Local ‘N Global highlights action and advocacy to protect the environment and public health. Please send submissions via the contact page.
June 2013 – Two Years Running: Two New Hampshire Beaches Rated Top in the Nation by NRDC
Concord, NH – The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) rated Hampton Beach State Park and Wallis Sands Beach five star beaches and called New Hampshire coastal beaches second cleanest in the nation. The NRDC published its 23rd Annual “beachwater quality report” analyzing beach data reported to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by coastal and Great Lakes states. The NRDC report rates the 200 most popular beaches nationally on a five star scale with only 13 beaches receiving all five stars.
February 2013 – Land conservation effort underway in Sunapee: Wendell Marsh North. Read more…
December 2012 – Ausbon Sargent (the local land trust) and Sunapee Conservation Commission will lead a field trip (January 26, 2013) at Wendell Marsh, which is part of a 1000-acre unfragmented block of forest land, wetlands and wildlife habitat. Read more...
October 2012 – 25 for 25: New Hampshire’s Rivers – What a Difference a Generation Makes
By Thomas S. Burack, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Serivces
Within a single generation we have seen rivers go from catching fire to running clear and clean. Many of us can still remember in 1969 watching TV broadcasts of the Cuyahoga River in Ohio on fire. The toxic pollution that ignited in that river wasn’t unique to the Cuyahoga – rivers across the nation were heavily polluted, including many right here in New Hampshire. But that image of a river afire seared into our collective conscience and helped to change the way our nation thinks about our waterways and the environment in general. Read more via the DES library.
June 21, 2012 – Environmental activists from Dartmouth College are on the road for a “summer filled with meaningful dialogue, mutual learning, and a Big Green Bus building sustainability.” On its 8th cross-country tour, the bus operates on vegetable oil and is “retrofitted to be a model sustainable home.”
Day 7: Three days in one day (Washington D.C.) – Wake up in Chevy Chase, Maryland at home of generous hosts. Breakfast with green Dartmouth alumni and kids. Drive into the Capitol. Meet interns outside of the Department of Energy. Meet the Secretary of Energy outside of the Department of Energy. Sprint to meetings on capitol hill, arriving late and sweaty and still cordially received. Talk to policy makers and their staff. Drive north of D.C. to Montgomery County, MA for Green Wheaton Gala. Get inspired by communities coming together around sustainability. Go to sleep exhausted, with a head full of friendly faces and visionary ideas. – The Big Green Bus blog – Vehicle for Change
Earth Day is April 22, 2012
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir (1838-1914)
From the Upper Valley: Pat McGovern is an organizer and advocate for local foods. She writes the blog UVLocalvores, which promotes the 100-mile diet in the Upper Valley, the region around Lebanon and Hanover, NH, and Hartford and Norwich, VT. For more information, go to: http://uvlocalvores.wordpress.com.
25 for 25: New Hampshire’s Underground Storage Tank Program – An Unseen Success Story by Thomas S. Burack, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services (February 22, 2012)
“Our residents now enjoy comfortable, regulated heat, from an efficient system fueled by wood from a nearby family-run business,” said Crotched Mountain Chief Operating Officer Michael Redmond, reports Nancy Bean Foster of the Union Leader (February 13, 2012.)
The article says: “With a grant from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center recently replaced a failing steam heat system with a state-of-the art hydronic central heating system that uses wood chips harvested locally from New Hampshire forests, according to Jessica O’Hare of Environment New Hampshire.” Read more via http://www.environmentnewhampshire.org/media/nhe/crotched-mountain-saves-fuel-biomass-system
Raindate: May 8
Upper Valley Localvores…is a group of food advocates living in the region around Lebanon, NH and Hartford, VT. The main focus of their uvlocalvores website is to share recipes that feature local foods. Their recipe for Gypsy Soup, “adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook, can be created from foods available locally in early winter.”
Newcomers are welcome to all KAEL programs and meetings including monthly meetings. The committee meets at the Pillsbury Free Library, Warner on Wednesday, January 5 at 7 pm. January events include a film; a presentation by Marc Moran, Hopewell Farm, Newbury; and a community potluck dinner and contra dance.
