In Honor of Dr. Ron Jenkins
1. Carbon Dioxide Levels in Alabama Growing Faster Than National Average
2. Alabama Ranks Last Nationally In Implementing Climate Change Programs
3. Forever Wild Adds Two Additional Tracts
4. Wolf Bay Designated Outstanding Alabama Water Use Classification
5. BEN Notes: Nature Conservancy Executive Director Position, MAWASS Grease Recycling Program, Spring Concert at Three Caves, Cocktails with the Critters, Alabama Coastal Foundation's Crawfish Craze, River Action Day, Cahaba Lily Festival in West Blocton, Cahaba River Society's Ramble
In Honor of Dr. Ron Jenkins
A week and a half ago I was fortunate to attend a reception and dinner at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens honoring Dr. E.O. Wilson, an Alabamian who is considered one of the world's most prominent scientists. Sitting at the head table and introducing Dr. Wilson at the dinner and the conference the following day at Samford University was Dr. Ron Jenkins. How appropriate I thought.... a "spider guy" (Ron published with Dr. Mike Howell the book Spiders of the Eastern United States) sitting with the "ant guy" (Wilson was famous for his work and study of ants). What a wonderful sight - two scientists who teach us the world through God's smallest creatures.
Ron passed away last Friday of cancer, only a week, exactly seven days after seeing Wilson and him together. He was a scientist, teacher, a passionate environmental advocate and friend. We will all miss him dearly.
At his memorial last night, we sang with a loud voice and heavy heart a beautiful hymn called God of the Sparrow, a hymn Ron particularly asked to be played that evening, the night of his memorial, with passion and a lifting spirit. In honor, memory and celebration of Ron today, below are the lovely words to that hymn.
God of the Sparrow by Roeder
God of the sparrow
God of the whale
God of the swirling stars
How does the creature say Awe
How does the creature say Praise
God of the earthquake
God of the storm
God of the trumpet blast
How does the creature cry Woe
How does the creature cry Save
God of the rainbow
God of the cross
God of the empty grave
How does the creature say Grace
How does the creature say Thanks
God of the hungry
God of the sick
God of the prodigal
How does the creature say Care
How does the creature say Life
God of the neighbor
God of the foe
God of the pruning hook
How does the creature say Love
How does the creature say Peace
God of the ages
God near at hand
God of the loving heart
How do your children say Joy
How do your children say Home
1. Carbon Dioxide Levels in Alabama Growing Faster Than National Average - Last week, a new study released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) concluded that carbon dioxide emissions in Alabama have been growing far faster than the national average.
According to a Mobile Register April 17th article on the release of the study, from 1990 to 2004, releases of carbon dioxide - which has been linked to global warming - rose 29 percent in Alabama to about 141 million metric tons. Nationally, discharges rose 18 percent during that same period. Per capita, Alabama ranks 9th nationally for carbon dioxide emissions. The USPIRG report is based on federal data.
Since 1990, power generation in Alabama has increased more than 60 percent according to Alabama Power spokesman Michael Sznajderman. Alabama's primary source of power generation, coal-fired power plants, contributed two-thirds of the increase in emissions, while much of the rest came from cars and trucks.
To view the USPIRG report go to: http://www.uspirg.org/home/reports/report-archives/global-warming-solutions/global-warming-solutions/the-carbon-boom-state-and-national-trends-in-carbon-dioxide-emissions-since-1990
2. Alabama Ranks Last Nationally In Implementing Climate Change Programs - According to a recent Pew Center on Global Climate Change ranking, Alabama ranks last with four other states in the implementation of climate change initiatives and programs. Presently, only four of 20 possible climate change initiatives have been taken by the state, including a climate change policy model and plan that was completed more than 10 years ago at the University of Alabama.
Other southeastern states, including North Carolina and South Carolina have recently launched climate change policy panels to address the environmental and economic impact of climate change. To view the entire Pew Report go to: http://www.pewclimate.org/what_s_being_done/in_the_states/
3. Forever Wild Adds Two Additional Tracts - Recently, two tracts of ecologically significant and sensitive property have been purchased by Alabama's Forever Wild Program.
