1) Rivers Alliance and SELC Announce Water Agenda
2) Red Mountain Park Draft Master Plan Released
3) Governor Riley Makes Push For Alternative Fuels in Alabama
4) Alabama's Gulf Guardian Winners
5) BEN Notes: Birmingham Audubon Environmental Scholarships for Teachers, Sierra Club Film Festival, Salamander Festival, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Clean Up and Learn Day, Let Justice Roll - An Alabama Arise Conference, 5th Annual Hiking Trail Conference
1. Rivers Alliance and SELC Announce Water Agenda - This week, on the banks of the Alabama River, the Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Southern Environmental Law Center announced the release of the "Alabama Water Agenda - Guiding The Way To Healthy Waters" plan.
The plan called for the following actions:
* Increased agency coordination and enhancement
* Enhanced enforcement of state environmental laws and regulations
* Increased funding through the Alabama Legislature and fully use potential federal funding
* Develop a comprehensive statewide instream flow policy* Address stormwater runoff issues
* Strengthen state and local support for principles and methods of sustainable, "smart growth" development
To access and read the entire Alabama Water Agenda, visit http://www.AlabamaWaterAgenda.com
2. Red Mountain Park Draft Master Plan Released - Earlier this week, the Red Mountain Steering Committee submitted to the Red Mountain Greenway and Recreational Area Commission a draft master plan called "Red Mountain Park - A Vision for Birmingham's Great New Park."
Covering over 1100 acres (larger than Central Park in New York), the draft master plan lays out "Ten Guiding Principles to Shape the Park". Along with the completion of the draft plan, the Freshwater Land Trust transferred responsibility for the new park to the newly appointed and convened Red Mountain Greenway and Recreational Area Commission. Made possible by the largest donation in U.S. Steel history, the park is continuing to raise funds to purchase and maintain the park.For more information about this exciting project go to http://www.redmountainpark.org/ or http://www.freshwaterlandtrust.org/
3. Governor Riley Makes Push For Alternative Fuels in Alabama - On January 25th, Governor Bob Riley announced the start of construction for the State Motor Pool's addition of a new 12,000 gallon E-85 Ethanol facility.
The new facility is part of a statewide plan to add pumps for E-85 ethanol fuel at six Alabama gas stations and B20 Biodiesel fuel at five stations along I-65.The state's actions follows the success of the city of Hoover's E-85 program, which has become the largest fleet of municipal law enforcement vehicles using E-85 in the United States. Since beginning the use of E-85, Hoover's municipal vehicles have driven over 3.7 million miles using 300,000 gallons of E-85 Ethanol.
Presently, the State Motor Pool currently has 132 vehicles with Flex Fuel engines capable of using either gasoline or E-85 Ethanol. All future state replacement vehicles will have E-85 Flex Fuel engines. To learn more about the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and their program to reduce our dependency on oil and improve air quality, visit http://www.AlabamaCleanFuels.org
4. Alabama's Gulf Guardian Winners - An Alabama Business, an Individual and an Environmental Studies Center were awarded 2006 Gulf Guardian Awards.
Here were the winners:
First Place in the Business Category - Hand Arendall Conservation Awareness Program - Awarded for their coastal environmental education and leadership efforts - Complete Profile at http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/gulfguard/2006_individ_1st.html
Third Place in the Youth Education Category - SEA ICE Environmental Studies Center - A creative environmental program involving teachers and students at 14 Mobile public high schools. Complete Profile at: http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/gulfguard/2006_youth_3rd.html
5. BEN Notes: Birmingham Audubon Environmental Scholarships for Teachers, Sierra Club Film Festival, Salamander Festival, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Clean Up and Learn Day, Let Justice Roll - An Alabama Arise Conference, 5th Annual Hiking Trail Conference
Birmingham Audubon Environmental Scholarships for Teachers - The Birmingham Audubon Society has scholarships available for teachers to attend 2 workshops - the Audubon Mountain Workshop held in Mentone, Alabama and the Maine Audubon Society's Workshop for Educators. To apply, visit http://www.birminghamaudubon.org or call Ann Sweeney at 205-879-7127.
Sierra Club Film Festival - The North Alabama Sierra Club is holding a Film Festival, in Huntsville at Flying Monkey Arts (in the old Lowe Mill at Seminole Dr. & 8th) , Saturday, January 27, 4pm, 7pm & 9pm. Check out the film lineup at http://www.flyingmonkeyarts.org or http://www.alabama.sierraclub.org
Shades Creek Salamander Festival - Don't miss the annual Salamander Festival this Saturday, January 27th, 3:00 to 6:30 pm at the Shades Valley Community Church in Homewood.Wheeler
National Wildlife Refuge Clean Up and Learn Day - The Friends of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Association is hosting six Clean Up and Learn Days throughout 2007. Their first event is scheduled for February 3rd, 8:00 am at the Beaverdam Peninsula. For additional details, contact Teresa Adams at 256-350-6639 or email Teresa_Adams@fws.gov. Also visit http://www.fws.gov/wheeler/
Let Justice Roll - An Alabama Arise Conference - If you care about environmental justice and advocating for the poor, check out this impressive upcoming Alabama Arise conference "Let Justice Roll." The conference is scheduled to be held on February 15th, 8:15 am - 3:00 pm at Birmingham Southern College. For registration info, visit http://www.arisecitizens.org or call 334-832-9060.
5th Annual Hiking Trail Conference - The Alabama Hiking Trail Society will be holding their 5th Annual Conference March 30 to April 1 at Bald Rock Lodge at Cheaha State Park. For conference registration info, visit - http://hikealabama.org/conference07/conference.htm