Monthly Archives: July 2008

Maryland Without Crabs?

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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In my nightly Web surfing, I came across an article on the “Top 25 Things Vanishing From America.” As expected, the loss of some “old technologies” like the VCR, dial-up internet access, phone landlines, analog TV, made the list. However, what struck me enough to write about it in today’s blog was the mention of the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs and honey bees.
Maryland has been my home for nearly 28 years. The blue crab, is practically a state icon. I must note that my family and I enjoy eating crabs in many ways. In this era of going “local” in our culinary habits, you would think that living in the Free State, eating crabs is the right thing to do. Yet this Internet article has made me reflect and question—should we keep crabs off the menu for a while?

Overfishing, water pollution and excessive nutrients are threatening the blue crab and aquatic wildlife that live in and around the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. This important watershed spans six states—Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. EPA and its state partners work closely together to accelerate progress towards a healthy Bay. Through the Chesapeake Bay Program, EPA is trying to make a difference in restoring the blue crab habitat by working to improve water quality and submerged aquatic vegetation. In the meantime, the role of setting harvest regulations for the blue crab lies primarily on the states along the Bay.

Whether you’re concerned about the Chesapeake Bay or your local watershed, there are simple steps you can take in your home, school, community or the workplace to protect these precious aquatic resources. For example, conserve water! Don’t pour used motor oil down the drain! Used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water—A year’s supply for 50 people. Use greenscaping techniques in your garden. Bottom line—learn and get involved.

¿Maryland sin cangrejos?

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

En mis viajes por Internet, encontré un artículo sobre las “Principales 25 cosas que están desapareciendo de América”. Como era de esperarse, la pérdida de algunas “viejas tecnologías” como los VCR, las líneas telefónicas terrestres, la TV análoga figuraban en la lista. Sin embargo, lo que me chocó y motivó a escribir el blog de hoy fue la mención de los cangrejos azules de la Bahía de Chesapeake y las abejas de miel.

Maryland ha sido mi hogar durante casi 28 años. El cangrejo azul es casi un ícono estatal. Debo destacar que a mi familia a mí nos encanta comer cangrejos de diversas formas. En esta era de abogar por los hábitos culinarios locales, uno pensaría que viviendo en Maryland, el comer cangrejos sería aconsejable. Sin embargo, con este artículo del Internet, me he puesto a pensar–¿acaso debemos eliminar los cangrejos del menú por algún tiempo?

La pesca en exceso, la contaminación del agua, y los nutrientes excesivos están amenazando el cangrejo azul y la vida silvestre acuática en y alrededor de la Bahía Chesapeake, el estuario más grande en Estados Unidos. Esta importante cuenca fluvial abarca seis estados—Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pensilvania, Virginia Occidental, Nueva York y la capital federal, Washington, DC. EPA y sus socios estatales trabajan estrechamente para acelerar el progreso hacia una bahía saludable. Mediante el Programa de la Bahía de Chesapeake, EPA está tratando de hacer una diferencia en la restauración del hábitat del cangrejo azul al trabajar para mejorar la calidad del agua y la vegetación acuática sumergida. Entretanto, el rol de establecer las regulaciones para la cosecha del cangrejo azul recae primordialmente sobre los estados vecinos a la bahía.

Independientemente de su interés en la Bahía del Chesapeake o su cuenca fluvial local, hay pasos sencillos que puede tomar en su hogar, colegio, comunidad o lugar de trabajo para proteger estos preciados recursos acuáticos. Por ejemplo, ¡conserve agua—cada gota cuenta! ¡No eche el aceite de motor usado por la alcantarilla! El aceite usado de un simple cambio de aceite puede contaminar un millón de galones de agua fresca—el suministro de 50 personas para un año. Utilice técnicas de jardinería verde en su jardín. A fin de cuentas—aprenda y participe activamente en la protección ambiental.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Science Wednesday: Does the Public Expect Too Much From Science?

