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IslandWire: July 16, 2020

graphic depicting an orrery, words passion and purpose

Save the Dates for Brower Youth Awards!

This year, the Brower Youth Awards, the premier environmental youth award in the country, will be held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions. But that won’t stop us from having a great time and celebrating the six special award winners at this nationally broadcast event. Earth Island’s New Leaders Initiative is planning two virtual celebrations of the winners. The first, the Brower Youth Awards ceremony, will be held on October 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The second, a Meet-the-Winners Q&A session, will take place on October 20, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. We will be sending out registration and additional information soon.

California I CAN Receives Grant for Archive Project

photo of a man in a museum

Earth Island’s California Institute for Community, Art & Nature was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Act, which will go toward California I CAN’s recently-launched “Saving Our Stories” project. The first activity of the project involves surveying and documenting critical collections of California Indian artists’ archives. The grant enables California I CAN to retain core project staff while also creating four short-term jobs for novice researchers who will receive training in archival documentation in order to participate in the survey activities. (Photo: Sam Armanino)

Developing Skills for Food Justice

photo of a young coyote in a grassland

By popular demand, Earth Island’s Real Food Real Stories is bringing back its Facilitating Stories for Impact training this fall for a second time. The training is for those who are interested in cultivating the practices of listening and authentic storytelling through the lens of food and incorporating these practices in work and leadership. Apply by August 7 here. Also, in its series exploring food systems based on justice and regeneration, RFRS is hosting two virtual gatherings featuring Kanchan Dawn Hunter of the Spiral Gardens Community Food Security Project and Shani Jones of Peaches Patties. Register here or here.

Plastics, Health, and Your Family

photoof a woman holding a baby

On July 29, Earth Island’s Plastic Pollution Coalition will be hosting a webinar that will explore the effects of toxic chemicals and plastics on human health and provide practical tips and tools for how to avoid plastic and make healthier choices for yourself, your family, and the planet. The webinar will feature celebrity doula, author, and maternity wellness expert Latham Thomas and Amy Ziff, founder and executive director of MADE SAFE. Sign up here.

Illegally Trapped Coyote Spurs Hollywood Investigation

photo of a coyote pup

Wildlife protection advocates are calling for a full investigation after a coyote pup was captured in an illegally-set leghold trap in an upscale neighborhood near North Hollywood, California. “Leghold traps were banned by California voters in 1998, so this trap set is clearly in violation of that law,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Earth Island’s Project Coyote. Project Coyote Southern California Representative Randi Feilich produced the graphic video in which the coyote pup is seen in extreme distress. Law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the incident for possible criminal violations. Read more here.

Fish Bombers Threaten Borneo Villages

photo of a beach with a village on it, as seen from the sea

Lawless fish-bombers have apparently been terrorizing villages of the Bajau Laut in the Sabah region of Malaysian Borneo, according to Clark Dunson, director of sensor technology for Earth Island’s Stop Fish Bombing USA. Dunson was informed of this during a recent conversation with a village chief of the Bajau Laut, a largely stateless, maritime people who have for centuries lived most of their lives at sea, plying the waters between Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Fish bombing employs the use of explosives to kill or stun fish. SFB has deployed ShotSpotter technology in Sabah to notify marine enforcement officials of precise blast locations in an effort to shut down this harmful practice.

Announcing Fall Outdoor Leadership Training

photo of hikers on a trail

Earth Island’s Bay Area Wilderness Training has just launched its Fall 2020 course lineup, which includes Hiking Leadership, Frontcountry Leadership, and Wilderness First Aid Training. Considering Covid-19 safety precautions, BAWT will be adjusting some programs to incorporate a virtual element and eliminate the overnight portion of the training. Novice and experienced outdoor enthusiasts will take part in experiential learning as they acquire skills such as camping safety, tent and stove set-up, team-building activities, risk management, meal planning, navigation, and more. Learn more and register here.

Support for Food Security

photo of masked people with grocieries in a truck

In addition to its Covid-19 relief efforts to get food to those in need, Earth Island’s Food Shift has been actively engaged with other programs and legislative efforts that address long-term solutions to food insecurity. Most recently, this has included support for the California Farm-to-School Program, which provides children with access to nutritious, locally-grown food while supporting the state's farmers and ranchers, and support for the 1996 Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, which recently expanded liability protections to ensure that food donations can reach those in need during this pandemic. More information here.

Getting to Know Your Local Watersheds

photo of a postcard depicting an urban lake

During Covid-19 social-distancing orders, Earth Island’s Wholly H2O has been hosting a livestream series of naturalist walks through watersheds in the San Francisco Bay Area — with concepts that can be applied anywhere. Awareness of local watersheds can yield more ecologically sound community practices, such as reducing trash and understanding how pollutants on streets can wash into local watersheds and negatively impact ecosystems. Wholly H2O has compiled some maps, self-guided tours, and further resources to help people get acquainted with these issues. Check out the Walking Watershed livestreams here.

California Urban Streams Partnership Report

artwork depicting an man wearing a feather head-dress

California Streaming, the annual newsletter of Earth Island’s California Urban Streams Partnership, has just been released with updates on watershed health from around the Golden State. This includes the latest reports from CUSP’s Streamside Management Program for Landowners, a stream stewardship and restoration program; updates on watershed monitoring projects; a call to action on the protection of the Native Winnemem Wintu way of life, which has been impacted by the Shasta Dam; and updates on state legislative bills with environmental impacts. Read more here.

The Best of Earth Island Journal

Get the latest environmental news from Earth Island Journal. Here are our top readers' and editors' choices from the past month:

photo of a tropic spring

Most Popular: Florida’s Lost Springs. Outdoor educator, underwater naturalist, photographer, and author Keith Williams writes about a pointless dam on the Ocklawaha River that has drowned 20 of Florida’s precious freshwater springs and endangered wildlife.

photo of Istanbul and water

Editors' Pick: Channeling Destruction. Journalist Selin Ugurtas explains how Turkish President Recep Erdoğan’s plan to create a new canal in Istanbul linking the Black and Marmara seas would spell ecological disaster for the region.

The editor would like to thank Earth Island intern Grace Geib for her assistance with this issue of IslandWire.

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