Monthly Archives: September 2010

Science Wednesday: Living the Sustainable Life

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

By Becky Fried

Amory Lovins, winner of a MacArthur “genius” award, owner of 10 honorary doctorates, one of Time’s most influential people of 2009, and world renowned energy policy expert, kicked off Monday’s EPA 40th anniversary lecture with a self-proclaimed “stupid multiple choice question.”

“How would you rather die?” he posed to an eager audience. He then proceeded to list off possible answers:

“A: Climate disaster”

“B: Bioterrorism”

“C: Nuclear holocaust…”

There were scattered giggles in the crowd, but mostly silence filled the room.

“The real answer we want to see,” he said, “isn’t shown here. It’s D: None of the above.”

It was a dramatic way to make a solid point—sustainability isn’t about making things “less bad,” it is about designing things to be better, smarter, more efficient, and even beneficial—both environmentally and economically.

Lovins spent the next hour listing off dozens of ways that using combinations of technology and policy with smart design and strategy could not only lessen our use of unsustainable fossil fuels, but could actually make economic sense.

One case study he used was his own home. Despite being situated in Colorado, where temperatures reach well into negative digits, Lovins’ house has no traditional heating system. Instead, it is built and fitted with sustainable principles in mind— both for the environment and for his budget.

When it was constructed in 1984, Lovins’ home used just one-tenth the energy of a typical U.S. home of equal size. Now, with new photovoltaic panels installed, the house produces more energy than is needed, and even supports an indoor, banana-producing forest (really). The home is fitted with extra-wide plumbing pipes that run diagonally across the ceiling. This minimizes friction and reduces the amount of energy required to pump water through the pipes.

The virtual tour of his home captured the audience’s attention, but also showed that sustainable choices are both feasible and economically smart—Lovins saved thousands of dollars by building his home without traditional heating and plumbing systems.

The lecture was presented in the context of the “Reinventing Fire,” a campaign led by Lovins through his post at the Rocky Mountain National Institute. The campaign aims to “create a clear and practical vision of a fossil-fuel-free future for the United States,” and “to map a pathway to achieve that future, led largely by business.”

About the Author: Becky Fried is a science writer in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

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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On Being the MOST Dressed Person at the Party

sunwise_logoBy Wendy Dew

I recently returned from a week long vacation at a popular lake resort. I packed for my trip knowing that the weather at the lake would be hot and sunny. You’d think that means I took lots of bathing suits, t-shirts, and shorts, right? Wrong! I packed light long sleeve shirts and pants, a hat and lots of sunscreen. I burn easily and let’s face it – I’m not a hot weather “sun-bunny” kind of person.

During my vacation, I saw boats out on the water, visited different marinas on the lake and watched all kinds of people having fun in the sun. One time, I was walking on the floating dock with hundreds of people around me and I noticed that everyone was staring at me. I quickly realized that I was the MOST dressed person at the “party!”

I was wearing light weight long sleeve shirt and pants and had a hat on my head. Everyone else was wearing a swimsuit and little else. I also noticed that almost everyone (not me!) either had a really bad sun burn or a very deep tan. Even the really young kids! I thought to myself, “don’t they know about skin cancer or sun protection?”

Most people are not aware that skin cancer, while largely preventable, is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than one million cases are reported annually. By following some simple steps, you can still enjoy your time in the sun and protect yourself from overexposure to the sun. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends these action steps to help you and your family be “SunWise.”

  • Do Not Burn – Sunburns significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
  • Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds – UV light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling.
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen – about one ounce to cover all exposed skin 20 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and provide protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear Protective Clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible.
  • Seek shade when possible and remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand – water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Check the UV Index-the UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure. The UV Index forecast is issued daily by the National Weather Service and EPA. Visit www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.
  • Get Vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with Vitamin D. Don’t seek the sun.

Checkout the SunWise website if you want a little more information about the recommendations above. So I admit I may have looked a bit “dorky” at the marina…but I’m ok with that because I have my reasons. I will look younger even as I get older because I did not let myself burn or tan throughout my youth. I will be much less likely to get skin cancer and I will not suffer through any painful sunburns during my summer vacations.

