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IslandWire: January 20, 2022

Earth Island would like to wish everyone a healthy and peaceful new year.

It has been a challenging time recently for students and school communities. If only a spaceship would come and lift the pandemic away! It is clear that schools need to focus on care and healing and creating settings in which children feel safe and engaged. What better way to connect with children and their families than through the school garden. Read more below about a new program at Earth Island’s West County DIGS that meets this need.

homework drawing

Earth Island 40 Years

Earth Island Celebrates 40 Years

For the past four decades, Earth Island Institute has been at the forefront of the fight for the environment. This experience has prepared us as our planet reaches a crossroad. Through a growing network of grassroots activists and inspired leadership, Earth Island has maintained a single-minded vision to honor and defend the natural world and its inhabitants. As we celebrate and reflect on 40 years of accomplishments, we invite you to join us in our continuing efforts to address the most urgent environmental issues of our time — to help us demonstrate, in the words of David Brower, our founder, that this generation has love for the next. Read more here.

photo of a billboard

Protecting Raptors in Seattle

On January 10, Earth Island’s Raptors Are the Solution (RATS) boosted its poison-free campaign in Seattle with a billboard calling attention to the risk that raptors — including snowy owls — face from prey sickened by rat poison. RATS is collaborating with three other organizations on a pilot project that will demonstrate how a city redevelopment project can take place without using poison — the first time such a project has ever been permitted in Seattle. Fertility control will be used instead of poison as a city block is redeveloped in the Queen Ann District, where the billboard is located.

photo of a coyote atop a hay roll

Project Coyote Launches Mississippi River Initiative

Earth Island’s Project Coyote, in partnership with the Rewilding Institute and the Half-Earth Project, recently launched a new initiative focused on the Mississippi River watershed. Big River Connectivity will promote human-wildlife coexistence by using river corridors to help expand and recover populations of coyotes, mountain lions, black bears, and other native wildlife in the Midwest. These corridors create linked habitat and wild places along the world’s fourth largest river. Photo by Bruce Turnbull.

map of proposed NMS

Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

Earth Island’s Shark Stewards and the International Marine Mammal Project are supporting the establishment of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, which would bridge the gap between the existing Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The 7,000-square-mile sanctuary would prohibit offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling. The area holds significant cultural value for the Native Chumash people, and this opportunity would advance the first tribal-nominated national marine sanctuary designation in the United States, setting a precedent for elevating Indigenous perspectives and cultural values in ocean conservation. You can help by urging support of the proposal here. The deadline for comments is January 31. More information here.

childrens art

Care and Healing, Safety and Connection

Through a grant from the City of Richmond, California, Earth Island’s West County DIGS is implementing an after-school garden program that celebrates the beauty of nature and how nature provides for us. More than 50 students in the program visit the garden at Mira Vista Elementary School weekly to learn nutrition, arts and crafts, and social emotional skills through gardening activities. By nurturing the garden and one another, students discover more about interconnectivity and their own needs for sustainability. Mindfulness practice, movement, art, and music have been uplifting students’ spirits and helping them through the pandemic.


MMIP Storytelling Project Launched

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP) storytelling initiative at Seeding Sovereignty, a project of Earth Island, has just released its first episode. Project Director Agnes Woodward talks with NaTasha HisLaw about her advocacy as an MMIP family member. NaTasha advocates for several families in her community on the Crow Creek reservation, and she describes what justice means to her. Awareness is vital to stopping the violence, and allowing those most affected by it to be the voice for their loved ones is imperative in preventing harm to MMIP families. These discussions often make clear the disproportionate rates of violence Indigenous people face. The conversations can be difficult to listen to so please proceed with caution.

photo of a person sorting produce

Snap Inc. Volunteers for Food Justice

San Francisco Bay Area tech company Snap Inc., developer of Snapchat, recently took part in an Environmental Justice Training with Earth Island’s Food Shift. Members of the social media giant visited Food Shift headquarters in Alameda, California, to help with its food recovery program and learn how to reduce food waste at home. The event included a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion workshop to better inform the volunteer activities. The goal of this training program is twofold: to share the work behind Food Shift’s mission to reduce food waste and to bring tech companies closer to climate and food injustices impacting marginalized communities. Food Shift hopes to continue the program as companies look to playing a more active role in fighting climate change through food justice.

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