August 20: Zero Energy Schools Are Here to Stay

photo courtesy: U.S. Green Building Council

Date: Thursday, August 20, 2020 | Time: 3-4 p.m. EST

Schools are leading the race to zero energy construction with over 200 verified and emerging educational projects across the country aiming to consume only as much energy as they produce from renewable resources. Recent advancements in building codes and zero energy policies confirm that zero energy schools are here to stay.

During this one-hour webinar, presenters from New Buildings Institute and VMDO Architects will share national trends in the field and how zero energy schools are a critical component of moving the needle to a carbon free and healthy future. Presenters will also share case studies of different schools path to zero energy and LEED Zero certification, including VMDO’s Discovery Elementary School project. Join us for a look into the current landscape for zero energy buildings, why your project should consider zero energy and resilience as the new normal, and best practices for getting there.

Presenters:

  • Wyck Knox, Principal, VMDO Architects
  • Reilly Loveland, New Buildings Institute

More upcoming webinars 

More information:

We believe that all students deserve to attend sustainable schools that enhance their health and prepare them for 21st century careers.

Our work brings sustainability to life in the classroom and encourages communities to work together toward a future that is healthier for people and the planet. We welcome you to learn and to advance the green schools movement along with us.

The Center for Green Schools

August 18: Green Cleaning in the Time of COVID

photo courtesy: U.S. Green Building Council

Date: Tuesday, August 18 | Time: 3-4 p.m. EST

Schools are investing significant resources in cleaning products and new technologies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but few are considering how these materials will impact human health and the environment. During this webinar, co-hosted with Healthy Schools Campaign, school district staff will share evidence of the efficacy of green cleaning products, which green options are effective against the coronavirus, as well as case studies of how they have managed to maintain their green cleaning program during the pandemic.

Presenters:

  • Judd Remmers, Coordinator of Custodial Affairs, Shawnee Mission School District
  • Merv Brewer, Assistant Manager-Custodial Services, Salt Lake City School District
  • Sara Porter, Vice President of External Affairs, Health Schools Campaign

More upcoming webinars 

More information:

We believe that all students deserve to attend sustainable schools that enhance their health and prepare them for 21st century careers.

Our work brings sustainability to life in the classroom and encourages communities to work together toward a future that is healthier for people and the planet. We welcome you to learn and to advance the green schools movement along with us.

The Center for Green Schools

Today at 4:00 pm: Biscayne Bay Fish Kill Update Live-Streamed

Florida State Senator Jason Pizzo and State Representative Michael Grieco will be hosting a streaming call this afternoon, Friday, August 14th, at 4:00 PM Eastern to discuss the fish kill happening in Biscayne Bay. According to Senator Pizzo’s announcement, they will be joined by:

The call will be viewable by the public on Facebook Live and Twitter. Follow Senator Pizzo on Facebook & Twitter, and Representative Grieco on Facebook & Twitter to watch the conference call live. You can email your questions in advance to Senator Pizzo at pizzo.jason@flsenate.gov.

BISCAYNE BAY FISH KILL (please share):Friday, August 14th, at 4pm EST, Representative Michael Grieco and I will be…

Posted by Senator Jason Pizzo on Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pelican Harbor Seabird Station Rescues Rays Desperate for Oxygen in Biscayne Bay

Officials and wildlife organizations from all over the State of Florida are investigating the spreading fish kill in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. The growing environmental emergency was first discovered on Monday by the Dolphins and Rainbows swim club near Morningside Park in the Tuttle Basin.

As of Wednesday, hundreds of rays were gathered in the shallow shore waters behind Pelican Harbor Seabird Station looking for oxygen. Scientists and volunteers from Pelican Harbor, Frost Museum of Science, Miami-Dade Sea Grant, DERM, and FIU quickly coordinated to provide life-saving aid the the desperate rays and fish crowding into the cove.

Posted by Pelican Harbor Seabird Station on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pelican Harbor ran aerated water from their rescue facility while “Andy from Frost Science” brought three aeration tanks to help get oxygen to the rays and other marine wildlife.

Posted by Pelican Harbor Seabird Station on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

By the end of the day Wednesday, the heroic efforts of all involve paid off. Pelican Harbor reported that all of the rays and 96% of the fish in their cove had survived low tide.

Update: 96% of the fish all survived, including all of the rays! The video was made at low tide at 11am when dissolved…

Posted by Pelican Harbor Seabird Station on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Pelican Harbor will continue to monitor the area, and are expecting a likely repeat during low tide in coming days.

Fish Kill in Biscayne Bay

Thousands of dead fish have been spotted floating in different locations in Biscayne Bay since Monday as water temperatures reached about 90 degrees and dissolved oxygen dropped to very low levels. They’ve been documented in photos from Miami Waterkeeper and concerned residents.

Miami Herald
Dead fish in Biscayne Bay near Morningside on Monday. Photo courtesy: Kathryn Mikesell

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating after several City of Miami residents reported the dead fish in the bay near Morningside Park on Monday. Today Miami Dade County’s Department of Environmental and Resources Management (DERM) is reporting dead fish surfacing near the Julia Tuttle and Venetian Causeways.

In an email, DERM spokeswoman Tere Florin said the staff measured water temperatures near 90 degrees along with extremely low oxygen levels at about 3 feet deep.

“While we cannot be absolutely certain at this time, it appears that very high temperatures and very low dissolved oxygen levels in the shallow waters where the dead fish were observed by DERM staff earlier are likely contributing to or driving the situation,” she wrote.

WRLN

More Information:

Going to the Beach This Summer?

#NaturePBS wants us to notice nature at the beach this summer. Their suggestions:

  • Collect (photographs) of sand crabs and take note of how many you find
  • Survey the shorebirds and identify the species in the area
  • Watch the waves for sea creatures feeding close to shore

Even better? Use your iNaturalist app to record your observations to the database.

Hurricane Season: June 1 – November 30

“The question is which is more expensive? Building resilient homes or rebuilding them all post-disaster?”

Craig Fugate, former Florida Director of Emergency Management and FEMA head under Barack Obama

Jalandhar Can See the Himalayas for the First Time in 30 Years

The Covid-19 epidemic is currently dominating the news, conversations and our everyday lives.

With our graphic we wanted to spread a little optimism and present three facts that give us a bit of courage and help us feel more positive at this time. Our designer Raphael Hammer has accordingly created an animated graphic that gives some insight into a better world.

Johannes Laakmann

It is sad that it took a global pandemic of a novel coronavirus to show us what is possible, but it is encouraging to know that some issues can improve rapidly when we change our behavior.

City of Miami Passes Fertilizer Ordinance

The Miami City Commission has approved an ordinance to limit the type, amount and location of fertilizer use within city limits.

The ordinance aims to combat the negative secondary and cumulative effects of excess nutrients in Biscayne Bay and water bodies within the city, which are caused by fertilizer runoff. The proposed legislation is based on independent studies and with research from 85 municipalities and 32 counties that have passed fertilizer ordinances since 2007.

The Ordinance sets guidelines for the amount of fertilizer allowed, both commercial and non-commercial, in the City of Miami. It mandates that fertilizer can only be applied to actively growing turf. It also designates fertilizer-free zones 15 feet from bodies of water.Another aspect of the ordinance focuses on the regulation of nitrogen-releasing fertilizer in most forms, as well as even more rigorous phosphorus regulations.

City of Miami

The ordinance, co-sponsored by Ken Russell from District 2, Manolo Reyes in District 4, and Mayor Francis Suarez, has received strong support from the Sierra Club Florida, Ocean Conservancy, Miami Waterkeeper.