The first tract in Mobile County is 1,642 acres in the Grand Bay Savannah, adjacent to existing Forever Wild lands. Forever Wild land in the area now totals 5000 acres. According to Greg Lein of the State Lands Division, "Its a pine savannah with the largest pitcher plant bog complex in the state of Alabama. The Grand Bay Savannah is a very popular area for the Coastal Birding Trail."
The second tract recently purchased was 9304 acres in Baldwin County currently in the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area, an 18,000 acre tract with 15 miles of frontage on the Perdido River. The land, which is home to the gopher tortoise and the indigo snake will be converted to its native longleaf pine habitat. The purchase of the Perdido River tract was made possible by the Nature Conservancy which held the land until Forever Wild could purchase it.
4. Wolf Bay Designated Outstanding Alabama Water Use Classification - On April 20, the Alabama Environmental Management voted unanimously to add the use classification "Outstanding Alabama Water" (OAW) to Wolf Bay, from the Intracoastal Waterway to Moccasin Bayou in Baldwin County.
A more stringent and protective use classification, the new OAW designation was made possible because of the tireless efforts of a local watershed group, Wolf Bay Watch and ADEM staff who performed the necessary work to meet OAW requirements. In Alabama, other "Outstanding Alabama Waters" include approximately 173 miles of sections of the Cahaba and Little Cahaba Rivers, 75 miles of portions of Hatchet Creek; and 42 miles of segments of the Tensaw River.
5. BEN Notes: Nature Conservancy Executive Director Position, MAWASS Grease Recycling Program, Spring Concert at Three Caves, Cocktails with the Critters, Alabama Coastal Foundation's Crawfish Craze, River Action Day, Cahaba River Society's Ramble, Cahaba Lily Festival in West Blocton
Nature Conservancy Executive Director Position - The Alabama Chapter of the Nature Conservancy is seeking an Executive Director. To learn more about this position go to: The application deadline is May 30, 2007.
MAWASS Grease Recycling Program - The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System has expanded their grease recycling program. Since the program's inception, more than 8000 people have picked up recycling containers resulting in over 1700 gallons of grease being collected. To take advantage of the "It's Easy to be Ungreasy" recycling program, visit http://www.itseasytobeungreasy.com or call 251-694-3100.
Spring Concert at Three Caves - Dualtone recording artist, RobinElla and the CCstringband will headline the 2nd Annual Spring Concert at historic Three Caves (in Huntsville) on Thursday, May 3rd, 6:00pm. The concert highlights The Land Trust of Huntsville and North Alabama's 20th Anniversary Celebration. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at 256-534-5263. Please RSVP today.
Cocktails with the Critters - National Geographic's Photographer in Residence, David Doubilet will be the guest of honor at "Cocktails for Critters." The event will be held at the Five Rivers Alabama's Delta Resource Center on May 3rd from 6:30 until 9:30, and will benefit the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation. Tickets are $75. For additional info call 251-861-8710.
Alabama Coastal Foundation's Crawfish Craze - Join the Alabama Coastal Foundation for the 5th Annual Crawfish Craze, to be held May 10th, 6:00 pm at the 5 Rivers Delta Center on the Causeway. To order tickets visit, http://www.joinacf.org or call 251-990-6002.
River Action Day - Join the Alabama Rivers Alliance, Conservation Alabama and the Southern Environmental Law Center for "River Action Day" in Montgomery on May 15th. Learn how you can attend and advocate for the Alabama Water Agenda by visiting : http://www.AlabamaWaterAgenda.com
Cahaba River Society Ramble - The Cahaba River Society will be holding its 2nd Annual Cahaba River Ramble Trail Run and "C the River " Conservation and Education event on May 19th at the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. The event will benefit the Shane Hulsey, CLEAN Field Environmental Education Program. For details visit http://www.cahabariversociety.org or call 205-32-CLEAN.
Cahaba Lily Festival in West Blocton - Come celebrate Alabama's most famous lily at the Cahaba Lily Festival on May 26, at the Cahaba Lily Center on Main Street in West Blocton. To access the full day long activity schedule, go to http://www.cahabariversociety.org