Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Delaware River Basin Commission Now Accepting Entries For Fall Photo Contest

The Delaware River Basin Commission Monday announced it is now accepting entries for its Fall 2017 Photo Contest, highlighting amateur and professional photography representing the water resources of the 13,539-square-mile Delaware River Basin.  
The deadline for entries is November 1.
This photo competition seeks to inspire the creation and publication of images that convey the beauty and importance of a national treasure on which 15 million people rely for drinking water.
“From the headwaters to the ocean and everywhere in between, the water resources of the Delaware River Basin provide a backdrop for our environment, our economy and our lives,” said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini.  “This contest provides an opportunity to capture, share and showcase the complexity, diversity, and significance of our shared water resources through your photographs.”
The winning image, to be selected by a panel of judges at DRBC, will be published in the commission’s 2017 annual report, as well as in a prominent location on its website.  All entrants will receive a certificate of appreciation from the commission.
Click Here for all the details on submitting photographs.
For more information on the programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Delaware River Basin Commission website.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA: Funds Cut By House Republicans Hurt Farmers, Clean Water Initiatives

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA wrote to members of the Senate Monday urging them to consider alternatives to the budget passed by House Republicans last week that does not hurt farmers and supports county conservation districts and local clean water projects.  The text of the letter follows—
Dear Senator,
On behalf of The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and its more than 200,000 members, we thank you for your continuing efforts to pass a reasonable and complete budget for the Commonwealth.
Since 1986, CBF’s Pennsylvania Office has worked to protect and restore the rivers and streams in the Commonwealth that ultimately flow to the Chesapeake Bay.
We achieve this through collaboration, education, and restoration with a broad range of stakeholders — including schools, government officials, businesses, farmers, landowners, and others.
Central to our efforts has been our nationally and regionally, multiple award-winning restoration program in Pennsylvania, which has worked with over 5,000 farmers and other stakeholders over the last 20 years.
As you deliberate House Bill 453, we wish to emphasize the importance the funds impacted by the proposed transfer of over $317 million resources would have on restoring and protecting the rivers and streams in the Commonwealth.
Programs such as the County Conservation District Fund, which helps family farmers in their efforts to keep soil and nutrients on the land instead of in the water, the Environmental Stewardship Fund (i.e., Growing Greener), which invests in community-based initiatives to restore streams, protects sources of drinking water, and reduces flooding, and the Environmental Education Fund, which supports students’ abilities to think critically and scientifically about the challenges and opportunities for conservation in the Commonwealth.
These programs have significant return on their investments in the form of cleaner sources of drinking water, reduced flooding, increased farm productivity, and increased fishing, hunting, and other recreation.
In fact, a peer reviewed 2014 commissioned report by CBF found that these investments would yield approximately $6.2 billion in economic benefits in Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay watershed alone.
Clean water counts in Pennsylvania. Healthy families, vibrant farms, strong communities, and a thriving economy depend on it. We urge you to consider alternatives to HB 453.
Harry Campbell
PA Executive Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
A copy of the letter is available online.
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.
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Manada Conservancy Hosting Building Community-Based Solutions To Climate Resiliency Oct. 19 In Hershey

The Manada Conservancy is hosting a presentation October 19 on Building Climate Resiliency: Community-Based Solutions to A Global Challenge at the Derry Presbyterian Church, 248 E. Derry Road, Hershey, Dauphin County starting at 7:00 p.m.
Diane Music returns to give an update and overview of climate change from her local, as well as worldwide experience.
Diane Husic, a Pennsylvania resident who lives in the Kittatinny Corridor, is Chair and Professor of the Dept. of Biological Sciences at Moravian College.
She is deeply involved in the science of climate change locally as well as being a representative to global climate change summits representing Moravian College.
This program is free and open to the public.  Please register by contacting the Manada Conservancy office at 717-566-4122 or send email to: office@manada.org.
For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Manada Conservancy website.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Still Time To Register For PA Greenways & Trails Summit Set For Sept. 24-26 In Reading

