Environmental Groups Purchase Large Acreages Of Forest Land

A lot of forestland in Washington and Hancock counties is going to be conserved for the use of the public due to a partnership between several agencies. On Tuesday there were 17,881 acres purchased by the Conservation Fund from H.C. Haynes Inc. The goal is to ensure recreational access for the future, protect wildlife habitats and support the local coastal communities economies. The three parcels purchased included land in Edmunds Township, Township 9, Township 16, Surry and Ellsworth.

Almost eight million acres have been protected by the Conservation Fund including the 440,000 acres in Maine. The span of the forest property in the Spring River-Narraguagus is 13,779 acres. This was purchased on May 1st. The Nature Conservancy partners include the New England Forestry Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Downeast Salmon Federation and the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.


The Nature Conservancy will acquire the Spring River-Narraguagus Forest acreage of 13,779 acres. The Venture Brook Forest in Washington County will be acquired by the New England Forestry Foundation. This will be classified as a working forest. The Surry and Ellsworth Meadowbrook Forest consisting of 2,012 acres will be an acquisition of the Blue Hill Heritage Trust. The land has over nine miles of roads. The Conservation Fund will pay the property taxes and maintain the recreational uses for the public and current leases.

The purchase of the property was covered by private donations and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Coastal Wetlands grant for $530,000 for the trust. The three goals for the trust are to protect the wetlands on the property, increase the involvement of the agency with the forestry management and to preserve both the traditional and recreational uses.

The management of the land is being referred to as a demonstration forest. This will provide landowners with educational opportunities regarding forest management. In addition the property will provide hunting access for the public and numerous traditional uses. The Meadowbrook purchase will be discussed on May 30th at a public meeting at the Surry Elementary School. The property tax for the property will be paid by the trust.


Keeping Wooded Areas A Reserved Resource

There was a severe deterioration for kindling and charcoal during the 1950s. The severe deterioration was due to the use of fossil fuels for energy. The need for construction resources increased rapidly as the economy of Japan continued to rapidly expand. The demand for construction resources and Japan rapidly expanding caused the Forestry Agency to present a campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to specifically cut down buna forests and put in its place rapid growing cypress and cedar. The reason for replacing the buna forests with cypress and cedar was to make available additional cost-effective timber for building. Going forth with the campaign caused a problem. The plant life replacing the area of the cut down buna forests would not be able to grow fast enough to effectively substitute the clear-cut trees. Also, in the northeastern areas the freshly implanted conifers failed to develop at all.

The Forest Agency’s campaign resulted in an administration approved program that became a woodland devastation. Synthetic woodlands that made up Japan’s overall woodland acreage went from 27% to exceeding 44% by the year 1985. During this time period it is projected that at least close to 17 million buna vegetation was slaughtered. As a result of large amounts of vegetation being slaughtered replanting progressed in a rapid manner. The reforested areas in Japan are in need of thinning at this point. However, there are not enough individuals to complete this type of time consuming labor. Therefore, the reforested areas in Japan continue to be unattended. Numerous breathing creatures depend on forestry for nourishment and somewhere to live. Unfortunately, the annihilation of native woodlands has depressed existing creatures of natural surroundings.

During the 1960s there was a voracious demand for imported timber. The first target for imported timber during this time was foothill woodlands of the Philippines. After the foothill woodlands of the Philippines became bare importers beleaguered the wooded area of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sarawak and Sabah. Targeting imported timber resulted in Japan being globally critiqued for diminishing the wooded area of Southeast Asia. Throughout the years the worth of Japan’s arboriculture production has been gradually decreasing. There has also been a declining of labor force that has occurred in Japan. The declining of labor force has caused neglected forestland to continuously grow and in some conditions become a source of flooding and mudslides. Today Japan’s buna woodlands are extensively dispersed and account for about 17% of its indigenous broad-leaved woodlands. Buna logs were primarily used to cultivate mushrooms and use as kindling. Buna logs were also used for toys, plywood, and keys for several types of melodic instruments. In recent years buna logs have been used for furniture and floorboards. Also, during the 1960s the Forestry Agency employed workers to cut down massive amounts of foliage. The Forestry Agency cutting down the woodlands endangered the livelihood of the native individuals who depended on the abundance of the highlands for several generations. Eventually, a movement against deforestation developed and spread all over the country. By the year 2010 the movement had resulted in foliage being planted, which developed into lavish forestland for upcoming generations.