Summer is almost over and the seasons are starting to change but sun protection is something you can do to protect your skin all year long. For all you kids and teens out there, do yourself a favor and either cover up or pour the sunscreen on! No need to look like a dork like me if you put on your sunscreen!

About the author: Wendy Dew has been with EPA for 13 years and is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

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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The Pollution Prevention Act Turns 20

It’s not only P2 Week, but the 20th anniversary celebration of the Pollution Prevention Act. I hate to say it, but I’ve been in the P2 business long enough to remember when the law was created (I even had a bit of role in helping create it…but that’s another story). I remember the endless discussions on definitions, the role of P2 in regulations, the importance of P2 accounting, and even debates on whether it should be called “pollution prevention” at all.

Back in the day, P2 was an idea that received a lot of attention and a lot of discussion, but there wasn’t a heck of a lot of activity on the ground that one could point to and say “Here’s P2 in action!” In fact, when I began my environmental career by studying P2 in the chemical industry, we were hard-pressed to come up with actual examples.

It’s a sign of the success of the P2 Act and P2 programs around the country that the situation has totally reversed. P2 may not be the endless gab-fest it was two decades ago, but source reduction activities are happening all over the place, and really having an impact.

The generation of hazardous wastes, TRI wastes, and priority chemical wastes have all decreased, even as the economy has grown. Compliance and enforcement activities have driven P2 solutions, and so has EPA’s P2 grants to states. Programs like Energy Star, Design for the Environment and EPEAT increasingly find themselves using “billions” rather than “millions” to describe their impact on waste streams and cost savings.

With all that’s been accomplished, though, I can’t help feeling that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface. If companies, communities and consumers make a concerted effort at eliminating wastes at the source, then perhaps the theme of P2 Week in 2020 can be the arrival of the zero-waste society, one where greenhouse gas emissions, toxic exposures in the home and workplace, waste disposal in landfills and underground wells, and nutrient dumping in our nation’s waters are all a rapidly fading memory.

Let’s hope so.

About the author: David Sarokin has worked on pollution prevention since the 1980’s, and is the author of “Cutting Chemical Wastes,” a study of P2 in the chemical industry. He currently resides in a cube in the Pollution Prevention Division at EPA, wishing he were outside.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

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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Finding an EPA Job Just Got Easier

By Jeffrey Levy

Wanna work for EPA? The first thing you need to do is find job openings and choose which ones to apply for.

At EPA, like every federal agency, we put our job listings on usajobs.gov.  Normally, you need to go to that site and search for what interests you. For example, here are our job listings .

Recently, we discovered that there’s a RSS feed associated with each search. If you’re not familiar with RSS feeds, that just means we can pull a particular search into various other places. So far, we’re putting them in three new places:

We’re also working on an email subscription service, so you can get a daily email with that day’s listings.

If you have your own Web page or blog, you can also grab our job search widget.  That’ll let your readers easily search for EPA jobs right from our site. Here’s how it’ll look:

All of this is really just the start to help you find EPA jobs and understand what’s it like to work for EPA (I should mention that I love working here, and I’ve got 17 years in so far). Over the next several months, we’re going to revamp our current careers site to really take advantage of social media and multimedia.

Got any ideas on what we should include in the new site? Share ‘em below!

About the author: Jeffrey Levy is EPA’s Director of Web Communications

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

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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Region 3 Middle Schoolers Grow Greener in the Summer

some SEDP students

By Christina Catanese

While typical city kids spend their summer vacations far away both from school and nature, this year more than seventy students in three cities in the Mid-Atlantic Region participated in EPA’s Student Environmental Development Program (SEDP). This six-week program held every summer provides environmental and leadership training to eighth-grade students in the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC metropolis areas.

