SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  17 March 2011
Volume 12 Issue 3

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Earth Day 2011

SETAC on Earth Day 2011

Stefanie Giese-Bogdan, 3M and Marc Greenberg, US EPA

The 41st Earth Day and World Environment Day, 22 April 2011, is just a month away. Earth Day serves to increase awareness of important environmental quality issues including sustainable development, water resources, energy, recycling and waste reduction, green economy, conservation and biodiversity, and environmental education. Many of these issues are within SETAC’s mission and therefore, our presence during Earth Day 2011 was set as a Society goal. While many individual members of SETAC regularly participate in annual Earth Day activities and celebrations, SETAC as an organization can bring sound science to the dialogue.

We’d like to share what we’ve learned so far about what SETAC members have planned for Earth Day and Global Environment Day, and resources for learning more about planned events from around the globe. With respect to the latter, please take a look at the activities guide posted on SETAC’s website for links to Earth Day and Global Environment Day activities from around the world, and SETAC brochures that you might find useful to use in your Earth Day and Global Environment Day activities.

Kinni River clean upOne SETAC member-supported Earth Day activity is an event with the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust. The Kinnickinnic River is at the upper end of the Mississippi River drainage in the northern U.S. state of Wisconsin. The Trust has been working to show the connection between the Kinnickinnic River and the Gulf of Mexico. Though far away, they are in fact connected, as the Kinnickinnic flows into the St. Croix River, which in turn flows into the upper Mississippi. SETAC members are contributing an interactive display, focused for children, on how to clean oil from water and a presentation on the Gulf oil spill and clean up efforts. The interactive display will include lake/lakeshore models, set up in 9 x 13 pans. Children will be able to explore the use of different materials to clean up a vegetable oil spill in their “lakes.” SETAC members also will be contributing a poster on endocrine disruption and financial support for a luncheon to be held as part of the event. A similar event currently is in the works thousands of miles away in Florida, another part of North America that drains to the Gulf.

Elsewhere, the southern California regional SETAC Chapter will be participating in two Earth Day activities this year. The first is an Earth Day fair sponsored by Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts in Whittier CA. SETAC members Barry Snyder (AMEC Earth and Environmental) and Steve Carlson (Nautilus Environmental) will staff a display describing how marine organisms are used for environmental toxicology research (includes live animals). The second is an Earth Day fair sponsored by Sea Lab, an educational facility run by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. At this event Steve Bay (Southern California Coastal Water Research Project) will present a lecture on “Ocean Pollution: Past, Present, and Future” that will describe current issues in coastal water quality and research.

We’ll report on other events from around the Globe as we learn about them.

We also want to remind you that we’ve created a “SETAC at Earth Day 2011” link in SETAC Communities under Open Communities, as a place for you to share materials that you developed for an Earth Day activity (such as teaching at a school, etc.). If you go there now, you’ll find a fun classroom presentation for elementary school-aged children entitled Water: Our Most Important Natural Resource. Maybe you’ll decide to adapt it and use it in your community’s elementary school. Now imagine that SETAC had a portfolio of these presentations that our members were sharing with kids around the world on Earth Day and World Environment Day. Then ask yourself, what’s stopping us from doing that?

We want to find out what YOU are doing so that we can share your ideas and experiences with SETAC’s members and help build momentum for a strong SETAC presence on Earth Day and World Environment Day. If you’re’ organizing an event; teaching, speaking or writing on environmental issues; or otherwise celebrating Earth Day and World Environment Day, please let us know by the end of March, so we can recognize your contribution, along with others from across the SETAC community, in the 14 April Globe. If you’re organizing a community event, please consider sharing your photos and stories. We hope we’ll be able to share some of those in the 12 May Globe.

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