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

About the Author: Dr. Robert Lackey is a senior scientist in EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon. He has been involved professionally with West Coast ecological issues for 44 years and was awarded EPA’s highest award, the Gold Medal, for his salmon work.

Recently I presented a talk to a group of community activists about why salmon populations along the West Coast have dropped to less than 5% of their historical levels. I’ve given such talks many times so I was confident that I had heard just about every question that might be asked. I was wrong.

The opening question was asked by a well known political activist. He was direct, pointed, and bursting with hostility: “You scientists always talk about our choices, but when will you finally tell us what we SHOULD do about the dramatic decline of West Coast salmon? Quit talking about the science and your research and tell us what we should do! Let’s get on with it!”

From the nods of approval offered by many in the audience, his impatience with science and scientists was broadly shared.

What does the public expect from scientists regarding today’s ecological policy issues? Some examples of such policy challenges include the decline of salmon; deciding on the proper role of wild fire on public lands; what to do, if anything, about climate change; the consequences of declining biological diversity; and making sense of the confusing policy choices surrounding “sustainability.”

The lament “if we just had some better science, a little more data, we could resolve this policy question” is common among both scientists and decision makers. Calls for more research are everywhere in ecological policy debates.

In most cases, even if we had complete scientific knowledge about all aspects of an issue, the same rancorous debate would emerge. Root policy differences are invariably over values and preferences, not science, data, and facts.

In a pluralistic society, with a wide array of values and preferences competing for dominance, the ecological policy debate is usually centered around whose values and preferences will carry the day rather than over scientific information.

So what was my answer to the emotionally charged question from the political activist? It was: “Science, although an important part of policy debates, remains but one element, and often a minor one, in the decision-making process. We scientists can assess the ecological consequences of various policy options, but in the end it is up to society to prioritize those options and make their choices accordingly.”

He wasn’t pleased.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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To Blog or Not to Blog

About the author: Jeffrey Levy is the Greenversations Editor.

Yesterday, we observed completing a year of EPA blogging by asking whether you’ve been inspired or surprised, or learned anything from our blogs. As usual with our questions, we got some thought-provoking answers. I’d like to thank everyone who’s commented so far. We really do appreciate hearing your thoughts, both positive and negative. Without anyone criticizing, we lose the nudge to keep trying to improve.

The comment that started me writing this post was from “Seagul,” who asked how much time the blog takes, wondering whether it was a waste. I could spend some time developing an estimate of how much time we spend on the blog, but to what purpose? Even if it was only one hour a week, someone would still think it was wasteful. The good news is that we’re getting more efficient at managing the blog.

A more important point is that this blog is part of a much broader exploration of how best to use available tools to carry out our mission. Our regulatory, enforcement, and science staff continue with the important work they’ve been doing. Here in the communications area, we contribute primarily through education and outreach. Aside from the blog, we’re looking at podcasting, wikis, photo and video contests, etc. Admittedly, we’re a little slow compared to some of the private sector, but we’ll get there. And you’re helping us with your feedback.

Over the past year or so, we’ve launched a bunch of new things on our Web site. Have you seen our widgets? We’re looking at widgets as a way to get information to people who might never come to our Web site. The one that provides a daily environmental tip was seen 363,000 times in June, which is more than any single page on our site other than the home page. An example of new blog concepts is that last week, we launched Science Wednesday in the blog.

Reasonable people will always disagree as to whether a particular project is worthwhile. But rest assured, we’re looking at the least expensive, simplest way of doing all of them, to the point we won’t do a lot of stuff. Some of what we do try will work, and some won’t. That’s how it works when you try new things.

The upshot is, we’ll continue to learn and explore new options. And that, I think, isn’t a waste.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Follow-up: How Far Do You Live From Where You Work or Play?

About the author: Dominic Bridgers joined EPA’s Office of Public Affairs as a summer intern.