The students (a diverse group of high-achieving rising 8th graders) had classes taught by experienced professionals from EPA and their local communities, providing the real world perspective of a college course at a much younger age. They covered a wide variety of environmental issues (from air pollution to lead to children’s asthma) and emphasized those directly relevant to the students’ communities. On the water side, students had modules on groundwater pollution, ocean science, and learned about the condition of the watersheds where they live. Field trips supplemented the classroom learning and provided firsthand experience with nature to kids who don’t get the opportunity on a regular basis. They also had workshops to cultivate leadership skills, such as public speaking and team building, so that they could better share the environmental knowledge they gained with others.

At the end of the program, the students perform self-developed skits on a topic of their choice at EPA Headquarters in Washington. This year, students presented their skits for EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe (in the past EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has also participated in the event). It was thrilling to watch the students transform from talking quietly and nervously in front of the group at the beginning of the program, to speaking with poise in front of such high level EPA officials – a great opportunity for growth!

Since SEDP began in 1993, 1,140 students have completed the program. And with the knowledge and excitement the students have brought back to their communities, the ripple effect has surely been felt far beyond just the students who directly participate.

I know I would have loved a program like this when I was in 8th grade, so if you know an aspiring middle school student who would enjoy participating in SEDP (or if you are interested in learning more about the program yourself), visit the program’s website for more information: http://www.epa.gov/region03/ee/sedp.htm

EPA thinks it is crucial to educate the next generation of environmental leaders, as well as learn from their fresh ideas and perspectives. What are your children or other young people in your community doing to help the environment? What can they teach you about environmental protection?

About the Author: Christina Catanese has worked at EPA since 2010, and her work focuses on data analysis and management, GIS mapping and tools, communications, and other tasks that support the work of Regional water programs. Originally from Pittsburgh, Christina has lived in Philadelphia since attending the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Science and an M.S. in Applied Geosciences with a Hydrogeology concentration. Trained in dance (ballet, modern, and other styles) from a young age, Christina continues to perform, choreograph and teach in the Philadelphia area.

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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National Drug Take-Back Day

By Lina Younes

I remember when I was a teenager and I would regularly go through the medicine cabinet checking the expiration dates of medications. Since my father was a physician, he would often get samples from pharmaceutical companies promoting their wares. With time, these samples piled up and ended up in the trash unused. I thought nothing of it back then.

Several decades later we have seen several reports on the presence of pharmaceuticals in water and the potential risks to human health and aquatic life. EPA and its federal partners are taking steps to address the issue regarding public education and proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water. However, have you stopped to think what you can do at home?

Well, for starters, there is going to be a National Drug Take-Back Day at a location near you on September 25th. The main objective is to allow individuals to drop off their excess prescription and over-the-counter medications at select collection centers for proper disposal. The benefits will be threefold. First, by removing these unused medications in your home, you’ll prevent unintentional poisonings of children, the elderly and pets. Secondly, by participating in this “take-back” event, you’ll avoid having these drugs from contaminating our environment. Thirdly, you’ll also prevent prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands. In essence, it’s a win-win throughout: protecting public health and safety, taking care of the environment and cleaning out your medicine cabinet all for a good cause. After the event, the medications will be disposed of properly with minimum impact on the environment. Please visit this website and plug in your zip code to find a collection site near you. It’s that simple.

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.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.


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.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Día nacional para entregar medicamentos

Por Lina Younes

Me acuerdo cuando yo era adolescente y regularmente miraba el botiquín de las medicinas para ver las fechas de vencimiento de los medicamentos. Como mi padre era médico, recibía muchas muestras de las compañías farmacéuticas. Con el tiempo, estas muestras se acumulaban y terminaban en la basura. Yo nunca pensé en las consecuencias de esa acción.

Ahora varias décadas más tarde han surgido varios informes sobre la presencia de productos farmacológicos en las aguas y los posibles riesgos a la salud humana y vida acuática. EPA y sus socios federales están tomando medidas para abordar este asunto referente a la concienciación pública y disposición adecuada de medicamentos y productos de aseo personal en las aguas. Sin embargo, ¿ha pensado lo que podría hacer en su hogar sobre el tema de las medicinas?

