May is garden for wildlife month…..and that fits perfectly with our initiatives in Mountain Creek Watershed! We are partnering with the Chattanooga Area Pollinator Partnership (https://chapollinator.org )and Red Bank Elementary with a nice grant from Tennessee American Water Company to create a pollinator flyway down the Mountain Creek valley to the Tennessee River. It is our hope that our flyway will connect to the incredible area protected by the Tennessee River Gorge Trust to create an unimpeded connection to the River Gorge. How? We are working to map and connect all of the parks and wetlands (thanks, Bill Raines!) and native plant gardens in everyone’s back yards (Check out the info from the national wildlife federation: https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/Create/At-Home ) along with the stream buffer zone corridor. We need everyone’s help! Add native plants and reduce pesticide usage to encourage our pollinators! Let us know if you want to have your gardens as part of the flyway for birds and butterflies and other pollinators. You should also get your yard certified as a creek protecting yard (Check out www.mytn.org)! Let’s have MOUNTAIN CREEK be the first of many protected connectors for our pollinators!
Come join us in the second special event of our new watershed group, Friends of Red Bank Streams! Learn about the life of the creek as well as why it is posted “do not touch”….and why the critters ignore that! Join our watershed group in finding ways to continue to improve and restore Stringers Branch.
Saturday, June 3, from 9 am – 12 pm
3108 Elmore Avenue in Red Bank
Water. We all require it for life. We all need CLEAN water and LOTS of it! Caribbean SEA and TenneSEA work at the grassroots level to empower kids and their communities to get clean water. The Flint, Michigan water disaster was a wake up call for many to realize that you cannot take your water for granted. The changing precipitation patterns throughout the Caribbean have led to water scarcity or tremendous flooding events. Atlanta, Georgia faces water shortages not just because of increases in water use, but also because of changing precipitation patterns. We CANNOT take our water for granted.
Today, we salute three water champions : Valerie Constantin-Regis, Naomi Abraham Moon, and Randal Hale.
Valerie is a teacher of arts, theater, and Science to kids at Dennery Primary School in St. Lucia. Her LORAX Club knows all about protecting their water in Dennery and where they should and should NOT get into the rivers or ocean. She is an amazing, energetic, indomitable spirit who loves her community and all of her kids! We need more Valerie’s in our world! Thank you for being our community Water Champion!
Randal and Naomi work behind the scenes with SEA to upgrade the website, map our data, create a watershed/ ocean monitoring mobile App, and push me to do important web based stuff I would rather ignore! Randal is editing our WaterWatch mobile App through Fulcrum. For his full time job, he does all sorts of GIS work, so he maps our water quality data as well. Naomi’s work on our website is nothing short of spectacular. Her vision, creativity and mad tech skills have changed the way the world sees us and it’s incredibly positive! Even better, they are the techies that make you laugh and teach you so much along the way. We are so much stronger because of their work and their influence. Thank you for being our water champions through technology!
Thanks for the great welcome back! Save Water, Drink Wine was so fabulous this year!!! Many thanks to our SPONSORS and VOLUNTEERS and EVERYONE WHO CAME for making this our best year yet! Our organizing committee went above and beyond to make it a smashing success. Cindy Webster, Patrick Emmanuel and Matt Ryan started things […]
Being in the Caribbean in February is usually a reason for envy, but this time the temperatures in Tennessee felt so springlike, it was actually difficult to leave the States! These first pictures are from Dominica, the Nature Island, where rainforests cover much of the interior and the rainforests of the sea are vibrant and alive….except when they aren’t.. Nearly two years ago, Tropical Storm Erika dumped something like 27 inches of rain on the island in ten hours causing massive flooding and river erosion. That sediment from the rivers is still heading out to the reefs near Coulibistrie, where my friend Izzy showed me the new deltas that have formed and the small, winding, tree covered streams which are now wide river beds devoid of trees. Our plan is to evaluate the reefs and work on stream bank stabilization so maybe, just maybe, we can save these reefs. We will need lots of help.
We also are working with the Dominica Water and Sewerage Authority on reduction of sewage from communal septic tanks which flows into the rivers, potentially impacting human health. Dowasco officials are very keen on implementing pilot projects so communities will know how to address these issues. Can you see the wastewater draining directly into this street drain? The river is just across the road. When we work together with our local partners, real solutions can happen and be sustained so Dominica remains the beautiful Nature Island we all love.
Thanks to VW Chattanooga, the Sapelo Island Teacher’s Workshop run by our wonderful Jim Watson is happening once again! Dates this year are June 8-12 and applications will be available soon. You must attend a meeting with Jim to be eligible to apply. We will let you know when the application meetings are as soon as we set them up!
I watched this video again today. I haven’t seen Goliath Grouper since I swam with them in the Bahamas when I was a kid. I am so impressed with Cuba’s protection of the mangrove and reefs. They are intimately connected. Without the mangrove nursery AND the coral reef, life in the Caribbean Sea will not flourish.
It’s time to think about water. Our Southeastern streams dried up during this drought and many communities were on severe water restrictions. Our mountains burned. We are so thankful for these first rainy days in months, but our need to protect our water will never end. Will you help?
From elementary school students and cub scouts to Master’s Students, SEA invests much time, energy and enthusiasm to engage them to be better stewards of our water. Forest Kindergartners at Red Bank Elementary investigate “their” creek every day they are outside. When we first started working with this school, the students did not know the creek existed right in their own backyard. Now, they say it is “their” creek. They were happy for the recent rain, but really wished the creek didn’t transform into a raging muddy river. As the kindergartners said, we need clean water so “more animals can live and drink water so they won’t die” and so we can “Save the crawdads!”
In San Mateo, Belize, there REALLY is NO away. When they flush the toilet or sit in the outhouse, the waste drops directly under their home. The neighboring wealthy community of San Pedro uses San Mateo as their dump. Want to guess what’s in their water? We train San Mateo kids, like Myrna and her brother, Dixon, as citizen scientists at our Kids 4 Clean Water camp. When we first met Myrna, she was a quiet 9 year old girl taking care of lots of siblings, particularly her youngest brother, whose body was covered with sores and ringworm. Now Myrna is 14 and one of our student leaders in San Mateo. This year, they got the attention of the Water Company and Red Cross when they presented their map of HOMES whose tap water was contaminated. Health concerns from dirty water are REAL in San Mateo, Belize.
From Belize to Chattanooga, water should be clean and available to all. That’s what our goal is and you can help us achieve it. Can you help Myrna and the Kindergarteners at Red Bank Elementary take care of our water? Please consider a donation this holiday season to help us provide clean water for others.
Thank you so much!
With best regards,
Mary Beth H. Sutton
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PO Box 4437
Chattanooga, TN 37405
Email: info at caribbean-sea.org