Read about the event and the organizing committee, Kearsarge Area Eat Local
Upper Valley Land Trust: Land Conservation in Lebanon – November 23, 2010
Fifty Years of Love – November, 2010
Our friends at the Sierra Club forwarded us this card. To learn about “50 years of love” and to sign the card, click here. It’s all about protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
October 14, 2010
“Green is the future” is the lead. It’s all about “Green innovation: How Dean Kamen, Planet Green, local students & Homeowners are focusing on environmentally friendly energy and technologies.” Go to Hippo – News and Culture Weekly.
April 1, 2010
Earth Day 2010 is approaching quickly. The Climate Rally on the National Mall on April 25 will bring together environmental advocates from communities across the country. The goal: comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in 2010 and the creation of green jobs and clean energy.To help power the Earth Day movement, visit: http://www.earthday.net/
To view Earth Day TV, click on the image.
March 19, 2010
Officials Call Attention to World Water Day and New Hampshire’s Water Challenges
The N.H. Department of Environmental Services (DES) yesterday urged everyone to observe World Water Day on March 22, 2010, by recognizing that water is a basic requirement for all life, and by taking responsibility for daily decisions that affect the state’s water resources. This year’s theme is “Clean Water for a Healthy World.”
From March 19-23, the public is invited to visit the World Water Day display in the DES lobby at 29 Hazen Drive in Concord.
“New Hampshire residents can be thankful that we have such an abundance of high-quality water resources,” noted DES Commissioner Tom Burack. “Other states and other countries are not as fortunate.”
“But we also need to understand that New Hampshire’s water resources are finite, and that these resources are often under stress due to the decisions we make about daily water use, landscape maintenance, shoreland development, the design of our communities, and the investments we make in water-related infrastructure.”
The New Hampshire Water Resources Primer, a major report prepared by DES, has identified four major challenges facing water resources in New Hampshire. Those challenges are:
- Landscape change associated with economic and population growth, and its implications for increased water demand and for deteriorating water quality,
- Climate change,
- Aging and inadequate infrastructure, and
- The need for more information to better manage the state’s water resources.
The full report is available from DES on-line at www.des.nh.gov on the Water Resources Plan Process web page.
The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Information on international efforts for World Water Day can be found at www.worldwaterday.org.
December 22, 2009
New Hampshire Geological Survey to Receive $297,665 from U.S. Department of Energy for Geothermal Energy Project
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Geological Survey (NHGS) at DES announced today that it will receive a $297,665 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of $17.79 million project to create a comprehensive nationwide geothermal resource data system by the nation’s State Geological Surveys to help identify and assess new fields.
The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) have organized a coalition of 40 state geological surveys to populate a new National Geothermal Data System with relevant state-specific geothermal data.
As a member of the coalition, the NHGS will be collecting data from across the state that will aid industry in the identification and development of geothermal energy, and integrating them into the National Geothermal Data System. New Hampshire State Geologist, Dr. David Wunsch said, “This project will help us enhance our understanding of the geothermal potential in New Hampshire, and assist private industry with exploration for geothermal resources in our state. It’s exciting to be part of this national effort among all the state geological surveys to address such a critical energy need for the state and the country.”
Compiling state-specific geothermal data in an integrated distributed and searchable data system should drive renewed efforts to identify, assess and exploit geothermal energy resources across America. This national collaboration of State and Federal agencies, universities, and industry, has the potential to reshape America’s energy landscape, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and leverage non-renewable petroleum resources well into the 21st Century.
AASG is already a partner in the Geothermal Data Coalition, based at Boise State University to design and build the National Geothermal Data System under contract to DOE. AASG member surveys will adapt the Geoscience Information Network (GIN) to provide data discovery, access, and exchange services as a component in the developing data system. Other components include a data repository, software applications, vocabularies, data content, network operations and communications, and web portals.
October 8, 2009
Sustainability leaders include UNH, UVM and Middlebury College. Read more…
September 10, 2009
The Connecticut River Source to Sea Cleanup is coming up. This is the Cleanup’s 13th year. Yes, it’s a giant, trashy task cleaning up the largest river in New England. And, yes, volunteers are needed. Read more…
August 9, 2009
Is this really cooking? Is this really food?
