CB’s Green Report: California’s Water System Gets Federal Bailout
Salazar & Schwarzenegger.jpg

Big news for California and its water supply — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pledged $260 million in federal stimulus money to help California modernize its outdated water system and ease its water problems.

Salazar and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger went on a helicopter tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Wednesday. The federal official saw first-hand California’s overtaxed water system of reservoirs, pumps and canals (designed to supply water to only half of the state’s 37.7 million population), which were built more than 50 years ago.
The federal funds will help California deal with the drought and institute an updated system.

“It is time to modernize, it is time to make hard choices and it’s time for the federal government to re-engage in full partnership with the 21st century water system for the state of California,” he said to the Associated Press.

Salazar plans to use money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create jobs in California and aid its water supply problems.

“From boosting water supplies and improving conservation to improving safety at our dams, these shovel-ready projects will make a real and immediate difference in the lives of farmers, businesses, Native American tribes and communities across California,” Salazar said to Reuters.


CB’s Green Report: Flippers, Fines & Fashion

Stuck in ice? Five weary dolphins are trapped behind a drifting pack of ice off the coast of Sea Cove, Newfoundland. They have been stuck in this shrinking area for four days and are in urgent need of rescue. Somehow the dolphins got separated from the open Atlantic, said Mayor Winston May of the Canadian province. According to an expert from the Whale Release and Strandings group, the dolphins will drown if the ice continues to cover the open area. The dolphins need to surface above water in order to breath.  At the moment, the Canadian federal Fisheries Department does not have an icebreaker to send.  Sadly, the dolphins are crying out for help..literally. “They’re not going to survive much longer,” said May. “You can hear (the dolphins) crying all night long,” he said. Hopefully, Canada will figure out a way to rescue the dolphins before it’s too late.

Paying for pollution? You betcha. BP Products North America, the international energy company, will shell out almost $180 million to settle a Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency pollution case. Back in March 2005, an explosion and fire killed 15 people and injured more than 170. The British oil company division will pay $161 million for pollution controls, another $12 million in penalties (whoa!) and then yet another $6 million for an air pollution reduction project near their refinery in Texas.The company already plead guilty to breaking the Clean Air Act and will pay $50 million in fees. Somehow, it doesn’t seem like these expensive environmental mishaps are hurting this company.


Bryant Park

New York Fashion Week Goes Green. By adding recycling bins for bottles, cans, aluminum, glass, plastic and cardboard, Coca-Cola Recycling LLC helped the Mercedes-Benz Fall Fashion Week Fall 2009 Collections, Feb. 13-20 make a green statement. Twenty-five bins were placed throughout the Bryant Park complex to allow anyone to “Give It Back.” See you can have style and be green too! Hopefully, other major fashion events will partner with Coke or other recycling companies to make being green chic!

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CB’s Green Report: Begin Anew in 2009 with Green Resolutions


Looking to make some green resolutions in 2009? The Daily Green and the National Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Simple Steps have developed a great list of 15 green resolutions. Although many of us may think it is difficult to go green, the site suggests simple to-do’s like recycling and reducing the number of mailed catalogues (through CatalogChoice.org). And while drinking more water is good for the body, the disposable plastic water bottles are not. According to NRDC, “it takes 26 bottles of water to produce the plastic container for a one-liter bottle of water, and that doing so pollutes 25 liters of groundwater.” So, instead of buying plastic bottled water, a suggested resolution is to buy a reusable water container. Of the 15 items listed, there should be at least a couple that are easy for you to implement in 2009.

Bush helps the environment. (No, I’m not kidding.) According to a recent New York Times article, President Bush “will designate vast tracts of American-controlled Pacific Ocean islands, reefs, surface waters and sea floor as marine national monuments on Tuesday.” This presidential action will limit mining, fishing, oil exploration and other commercial activities.  The protected zones, which include a total of 195,280 miles (bigger than Oregon & Washington combined) are home to hundreds of rare fish and bird species.

“With the designation of the world’s largest marine reserve in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2006, and now these three other sites, George W. Bush has done more to protect unique areas of the world’s oceans than any other person in history,” said Joshua Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environmental Group to the New York Times.

And luckily for environmentalists, this presidential action doesn’t require Congressional approval. Yippee!


Alert: Bush Administration Hasn’t Protected Marine Mammals?? Contrary to his recent presidential order to protect marine waters, the Bush Administration has failed to provide “protections required by law to more than a dozen marine mammals potentially at risk of death or injury due to commercial fishing,” according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.  The congressional investigators examined the National Marine Fisheries Service and found that out of 30 marine mammals, which are protected under federal guidelines, the agency had not provided expert teams to protect them 14 of them. These animals, such as endangered whales and dolphins, are getting caught in fishing gear and traps. Hey Bush, you need to protect the marine waters and the mammals too!


Flying a plane using algae fuel? Yes! On Wednesday, Continental Airlines became the first U.S. commercial airlines to make a flight using alternative fuels derived from algae and jatropha plants. In this case, the Boeing 737-800 ran one  of its two engines on a mixture of half biofuel and half regular jet fuel. The demonstration flight lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes and didn’t have any passengers. Although use of biofuels for commercial planes is said to be years away, this trip was a “flight” in the right direction.

CB’s Green Report: Death and the Holidays

In the green, but slightly weird and morbid, news, PETA (People for the Equal Treatment of Animals) has partnered with handcrafted coffin maker The Old Pine Box to offer PETA-themed, eco-friendly caskets. Although studies suggest vegans and vegetarians live longer, even they have to die some time. So, why not go out with a “Go Vegan” statement on your environmentally friendly coffin?

Many of us are concerned about avoiding pesticides in our foods. What about buying a pesticide free, organic Christmas tree? Yes, you can have a sustainable tree. According to a recent New York Times article, a group of small farmers who wanted an alternative to the expensive organic certification program started the Certified Naturally Grown organization in 2002. This group, along with others like the Farmer’s Pledge, provides assurances that their trees are sustainable and were grown using methods like erosion control and composting. And you can enjoy the beauty of a Christmas tree without worrying about pesticides getting in your lungs and on your skin. Now that’s a happy holiday.

Big news for mountaintops. After much persuasion by the environmental group, the National Resource Defense Council, Bank of America plans to take a stand against some forms of surface mining practices. Bank of America released a statement Wednesday stating it will “phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through mountain top removal” to minimize environmental impacts. With large sums of money from Bank of America, coal companies may resort to the traditional burrowing method or find alternative methods to extract coal instead of blowing off the mountaintop to obtain this resource.

The recession may help recycling. Given the current financial crisis, many Americans are recycling their cans and bottles for extra money. Although an empty can is usually worth about 5 cents, The Boston Globe reports that the change really adds up for people who have lost their jobs or just need the extra money.



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My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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