"The obvious reason would be to conserve water and save money," explains Dorian. "Outdoor watering accounts for 40 percent of our water usage in summer. Using a rain barrel could save 1300 gallons of water over the growing season."
"But," she adds, "there's an even better reason for those of us living on a barrier island: rain barrels not only prevent erosion by reducing runoff, they also capture pollutants that would otherwise go into the bay or ocean. When rain runs over impervious surfaces, it picks up contaminants such as oil, fertilizer and pesticides. Eventually these wind up in our bays, lakes and streams killing fish and altering the ecosystem.
"Finally," Dorian points out, "rain water is good for your garden.Tap water contains chlorine, calcium and fluoride that collect in soil and harm plant roots over time. Rain water also clears the soil of salt--which we can all appreciate after Superstorm Sandy."
Hi Everyone...It sure is nice to see you all again. Here I am back with information that is sometimes good, sometimes worrisome, but often with opportunities for us to make a difference. There are so many requests for participation regarding the environment, and although it may seem like I am
hounding you with MANY requests, please believe me when I tell you I try to only pass on the ones that I think REALLY need our support.
I know I have been asking you to make your voice heard and have sent you websites in the Newsletter this month. If you haven't done so already, I hope you will go back and send in your thanks to Senators Booker and Menendez for raising concerns about the Penn East pipeline project (this issue is not over yet) and also respond to the request from Ocean Conservancy to thank our representatives for asking for bi-partisan action against climate change. The websites are listed in the last Newsletter.
Just a reminder – Saturday, April 22 will be our beach clean-up date. Alliance for a Living Ocean will have clean up supplies at their office on 1101 Central Avenue, Ship Bottom, just a block south of the Boulevard. Some of us will be going down to High Bar Harbor to clean the beach across from the lighthouse – just beyond the turtle enclosures. We'd love to have you join us around 10 and spend an hour or however much time you can spare. If you have or can borrow a “grabber”, they are great for retrieving small pieces of junk.
Also that evening, Saturday, April 22 there will be a showing of “Ocean Frontiers III” at 7 PM at the Surf City Firehouse. This film will explore the intersection of national security, marine commerce and conservation. It provides underwater footage of stunning marine life along the coast from Virginia to Maine and provides input from a range of people who are leading the way to a sustainable and thriving ocean. A Little Bite of Italy will provide refreshments. There is a $5 donation and reservation requested by lighthousefilmfestival.org. If you want to come at the last minute, I think you can do so, but am checking to make sure. You can go on line to Ocean Frontiers III to to see a trailer of the film.
Department of Environmental Protection will make about 112,500 free tree seedlings available to state residents in 128 municipalities through an ongoing partnership among the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, State Forest Service and the non-profit Arbor Day Foundation. Angela Andersen requested 150 bayberry and beach plum trees. She expects to pick them up on Monday. She asked if any of us would be able to help in planting the trees. Does she have anyone who can help here today?
You may have seen the ShopRite Earth 2017 flier while you have been shopping. I brought some extra copies and if you would like one, please check in the hallway. There is a lot of good information and if you have younger children or grandchildren, please share it with them. I was happy to read ShopRite has recycled over two million tons of material in the past 40 years and composted 21,500 tons of food waste in 2016. On average, a person generates 4.3 lbs. of waste each day and multiply that by the 54 million of us living in the northeast, and you can see why it is so important each one of us tries to reduce our waste as well as reusing and recycling.
As April 29 draws closer, lots more information is coming in about the People's Climate March. 100,000 people have already signed up to march in Washington. 250 sister marches are being planned across the country. If any marches are set up in areas closer to us, I will send you a Blast, but you can also participate in speaking up to protect our environment from your home. The Blast will have websites with information about some of the issues and an easy way to make your voice heard. Some of the important opportunities for you to participate in the efforts to continue the progress made to protect our environment are as follows:
We all know ocean pollution is a big problem, and Ocean Conservancy sent a request that I think you will be interested in. They advised more than 690 species of marine wildlife have been affected by marine debris. An estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste flow from the land into the ocean every year, and by 2025 there could be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish at this rate. Not just floating bags, bottles and fishing nets are a problem but as many as 551 trillion pieces of microplastic now circulate in the ocean. “On the positive side, four leading senators introduced bipartisan legislation to help solve this problem, Saving Our Seas Act, S. 756. This legislation will support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) research to better understand the impacts of this growing threat and identify solutions to stop the flow of plastic waste into our ocean, including reducing and better managing solid municipal waste.” You can take action by telling our Senators to support this important piece of legislation.
Nature Conservancy is asking everyone tell our representatives in the White House and Congress to oppose rollbacks on climate action and to strengthen climate policies by cutting carbon emissions and building a low-carbon future, not weakening measures to reduce emissions.
Another request from Nature Conservancy asks our representatives to oppose slashing $54 billion in proposed funding for environmental protections. They advocate sending a message to our representatives in Congress to “invest in nature which will protect our health, promote energy security,
create jobs and so much more. Tell our leaders that protecting out land, water and air is an essential investment.”
Oceana is asking we tell our members of Congress to oppose the plan to expand offshore drilling and the known threat of oil spills. This month marks 7 years since the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and the incredible damage it created. Many dolphins in the disaster region still suffer from severe lung disease and it could take 40 years for the dolphin population to recover. Taking a few minutes of your time could make a difference in not having this happen again. As I said, I will send a Blast with website information on the four oppurtunities to be proactive stewards for our environment and take action for the sake of the generations to follow us. PLEASE take the time to review the information and to take action if you agree.
I was speaking to Karen Walzer of the Barnegat Bay Partnership(BBP). I believe you all know of the important work this partnership does to help restore, protect and enhance the naural resources of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem. The Barnegat Bay Estuary has supported one of the most valuable economies of any estuary in the nation to say nothing of the improving the esthetic quality of life of all residents. Because the BBP is one of the National Estuary Programs, there is real concern it may be targeted for massive proposed cuts, in which case their operation would be jeopardized. While there is not a specific action we can take with regard to telling our representatives how important funding for BBP is, we may be receiving a call from Karen in the future.
Ending on an up note,, the NJ Dept of Transportation, Dept. of Environmental Protection, Monmouth County and Neptune City, working together tracked down and repaired a significant source of bacterial contamination that affected water quality and contributed to the closing of shellfish beds in the Shark River late last year. Using dye tests and cameras, they were able to locate sewage leaking in to a stormwater discharge pipe in Neptune City and then trace it back to leaking municipal sewer lines which were repaired. It was a difficult task because of the size of the area and the complexity of the piping networks. It was a real joint effort with everyone going the extra distance to protect the quality of water. It is good to know that with the strong programs protecting our water and monitoring shellfish beds, the percentage of beds considered safe for harvesting across the state is now nearly 90% compared to about 75% in 1977.
Pulling together, we can make very significant differences