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IslandWire: August 26, 2021

photo of an aircraft being loaded with chemicals

Earth Island Prevails in Lawsuit against EPA

The use of toxic chemical oil dispersants in the cleanup of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico impacted human health and the environment. Riki Ott, a marine toxicologist with Earth Island’s ALERT (A Locally Empowered Response Team) Project, witnessed these harmful effects firsthand as she and local communities fought to bring attention to the issue. Two weeks ago, in a lawsuit filed against the EPA by Earth Island on behalf of the ALERT Project, a judge ordered the EPA to update its decades-old regulations on the use of toxic chemical dispersants in oil spill responses — one small but significant step toward protecting human health and the environment. Read more here and here. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard of dispersants being pumped into a plane.

photo of gathered people, words, Stop Formosa Plastics - St James is our Home

Formosa Plastics Plant Stopped in Its Tracks

Rise St. James, a small but powerful group of community activists in St. James Parish, Louisiana, has been fighting against Formosa Plastics, which wants to plop its next petrochemical plant in a community that has already suffered its share of polluting industries. Last week, in a major development, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended the project until a full environmental review has been completed — a “victory for environmental justice,” said Rise St. James Director Sharon Lavigne. Rise St. James is one of three new projects that Earth Island recently welcomed into its network (see more about this below), and we congratulate them on this major win. Read more here and here.


Join Us for the 2021 Brower Youth Awards

Get your free tickets to the 2021 Brower Youth Awards! Join Earth Island and its New Leaders Initiative program as we celebrate this year’s six outstanding environmental youth leaders. The theme for this year’s event is “Our Power,” reflecting the ability of this year’s winners to create a paradigm shift at a time of environmental peril. We will be honoring these inspiring young leaders in a two-part virtual event: the Brower Youth Awards ceremony on October 14, 5:00–6:30 p.m. Pacific Time; and a Q&A with the winners on October 19, 5:00–6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Register here.

photo of people working on a farm, city view in background

Earth Island Adds Three New Projects

Friends of Alemany Farm, Rise St. James, and Urban Beet have recently joined Earth Island Institute, which will serve as a fiscal sponsor of the three projects. Friends of Alemany Farm is a community-based agricultural project that annually feeds at least 7,500 of San Francisco’s low-income food-insecure residents. Rise St. James is a faith-based environmental justice organization working to defeat the proliferation of petrochemical industries in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Based in Maryland, Urban Beet builds urban farms for homeless shelters and schools in underprivileged communities. Read more here. Photo of Alemany Farm.

More Project News

• Earth Island’s Women’s Earth Alliance, in partnership with the Sierra Club, has selected 33 women leaders for its fall U.S. Grassroots Accelerator, designed to help increase the reach and impact of critical environmental and climate initiatives.

• A fifth-grade class advised by David McGuire of Earth Island’s Shark Stewards wins the President’s Environmental Youth Award. Read more here and here, and watch the students’ play, “Save Our Sharks,” here.

• Earth Island’s Covenant Solar Initiative has received a $775,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for its work supporting Native American tribes to pursue energy sovereignty. Read more here.

• The Story of Plastic, a powerful film about plastic pollution, has been nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding writing in a documentary film. Congratulations to the film team, which includes Executive Producer Dianna Cohen, cofounder of Earth Island’s Plastic Pollution Coalition.

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