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On the Water Front

Hosted by Lynn Broaddus, Ph.D. MBA | Director, Environment Programs

A view from different PLACES

I invited Susie Seidelman, The Johnson Foundation's Environment Program Associate, to provide a brief glimpse of her interesting work as a fellow with PLACES, a program that helps philanthropic professionals understand and see firsthand the nexus between vulnerable and distressed communities and growth and development decisions. I’m excited about her involvement because I know that her new perspectives will help us bridge the connections between an improved environment and improved quality of life for all. ~ Lynn Broaddus

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Power from the People: Sewage to Energy

If you read my last entry, you know how I'm feeling about GHG emissions, climate change, and a few of the things we're doing at home to try to reduce our energy consumption and related impacts. But the changes are not just happening at home. I've long known been intrigued with the possibilities of energy capture from sewage, but recently it seems that the concept is moving closer to a reality.

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Sustainability Goals for 2013: Getting the numbers down

January is the time of year for goal-setting and resolutions. I'm certainly no stranger to setting annual fitness goals, and through years of trial, error, and small successes I have hands-on proof of what every fitness coach or nutritionist tells his or her clients: The people who are most successful in achieving their goals are the ones who write it all down, and pay attention to the numbers. The business corollary would be something like "People pay attention to what is measured." (Didn't somebody famous say something like that?)

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Implementing the Clean Water Act: A family legacy

In reflecting on the Clean Water Act's 40th anniversary this fall I wrote a number of columns about life before the Act, and why we should appreciate and continue to defend it today. In the course of doing this I enjoyed asking people what they remembered about our nation's rivers before the Clean Water Act.  This triggered my uncle, Richard Harris of Charleston WV, to write me an email about the role that my grandfather (his father) played in bringing sewage treatment to the Elk River, upstream from where it enters the Kanawha River at Charleston.  

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Who Knew that Paddling Could be an Act of Civil Disobedience?

I love underdogs, especially ones with gumption. This is why the story of reclaiming the Los Angeles River immediately drew me in, even before I knew that it had been made into a feature film.

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Life Before the Clean Water Act

Two days ago, just in time for the American high holy day of Halloween, Marc and I returned from a vacation spent with my mother and her husband, Helen and Bob Payne. They now live in coastal South Carolina, but both are natives of Charleston, West Virginia. Having just reflected on the Clean Water Act's 40th anniversary, I thought I'd ask them what they remembered of West Virginia's waters before the Act came to pass.

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Clean Water Act - What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Today's the day. The 40th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act. Among those of us professional environmentalists, there has been a lot of attention given to this anniversary, perhaps in no small part because of the intense pressure from some sectors to repeal or at least eviscerate the Act. Last week I joined about 180 celebrants at Milwaukee Riverkeeper's anniversary event, and tonight I will stop by a similar shindig in Madison, Wisconsin hosted by River Network, River Alliance of WI, Interfluve, and others.

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Green Infrastructure Moves Toward the Center

Fall is always a busy season which, for me, generally includes a disorienting amount of travel and meetings, all of which is intensified by the exciting conversations and insightful people I meet along the way.

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Sewer Scalping - Is the Fresh Coast ready for it?

At a recent Wingspread meeting, David Sedlak of UC-Berkeley made mention of "sewer scalping".  My ears twitched, adjusting to make sure I didn't miss anything.

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They Don't Know What They're Missing

Lake Michigan is beautiful year 'round, but there's only a short window of time when it's warm enough for enjoyable swimming. This summer, with its record-high temperatures, that window cranked open a bit early. This hit home for me on Saturday when my husband and I went kayaking. Wading into the water with my boat, the warm water lured me in. We'd had a fair amount of rain in the preceding days and Bender Park, where we put in, was closed for swimming due to the high bacterial count, but I made a mental note that the season had arrived.

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