GREAT VW sponsored workshop on Sapelo Island!

Thanks to VW and our teacher leader, Jim Watson, we had a fantastic workshop on Sapelo Island. Check out the prezi and watch for more pictures. THANKS, VW!!

Prezi Link:
http://prezi.com/9jbvqbtqgph3/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Thanks to USXPress and all our Bonnaroo Volunteers!

WHAT A WEEK!!  We started this week in the 95 degree sun working with Clean Vibes on our REcovery of reusable goods at Bonnaroo.  The rest of the week, we welcomed lots of new visitors to the shop and put together more tents than anyone thought possible!  Thanks so much to the volunteers who helped us in Manchester and at the shop, Manning, Mary Catherine, Rita, Mike H, Ginger, Michael, Rijn, Wenona, Heidi and Adeline, Corinne, Caleb, Vanessa (all the way from Bogota!!)  Bob, Cierra, Katie, Lizzie, Mary Taylor, India, Sean, and ESPECIALLY the amazing ladies, Mollie and Berry who always help coordinate this cleanup!!  MC, DJ, Manning, Caleb, Vanessa, and Natalie really helped out at the shop as well and Tyler coordinated volunteers.  Here’s the link from usxpress about our partnership: http://www.usxpress.com/Press-Room/News/Article-35.aspx. We couldn’t have done it without you all!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK  YOU!!!

MesoAmerican Reef 2015

The 2015 report on MesoAmerican Reef Health shows some progress, but many sites are still in critical condition.  The MAR has more protected areas and more herbivorous fish, very important to control the algae that competes with the coral cover.  Get the info for yourself:  http://www.healthyreefs.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MAR-EN-small.pdf

Good for business, good for the environment!

IMG_1488photo-56

I challenge every business owner to really consider the benefits of stormwater green infrastructure.  You can be like those who argue that they could never afford to implement the new stormwater regulations and that it will be bad for business, or you could really learn about green infrastructure and find out how GREAT it can be for business!

Bill Raines is gaining lots of kudos for being the first to embrace retrofitting his site to incorporate green infrastructure for stormwater treatment.  Although he embraces it fully at this point, it took many years of conversations, calculations, and investigations.  Many times over the past five years, Mr Raines has thrown up his hands and said it just wasn’t going to work.  Most of the engineers we worked with said the same thing.  It took Josh Rogers and Adam Reynolds from the City and County water quality departments to really bring things around to feasible.  His tax reductions have been great motivators for implementing this wetland.  He had extra incentives, including creating a learning lab for students at Skyuka Hall, which is located at his Four Squares site. If SEA hadn’t been there the entire time, bringing new ideas, explaining how things worked, helping with the calculations….it wouldn’t have ever happened.  We were there thanks to the 319 grant funded through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.  Our idea in 2009, when the uproar over huge increases in stormwater fees was at its peak, has resulted in lots of education not just for the kids, but for  Mr Raines and me, many engineers, and many developers.  Everyone should now realize that it IS not just possible to install green infrastructure, but it is economically beneficial as well.

Watch the story produced by WRCB TV:
WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather

Mountain Creek Water Keepers at Skyuka Hall (formerly Scenic Land School)

About seven years ago, maybe even more, I had the honor of first bringing Kids for Clean Water activities to the then Scenic Land School.  I think I learned more than the kids during that first experience. This is an incredibly special place.  When we started working on further protecting Mountain Creek through stormwater green infrastructure, this was the school on which our model was based.  Nearly five years ago, we were awarded a non point source pollution abatement grant through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.  With grant funds and matching, the grant totaled $153,000!!!  This week, we will celebrate the GRAND OPENING of a nearly one acre stormwater wetland partially designed by the Scenic Land School children with lots of help from Joe Sawyer, Leslie Jakobs, Mike Price, Matt Stovall and Matt Hamilton.  It all started with the kids.  And while the stated function is to treat stormwater running off the Four Squares parking lot and buildings, the wetland will really be the most amazing outdoor classroom for the now Skyuka Hall children as well as the greater community.  And everyone downstream will benefit.  The students even made a presentation to Bill Raines, owner of the property, about what they wanted to see in the wetland.  Their prime wish was for frogs and salamanders.  This spring we have seen thousands of tadpoles!!!  Congratulations to Mr. Raines for persevering through the ups and downs of this process to become a pioneer in our community for retro fitting with green infrastructure!!

Congrats to our graduating interns!

Sara and Hannah have interned with us this semester and graduated yesterday!  Matt interned with us last summer.
We are so proud of them!!  We love our connection with UTC Departments of Environmental Science, Engineering, Outdoor Recreation and Business!  We couldn’t do our projects without you!

Thrasher Elementary Celebrates Earth Day

thrasher-1Proud of ‪ ‎Thrasher Elementary‬ for celebrating Earth Day with hands on Science lessons! ‪#‎stem‬ ‪#‎kids4cleanwater‬ ‪#‎tenneSEA‬ !

Dennery Caribbean SEA Maria Islands

Dennery Caribbean SEA Young Adults Helping with Whiptail Survey on Maria Islands

Dennery Caribbean SEA Maria IslandsDennery Caribbean SEA young adults helping with whiptail survey on Maria Islands with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the National Trust of St Lucia!

Caribbean Beach Party this FRIDAY!!

Come join us for some Caribbean fun at the Bessie Smith Hall this Friday, May 1st.  Calypso band with steel drum music and good Caribbean food from Mrs. B’s Reggae Cafe, Dish T’ Pass, and Tom Kale’s amazing cooking skills!!  and yes, there will be rum.  and other libations, even a delicious and healthy fruit punch!

Wear your favorite tropical dress and come ready to have fun!

IWECO: Integrating Watersheds and Ecosystems in the Caribbean!

Caribbean SEA is excited and proud to be a regional partner in the IWeco project!!  It will focus on positive watershed change in communities across the Caribbean!

“In recognition of World Earth Day and following the announcement of the approval of the GEF IWEco Project, UNEP is delighted to share this video announcing the Project’s approval. The project will now enter its inception phase.
The video can also be accessed through our YoutubechannelFacebook and Twitter. Please feel free to share the good news. ” Chris Corbin UNEP Jamaica