I live in the DC Metropolitan area and I commute to EPA – first I drive to the nearest metro station which is about a 6 mile drive. Then I take the train to work which is about a 30 minute ride. From my house to the headquarters of EPA it is about a 24 mile drive one way. But then I would run into the DC rush hour traffic which is not a pleasurable morning ride. So therefore, I take the train which is less stressful and saves me some money on gas so I can play on the weekends. I play within a 10 mile radius from my house. I’m lucky that all the things that I enjoy doing are so close to my house because if not, I would be filling up the tank every other day.

I have read the responses to the June 2nd question of the week, “How far do you live from where you work or play?” and here is a summary. Most of you said you live within 24 miles of where you work or play. A little less than half of you said you are about 25-49 miles away. And about a dozen said you live 50-75 miles away and a handful live 75 miles or more. Wow, have you ever thought about moving closer? Thanks for your time in posting how far your commute is from where you work or play.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Question of the Week: What have you learned, been surprised by, or been inspired to do because of our blogs?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Happy blog birthday to our readers! We’ve been blogging for a year and we launched Greenversations three months ago. Between the questions of the week, pop stars and their lessons for management, and the coqui frog, we’ve had some fascinating discussions along the way.

What have you learned, been surprised by, or been inspired to do because of our blogs?

Specical: EPA Green Scene video with EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock on blogging.

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En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

¡Feliz aniversario del blog para nuestros lectores! Ya hace un año que hemos estado “blogueando” y lanzamos “Conversaciones verdes” (“Greenversations”) tres meses atrás. Entre las preguntas de la semana, estrellas de música pop y sus lecciones para la gerencia, y el pequeño coquí, hemos tenido discusiones fascinantes a lo largo del camino.

¿Qué ha aprendido, o qué le ha sorprendido, o qué le han motivado a hacer nuestros blogs?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?

About the author: Larry Teller joined EPA’s Philadelphia office in its early months and has worked in environmental assessment, state and congressional liaison, enforcement, and communications.

My favorite anthropology professor at the University of Pennsylvania years ago, David B. Stout (famously, in his playful words, “not a Leakey lover,” but that’s another story), insisted that scientists are culture bound by their own culture—unable to fluently interact with, or even fully understand, other cultures. This teaching came to mind yesterday during a meeting in EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office to begin defining a new website about “green infrastructure;” make that “natural infrastructure;” no, perhaps it’s “limited impact development?” or was it “green communities,” or “green buildings.”

My sincere motto at such meetings, of course, is “I’m from the public affairs office and I’m here to help.” Indeed, as the regional web content coordinator, my job is to help make our websites useful, targeted communications tools that follow EPA’s web standards and best practices. One of these best practices is content coordination, to minimize repetition, confusion and gaps among related agency web content.

I tried not to show how much the conversation made my head hurt, among a group of earnest, cooperative colleagues who are eager to help developers, planners, elected officials, public works managers, environmentalists and the public guide sustainable development. With such a diverse audience, and so many EPA programs individually focused on different slices of the green development pie, it unfortunately wasn’t my first experience where web communications considerations (the tail) forced us to confront the overlap or gaps between policies and programs (the dog).  Shouldn’t it work the other way? Wouldn’t it better serve EPA, our stakeholders and the environment if related programs were more clearly defined, or combined before turning our attention to public outreach? (These questions aren’t rhetorical; please answer them.)

Our group yesterday didn’t know enough about policy integration our agency may be doing to bring the principles and virtues of these green initiatives together to better serve the many concerned external people. As a result–and this is more intriguing challenge than complaint—we’re seeking some manner of content integration as we conceive and write a new website.

Professor Stout wouldn’t be surprised by what we face, but may I ask, dear reader, do you, too, see what we face as the tail wagging the dog?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Making Green Repairs

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Lea la versión en español a continuación de esta entrada en inglés.
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We’ve been living in our “new” house for nearly 14 years. With the normal wear and tear of daily living, we’ve made our share of repairs, plus we’ve purposely made some changes for energy and water saving purposes.

