August 29: Resiliency Through Landscape Design in Public Spaces

Join USGBC Miami and leading industry professionals as we explore how resilient landscape architecture can be an effective tool to mitigate impacts of more frequent tidal flooding, coastal erosion, and stronger hurricanes. Learn what local designers, city officials, and organizations are doing to manage our climate adaptation strategies and to improve our local blue-green infrastructure by building with nature.

PANELISTS

  • Susanne Torriente, Chief Resiliency Officer, City of Miami Beach
  • Marta Viciedo, CEO & Co-Founder, Urban Impact Lab
  • Christopher Counts, Principal, Perkins & Will

WHEN

Thursday, August 29, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)

WHERE

Miami Design District, Palm Court Event Space, 140 NE 39th Street (3rd Floor), Miami, FL 33137

COST

  • USGBC Florida Members: Free
  • Non-Members: $15
  • Partners: Free with promo code

SPONSORS

  • Perkins and Will
  • Witkin Hults Design Group
  • Miami Design District

Ron Magill: Changes to the Endangered Species Act are Driven by Human Greed

Ron Magill is an internationally known advocate for wildlife, and a locally beloved fixture at ZooMiami. Yesterday, an article he authored appeared in the Miami Community Newspaper, and it is a “must read” for anyone who cares about our environment.

The Gutting of the Endangered Species Act

Ron Magill with a baby elephant
Ron Magill in Kenya at an Elephant Orphanage

Recently, the United Nations, a non-partisan global authority, issued a sad and sobering report stating that under the present conditions, there is a strong possibility that up to 1 million species of wildlife will become extinct within the next several decades. We are presently experiencing what is officially called the “Anthropocene,” also known as “The Sixth Mass Extinction” which is the highest rate of extinction since the loss of the dinosaurs 45 million years ago. Yet, rather than striving to provide additional support towards preserving our world’s precious wildlife, this administration has chosen to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act, the most effective piece of legislation ever written in this country to protect our world’s precious natural treasures.

He goes on to describe how changes to Endangered Species Act regulations issued this past week will devastate protections to our wildlife. In an administration that censors scientists from even using the word “climate change”, it should be no surprise “that climate change cannot be considered as a factor when deciding if a species qualifies to be protected.” But it still feels like a punch to the gut.

The second major issue is the change that now allows governments to consider the “cost” of protecting a species. In other words, how much money is being forfeited by not being able to disturb a protected habitat to dig for oil or gas, and allowing the financial benefits of the exploitation of the land to trump the importance of protecting it for future generations. When an administration starts to put a price tag on something that is priceless, we are going down a very slippery slope.

As Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, notes: “In trying to gut Endangered Species Act, Trump administration puts profits ahead of people.” Because this isn’t just about endangered animals. It’s about an endangered planet that we all have to live on. By weakening the Endangered Species Act, Trump is trying to make it easier to use public lands & protected habitats for oil drilling and coal mining that contribute to pollution and climate change. Or as Jay Inslee put it, “this isn’t just bad for the bald eagle or the grizzly bear – it’s bad for our kids and their health.”

Ron Magill speaks for me here as well:

I am dumbfounded trying to understand how at a time when we are losing species at a rate of up to 1,000 times faster than past historical times, this administration is trying to make it easier to remove species from the protected list while making it harder to place a species on it.

August 24: Green Urban Planning & Bird-Friendly Buildings

Earn your Wings — the Audubon Ambassador Program is open to anyone 18 years and older who is curious to learn more about the environment. Our August session spotlights Smart Growth, Green Urban Planning and Bird-Friendly Buildings. Learn about South Florida’s history of development and ways you can ensure a better future for our region. Hear from members of Dover, Kohl & Partners about sustainable urban planning and Smart Growth.

