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IslandWire: January 16, 2020

Russian Activists Score Victory for Whales

photo of a beluga in icy water

In December, Russian activists scored a major victory for whales and dolphins, gathering 100,000 signatures urging the Russian government to ban the capture of live cetaceans for science and educational purposes. The signatures were collected through a government website that accepts citizen petitions to create new laws, and 100,000 is enough to trigger action by the state. Last year, more than 100 whales were caught in Russian waters for sale to Chinese aquariums under this legal loophole. They were held for months in the notorious "whale jail" before being released in November. Earth Island's International Marine Mammal Project helped Russian conservationists, international scientists, and celebrities push the Russian government to release the whales — which include both beluga whales and orcas — back into the ocean. For more information, check out IMMP’s News Blogs.

A Great Partnership for a Healthy SF Bay

photo a child holding a brochure

In September, Stege Sanitary District won the "Exceptional Public Outreach and Advocacy Award" from the California Special Districts Association for their ten-year partnership with KIDS for the BAY, a project of Earth Island. The partnership has allowed KIDS for the BAY to share the message that "a healthy sewer system helps our creeks and our bay" with hundreds of local students. Students have learned that "FOGS" — fats, oils, and greases — are dangerous in the sanitary sewer system because they can harden and cause polluted water to back up into our neighborhood creeks, storm drains, and the bay. Learn more.

Reflecting Back to Leap Forward

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Food Shift hit an all-time high in food recovery in 2019! The Earth Island project recovered a record 121,750 pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste, food that required some 121,597,510 — or 49 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of water to produce. That is a carbon footprint equivalent to driving 91,337 miles in an average vehicle. Just as these resources are lost when we waste food, we recoup them when we rescue it. Learn more about Food Shift's work.

Twenty Years of Getting Youth Outside

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Earth Island's Bay Area Wilderness Training's (BAWT) programs and gear library enables over 10,000 youth access meaningful outdoor experiences every year. Join BAWT''s 20th Anniversary Celebration event on February 6 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley to learn about BAWT's legacy and help support their continued work for another 20 years. The event will feature an award ceremony, guest speakers, silent auction, open bar, and delicious food from Wahpepah's Kitchen. Learn more.

Real Food Real Stories Seeking a Passionate Leader

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Earth Island's Real Food Real Stories (RFRS) is seeking a dynamic and thoughtful Project Director who is passionate about igniting cultural change in the food system. RFRS rebuilds eaters’ connection with their local food community and provides stories of inspiration and hope for a better tomorrow. More details about Real Food Real Stories and the open position available here.

More States Vote for a Nonlethal Approach to Wildlife Management

photo of coyote pups

Following concerted efforts by Earth Island's Project Coyote and its coalition partners, and strong support from local organizations and individual citizens, wildlife recently gained important protections in Massachusetts. On December 18, the Massachusetts Fisheries & Wildlife Board unanimously voted to ban cruel wildlife killing events in the Commonwealth. And last week, the St. Paul, MN City Council passed a resolution condemning "the indiscriminate killing of wildlife in the form of wildlife killing contests." Wildlife agencies and professionals across the country have expressed concerns about killing contests — not only because they reflect badly on responsible sportsmen and sportswomen, but also because they contravene modern, science-based wildlife management principles and are destructive to healthy ecosystems.

New Jersey Becomes 13th US State to Ban Shark Finning

photo of a sharks in blue water

On January 9, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a ban on the sale, distribution, and trade of shark fins, despite opposition from fishermen. The ban, which goes into effect in 2021, lends momentum towards a national ban on the shark fin trade. Read the full press release from Earth Island's Shark Stewards here.

Keep Up With the Journal

Did you know Earth Island Journal has its own newsletter? Every other Friday, go beyond daily headlines with Earth Island's award-winning magazine and get the lowdown on thought-provoking reports and features that explore the environment from social and cultural perspectives often overlooked by the mainstream press. Sign up here.

photo of coal in a shipyard

Most Popular: Bay Area City Embroiled in Battle over Coal Export Ban. Journal Managing Editor Zoe Loftus-Farren reports on how the City of Richmond's decision to phase out handling of coal and petcoke has put it on the frontlines of the fight for environmental justice and climate action.

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Editors' Pick: Marine Fog Brings Mercury Pollution to California Mountain Lions. Reporter Austin Price writes about new research that shows mountain lions in coastal ecosystems, like the coniferous forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, have elevated levels of mercury in their bodies. The culprit? Marine fog.

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