Several years ago, we bought all new major appliances with the Energy Star label. In our effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we took the pledge and changed all the lights to Energy Star light bulbs. (In the kitchen alone—we have 12!) That didn’t seem to be enough to cut the energy bill, so last summer, we changed all the windows at home to high performance Energy Star windows. The draftiness had been sealed. We did experience greater temperature stability in the home, yet those energy savings were not yet there. Forget about the rising electric bill costs, that was a whole other issue. So after some procrastination, we finally purchased a new air-conditioning/heating system with the Energy Star label AND the Energy Star programmable thermostat. Combined with our previous updates, that really made the difference! We are finally feeling at home and in our energy bills the long promised and awaiting benefits. Our energy consumption has dropped about 40 percent.

Having addressed the electric bill, we had to tackle another area—leaking toilets. Yes, I know it’s not an appealing subject, but, we have five toilets at home and three were leaking quite often. According to our stats, “a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day”—you do the math. That’s a LOT of water wasted.

I learned about the WaterSense program through EPA and found out that the new toilets with the high-efficiency WaterSense label were finally available in the Maryland area where we live. We studied various options. We considered the dual flush toilets that we’ve seen in Europe and more recently in EPA’s Potomac Yard green building, but we finally opted for single flush toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush and we couldn’t be happier. They do the job and we’ve put a stop to those leaky toilets, finally.

So, with the repairs in the home and greenscaping techniques in the garden, we’re trying to assume our green responsibilities starting at home

Haciendo reparaciones verdes

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

Hemos estado viviendo en nuestra casa “nueva” por casi 14 años. Con el ir y venir del diario vivir, hemos tenido que hacer algunas reparaciones y nos hemos propuesto a hacer algunos cambios a fin de lograr ahorros de energía y agua.

Después de unos años, compramos todos nuestros principales enseres electrodomésticos con la etiqueta de Energy Star. En nuestro esfuerzo por reducir nuestra huella de carbono, asumimos la promesa—– y cambiamos todas las bombillas (o focos) a bombillas de la etiqueta Energy Star. ¡En la cocina nada más tengo 12!) Eso no fue suficiente para reducir la cuenta de electricidad y el verano pasado cambiamos todas las ventanas en la casa a ventanas de alto rendimiento Energy Star. Logramos reducir escapes de aire alrededor de las ventanas. También mejoramos grandemente la estabilidad en la temperatura en la casa, pero los anticipados ahorros todavía no habían sido realizados. (Dejemos aparte las cuentas de electricidad en alza, ese es un tema aparte.) Después de posponer la decisión, compramos finalmente un nuevo sistema de aire acondicionado y calefacción de Energy Star Y el termostato programable de Energy Star. ¡Combinado con las mejoras que habíamos hecho con anterioridad, por fin vimos la diferencia! Finalmente estamos sintiendo en la casa y en nuestras facturas de energía los beneficios prometidos y tan anticipados. Nuestro consumo energético ha bajado en un 40 por ciento.

Después de abordar el tema de la cuenta eléctrica, entonces abordamos otra reparación importante—los inodoros que estaban perdiendo agua. Sí, sé que no es un tema atrayente, pero, con cinco inodoros en la casa, y tres que estaban perdiendo agua frecuentemente, se imaginan. Según nuestros datos, “un inodoro con fugas puede desperdiciar 200 galones de agua al día, saque las cuentas. Esa es MUCHA agua desperdiciada.

Me enteré del programa WaterSense — mediante la EPA y encontré que los nuevos inodoros de la etiqueta de alto rendimiento WaterSense por fin estaban disponibles en el área de Maryland donde vivimos. Estudiamos varias opciones. Consideramos los inodoros de cadena dual que habíamos visto en Europa y recientemente en el edificio verde de EPA de Potomac Yard, pero finalmente optamos por un inodoro sencillo que utiliza 1.28 galones por tirada y estamos muy satisfechos. Están realizando su labor y por fin terminamos con los escapes de agua en los inodoros.

