Hot Topics November 2017

Oct 26 2017

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A selection of environmental news and things-to-know. Scroll down to view each brief synopsis, click the title for more info.

There’s Plastic in Your Favorite Shellfish

Synthetic microbeads and microfibers from our personal care products and clothing don’t just affect aquatic wildlife – they affect our food chain. A new study from Vancouver Island University found that clams and oysters ingest the plastic and it sticks around, making it’s way onto our plates and into our stomachs. Overwhelmingly, the plastic is microfibers from our clothing. Last month we highlighted microfibers in drinking water. Don’t despair, there are many steps you can take to reduce your contribution to the problem. Check out this advice from the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Water Quality Project Grant Applications Open – Get Funding for a Project to Help Relieve Flooding, Improve Water Quality

Open to both organizations and individuals, Water Quality Improvement Grants provide financial assistance to projects that improve regional water quality. Past projects include permeable paver street projects, streambank stabilization, and green roofs. Application deadline for fiscal year 2018 is Friday, January 12th, 2018.

This could be a great long-term project for a dedicated eco-club and faculty sponsor looking to make a difference at school and in the community!

After Hurricane Power Outages, Looking To Alaska’s Microgrids For A Better Way

Remote towns in Alaska have long had to rely on generating their own power. They are increasingly being eyed by areas affected by hurricanes, especially Puerto Rico, for inspiration and practical knowledge on how to devise resilient, renewable, small-scale  electrical grids, known as microgrids.

Award-Winning Nature Documentary “Sonic Sea” Available to Watch for Free

The documentary Sonic Sea from the Natural Resource Defense Council educates watchers on a little known issue for our wildlife: underwater sound pollution. Sonic Sea was nominated for three Emmy’s and won tow: Outstanding Nature Documentary and Outstanding Music and Sound. You can watch the film for free on Vimeo by making an account (if you don’t already have one) and using the promo code SONICSEE.


EPA: Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools Resources for School Staff, Teachers, and Administrators

Gain confidence to start, improve, or sustain a successful Indoor Air Quality program at school with these resources from the Environmental Protection Agency. Good indoor air quality helps support a healthy learning and working environment so that both teachers and students perform better. With asthma being the number one cause of school absences, it makes sense to take steps to improve indoor air. The EPA resources include on-demand online air quality master class webinars and a follow up series Knowledge-to-Action to get you ready to start or revitalize your indoor air quality program.

Generate: The Game of Energy Choices

Check out this free, printable game from the EPA for middle and high school students. It is designed to engage students in the complexities of our energy system and is a great kick off for delving deeper into energy issues.

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