Thursday, February 28, 2008

USDA Outreach Conference at Virginia State University

The USDA Outreach Conference at Virginia State University is scheduled for March 13, 2008. There will be sessions on grant writing opportunities. They will also highlight special success stories between farmers, community-based organizations, and USDA. If you would like more information or know of such a story and would like to see it highlighted, please contact Sylvia Montgomery Agricultural Liaison Officer, Virginia State University, P.O. Box 9081L, Douglas Wilder Bldg, Room 204B Petersburg, Va. 23806 Phone: 804-524-6967 Fax: 804-504-7074

California EJ Movement Issues Climate Change Declaration

The California Environmental Justice Movement passed the following EJ Resolution on Climate Change:

BE IT THEREFORE, RESOLVED, that the California Environmental Justice Movement stands with communities around the world in opposition to carbon trading and offset use and the continued over reliance on fossil fuels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Environmental Justice Movement will support conservation, regulatory, and other measures to address greenhouse gases only if they directly and significantly reduce emissions, require the shift away from use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, and do not cause or exacerbate the pollution burden of poor communities of color in the United States and developing nations around the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Environmental Justice Movement will oppose efforts by our state government to create a carbon trading and offset program, because such a program will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the pace called for by the international scientific community, it will not result in a shift to clean sustainable energy sources, it will support and enrich the state's worst polluters, it will fail to address the existing and future inequitable burden of pollution, it will deprive communities of the ability to protect and enhance their communities, and because if our state joins regional or international trading schemes it will further create incentives for carbon offset programs that harm communities in California, the region, the country, and developing nations around the world.

Los Angeles Times Blog Covers Environmental Justice

In an article entitled, "Environmental Justice: Going Green's Not Just For Yuppies and Hippies," the L.A. Times Blog writes:

"... the number of environmental justice activists is growing and getting louder. Of course, this means some growing pains for the environmental movement at large. Most recently, a number of Californian environmental justice groups launched a campaign against carbon emissions cap-and-trade programs, over concerns that such programs would impact negatively the communities that are already disadvantaged. Many established environmental groups are not against cap-and-trade programs, as these carbon reduction programs are most politically feasible than carbon fees.

Still, the environmental movement's already showing a willingness to pay closer attention to environmental justice concerns. The Sierra Club, for example,
released a statement concurring with some of what the environmental justice groups said: "We share many of the concerns of the EJ groups regarding pollution trading, like possible hot spots, loopholes and windfall profits."

Of course there are other points of view.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Religion and Environmental Justice Conference

This year, March 7-10th, over a thousand Christians are expected to gather in Washington D.C. to be advocates for justice and peace in the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference. This year the Eco-Theology track of the conference will focus primarily on global climate change and how its effecting all of God's creation. Highlights, so far, include:

Eco-Theology led by eco-theologian and author, Dr. Catherine Keller
Climate Change in the Asia Pacific
Bordering on Disaster: Social and Environmental Injustice on the Border
Climate and Church: How Global Climate Change Will Impact Core Church Ministries
Faithful Security: Nuclear Weapons, Contamination and Environmental Health

Contact: Adam Bray

Monday, February 11, 2008

Smart Growth Assistance and Achievement Awards

Smart Growth Implementation Assistance: Apply now. Deadline May 8, 2008. There are many distressed communities (urban or rural) that needtechnical assistance. The 2008 Request for Applications for Smart Growth ImplementationAssistance is now open. It will close on May 8, 2008.

National Award for Smart Growth Achievement: Deadline April 7, 2008 PLEASE NOTE: The category of "equitable development" is featured again this year. This category was first featured in 2006, and we need more applicants for this category. The best way to showthere is increasing interest in equitable development as a public policyissue is to apply. Carlton EleyU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyOffice of Policy, Economics, and Innovation (1807T) 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460 Email - eley.carlton@epa.govph - 202-566-2841fax - 202-566-2868. This competition is open to public-sector entities that have used smart growth principles to improvecommunities environmentally, socially, and economically. For the first time, private-sector entities may apply this year in two of the five categories. Smart growth development practices support national environmental goals by preserving open spaces and parkland and protecting critical habitat;improving transportation choices, including walking, bicycling, andtransit, which reduces emissions from automobiles; promoting brownfield redevelopment; and reducing impervious surfaces, which improves waterquality.This year, applications will be accepted in five categories:

· Overall Excellence in Smart Growth (open to public-sector entitiesonly)
· Built Projects (open to public- and private-sector entities)
· Policies and Regulations (open to public-sector entities only)
· Equitable Development (open to public-sector entities only)
· Colleges, Universities, and Medical/Hospital Research Institutions (open to public- and private-sector entities)

Interested parties are encouraged to submit applications for smart growth policies, projects, or programs that have shown significant activity between April 7, 2003, and April 7, 2008. Successful applicants will have used smart growth principles to create places that respect community culture and the environment, foster economicdevelopment, and enhance quality of life and public health. Up to five winners will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, DC, in November 2008.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Maryland State Minority Task Force Final Report

Senate Bill 350 (Chapter 520, MD. Annotated Code, Acts of 2006) created the Task Force on Minority Participation in the Environmental Community with a sunset date of July 2007. The Task Force was charged with evaluating minority participation in the environmental community and make recommendations for improved participation. (See: Final Report to the Governor and General Assembly)

Four main areas of concerns centered on: 1) the lack of minorities in key policy positions throughout the state government; 2) the lack of attention and funding support that traditional environmental organizations directed at minority issues and concerns; 3) the lack of minority participation in the efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake and Coastal Bay watersheds, and 4) the lack of public education programs directly connecting minority health issues to the disparate environmental conditions that prevail in some communities.

A key recommendation is the creation and funding of the Maryland Minority Environmental & Land Trust (MELT). The MELT would serve as a vehicle to implement and finance the various recommendations outlined in this report. The General Assembly would establish the trust with initial investments of $250,000 per year for the first five years. Additionally, nine agencies involved in environmental issues would contribute $100,000 annually in dollars or in-kind services for a 5 year period. Total funding for the first five years is $5,750,000. Additional recommendations include establishing an Inter-Agency Workgroup and a Steering Committee.

Friday, February 1, 2008

EPA RFP-Gulf of Mexico Alliance Regional Partnership Projects

Grants awarded under this announcement may involve Geospatial Information. An estimated amount of up to $3,000,000 for between approximately ten to fifty cooperative agreements may be awarded under this announcement to eligible applicants for projects that improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico by addressing improved water quality and public health, priority coastal habitat protection/recovery, more effective coastal environmental education, improved habitat identification/characterization data and decision support systems, and strategic nutrient reductions. Projects must actively involve stakeholders and focus on support and implementation of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts.

Eligible Applicants: Public and State controlled institutions of higher education City or township governments County governments Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification) Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized) State governments. (More)