Category: Environment


Thoughts on the Environment.-2013

“They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse. ”  Sitting Bull – Chief Lakota Sioux
The 8,600 acre Big River Management Area in West Greenwich, R.I. is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Hardwood trees such as oak maple, birch and conifers like white pine, hemlock and spruce are easily recognized by most. There’s also a wide variety of vines, bushes and ground cover plants. This environmental gem is also home to many lesser-known small plants and wildflowers. Three species of which occur nowhere else in R.I. and one is found nowhere else in New England. Checkout the link for  the Rare Plants of the Big River Area. This link provides excellent photos and details for forty-five rare plants found in the BRMA. The info at this link can serve as a field guide for identifying the plants found here and also in other woodlands in New England and the Northeast states.

While you’re at it checkout Exploreri.org for more Rhode island environmental and recreational info

We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.”-Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation

The environment is our most precious resource. It is the one common thread that binds fishermen, hunters, hikers, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts. It belongs to each person in every outdoor group.  No one owns the environment but everyone is surely responsible for ensuring it is taken care of and protected. Last year I saw a bumper sticker stating: “Pick up one piece of trash daily.” It immediately struck home and I thought what a great and simple idea that could really make a difference.  This very simple idea is something everyone can and should do.  It does not take much effort and over time can make a difference.  A clean area is less likely to be littered compared to one that has trash on the ground. Most people do not want to be the first to litter a clean area. However, they may be inclined to litter an area already trashed. Consider carrying a plastic trash bag in your car or truck and try to pick up one piece of trash daily. This practice can and will make you feel good about yourself and certainly help in keeping our environment clean. Often times if you pick up litter while in the midst of others this practice can become contagious. You’re doing so shows others leadership and that you are willing to help keep their environment clean. Seeing you do so may provide the needed incentive for others to do likewise.  At the very least, it should make them aware of your concern and commitment while giving them  cause to think about it.

Picking up one piece of trash daily is but one tiny step in helping to keep our environment clean. There are several other  small steps we can take that will also make a difference. Consider making it a habit to use re-fillable or recyclable beverage containers, opt for paper cups over Styrofoam ones whenever possible, consider purchasing your drinks of choice at establishments that offer paper cups, or at least an incentive for using refillable  containers. The same goes for those trashy plastic bags that seem to be everywhere. Try using reusable shopping bags, ask for paper bags, or opt for paper over plastic bags when given the choice. On the regional and state levels, there are river watershed and coastal conservation groups with goals of preserving the environment and educating the public about it. On the bigger scale, there are national organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation, Sierra Club,  Nature Conservancy and American Rivers are committed to preserving and protecting the environment for generations to come. Each has a primary objective  so check what their primary focus is about and join the one whose goals are the same as yours. There is strength in numbers.

Here in Rhode island I see an environmental challenge forth coming—losing what we have . This winter has been exceptionally mild. Along with the mild temperatures, we’ve had below average snowfall and  a minimal amount of rain thus far. The lack of substantial snow melt and minimal rainfall will produce lower than normal reservoir water levels when the warm weather months arrive. The demand for water will remain high and if anything increase even more. Water restrictions are almost as certain as the outcry from town’s people for  more water resources. This in-turn will surely bring to the surface the desire to re-visit developing a  reservoir in the Big River Management Area. This public tract  covers a total area of 8319 acres. The area is composed of mainly forest land (evergreens 4374 acres, deciduous 1781 acres), wetlands (1288 acres), agricultural lands (233 acres), and other areas (gravel, residential, etc. 407 acres). Major rivers or streams in the area are Big River, Nooseneck River, Congdon River and Carr River.

The area is truly a gem for the outdoor enthusiast. This  great recreational area  offers birding, trail hiking , fishing, hunting,  canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking. Many enjoy the Big River area and it is unthinkable by most that it could be lost forever. However, with the right people in office and boisterous public outcry for more water this could easily change to where flooding the area for a new reservoir is demanded. A great deal of illegal dumping of tires, garbage, and household effects takes place in the management area.. This teamed with careless littering would be just what reservoir proponents need to fuel their cause. Citing that no one cares about the area and to stop it from becoming a giant dump it would be best to flood it.

If we all do our part we  can prevent this from happening.

“Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten.” ~ Cree Prophecy

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Environmental Christmas Gift

Christmas day 2012 has come and gone. It was a special day for family, food, fun., and a present or two. My wife and children say I’m difficult to find an appropriate present for. However, sometimes someone comes up with an idea for something I don’t have  and is right on target. This year my oldest grand-daughter Moriah gave me a present that I didn’t expect. The present, a Christmas tree ornament that she had made not only surprised me but provided some laughs upon opening it. It also provoked some thought for others and rekindled my mind’s fire and my absolute disdain for styrofoam coffee cups, especially those from Dunkin Donuts.

