Archive for April, 2009

Maryville Farmers’ Market Opens May 2nd

Apr 26th, 2009 by News from the Little River

The 2009 Maryville Farmers’ Market has it’s seasonal opening on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 9:00 A.M.   The market is located in the heart of downtown Maryville on Church Ave. near CBBC Bank.
See their website for more information.
http://www.maryvillefarmersmarket.com/

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Daily Times Article Features Volunteer Divers Working to Clean up Little River Trash

Apr 22nd, 2009 by News from the Little River

–In the News–

The Daily Times has an article today talking about the underwater cleanup and upcoming Earth Round UP events scheduled for Saturday.  On Tuesday, a team of divers from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office and our own board member Edward Harper took part in the yearly underwater cleanup.  The divers were getting a jump on Saturday’s Earth Round-UP event, which includes both river and community-wide cleanups.

Article and photos here:

Daily Times Article

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PBS Series ‘Frontline’ Examines Health Hazards in Nation’s Contaminated Waterways

Apr 19th, 2009 by News from the Little River

–Press Release–

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/poisonedwaters/

More than three decades after the Clean Water Act, iconic American waterways like the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound are in perilous condition and facing new sources of contamination.  With polluted runoff still flowing in from industry, agriculture and massive suburban development, scientists note that many new pollutants and toxins from modern everyday life are already being found in the drinking water of millions of people across the country and pose a threat to fish, wildlife and, potentially, human health.

In FRONTLINE’s Poisoned Waters, airing Tuesday, April 21, 2009, from 9 to 11 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith examines the growing hazards to human health and the ecosystem.

“The ’70s were a lot about, ‘We’re the good guys; we’re the environmentalists; we’re going to go after the polluters,’ and it’s not really about that anymore,” Jay Manning, director of ecology for Washington state, tells FRONTLINE. “It’s about the way we all live. And unfortunately, we are all polluters. I am; you are; all of us are.”

Through interviews with scientists, environmental activists, corporate executives and average citizens impacted by the burgeoning pollution problem, Smith reveals startling new evidence that today’s growing environmental threat comes not from the giant industrial polluters of old, but from chemicals in consumers’ face creams, deodorants, prescription medicines and household cleaners that find their way into sewers, storm drains, and eventually into America’s waterways and drinking water.

“The environment has slipped off our radar screen because it’s not a hot crisis like the financial meltdown, war or terrorism,” Smith says. “But pollution is a ticking time bomb. It’s a chronic cancer that is slowly eating away the natural resources that are vital to our very lives.”

Reversing decades of pollution and preventing the irreversible annihilation of the nation’s waterways, however, will require a seismic shift in the way Americans live their lives and use natural resources, experts say.

“You have to change the way you live in the ecosystem and the place that you share with other living things,” says William Ruckelshaus, founding director of the Environmental Protection Agency. “You’ve got to learn to live in such a way that it doesn’t destroy other living things. It’s got to become part of our culture.”

Video Preview here:

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Floodplain Easements Available Under Stimulus Plan

Apr 8th, 2009 by News from the Little River

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2009

USDA WILL RESTORE AND PROTECT FLOOD-PRONE LANDS NATIONWIDE WITH ECONOMIC RECOVERY FUNDING

(NASHVILLE)-Tennessee landowners have a chance of tapping into $145 Million set aside by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to restore thousands of acres of frequently flooded land to its natural state. The funds are available through the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the funds will restore land and create jobs since the money is part of recently passed legislation aimed at revitalizing the economy.

Landowners can sign up for the easements through April, 10th 2009 at their local USDA Service Center. “We will be working with landowners who voluntarily agree to restore the floodplains to their natural condition by placing their land into easements,” Vilsack said. “These easements will convert environmentally sensitive lands into riparian corridors and wooded bottomlands that are so vital for fish and wildlife habitat and to mitigate downstream flooding.” Vilsack said green jobs can be created in rural communities nationwide when landowners establish conservation practices on the easement land.

State Conservationist Kevin Brown, who directs the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee, says the job creation component of the measure benefits many fields of work. “Jobs will be created mostly in the land surveying, engineering, biology and construction fields when trees and native grasses are planted and the hydrology of the floodplain is restored,” Brown said. “Taxpayers will benefit from cleaner water and by no longer having to make crop disaster payments to producers who have experienced past crop failures due to flooding.”

The funding, obtained from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, includes both technical and financial assistance to restore the easements. All funds will be spent on targeted projects that can be completed with economic stimulus monies. The goal is to have all floodplain easements acquired and restored within 12-18 months. No more than $30 million can be spent in any one state.

Tennessee’s portion of the total $145 Million is not yet known. Brown says it depends on the level of interest among Tennessee landowners. “The dollars coming to Tennessee are contingent on the number of good applications we receive,” Brown said. “The more interest there is in Tennessee, the greater our portion of the $145 Million will be.”

The EWP Program’s floodplain easement component allows NRCS to purchase easements on lands damaged by flooding. The restored floodplain will generate many public benefits, such as increased flood protection, enhanced fish and wildlife habitat, improved water quality, and a reduced need for future public disaster assistance. Other benefits include reduced energy consumption when certain agricultural activities and practices are eliminated and increased carbon sequestration as permanent vegetative cover is re-established.

Interested landowners can contact their local USDA Service Center for more information or visit
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ewp/Floodplain/index.html

The TN NRCS website also has information:
http://www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/EWP/ewp-index.html

We have an opportunity of historic proportions to permanently protect the floodplains in the state. This funding will be available to individuals, state and local governments where land has been damaged by flooding once in the last 12 months or twice in the last 10 years. Land is also eligible if it would be inundated as a result of a dam breach.

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1st Annual Outdoor ECO-Sculpture Exhibition

Apr 6th, 2009 by News from the Little River

Outdoor ECO-Sculpture Exhibition
April 18th – 25th
Award Presentation April 24th @ 7pm

Part of the ongoing ‘Earth Round-UP Day’ Festivities, there will be an Exhibition of art in Greenbelt Park (Mainly centered around Pistol Creek Station).  The Eco-Sculpture Exhibition was designed to coordinate with Earth Round-UP and help raise awareness within our community through large-scale environmental installations and sculpture. This event is coordinated by the Maryville Arts Coalition,  a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the aesthetic sensibility of our community through art programs and events. Visit the following website for more detail:

http://maryvilleartwalk.com/web/images/mac_eco_sculpture_prospectus_09.pdf

Take a leisurely stroll through the Greenbelt & view these amazing display of local art that speaks to our need for environmental awareness!

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