Friday, March 20, 2009

BEN - March 20, 2009 #319

Headwaters Gathering Deadline Today

Don't miss this great gathering of inspirational environmental writers and speakers.  Join us March 27-29 in Asheville, North Carolina for the Headwaters Gathering.  

Visit  to register.  


Headwaters: A Journey on Alabama Rivers

Order online this amazing book of 150 photographs from Alabama's "Ansel Adams" Beth Maynor Young.  This visually stunning book is complimented by the narration of master storyteller John C. Hall.  Order your book today at - hit the "news" link.


1. National State of the Birds Report Released - Yesterday, the Department of Interior released  "The State of the Birds - United States of America 2009" report. 

Here are some of the report's findings:

First some good news.

Wetlands: Although many wetland birds show troubling declines, conservation programs have protected millions of acres and contributed to thriving populations of hunted waterfowl, herons, egrets and other birds.  Lesser Scaup, Northern Pintail and several sea ducks are showing troubling declines, but most geese are increasing dramatically and many ducks have held steady.

Waterfowl: On the whole 39 species of hunted waterfowl have increased by more than 100% during the past 40 years.

Some Troubling News

Oceans: At least 39% of U.S. birds restricted to ocean habitats are declining and almost half are of conservation concern, indicating deteriorating ocean conditions.

Coasts: Half of all migrating shorebirds have declined, indicating stress in coastal habitats besieged by development, disturbance and dwindling food supplies.

Forests: Representing eastern, western, boreal, and subtropical forests, the forest birds indicator dropped by roughly 10% from 1968 through increased slightly.  In eastern forests, the indicator dropped by nearly 25%.

To read the entire report  - visit

2. Huntsville and Auburn Fastest Growing Cities in 2008 - According to the Birmingham News, two Alabama metro areas, made the Census Bureau's list of the fastest-growing metro areas from 2007 to 2008.  The metro areas were Huntsville (ranked 27th) and  Auburn -Opelika (ranked 54th).

The Birmingham-Hoover metro remains Alabama's largest population center increasing 6.3% since 2000 to reach 1,117,608 people.  The region is the 48th largest metro area in the U.S. 

Other interesting figures of note:  Limestone County was the fastest growing county with a 3.1% increase, followed by Shelby, Madison, St. Clair, Coffee, Lee, Blount, Baldwin, Houston and Franklin counties.  Statewide, Alabama has increased its population from 4,447,355 in 2000 to 4,661,900 in 2008.

Visit and go to their "special sections" links to access the entire Alabama Census database.

3. Fox 6 Reports on Ruffner Mountain and the Clover Crawl + Canyon Center Opening Video - Fox 6 - a television station in Birmingham produced in past two weeks three environmental news segments about the new buildings and expansion at Ruffner Mountain and a preview about this weekend's Clover Crawl in Homewood. 

Check them out at the links below:

Also - In late February the Little River Canyon Center held it's grand opening.  More than 4000 people attended the special event.  Here is a video captured by the Birmingham News/

4. Autauga County's Bluebird Trail - In last week's  Montgomery Advertiser, a wonderful story was written about a great movement occurring in Autauga County - the creation of the Autauga Bluebird Trail.

According to the Advertiser, in the spring of 2006, 14 bluebird nest boxes were placed along Alabama 14 in Autauga County.  This year, the nesting boxes have spread into Elmore and Coosa counties for a total of 225 boxes aimed at increasing the number of eastern bluebirds.  Local high students at Stanhope Elmore and Wetumpka high schools will be monitoring the boxes.  

The goal of the group?  Create an Alabama bluebird trail following Alabama 14 as it crosses the state from Georgia to Mississippi.  Check out their efforts at

5. BEN Notes:  GRCA's Clover Crawl, Cahaba River Society Headwaters Book Debut Benefit, Mobile Baykeeper Private Screening/Benefit, Montgomery Tree Committee, Green Tie Affair, Sibyl Goes Green, Darwin Bicentennial Symposium with E. O. Wilson, Black Warrior Riverkeeper Benefit, Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Discovery Day

GRCA's Clover Crawl - The Green Resource Center for Alabama will be hosting their annual Clover Crawl Green Home and garden Expo 2009 on Saturday, March 21st, 10am -4pm at Vulcan Park and Museum.  Check out the details at .  

Cahaba River Society Headwaters Book Debut Benefit - Join the Cahaba River Society in celebrating the debut of Headwaters - A Journey on Alabama Rivers by photographer Beth Maynor Young and storyteller John Hall.  The event will be held Thursday, March 26th at O'Kafe's, Martin Biscuit Building, 2901 2nd Ave. South in Birmingham.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Cahaba River Society.

Mobile Baykeeper Private Screening/Benefit - Mobile Baykeeper will be presenting Grand Canyon Adventure: RIver at Risk on the big screen on March 27, 2009 from 7-9 PM at the IMAX Gulf Exploreum.  The evening will begin with a reception and followed by a brief presentation by the Mobile Baykeeper and the film. Tickets are $20.  There will be refreshments provided by Budweiser-Busch Distributing of Mobile and Mobile Popcorn.  Seating is limited and only advance sales tickets will be accepted.  Call Mobile Baykeeper at 251-433-8197 for details or visit

Montgomery Tree Committee - The Montgomery Tree Committee will be holding the Spring Cypress Pond Walkabout, March 28th, 10:00 AM.  Meet at the end of the Communications Parkway and wear boots!  For details call 334-834-4848.

13th Annual Green Tie Affair - The Alabama Environmental Council will be holding their 13th Annual Green Tie Affair on April 2nd, 6:30pm at the Flower Stems Loft, 213 Richard Arrington Blvd. South in Birmingham, Alabama.  Tickets are $50.  For event details visit -

Sibyl Goes Green - The Sibyl temple Foundation in partnership with the Vestavia Hills Garden Club will be holding "Sibyl Goes Green" a day of eco-living to benefit the Sibyl Temple Foundation.  The event is scheduled for April 2nd, 9:30a, to 4:00pm at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. National eco-living expert Laura Turner Seydel will on hand.  For complete details visit

Darwin Bicentennial Symposium with E.O Wilson - The Association of Southeastern Biologists will be holding a symposium on April 3rd, 1:00pm to 5:00pm titled Natural Selection in Past, Present and Future - The Darwin Bicentennial Symposium and Tributes to E. O.  Wilson.  The event will be held at the Birmingham Civic Center.  Dr. E. O.  Wilson is scheduled to speak.  For additional info, visit  The Friday afternoon symposium is open to the public.

Black Warrior Riverkeeper Benefit - The Locust Fork Band will be playing a charity concert for the Black Warrior Riverkeeper at Bottletree Cafe in Birmingham on Saturday, April 4th, 3-6 PM.  For details call 205-458-0095.

Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Discovery Day - Discovery Day 2009 will celebrated at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab this spring on April 18th, 10am-2pm.  For details visit  and hit the "What's New" banner link.

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