Walkable, bike-friendly neighborhoods, and social justice are among the topics on deck for the 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit, set for September 24-26 at the DoubleTree in Reading.
From Oregon to Vermont, and closer to home, here in Pennsylvania- speakers at this year’s Summit include a consultant who worked for the White House through the Clinton-Gore administration, a community organizer and pedestrian advocate, PennDOT’s statewide bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, and the state secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Keynote speakers include—
-- Aaron Brown, Former Board President, Oregon Walks. Hear him speak: Tuesday, Sept. 26th, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
A Portland-based community organizer, nonprofiteer, advocate, campaign consultant and self-proclaimed “bike geek,” Aaron Brown has worked on political campaigns that have raised just shy of $1 billion for public schools, sidewalks and regional trails in the Portland metropolitan region.
Formerly the board president for Oregon Walks- the state’s pedestrian advocacy organization- his leadership and stewardship of the organization led to numerous government policy victories.
“As past Board President of Oregon Walks, Aaron has worked to enact specific legislation supporting sidewalk and traffic safety in underserved communities,” Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society’s Emily Gates said. “The hurdles and achievements of Oregon Walks in working to create environments that are truly equitable are exemplary.”
-- Angela Park, Founder and Director, Mission Critical. Hear her speak: Monday, Sept. 25th: 8:45-9:45 a.m.
As the founder of Mission Critical, Vermont-based Angela Park works to make social justice and equity hallmarks of progressive advocacy and policy making.
An independent consultant, researcher and writer, she’s researched and written Equity in Sustainability (2014), and Everybody’s Movement: Environmental Justice and Climate Change (2009).
She worked in The White House through both terms of the Clinton-Gore administration, managing sustainable communities policy and constituency engagement at the President’s Council on Sustainable Development.
Among other accomplishments, Park co-founded and served as deputy director of the Environmental Leadership Program, and is currently an advisor to the Kresge Foundation’s Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative.
-- Roy Gothie, Statewide Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator, Multimodal Division, PennDOT.  Hear him speak: Monday, Sept. 25th, 10-11 a.m.
As PennDOT’s statewide bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, Roy Gothie has broad experience with multi-modal transportation planning and bicycle and pedestrian safety, developed while working with federal, regional and local partners at the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA).
In Maryland, he worked in the regional and intermodal planning division, and served on the SHA’s 2015 Bicycle Policy and Design Guidelines, in addition to assisting with public outreach and education efforts.
-- Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary, Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources. Hear her speak: Monday, Sept. 25th, 10-11 a.m.
Cindy Adams Dunn’s appointment by Gov. Tom Wolf to serve as the sixth secretary of the DCNR, saw her return to the agency where she worked under three governors in multiple positions over the last two decades. Since 2013, she’s served as the president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy organization.
Prior to that, she served as DCNR’s Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services, where she led DCNR’s conservation landscape program and oversaw the community conservation partnerships grant program, which provides $30-60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the Commonwealth.
Among her other leadership roles, Adams Dunn has served as DCNR’s director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, as well as the director of the Office of Education, Communications and Partnerships, as the executive director of Audubon Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania program director for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
-- Dennis M. Davin, Secretary, Dept. of Community and Economic Development. Hear him speak: Monday, Sept. 25th, 10-11 a.m.
Prior to his appointment in January 2015 by Gov. Tom Wolf, Dennis Davin served for more than a decade as Director of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development (ACED).
There, he was responsible for establishing and executing the economic development strategy for Allegheny County, managing funding from local, state and federal sources to implement economic development activities- including site development, new job creation initiatives, community development and affordable housing for approximately 1.25 million citizens in 130 municipalities.
Davin has previously served as director of the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority, and executive director of the Industrial Development Authority, Hospital Development Authority, Higher Education Building Authority and Residential Finance Authority.
The hosts for this special event are the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, Berks Nature, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Recreation and Park Society.
For more information and to register, visit the 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit webpage.