Moriah's DD Enviromental Ornament

Moriah’s DD Enviromental Ornament Gift
(Clck on Pic to enlarge)

Dunkin Doughnuts styrofoam cups comprise over 60% of all roadside and and recreational area litter. This number is an observation from myself and other participants of several organized Earth Day cleanups and many of my own personal roadside and recreational area clean ups. This spring I met a man from Groton, CT cleaning the roadside not far from my home in Coventry, RI. He said he  picked up trash for a living and had done so for many years.. His trash pickup income had severely declined after Connecticut began charging a deposit fee on clear plastic water bottles. Now Rhode Island  was providing a litter bonanza for him as it doesn’t have a bottle bill of any sort resulting in severely littered roadside and other areas. I asked how prevalent he had found DD cups to which he replied he had written an article about  them in the editorial section of the New London Day newspaper.  Click here to read his article.

I wonder why in times when more people than ever are concerned with the environment and its preservation that one of America’s most favored and rapidly expanding companies seems not to be. DD doesn’t offer a choice of paper or styrofoam cups and while it does offer a discount to patrons using their own refillable cup it doesn’t s advertise or promote their use.  However, it does offer what I call the “Litter Grand Slam”; a clear plastic cup with plastic straw, and plastic lid  placed inside of a styrofoam cup to those that favor their iced coffee. I guess the cup might get too sweaty or  cold for their hands—oh dear.  Surely they can come up with a  better/greener way to do business.  Many more DD  stores are planned yet not a mention of their environmental impact. When you’re out and around pay attention to the roadside and other areas and make your own observations then give some thought to where and how you get your coffee.

The Dunkin Dognuts slogan “America runs on Dunkin” might be better said- “America steps on/runs over Dunkin”

Thoughts on the environment.

“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.”-Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation

            The environment is our most precious resource. It is the one common thread that binds fishermen, hunters, hikers, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts. It belongs to each person in every outdoor group.  No one owns the environment but everyone is surely responsible for ensuring it is taken care of and protected. Last year I saw a bumper sticker stating: “Pick up one piece of trash daily.” It immediately struck home and I thought what a great and simple idea that could really make a difference.  This very simple idea is something everyone can and should do.  It does not take much effort and over time can make a difference.  A clean area is less likely to be littered compared to one that has trash on the ground. Most people do not want to be the first to litter a clean area. However, they may be inclined to litter an area already trashed. Consider carrying a plastic trash bag in your car or truck and try to pick up one piece of trash daily. This practice can and will make you feel good about yourself and certainly help in keeping our environment clean. Often times if you pick up litter while in the midst of others this practice can become contagious. You’re doing so shows others leadership and that you are willing to help keep their environment clean. Seeing you do so may provide the needed incentive for others to do likewise.  At the very least, it should make them aware of your concern and commitment while giving them  cause to think about it.

Picking up one piece of trash daily is but one tiny step in helping to keep our environment clean. There are several other  small steps we can take that will also make a difference. Consider making it a habit to use re-fillable or recyclable beverage containers, opt for paper cups over Styrofoam ones whenever possible, consider purchasing your drinks of choice at establishments that offer paper cups, or at least an incentive for using refillable  containers. The same goes for those trashy plastic bags that seem to be everywhere. Try using reusable shopping bags, ask for paper bags, or opt for paper over plastic bags when given the choice. On the regional and state levels, there are river watershed and coastal conservation groups with goals of preserving the environment and educating the public about it. On the bigger scale, there are national organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation, Sierra Club,  Nature Conservancy and American Rivers are committed to preserving and protecting the environment for generations to come. Each has a primary objective  so check what their primary focus is about and join the one whose goals are the same as yours. There is strength in numbers.

Here in Rhode island I see an environmental challenge forth coming—losing what we have . This winter has been exceptionally mild. Along with the mild temperatures, we’ve had below average snowfall and  a minimal amount of rain thus far. The lack of substantial snow melt and minimal rainfall will produce lower than normal reservoir water levels when the warm weather months arrive. The demand for water will remain high and if anything increase even more. Water restrictions are almost as certain as the outcry from town’s people for  more water resources. This in-turn will surely bring to the surface the desire to re-visit developing a  reservoir in the Big River Management Area. This public tract  covers a total area of 8319 acres. The area is composed of mainly forest land (evergreens 4374 acres, deciduous 1781 acres), wetlands (1288 acres), agricultural lands (233 acres), and other areas (gravel, residential, etc. 407 acres). Major rivers or streams in the area are Big River, Nooseneck River, Congdon River and Carr River.

The area is truly a gem for the outdoor enthusiast. This  great recreational area  offers birding, trail hiking , fishing, hunting,  canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking. Many enjoy the Big River area and it is unthinkable by most that it could be lost forever. However, with the right people in office and boisterous public outcry for more water this could easily change to where flooding the area for a new reservoir is demanded. A great deal of illegal dumping of tires, garbage, and household effects takes place in the management area.. This teamed with careless littering would be just what reservoir proponents need to fuel their cause. Citing that no one cares about the area and to stop it from becoming a giant dump it would be best to flood it.

If we all do our part we  can prevent this from happening.

“Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten.” ~ Cree Prophecy