In conclusion, there is a high interest by individuals for nature and its natural environment which makes it important to reserve forestry.



World Economic Forum Recap: Citizens Around the World Concerned About Healthcare

Across the world, citizens are worried about their health care. The concern about health care in many countries has increased so significantly that protests and demonstrations have taken place, urging governments to find solutions for flaws in the health care system.

On average, about 24 percent of people worldwide are worried about the health care system in their countries. But in certain countries, the pervasive worry about health care is much higher.

In Hungary for example, nearly three-quarters of the people are concerned about the country’s health care system. Poland also has a high rate of concern, with 62 percent of its population claiming they worry about health care.

This trend stretches to countries like Brazil and the United Kingdom where nearly half of the population in both countries is concerned about health care. Brazil cites issues with funding, political unrest, and the Zika virus outbreak as the cause of many of the country’s health shortfalls.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service has been described as “in crisis,” due to long wait times for hospital visits as well as funding issues. Advocates for the NHS argue that the system needs to be funded properly and returned to the public’s control. Protests in February proved the population is not at ease with the way things are being handled, and that solutions need to be both immediate and long-term.

Additionally, citizens from the United States are just as concerned about their health care, because the BBC estimates that 15 percent of Americans cannot afford medical insurance, which is essential to access affordable health care.

Many of the problems facing these healthcare systems involve budget issues, possible corruption, and epidemics that have taken these countries by surprise. While solutions have been proposed for some of these countries, such as the controversial Affordable Health Care Act enacted by former president Barack Obama in the United States, they often fall short to provide quality, affordable healthcare to the citizen’s dismay.

Conversely, countries such as South Korea, Turkey, and Mexico are the least likely to worry about healthcare. In these countries, the healthcare systems are designed to provide various forms of free access to healthcare without long wait times that happen in other countries.


A Creative Solution To China’s Air Pollution Problem

Supported by Ara Chackerian

The first two verses in Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees” reads:
“I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree. “

Trees are an essential resource to our planet and human existence, and not just for the shade they provide us on a hot summer’s day. Trees and forestation at large remove major harmful air pollutants like ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, as well as carbon monoxide as they absorb C02, thus extracting these harmful toxins from the air we breathe. Trees also emit oxygen, provide a place to store carbon and even stabilize the soil.

Microscopic particulate matter, such as soot, is small enough that we can easily breathe it into our lungs, which can potentially cause serious health issues. Trees regulate this. Particulate matter once in our lungs:

* Causes lung irritation and inflammation that will damage their effectiveness

* Will aggravate lung disease and could diminish heat function

* Results in lung tissue permeability

* Could result in blood clots and heart attacks

* May lead to pneumonia

Scientists calculate that the particulate matter in the vicinity of a tree is reduced by 7-24%.

Air pollution in northern China is a serious issue and has reduced the lifespan of its people on average by about three. years. Air pollution is so critical in China that thick smog interferes with a planes ability to land. The Western United States air quality suffers from Asia’s air pollution.

China has committed itself to a dramatic effort to solve its air pollution problem. Sixty thousand Chinese troops, which is an army regiment, have been ordered to plant permanently new forests. The cost of planting trees is the most efficient way of controlling air pollution.

China plans to grow thousands of acres of new forests annually. By 2020 China predicts that its woodlands that would cover 23% of its landmass. China predicts that its non-military staff would be eventually reduced by 300,000 troops whose primary mission would be planting trees.

Environment, Technology

New York’s Use of Drones To Help the Environment

Supported by Ara Chackerian

New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (the DEC) has employed the use of drones to help officials keep an eye on what’s going on in the environment. Recently, the DEC utilized their drone force to help with hurricane recovery efforts in both Texas as well as Puerto Rico. The DEC expects the use of drones in their field will make it easier to address oil spills (like the one that occured in a wetland in Staten Island), locate forest fires, determine geo-mapping related to groundwater quality, monitor traffic, survey coastal erosion and manage wildlife habitation, like helping officials find well-hidden bat hibernation colonies, for instance. The specific drone that was used to identify underground bat colonies in New York state had a thermal sensor attached, as hibernation sites “emit relatively warm air”.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, 22 drones are currently monitoring the entire state of New York. They have been instrumental in helping environmentalists preserve our natural surroundings.