Bueno, para empezar, este 25 de septiembre se celebrará un evento en un lugar cercano para llevar los medicamentos de los cuales quiere disponer. El evento se llama “Día nacional para entregar medicamentos” o en inglés National Drug Take-Back Day .  El objetivo principal consiste en brindarle la oportunidad a la gente de llevar sus medicamentos, sea aquellos con receta médica que se hayan vencido o las que compra sin receta médica, a centros de acopio para disponer de las mismas de manera adecuada. El participar en esta actividad será beneficioso para todos. Primero, podrá remover de su hogar medicamentos que ya no necesita y de esa manera podrá evitar que sus familiares, sean niños o ancianos o las mascotas, las ingieran accidentalmente. En segundo lugar, al participar en el evento, también está previniendo la contaminación ambiental. Y en tercer lugar, podrá prevenir que los medicamentos recetados caigan en las manos equivocadas. En esencia, se beneficia todo el mundo al lograr proteger la salud y seguridad públicas, el medio ambiente y limpiar el botiquín para una buena causa. Después de recopilar todos estos medicamentos, se dispondrán de los mismos con un impacto mínimo al medio ambiente. Favor de visitar este sitio Web,  escriba su código postal y podrá encontrar un centro de acopio cerca de usted. Tan sencillo como eso.

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.

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: Gearing up for the USA Science & Engineering Festival

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

By Aaron Ferster

Back to school season always seems so refreshing. I find the excitement my kids show as they crack open new books and get reacquainted with long-lost schoolmates infectious. And this year, I’m happy to feel like we here at EPA are part of it.

The science communication team that I work with has been enlisted to help plan the Agency’s exhibition at the Inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival. The Festival is a grassroots collaboration of over 550 of the nation’s leading science organizations—including the U.S. EPA—to spark the interest of the nation’s students in science, technology, engineering, and math by producing and presenting compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science gatherings.

ScienceandEngineeringOpening on 10/10/10 with a concert of science songs performed by over 200 children and adults at the University of Maryland, the Festival promises to be the ultimate multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the United States. The culmination of the Festival will be a free, two-day Expo on the National Mall here in Washington, DC that will feature over 1500 fun, hands-on science activities and over 50 stage shows and performances on four stages.

EPA’s own exhibition at the Expo will feature the innovative work that EPA scientists and engineers conduct everyday to provide the information and products the Agency relies on to protect human health and the environment. We will have a great line-up of demonstrations and hands-on activities, including:

  • Changes: Fun with Chemical Reactions where visitors can explore the world of scientific observation and experimentation while discovering the potential environmental issues of chemical mixtures.
  • Green Chemistry for a Better Environment presents a nature-inspired green chemistry experiment where visitors can design their own eco-friendly, light-sensitive films using thymine, ultraviolet light, and food dye.
  • Bugged about Water Quality presents a hands-on demonstration that shows how biologists use aquatic critters as “indicators” that provide insights into the health of the nation’s water ways.
  • Meet the Scientist/Engineering will feature research scientists, toxicologists, statisticians, engineers, and others from across EPA to talk about their work, answer questions, and share their passion for protecting the environment.
  • Permeable Pavements will highlight how EPA engineers invented a greener way to pave parking lots and other surfaces to minimize rain runoff.

I’m really looking forward to bringing my kids to the Expo—and we won’t even have to play hooky!

About the author: Aaron Fester is the lead science writer-editor in EPA’s Office of Research and Development, and the editor for Science Wednesday.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

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.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Some Habits are Easy to Change…..

amandaA month ago I wrote about being inspired by a kid who encouraged his family, friends, and Boy Scout troop to make changes with bottled water.As a result I decided to make the same change and limit my bottled water consumption.(Breaking Old Habits, August 17 post)My husband and I realized that we were spending money on bottled water when we didn’t need to and we really had no compelling reason for using the bottled water besides convenience. I also felt like it was an unnecessary waste of bottles even though I recycled them.

So the bottled water is gone….and it really wasn’t that hard to make the change.Sure every once in awhile when I am at the store I start to turn down the aisle where the bottled water is and then I remember….I don’t buy bottled water anymore and move down to a different aisle.Now in the mornings I fill up a reusable bottle with cold water from our filtered water pitcher to take to work.Here’s the funny thing – we already had the cold filtered water in our fridge for drinking at home…..all we have to do now is pour that water into a container…and here’s the added bonus that I hadn’t thought of until the other day – we don’t pay for water at our apartment building!I was paying to have convenience in a bottle when I didn’t need to!