HeritagePA Begins Celebrations In PA’s 12 Heritage Areas On The 5th Fridays Sept. 29

Five Fridays in one month only occurs a few times a year. HeritagePA has decided to use those days to encourage Pennsylvanians to take in the history and heritage of their region.
During each 5th Friday through the end of 2018, there will be community events held throughout the different heritage areas.
"Our state's 12 unique heritage areas are not only teeming with history and heritage, but with plenty of things to do. We know some people aren't aware of everything we have to offer. Our 5th Friday celebrations are just one way we are continuing to educate and bring communities together," said Jane Sheffield, President of HeritagePA.
Below is a glimpse of what is going on during September's 5th Friday, which occurs on September 29--
  --  Washington Libations Locations Poker Stroll - Participants will enjoy live music, local art, and museums.
  -- Pot Still Pub event - Stop by to shoot pool, throw darts or challenge your friends to a game of corn hole.
  -- 5th Friday at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum - Any visitors to the museum on that day that mention HeritagePA 5th Friday will be eligible to receive a complimentary admission with a purchase of a regular admission of equal value. In partnership with PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, they will also be premiering a short PA Route 6 video.
  -- Visit the National Canal Museum - Come spend the day with us. Take a canal boat ride. Listen to stories of the old canal days inside the museum and more.
  -- Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story - This high-energy musical uncovers the true story of Alan Freed - the Father of Rock and Roll.
  -- Live Musical - "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka" - This fantastical, scrumdiddlyumptious musical is performed by the talented actors, singers, and dancers of the Franklin Civic Operetta Association.
  -- Zimmerman Center for Heritage - The Zimmerman Center will extend its regular weekend programming to include HeritagePA's 5th Friday.
  -- Columbia Crossing River Trails Center - Current Color: A Year on the River is a special exhibit presenting the work of local artist Diana Thomas.
To learn more about these events, visit the website here.
September 29 isn't the only 5th Friday that HeritagePA will be celebrating. Upcoming 5th Fridays are December 29, 2017; March 30, 2018; June 29, 2018; August 31, 2018; November 30, 2018.
Look out for more information and events on these dates in the future.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas, visit the Heritage PA website.

PA Environmental Council Urges Senators To Reject Largest Cut In Environmental Funding In State History

The PA Environmental Council Monday sent a letter to all members of the Senate urging them to reject the House Republican budget plan to make the largest cut in environmental and energy funding in the state’s history as they return to session this week.  The text of the letter follows--
Dear Senators:
This week the Senate will be considering options to finalize the state budget, including legislation (House Bill 453) passed by the House last week that, if enacted, would constitute the largest cut in environmental, agriculture, and recreational funding in state history. State agencies (DCED, DEP, and DCNR), as well as numerous local government and community organizations (including PSTATS and CCAP), have detailed the harm resulting from drastic reductions to these funds – some of which were approved by the Pennsylvania electorate for specific purposes.   
Of equal consequence, House Bill 453 offers no solution to Pennsylvania’s structural deficit; it is a one-time financial dodge that accepts harm today doing nothing to address the state’s fiscal woes that will return in full force in a matter of months.
We urge you to oppose the shortsighted approach taken by the House and HB 453.
Unfortunately, budget legislation passed by the Senate in July (House Bill 542) and House Bill 118) also has significant problems. In exchange for a severance tax, the legislation includes non-germane riders that: dismantle the permitting authority of the Department of Environmental Protection; subject proposed air quality protections for one industry to a politically appointed review committee; place additional water quality treatment burdens on the public, instead of those discharging pollutants; and artificially extends operating permits for a handful of facilities facing noncompliance with state and federal law.
We urge you to reject this approach as well.
As we have stated in the past, public health and environmental protection are not bargaining chips for enacting a state budget. That is not the representation sought by the voters of Pennsylvania. There are answers to issues facing the regulated community, but eviscerating the budget and authority of DEP is not one of them. That course will only ensure future litigation, challenges to permits, reconsideration of state primacy to implement federal programs, and other difficulties that will impair environmental protection and bog down permitting and reform.
We recognize the incredibly difficult task set before you and the Governor in righting a state budget that is terribly off course. We also acknowledge that there are real issues that must be addressed to ensure both sound environmental protection and economic growth. Both challenges require thoughtful consideration and inclusive decision-making, not rash actions that only deepen the very problems meant to be addressed.
How the Senate elects to proceed will either help secure a better future for all Pennsylvanians, or perpetuate the recurring stalemate that is the true limit of progress and partnership in our state.
Davitt Woodwell
President, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
2124 Penn Avenue, Second Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Environmental Council website, visit the PEC Blog, follow PEC on Twitter or Like PEC on Facebook.  Visit PEC’s Audio Room for the latest podcasts.  Click Here to receive regular updates from PEC.
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