Turning Attention To Single-Use Plastic – Corporate & Individual Responsibility

Supported by Ara Chackerian

Occasionally, humans can be consumed by the overwhelming number of distant decisions that are out of one individual’s control, but greatly impact each and every person’s life similarly. So when you hear about large corporations and government entities implementing their sustainable environmental practices which will affect a mass population, it may produce a glimmer of hope!

In August 2017, the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, stopped selling plastic bags. Statistics say that about 1 million single use plastic bags are used every minute.

The state of Texas in the US has a long and controversial history of plastic bag bans. A report published this past summer questions the effectiveness of how this ban impacts the environment, as people are using heavier weight plastic bags to replace the single use plastic, which has a larger net carbon footprint. The intention is sustainable practices, but seemingly the system needs to be tweaked. This is an example of positive intention that has not been properly thought through. Note that 7 of 16 counties that voted on banning plastic bags in Texas passed. Dallas, Texas, failed the legislation in 2014.

A well known pub chain in the UK, JD Wetherspoon, is also no longer offering patrons plastic straws in their drinks, due to the growing epidemic of plastic straws landing in our oceans. The United States is a culprit of using over 500 million plastic straws in just one day. If we don’t limit the use of plastic straws in our daily lives, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic straws in the ocean than fish. Scientists suggest that plastic pollution is very close to being permanent and that plastic can be found in everything, such as the tap water and even in salt and inside of fish. Paper straws and trendy metal straws are new, popular replacements for businesses and home/personal use.

While the awareness and actions around these small (but effective) changes to more sustainable environmental practices are being made by retailers, select counties and informed individuals like you and I, it can be easy to lose sight of how much change needs to still be accomplished before our society is fully sustainable. What’s important on an individual level is that we never cease striving to be better, as what’s been done is still not enough. It is our responsibility as inhabitants of this planet to vocalize our priorities for the environment and speak the truths to our legislators. Change starts with you and I, at an individual level. If we’re lucky, our beliefs might be able to reach someone that owns an national retail chain….

The Lonely Whale Foundation would like everyone to take the #StopSuckingChallenge and refuse to use straws from now on. If we all do this, 500 million plastic straws would be kept out of the oceans each day. I’ve pledged my commitment and shared it on social media to hopefully inspire others. Will you?

Social Change

A Brief History of Plastic & 5 Things You Can Do To Help the Single-Use Plastic Epidemic

Supported by Ara Chackerian

A staggering amount of plastic has been produced in America since the 1950s, though the first synthetic polymer known as Bakelite was produced in 1907 by a Belgian-born American living in New York who went by the name of Leo Hendrick.

Since the inception, the United States is responsible for creating 8.3 billion tons of plastic, which is equivalent to the weight of 1 billion elephants! A sobering fact is that this plastic will be around for hundreds of years, if not thousands; outliving the very beings that created and used it, to the demise of our planet’s environment. Research and science confirm the omnipresence of plastic is damaging to the health of our oceans, as well as the health of wildlife, and even human life.

There are impacts that we can make toward solving this ‘plastic epidemic’. The best solution is to implore your politicians and local & corporate businesses to stop making plastic so available to the world, and stop utilizing it in their practices.

The following examples are 5 simple things you can personally do to positively impact the environment:

  1. Stop Buying Bottled Water –

Every minute, 1 million bottles of water are bought all over the world, and their final destinations are the landfills and the oceans. At this rate, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Instead, purchase a bottle you can reuse.

  1. Travel with Your Own Silverware –

When you do this, you will not be using plastic utensils every time you enjoy a meal away from home. Let your local food chains (or even your office) know you don’t need or want plastic wear with your meal to avoid additional waste.

  1. Travel with Your Own Mug –

Have your favorite coffee shop fill your own mug from home instead of accepting a plastic cup. Some coffee shops will even give you a discount!

  1. Carry Your Groceries Home in a Non-Plastic, Reusable Bag –

Bring your cloth bags from home with you and reuse them again and again. Also when shopping, try to be conscious of avoiding products that use a lot of plastic in their packaging. Where you choose to spend your money speaks volumes.

  1. Stop Buying Shampoos and Shower Gels in Plastic Bottles –

Be diligent to find versions of these products that are wrapped in paper, and suggest your friends and family do the same. Spreading the word is what it’s all about.

Social Change

How Can One Individual Help the Environment?

Supported by Ara Chackerian

“I’m just one person; the difference I alone will make is insignificant.” Have you ever thought this to yourself? Well stop right there. Everyone can make a difference. In fact, it all starts with one, it all starts with you.