So three weeks into our habit change…here’s what is different for my family:

  • Money saved that we used to spend on water.
  • No heavy bottled water to carry up the stairs when we get home from the store.
  • Less recyclables to carry out to the recycle bin at our apartment building = less waste.
  • More kitchen space where we used to store the bottles that didn’t fit in the fridge.
  • More space in the fridge…so an unexpected bonus is that I can see what we have in the fridge better.

Some of these things may seem trivial and you may wonder if these are changes that really make a difference.But here’s the thing…the changes work for my family.By asking my husband to work with me to not buying bottled water, to fill up a reusable bottle, and to stay committed to this change – we did something that we feel good about…and we feel like we are benefitting.

About the author: Amanda Sweda works in EPA’s Office of Environmental Information on web related policies and serves on the Environmental Education Web Workgroup. Amanda is a former Social Studies and Deaf Education teacher and her husband is a 3rd grade teacher so education is an important topic in their home.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

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.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Expedition Day 4 Finale: I Now Call the Chesapeake My Home…Do You?

By Peter Fargo

This is a great moment, I thought, as I joined 30 other voices in a glorious cheer: “Save the Bay!”

We had just finished running a half marathon to Point Lookout, MD. It was last leg of our triathlon journey of over 100 miles from DC to the Chesapeake Bay. After it all, we stood there on the beach where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake, beaming with accomplishment for the flash of our final team photo. Along the way, we experienced first-hand the environmental challenges and opportunities of this watershed.

finish1

In our kayaks, we explored the wetland ecosystem of Piscataway Creek where we saw bald eagles and osprey. Unfortunately, when we reached the Potomac, we had to paddle through the smelly product of over-fertilization and sewer overflows. (Hint: There is more than algae floating on the surface of the Potomac River.) On the same day, at the Accokeek Foundation, we learned the benefits of sustainable farming and saw how “rain barrels” and “green roofs” enable us to capture and use rainwater instead of letting it overwhelm our sewer system.

Half-marathonOn our bikes, we passed Amish families in horse-drawn carriages as we rolled through southern Maryland’s picturesque farm country. We also struggled with heavy suburban traffic as our route traversed busy roads and towns. The president of the Mattawoman (Creek) Watershed Society explained that suburban sprawl threatens the watershed, yet smart growth can protect the environment and promote economic development.

Before our run to Point Lookout, we visited St. Mary’s College and enjoyed an outdoor course in the ecology and history of the St. Mary’s River with Prof. Robert Paul. We witnessed an oyster-bed restoration project led by the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association.

_2All of these experiences gave us plenty to think about during our 13-mile run to the Bay. It was a hot day, so it’s no surprise that we celebrated our Expedition victory by diving in!

Somehow, even at the height of the algae season, the yellowish-brown water felt cleaner that day—especially after our months of hard work. As volunteers, we organized an Earth Day exhibit, river clean-up projects, and discussions with Bay experts. To expand the conversation on environmentalism, we found multiple ways to engage the public, including face-to-face listening sessions, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Greenversations blog posts such as this one.

And this was just supposed to be a pilot project! It started with an idea that I helped develop: What if we combined leadership development, experiential learning, and multi-media communications with a cause-driven expedition? Thanks to the collective energy and expertise of EPA’s Emerging Leaders Network and Georgetown University Outdoor Education staff, this idea transformed into more than we could have imagined. We all helped to create something extraordinary this year that I hope will continue to grow in the future.

Hands-and-Faces.1With this Expedition, I can identify more than ever with the people and places of my Potomac and Chesapeake watersheds. Even though I grew up in the West, I can say without hesitation, this is my home too. This is my environment.

About the author: Peter Fargo serves as the special assistant to the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. He graduated from Georgetown University where he was (and still is) involved in their Outdoor Education program. Peter can’t wait for the next expedition!

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

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.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.