Listen, via National Public Radio, Fresh Air the Terry Gross interview of Michael Pollan (August 3, 2009) about his recent cover story Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Coach in The New York Times Magazine (July 29, 2009). Pollan is the Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. His recent book is “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.”
For local food sourcing, visit www.greatgrandmother.org.
August 4, 2009
The first week in August is Farmers’ Market Week, part of a month-long celebration that focuses on bringing New Hampshire food to New Hampshire tables. For timely information about local sources of food and healthier eating, visit www.greatgrandmother.org, published by Mario Capozolli, Sunapee.
July 6, 2009
Energy Matters at Colby-Sawyer College
New London, NH – Whenever we make decisions at the Colby-Sawyer College campus, we ask, “How will students benefit?” One additional take on that question is with regard to the environment. The college is integrating environmental decisions into those same questions. We are making decisions that benefit our students by lowering the carbon footprint of the college and changing the way the institution and the community interact with the environment. Read more…
June 29, 2009
New Hampshire and Rail
“A number of critical opportunities exist in the region to build a rail system that strengthens each of the New England states, and that better integrates the region with the rest of the country and with Canada,” said Tom Irwin, a senior attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation. “Our hope is that economic stimulus funds will be allocated to many of these projects, to begin the process of building a world class, sustainable transportation system for New Hampshire.”
This is part of the article “New Hampshire Onboard For Rail” published in CLF’s summer newsletter.
One essential project is the New Hampshire Capitol Corridor…which would extend rail service into southern New Hampshire, serving Nashua, Bedford (with a connection to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport), Manchester and Concord. – CFL NH
Here’s where you can learn about CFL in New Hampshire.
The Conservation Law Foundation works to solve the most significant environmental challenges facing New England. CLF’s advocates use law, economics and science to create innovate strategies to conserve natural resources, protect public health and promote vital communities in our region. CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Founded in 1966 by a group of seven environmentalists, in response to development plans on Mt. Greylock (the highest peak in Massachusetts), CFL now has over 50 scientists, attorneys, advocates, interns and staff.
June 10, 2009
Clean Energy Economy Spurs Significant Job Growth
The number of jobs in America’s emerging clean energy economy grew nearly two and a half times faster than overall jobs between 1998 and 2007, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew developed a clear, data-driven definition of the clean energy economy and conducted the first-ever hard count across all 50 states of the actual jobs, companies and venture capital investments that supply the growing market demand for environmentally friendly products and services.
Pew found that jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent, while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7 percent between 1998 and 2007. There was a similar pattern at the state level, where job growth in the clean energy economy outperformed overall job growth in 38 states and the District of Columbia during the same period.
New Hampshire was one of the exceptions. During the ’98-‘07 period, total jobs grew faster than clean energy jobs. However, Pew says this may change. Why? First, the state’s climate action plan released in March 2009 seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Also, the Granite State has seen nearly $67 million in the past three years in venture capital spending in clean technology. Thus, consumer demand, venture capital investment and government policy reforms will likely drive future expansion of NH’s small, but growing clean-energy sector.
The report pointed to Brayton Energy (Hampton) that researches and develops advanced energy generation technology and Segway (Bedford) that designs and manufactures battery powered personal transportation as two examples of clean-energy companies operating in New Hampshire.
View the Pew report, fact sheets, state-by-state summary pages and other materials at www.pewtrusts.org/cleanenergyeconomy.
May 28, 2009
Vermonters To Rally for Right to Dry
Vermont Country Store Proprietor Lyman Orton and Senator Richard McCormack are lined up to lead a rally for Senate Bill 18 on June 4 at Vermont State House in Montpelier.
In an effort to showcase support for the controversial “Right to Dry” campaign across the United States, a rally will take place on June 4 from noon to 1 p.m. in the heart of Vermont’s capital on the State House lawn. Among the participants will be advocates of Vermont Senate Bill 18, which addresses a citizen’s right to dry clothes on a clothesline despite neighborhood restrictions and covenants.
The event’s principal speaker, Lyman Orton will discuss his views that the Right to Dry campaign and subsequently Senate Bill 18 are supported by many Vermonters for two distinct reasons. While the use of clotheslines over clothes dryers offers scientific environmental benefits, the real controversy lies in the more personal aspect – the heritage, culture and social interaction among Vermonters. At the June 4th rally, Orton will explain in more detail why he and his fellow citizens are so passionate about this Right to Dry campaign.