  • WHEN: Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 9:30 a.m to 1:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Tropical Audubon Society, 5530 Sunset Dr, Miami, Florida 33143

The Audubon Ambassador Program is a series of workshops and field trips designed to make you a more engaged, educated and effective advocate conservationist. Learn from leaders in their fields and become a strong advocate for the water we drink, the air we breathe and the habitat that nurtures, shelters and sustains our region’s birds and other wildlife. You’ll come away knowing more about South Florida ecosystems, environmental challenges, sea level rise and hurricane resilience issues — and, most important, practice making a difference.

Trevor Talks Trash

Recycling has become one of those “too much of a good thing” things, particularly recycling plastics.

What happened in the 1960s and ’70s wasn’t that recycling was invented, but that the reasons for it changed. Rather than recycle in order to get the most out of the materials, Americans began to recycle in order to deal with the massive amounts of waste produced during the second half of the 20th century.

Olivia B. Waxman, The History of Recycling in America Is More Complicated Than You May Think, Time magazine, November 15, 2016

With this shift, recycling programs & propaganda skyrocketed in the U.S. Now, however, countries that previously took our recyclable trash are sending it back. Here is The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah with a humorous and informative take on the problem:

And remember, it’s “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” – in that order

World Environment Day 2019

Today, China hosts the global World Environment Day celebrations with the theme: #BeatAirPollution.

Approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.


The Government of China has committed to organizing World Environment Day celebrations across multiple cities, with Hangzhou, in the province of Zhejiang, to host the main event…


China with its growing green energy sector, has emerged as a climate leader. The country owns half the world’s electric vehicles and 99 percent of the world’s electric buses.

UNenvironment.org

An Inconvenient Truth for Miami

“Miami, in terms of assets at risk, is the number one city at risk in the entire world for sea level rise. This is a major crisis.” ~~ Vice President Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”

Celebrate ‘World Oceans Day’ 2019 Miami-Style

Next Saturday, June 8th, is World Oceans Day.

On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean.

WorldOceansDay.org

A collective of experiences honoring World Oceans Day hosted by the 1 Hotel South Beach

This event is powered by Anatomy. Each session is held within the picturesque property of the 1 Hotel South Beach in Beautiful Miami!

All ticket donations go to The Surfrider Foundation – Miami, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

Miami Awarded LEED for Cities & Communities Grant

The City of Miami just announced that our magic city has been selected by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to receive a LEED for Cities and Communities grant.

The City recognizes that the next generation of green building must focus on the development of smart cities and resilient communities, and this certification will allow Miami to demonstrate leadership among cities and communities advancing a sustainable, healthy, and equitable way of life.

City of Miami press release

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993 to help define “green building” by establishing a common standard of measurement and to promote integrated, publicly reviewed, whole-building design practices. Since then, LEED has grown from one standard for new construction to a comprehensive system of standards covering all aspects of the development and construction process.

In 2016, the USGBC introduced two new certification programs in – LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities (collectively referred to as “LEED v4.1 for Cities and Communities”). “These programs are helping cities and communities develop responsible, sustainable and specific plans for energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors that contribute to quality of life.”

The U.S. Green Building Council received $500,000 Bank of America Charitable Foundation for the “LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program” to support local governments pursuing certification under the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system. Each grant package includes:

  • One annual USGBC Silver membership;
  • LEED for Cities and Communities registration and certification;
  • Access to the Arc reporting platform to encourage city/county continuous improvement and ability to explore opportunities for managed/owned affordable housing units;
  • A two-day, in-person orientation workshop with other selected communities for two local government officials/staff;
  • One registration to attend the Greenbuild Conference and Expo and the Communities and Affordable Homes Summit in Atlanta in November 2019
  • Access to online education resources, USGBC technical assistance and monthly conference calls.

This partnership presents a tremendous opportunity to bolster the City’s sustainability agenda, take stock of where we stand now on sustainability and establish a baseline that we can measure against as we move forward. Congratulations to our Office of Resilience and Sustainability for securing this invaluable opportunity for the City to work directly with USBGC professionals to make Miami more sustainable.

Miami City Manager Emilio T. Gonzalez