the photo above. Please read more below from OneSTL about the April 13, 2019, event.
OneSTL is a regional collaboration that focuses on a sustainable future for the St. Louis region.
Concerned about contamination in recycling, experts in the St. Louis region have declared that Saturday, April 13, is Plastic Bag Awareness Day. The OneSTL Materials and Recycling Working Group says plastic bags too often make their way into residents’ recycling bins. Once at the recycling sorting facility they jam equipment and put workers at risk for injury.
“We’re going all out to educate people that plastic bags cannot be recycled in your home or workplace bin,” said Jenny Wendt a member of the OneSTL Materials and Recycling Working Group and Senior Project Manager at University City. “It can be confusing because many plastic bags have a recycling symbol on them, but that just indicates what type of plastic the bag is made of – not that it can go in your home recycling bin. Plastic bags have to be recycled separately. Plastic bags and other plastic film should be brought back to grocery and retail stores for recycling.”
OneSTL has partnered with numerous retail stores and business districts to spread the word. Dozens of volunteers will be stationed at stores throughout the day, handing out flyers and answering questions about recycling. Some stores will hand out free reusable shopping bags and other giveaways.
Katherine Golden with a giant tortoise.
By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)
IMAX Theatre presentations at the Saint Louis Science Center used to inspire Katherine Golden when she was younger to imagine herself as an explorer. Thanks to a National Geographic program for teachers, she no longer has to imagine.
Golden has returned from a trip to the Galápagos Islands, where she explored the islands’ marvels, courtesy of Linblad Expedition ships, including the National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endeavour II and the National Geographic Sea Lion.
She saw the incredible tortoises and the vast diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else in the world. She saw the creatures Charles Darwin discovered in 1835, which played a role in his formulations for the scientific theory of evolution.
“The trip taught me so much about seeing things as an explorer would, about the importance of place, and about the power of storytelling,” Golden said.
“Now I want to share my stories with other teachers, which is part of the responsibility for educators chosen for the National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher fellowships,” she explained.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 released information for planned groundwater contamination testing at West Lake Landfill.
The “EPA is requiring the PRPs to perform the investigation to characterize the nature and extent of groundwater contamination from the site, pursuant to an enforceable agreement with EPA. Based on the results of this investigation, EPA will assess whether remedial measures are needed to protect and restore groundwater at the landfill boundary and beyond. If sampling results during the OU-3 RI/FS indicate that action under Superfund law is appropriate, it will be addressed by a future OU-3 Record of Decision.”
For the full press release read more below.
Membership in The Green Dining Club offers members exclusive discounts at a variety of local restaurants! (See the restaurant listing here.)
Here is what the Green Dining Alliance (GDA) website says about how your membership will help the local St. Louis area:
“Support the GDA by joining the Green Dining Club… Club members receive a set of bamboo cutlery, offers for exclusive discounts at select GDA member restaurants, discounts at St. Louis Earth Day events, and email blasts about food and sustainability news in the Saint Louis area!
Membership is $45 annually – your investment helps the GDA provide education, resources and training to restaurants and diners about sustainable practices – including recycling, composting, sourcing local ingredients, energy reduction strategies, and eliminating Styrofoam!”
For more information, or the link to join The Green Dining Club, CLICK HERE.
Check out this article, “The Disappearing Recycling Bins: Recent disruption of the US recycling industry and the path ahead – A Deep Ripple,” from Harvard University Blog – Science In The News (SITN), written by Zhen Dai. The article describes the reasons why China’s ban on plastic waste has affected recycling across the US.
Cities like Kirkwood, Mo, were forced to re-evaluate curbside recycling pick up when Resource Management shut down single-stream recycling processes due to the ban. Republic, for the time being, will handle Kirkwood’s single-stream recycling. Read the full story from the Webster-Kirkwood Times HERE.
“The Disappearing Recycling Bins: Recent disruption of the US recycling industry and the path ahead – A Deep Ripple” is a quick read and has informative links at the end to help better understand how China’s plastic waste ban is currently impacting local recycling efforts. Read the full article HERE.
by Don Corrigan
Democrats’ takeover of the U.S. House on Nov. 6 means that environmental issues will come to the fore, but that does not mean policies coming out of Washington, D.C., will be any greener. That is because climate change skeptics will still be in charge of the White House and the U.S. Senate where they will present roadblocks to environmental initiatives.
That assessment of post-election environmental politics came from Professor Amanda Rosen, who teaches political science at Webster University. She was on a panel entitled “What did the Nov. 6 Election Mean for the Environment?” at the university on Nov. 14. Other panelists included newly-elected St. Louis County Councilwoman Lisa Clancy and Missouri Sierra Club Director John Hickey.
Clancy said that most environmental progress is going to take place at the local level, not in Jefferson City or Washington, D.C., which remain in control by politicians who are hostile to most environmental initiatives. Locally, the City of St. Louis has resolved to become a city powered by renewable energy and St. Louis County voters passed a measure on Nov. 6 to protect their parks and to prevent them from being sold without voter approval.
Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) released information about a local bill that would help regional farmers bring fresh food to the areas of St. Louis that need it most. MCE, an advocacy group, helps to bring awareness to Missouri’s environmental issues, including local access to fresh and affordable locally grown foods.
Please take a look at the latest updates below from MCE. Also, check out their website for informative information about local environmental issues.
The Katy Land Trust has been working to keep the proposed Missouri Bluffs subdivision construction from moving forward. On July 25, 2018, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center filed suit in the St. Charles County Circuit Court on behalf of Weldon Woods, Inc., and Mark Kaiser, asking the Court to void the rezoning allowing a huge subdivision to be built on wooded bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.
The Katy Land Trust has released an update about the effort:
As you know, on July 25 a lawsuit challenging the St. Charles County Council’s decision to allow the Missouri Bluffs subdivision to proceed was filed by Weldon Woods Inc. The St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 8 to 1 in opposition to the development, yet the County Council disregarded their recommendation. The Council’s action triggered this lawsuit.
On behalf of Weldon Woods Inc, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center has been hard at work on this case since they filed it last summer. Yesterday, October 29, the most recent hearing was held at the St. Charles County Courthouse and a trial date for the case was set for March 12, 2019.
Read more below…