The first thing you should do is calculate your carbon footprint. Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy have carbon calculators that will determine the impact you are having on the Earth. The calculator will use your consumption patterns, energy use and transportation habits to calculate a number that can help you identify what you are doing right and where you can make improvements. Once you have this information, it’s up to you to implement positive lifestyle changes for the benefit of the environment.

While reducing your emissions is a noble goal, you can also offset what you are putting into the atmosphere whenever you fly. One thing you can do is donate money toward initiatives that reduce emissions, such as renewable energy and tree plantings. Another good idea is to fly Delta, American Airlines and JetBlue airlines, as they offer carbon credits every time you purchase a ticket. You can also buy offsets from Cool Effect or Native Energy. Consider it as a package price with your plane ticket, and take the cost into consideration when planning your next trip.

The Lonely Whale Foundation would like everyone to take the #StopSuckingChallenge and refuse to use straws from now on. If we all do this, 500 million plastic straws would be kept out of the oceans each day.

Many environmental groups have created pre-populated forms that you can use to tell your congressional representatives about your concerns. For example, all you would need to do is sign The Sierra Club’s form, and you will be adding your voice to those who want to save the planet.

If going straw-less or changing over to solar energy isn’t for you, you may be able to switch to renewable energy by contacting Green Mountain Energy, which eliminates the need for you to switch energy providers.


Environmental Trends to Watch

Supported by Ara Chackerian

For centuries, few distinct groups of people thought about the environment on a global scale. Now that we have an understanding of how human actions impact our ecosystem, most people understand the importance of eco-health and want to treat the planet better. Below are some of the innovative ways that businesses and other organizations are trying to protect our environment in 2017.

1.Parting With Plastic

More businesses are swearing off plastic cups, utensils, bags and straws. The Lonely Whale Foundation has initiated the #StopSucking challenge, which asks consumers to give up disposable plastic straws. Americans waste 500 million plastic straws on a daily basis. That sounds like a lot, but it’s only a small portion of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic that rests in our waters and landfills. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.

Plastic products provide us with convenience, but there are usually better alternatives that serve the same purpose. For example, reusable metal straws are becoming popular. Reusable bags, water bottles and coffee mugs also save tons of waste from landfills each year.

2. Switching to Renewable Energy

Now that energy companies are finally moving toward using more sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar power, some are providing incentives for customers to make the switch. Depending on where you live, Green Mountain Energy may be able to help you go renewable even if you currently use another energy provider.

3.Creating New Coral

The world’s waters are getting warmer, which is killing coral across the globe. Because they are so vital to underwater ecosystems, the loss of coral reefs is causing chaos in our oceans. Fortunately, some smart scientists have created genetically engineered corals that are stronger than the species that are dying off, so hopefully we can repopulate the ocean floor.

4. Floating Wind Power

The best place to harness wind power is in the middle of the ocean, which is why floating wind farms will soon start popping up. The first one is currently in development off of Scotland’s coast, and about 40 more are in the works around the world. Of course, these structures could have a negative impact on nearby wildlife, so there must be measures put in place to protect aquatic animals.

5. Using Drones to Monitor the Environment

Many people associate drones with things like government airstrikes or surveillance, but they many actually have some positive uses. In New York, unmanned aircrafts are helping workers monitor oil spills and wildlife activity to help preserve natural habitats.

The Department of Environmental Conservation currently has a fleet of 22 drones patrolling New York’s skies. In addition to identifying oil spills in Staten Island, the drones have the ability to also track the growth of an invasive plant species across 200 acres of St. Lawrence County wetlands. Thanks to thermal sensors, they can also uncover subterranean bat hibernation sites during the snowy winters.

6. Carbon Footprint Calculators

Organizations like The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International have developed calculators to help you determine the size of your carbon footprint. By providing information about how you get around, how much energy you consume and what your shopping habits are like, you can know within minutes how you compare to others. Such calculators also provide advice for how to lessen your personal impact on the environment.

7. Offsetting Air Travel

Planes pump far more carbon into the air than vehicles, which is why airline companies are offering environmentally conscious customers ways to “offset” their trips. For example, some carriers allow flyers to donate a tree or contribute part of their plane ticket toward renewable energy initiatives. Jet Blue, American Airlines, and Delta all participate in such programs. If an airline doesn’t offer offsets, you can always purchase one from Native Energy or Cool Effect.