Por lo tanto, con las reparaciones y las técnicas de jardinería verde en el jardín estamos tratando de asumir nuestras responsabilidades hacia el medio ambiente empezando en nuestro hogar.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Science Wednesday: Blog My Science

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. More Science Wednesdays.

About the author: Aaron Ferster is the lead science writer-editor for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. Previously, he has worked as an exhibit writer for a zoo, a first-mate on a whale watch boat, an elephant trainer, and as a stage hand for a travelling magic show.

I have a close friend who is a talented fiction writer. Occasionally, we good-naturedly give one another a hard time about our chosen crafts. “You get to make stuff up—how can anything be easier than that?” is my rhetorical reply whenever she points out what a painless gig I have as a science writer at EPA.

Aaron FersterWhile I can’t speak for other science writers, I might just have to admit that what I do is easier than creating fiction. There never seems to be a shortage of fascinating stories unfolding at labs and field sites wherever researchers or engineers are running experiments, gathering data, or building the next prototype. And I’ve got the added benefit that my personal interests—the environment and human health—dovetail perfectly with EPA’s mission.

Come to think of it, I might be kind of spoiled.

I’m not the only one who has noticed there are a lot of good science stories being generated at EPA. If you’ve followed “Greenversations,” you’ve probably noticed the strong current of science that runs through many of the posts. Regular contributors include Robert Lackey, a senior EPA scientist who writes often about salmon restoration from EPA’s Western Ecology Division lab in Corvallis, OR; and Sandy Raimondo, a research ecologist from EPA’s Gulf Ecology Division lab in Gulf Breeze, FL who recently wrote about environmental research and sailing.

It’s a trend. The wealth of good science stories here at EPA has led me and my fellow Greenversations bloggers to declare that Wednesday posts will now be for science. “Science Wednesday” will feature experiences related to environmental science, brought to you by scientists, engineers, researchers, and perhaps the occasional science writer from across EPA.

Future posts will include entries on a long-term study on urban stream restoration, EPA’s ecological research programs, investigations on suburban runoff and the impact of pavement and parking lots, coral reef monitoring, research on the state of the marine environment, and many, many others on environmental science.

“Science Wednesday,” because you really can’t make this stuff up.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Enjoying the Scenery

About the author: Brenda Reyes Tomassini joined EPA in 2002. She is a public affairs specialist in the San Juan, Puerto Rico office and also handles community relations for the Caribbean Environmental Protection Division.

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Photo of a cloudy day at the beachAs I drive down the road following the vehicle in front of me, I can’t stop wondering about the beautiful surroundings. With every glimpse, as I try to slow down and drive through this narrow rural coastal road, Isabela’s sand dunes reveal before my eyes like a never ending spectacle. This is the part of my job I enjoy the most! It is a beautiful hot Monday with no clouds in sight and with every mile I feel the urge to dip into the clear blue water. Héctor Varela, my companion, a surfer and member of NUPA an NGO from the town of Isabela, stops at the end of the road and urges me to step outside of the comfortable 69F inside my car. I am taken aback by the foul smell coming from an area known to surfers as Guayabo. This is what I came here for: the smell. What began as a preoccupation some surfers had, has turned into a brand new assignment: coordinating a meeting between CEPD and the community to hear their concerns and find a solution to the problem.

This part of Isabela, known as Barrio Jobos is a paradise for tourists and local beach lovers. The panoramic views, submarine caves and great surfing provide the recreation and beauty that attracts thousands of people every year. A few years ago the problem was the trash on the highly dense areas of Jobos. Another NGO, Rescate Playas Isabela, adopted the beaches and began a massive restoration and cleanup project that has garnered them an EPA’s EQA in 2008. The ongoing work of these two NGO’s is an example of how environmental vigilance has come a long way from protesting as NGO’s have transformed into allies of the economic and tourism sector to showcase not only our natural resources but to be vigilant whenever they are being endangered and seek the advice from regulatory agencies.