Other participants include Vermont Senator Richard McCormack; Cheryl King Fischer, executive director, New England Grassroots Environment Fund; and Alexander Lee, founder and executive director of Project Laundry List.
Project Laundry List is making air-drying laundry acceptable and desirable as a simple and effective way to save energy. It is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization which aims to demonstrate that personal choices can make a difference for the Earth and its people.
May 7, 2009
Climate Change Presents Challenges for New Hampshire Water Suppliers
Concord, N.H. – Climate change poses a number of concerns with respect to water supplies in New Hampshire, say state officials and water suppliers. As a consequence of more frequent severe storms, rising temperatures, and potentially more frequent droughts, water systems are likely to have to deal with water quality issues, increased demand, and the reliability of their water supply sources.
“Looking into the not-too-distant future, climate change is one of the biggest issues facing water suppliers in particular and water resources in general,” stated Sarah Pillsbury, administrator of DES’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau. Pillsbury has spearheaded an effort to develop a state water resources plan in consultation with legislators and a broad range of stakeholders.
“Sustainability is the key concept here,” notes David Paris, president of the New Hampshire Water Works Association and Water Supply Administrator at Manchester Water Works. “Sustainability is fully ingrained in the actions of water suppliers. After all, their job is to assure drinking water for a community, not only for today, but to plan for future generations as well.”
According to Paris, the impact of climate change on resource availability and quality has challenged water suppliers to broaden their view to include alterations in precipitation patterns where periods of excessive rainfall must be balanced against the potential for extended periods of drought. When taking a view of what constitutes an adequate supply, water resource planners are looking at a future where conventional plans and projections may not hold up to these altered weather patterns.
Governor John Lynch has proclaimed May 3 – 9, 2009 as Drinking Water Week. The challenge of climate change was identified as one of the state’s top drinking water issues in a recently released DES report that covers a broad range of water resources problems. The New Hampshire Water Resources Primer is available from DES at 271-2975 and at www.des.nh.gov look under “Hot Topics.” The Primer is also the subject of a series of public meetings currently being held throughout the state; a schedule of meetings is available at http://m1e.net/c?94975219-B/ceGenxtf6Ls%404225544-Zb7cyDU1JSXPo
May 5, 2009
Click on the above title for the third in a series of articles by Bob Crane, a member of the New London Energy Committee. To read the other first two articles in the three-part series, go to:
April 16, 2009
DES and Project Laundry List: Wash in Cold Water and Air Dry
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and Project Laundry List (PLL) today signed a partnership agreement to recognize their mutual goals of conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gases through such actions as cold water washing and air-drying clothes instead of using the dryer.
Just by cold water washing and hanging out, thousands of New Hampshire households can save millions of dollars while preventing tons and tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted. The trifecta of crises–energy, fiscal, and climate–will all be addressed when Granite Staters realize that we can do our laundry like most people in the rest of the world without giving up a thing. In fact, our lives will be richer for time spent outside, time spent in physical activity, and time spent talking over the fence with neighbors. – Alex Lee, executive director for Project Laundry List
April 7, 2009
New London Energy Committee on Climate Change
Central-Western, NH – In New London there is a very active and informed town energy committee that researches and distributes articles about climate change, global warming and local public and private initiatives. It makes its research and articles available on the New London town website.
To help further expand coverage and conversation about the committee’s work, SunapeeNews.com posted today the first in a series of articles on climate change by energy committee member Bob Crane. Upon gathering and evaluating National Weather Service data for the region, Crane says the results are consistent with current global warming predictions. Read more….
March 25, 2009
NH Climate Change Policy Task Force Plan
Concord, NH – The NH Climate Change Policy Task Force today released a plan that sets a long-term goal of achieving an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2050.
“The recommendations and goals contained within this plan are aggressive, but they are achievable and will result in long-term economic benefits to the citizens of New Hampshire,” said Department of Environmental Services Commissioner and Task Force Chair Tom Burack. “Already, citizens and businesses are moving forward with their own efforts to address climate change and reduce energy use and costs by transforming their homes, businesses, and municipalities and developing in-state renewable energy industries.” Read about the NH Climate Action Plan ….