8. Petitioning Government Officials

Individuals are encouraged to lobby their local, state and federal representatives to support environmental initiatives such as protecting public lands and investing in clean energy. Calling public officials directly is the best way to go about it, but organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund also have online form letters that you can send to congress. Don’t forget to add a personal touch in the form of a message about why environmental protection is important to you.



A Look at 2017’s Top Environmental Protection Trends

Supported by Ara Chackerian

Environmental protection has become an increasingly crucial priority. The human population continues to grow, and scientists keep discovering more harmful effects of pollution. For instance, researchers recently learned that tiny plastic particles have contaminated massive amounts of drinking water. Businesses, governments and individuals must find new ways to safeguard the ecosystem. The latest trends in environmental protection could help improve the situation.

Artificial Leaves

Plant leaves began to collect and store solar power long before anyone even imagined photovoltaic panels or rechargeable batteries. They convert solar photons into sugars and use them as a long-term energy source. Humans have started to do the same with a new technology that creates “bionic leaves.” It uses solar rays, water and bacteria to generate a special type of alcohol. This fluid holds considerable amounts of energy and has the potential to power various machines.

Aquatic Robots

Invasive species often cause significant damage to the ecosystem. They can harm the water quality and kill numerous native animals. A new type of underwater robot uses electricity or poisonous substances to eliminate invasive sea creatures. The waterproof automatons recently began performing this task in two ocean locations; they target invasive starfish and lionfish. This project could help prevent further harm to the Great Barrier Reef.

Online Solutions

Although computer hardware consumes significant amounts of electrical power, it also plays a positive role. The internet continues to provide more and more methods to reduce an individual’s environmental impact and learn about new ways to achieve this goal. For example, computer users may estimate their personal environmental impact levels or buy carbon credits that compensate for specific actions.

Carbon Offsets

When people can’t avoid traveling long distances by car or airplane, they have the option to help the environment by purchasing carbon credits. Among other things, the money pays for projects that generate green energy, plant trees or protect undeveloped land. Many airlines have started to sell carbon offsets. Passengers can buy them when they book flights on Delta, United Airlines or Jet Blue planes.

Carbon Calculations

Various organizations have created online calculators that let people quickly assess their impact on the environment. Internet users can find these tools on the Conservation International and Environmental Protection Agency websites. They only need to provide some details about their personal shopping, energy and travel choices. The calculators supply helpful tips on ways to shrink a person’s carbon footprint.

Electricity Providers

A number of state governments recently began allowing Americans to choose the companies that supply electricity to their homes and businesses. Some firms exclusively provide green energy from hydroelectric, wind or solar plants. The internet makes it easy to find and compare them. However, it’s vital to read the fine print. An alternative electric supplier may charge higher rates or late fees.

Floating Wind Turbines

In 2016, workers began to construct the first major wind-power plant that floats. Alternative energy companies plan to build around 40 additional floating wind farms. Offshore locations experience high winds much more frequently than most inland sites, so the turbines can generate impressive amounts of power. Unfortunately, they also pose a danger to aquatic wildlife.

Last Straw

In September, British media reported that a chain of pubs will soon cease to supply customers with straws. Wetherspoon’s plans to eliminate these superfluous plastic tubes as 2017 comes to an end. It estimated that the decision would save about 70 million straws per year. This will stop decaying plastic from entering landfills and the environment.

Some individuals have decided to take similar action. A group known as the Lonely Whale Foundation urges the public to give up straws. It wants people to take a pledge to stop using them. Its website also provides easy ways to share this campaign on social media networks. The organization estimates that Americans throw away 3.5 billion straws every week. This not only depletes finite resources but pollutes the air and water.

Conserving Plastic

Some retailers have found ways to banish other wasteful uses of plastic. The major British supermarket chain Tesco recently stopped providing shoppers with disposable bags. A few smaller stores decided to completely eliminate plastic from their merchandise and packaging materials. Customers can minimize waste by avoiding single-serving food products, foam trays and disposable utensils. Some people bring reusable containers when they order takeout meals.

Green Drones

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation utilizes 22 drones to gain valuable information that helps it protect the state’s ecosystem. These devices can quickly detect chemical spills from the air. They also enable officials to track the growth of invasive plants. Drones can even identify places where bats hibernate. They accomplish some of the same surveillance tasks as helicopters while producing far less pollution.