Category Archives: Environment

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More Trees Create Cooler Urban Areas

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Missouri Department of Agriculture Announces “Senior Farmers” Market Nutrition Program

Program details released by the Missouri Department of Agriculture will offer Low-income seniors in the Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield regions vouchers to purchase fresh produce from local farmer’s markets.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that the Missouri Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is up and running for the summer. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services, the SFMNP assists low-income seniors in obtaining fresh, Missouri Grown produce and injects up to nearly $200,000 into the farmers’ market community. Through the program, more than 4,100 households may be touched.

Read more from the Missouri Department of Agriculture below, including where to apply for program vouchers.

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Aerial Photographs of Flooded Infrastructure in the St. Louis Region

Ameren’s Sioux Power Station at the confluence between the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers | Photo taken on June 3, 2019 by Derek Hoeferlin. Courtesy Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper.

Dramatic photos of area infrastructure sites and information released by Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper. Everyone should be concerned about how the recent flooding events will affect the local region’s important infrastructure, such as our drinking water supply.

Informational release from the MCW starts below.

Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper Rachel Bartels and volunteer photographers captured aerial photos of the flooded Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the St. Louis region during three flights taken between May 28, 2019 and June 3, 2019, where they surveyed the extent of the flooding and assessed how flooded infrastructure will impact the region’s clean water.

Flooded Mississippi River near downtown St. Louis, Missouri | Photo taken on June 3 by Derek Hoeferlin. Courtesy Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper.

“The majority of our drinking water is from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, so we wanted to get up in the air as quickly as possible to document the hazards and the potential risks to our community,” Bartels said.

Among the possible hazards are ponds storing highly toxic coal ash along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, as well as at the confluence of these two major rivers, which have seen seven major floods since 2008 and experienced three record-setting floods in the past three years alone.

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St. Charles’ Riverfront Park Under Water

City of St. Charles’ Frontier Park. Photos by Holly Shanks.

Flooding is causing major damage in the local St. Louis region and City of St. Charles’ Frontier Park is under water. The flooding is slated to continue for the immediate future. The photos below were taken Monday, June 3, 2019.

Let’s hope by the July 4th weekend we will see the rivers back in their banks!

Want to know more about the flooding issues in the region? Follow Great Rivers Habitat Alliance on Facebook. The organization follows flood information, predictions, causes and solutions.

See more photos from St. Charles’ Frontier Park below.

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“Nuts About Squirrels” Raise Questions In U.S. Capitol

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!

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MEEA Announces New Executive Director

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.

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First Plastic Bag Awareness Day Planned for April 13

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.

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Katherine Golden Shares First-Hand “Nature Explorer” Experiences With Local Teachers

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.

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Groundwater Contamination Testing Planned For West Lake Landfill Site

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.

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Want A Tasty Way To Go Green? Check Out The Green Dining Club!

 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.