Disfrutando del Paisaje

Mientras sigo al vehículo que va frente a mi no puedo dejar de admirar el bello paisaje a mi alrededor. Con cada vistazo y mientras trato de reducir la velocidad en esta carretera rural, las dunas de arena de la costa Isabelina
se revelan ante mis ojos como un espectáculo que no quiere terminar . Esta es la parte de mi trabajo que más disfruto! Es un lunes hermoso, el cielo está perfecto sin nubes y con cada milla que recorro siento la urgente necesidad de lanzarme al agua que luce de un hermoso tono azul turquesa claro. Héctor Varela, mi acompañante, conduce el auto que va al frente. El es un “surfer” y miembro del grupo ambiental comunitario Nación Unida Pro Ambiente (NUPA)
quienes están ubicados en la ciudad norteña de Isabela, famosa por las dunas que acabo de describir. Al llegar al final de nuestra travesía Héctor me pide que me baje del auto y abandone los cómodos 65F del acondicionador de aire. Lo hago con gusto ya que el paisaje es hermoso. Afuera el viento sopla hacia el norte y el calor, la humedad y el olor son insoportables. Hay algo huele mal y para eso he venido aquí a este sector conocido como Guayabo. Lo que comenzó como una preocupación de un grupo de “surfers” se ha convertido ahora para mí en una nueva asignación. Tengo que coordinar una reunión entre los residentes de esta comunidad y el personal de nuestra División de Protección Ambiental del Caribe (CEPD), a la que pertenezco, para hablar de este problema y encontrarle una solución.

Esta parte de Isabela, el Barrio Jobos, es un paraíso para turistas y amantes de la playa. Las vistas panorámicas, las cuevas submarinas y las olas perfectas para el “surfing” proveen el tipo de recreación y belleza que atrae a miles de personas cada año a estas costas. Hace pocos años el problema de la basura en las áreas más pobladas y visitadas de Jobos era un problema. Ya no lo es gracias al esfuerzo de otro grupo comunitario Rescate Playas Isabela, quienes no solo limpiaron y adoptaron las playas como lo anuncian los rótulos, si no que llevan a cabo esfuerzos masivos por mantenerlas limpias y concienzar a los visitantes y residentes. Todo este esfuerzo les ha valido un Envirormental Quality Award este año, este es el reconocimiento más alto que otorga la Región 2 a aquellos grupos, instituciones o personas que protegen el medioambiente. El trabajo de estos dos grupos NUPA y Rescate Playas Isabela es un claro ejemplo de cómo el rol vigilante de los grupos ambientales de base comunitaria se ha transformado de la protesta a la colaboración. Ellos son aliados vitales para que la economía y el turismo puedan progresar al mantener limpios nuestros más preciados recursos naturales no solo para el disfrute de los residentes pero también de aquellos que los visitan.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Question of the Week: What do you use: paper, plastic, or reusable bags?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Paper or plastic? We take shopping bags for granted, especially at the grocery store, and it’s easy to fill up several bags per trip. Both paper and plastic bags use resources, multiplied by the billions of bags used annually worldwide. You can reuse and recycle both paper and plastic types, which delays their being thrown away, or you can reduce waste with permanent bags.

What do you use: paper, plastic, or reusable bags?

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En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

¿Papel o plástico? Damos por sentado las bolsas al momento de comprar, especialmente en el supermercado, y es fácil llenar varias bolsas en cada compra. Tanto las bolsas de papel como las de plástico utilizan recursos, multiplicados por miles de millones de bolsas usadas anualmente a nivel mundial. Usted puede reutilizar o reciclar tanto las de papel como las de plástico, lo cual puede aplazar el tener que disponer de ellas. O también puede reducir los desechos con bolsas permanentes.

¿Cuáles utiliza: bolsas de papel, plástico o reutilizables?

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