Posts

A day in Dominica….

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. Read more

Even Head of The Hooch regatta wants clean water!

I have to brag on the Chattanooga Junior Rowers crew…..Katie and Lizze nearly fell in a very cold Tennessee River trying to get the litter out that had blown in from the regatta site.  Just think if our river was covered in trash….would the Head of the Hooch want to hold its regatta in Chattanooga?  Would the long distance swimmers Swim the Suck and keep swimming for 10 miles down the river?  We have issues with our river…from sewage to medications, but it still keeps flowing. Chattanooga has such spectacular outdoor resources….let’s make sure the water is respected, too.

Bill Gates: Changing the way we poop

Even though waste disposal is something that we take for granted in America, 4 out of 10 people worldwide don’t have an environmentally friendly way to poop. Or health-friendly either – poop in the water can spread many viral and bacterial diseases, and can distribute some fun parasites too.  But of course we can’t stop pooping, and it’s not realistic or even possible to put in sewer or septic tank systems in every home (and without proper maintenance and care, those sewers and septic tanks may be worthless anyway), so what do we do? 
Last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation set out to answer that question – through a call for submissions for a completely reinvented toilet that minimizes water use and works efficiently and cheaply enough to put into homes worldwide.  Now they are going through submissions and announcing the winners.  Check out the new toilets and more about the Gates Foundation’s work at http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Topics/Development/Reinvent-the-Toilet-Challenge-Photo-Gallery

Would you put any of them in your home? 

 

Domestic Water Woes

Contrary to popular belief, the US is not free from the water quality problems that plague many developing nations! After a water supply breach due to extensive flooding, the city of Minot, North Dakota issued a “boil order” for all residents. Imagine how different your life would be if drinking or even using your tap water put you at serious risk for nasty infections! That was June 25, and now 3 weeks later, a large part of the city still doesn’t have safe water coming out of their faucets. You can check out what constitutes a “boil order” here. If you live somewhere you don’t have to boil your own drinking water, take a moment to send some good vibes to your local water quality department, and then enjoy a refreshing glass of agua.

Luckily we can escape – they can’t…