Earth Saving News > December 21, 2010

2010: Nature in the balance.

There are quite a few reasons why we’re happy to see the back of 2010. Last year the country experienced one of the worst environmental disasters in its history due to the Gulf oil spill; international climate change talks made little to no progress; we experienced several nationwide food recalls that brought into question the quality and safety of our factory farm food supply; and…well, that’s enough.

Happily, many positive things happened in 2010, too. As the year draws to a close, we think this is a perfect time to share just a few amazing accomplishments of our member charities, made possible in part by EarthShare supporters like you:

For wildlife the timing of the Gulf oil spill couldn’t have been worse. Not only were millions of waterfowl, shorebirds and marsh birds about to begin their annual migration through the Gulf region, but sea turtles were already laying their eggs along Gulf beaches. When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the extraordinary decision to excavate hundreds of turtle nests to save hatchlings from certain peril they asked for National Fish and Wildlife Federation's help. Together with FedEx, they arranged a contribution of custom transport for the fragile eggs. In what was one of the largest wildlife re-locations in history, more than 25,000 eggs were moved from northern Gulf beaches and more than 15,000 healthy hatchlings were successfully released on the Atlantic coast. (Check out video of the move here).

As the BP oil disaster response moved from emergency mode to recovery and restoration, Ocean Conservancy expanded its ongoing commitment to the region by establishing the Gulf Restoration Center in New Orleans. Serving as the hub for their efforts to ensure comprehensive restoration of the Gulf of Mexico, the center is championing the restoration of an ecosystem that supports our economy and way of life. Learn more.

Conservation International provided technical and scientific assistance for the implementation of the Pacific Oceanscape, a new protected region in the middle of the sea – an area larger than the United States, Canada and Mexico combined – that includes some of the most pristine and abundant coral reefs, islands, and marine systems remaining in the world today. Learn more about creating an oceanscape.

At more than 2,000 sites across the U.S., volunteers from eight federal agencies, youth groups, fraternities, sororities, churches, corporations and neighborhoods pitched in to make more than $16 million in improvements to America’s public lands on September 25. National Public Lands Day is just one of the programs of the National Environmental Education Foundation. Now in its 17th year, National Public Lands Day has grown from an 800-person clean up day to the country’s largest, single-day volunteer effort to clean up, repair, and upgrade parks and green spaces.

American Farmland Trust and the Massachusetts Food Policy Alliance established a 15-member statewide food policy council aimed at increasing production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown foods; bringing healthy local foods to Massachusetts residents and increasing access for underserved communities; protecting the land and water resources needed for sustained local food production; and recruiting and training farmers to provide for the continued economic viability of local food production and distribution. And that’s just one achievement; read about more here.

In the wake of several serious food contamination scares, Food & Water Watch launched an interactive online Factory Farm map to help people better understand how factory farming impacts all of us. Check it out.

Thanks to the efforts of Trust for Public Land, thousands of Hollywood area residents got to celebrate the protection of the land behind the famous Hollywood Sign, a successful effort which will protect the view of one of the world's most famous signs in perpetuity. This also means Cahuenga Peak will be added to Griffith Park, maintaining public access and protecting the peak's spectacular 360 degree views of the Los Angeles Basin, its hiking trails, and its pristine ecosystem of species not believed to exist elsewhere. More insight into this historic outcome can be found here.

The African Wildlife Foundation celebrated a major conservation win as a 2010 census revealed the mountain gorilla population has made a remarkable rebound. Three decades ago there were only 250 of these gorillas in existence; the most recent count brings the total world population to 786 individuals. This recovery is credited to the collaborative efforts of many organizations and institutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, a coalition of African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna & Flora International, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Last year the American Solar Energy Society published the groundbreaking Green-Collar Jobs report which showed that renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors generate more than 9 million jobs and $1 trillion in annual revenue in the U.S. Their second report, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S., demonstrates how renewable energy and energy efficiency can provide the carbon emissions reductions needed to mitigate climate change. Find out how tackling climate change can net 4.5 million jobs.

All of this is good news for the special places and natural resources we count on. If this inspires you, please consider supporting more great achievements in 2011 by making a year-end gift that touches all of these charities and more.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better, greener place for all of us!



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The Earth, the biosphere that contains a teeming abundance of life – is a vast system. Our actions and interventions therefore must be informed by systemic thinking, with the realization that each and every action has an effect on the system as a whole. A reductionistic approach that treats single symptoms will not improve the overall health of the biosphere – but can lead to a cascading chain of reactions to the intervention, many of which can be unwanted.

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