EcoWatch and Waterkeeper Launch News Website
Stefanie Penn Spear
On Oct. 27, EcoWatch and Waterkeeper Alliance hosted a public event along the Cuyahoga River to celebrate the launch of their nationwide news service website with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., founder and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, as keynote speaker. The website—www.ecowatch.com—went live the morning of Oct. 27 and works to unite the voice of the grassroots environmental movement and mobilize millions of Americans to engage in democracy to protect human health and the environment.
The website expands EcoWatch’s coverage nationwide and becomes the first media source to focus exclusively on environmental news culled from more than 700 environmental organizations across the country. The site showcases original content in its Insights column from leading national voices in the environmental movement, including EcoWatch’s advisory board members.
The news service provides timely access to relevant information that seeks to motivate individuals to become engaged in their community, adopt sustainable practices and support strong environmental policy. The site focuses on five critical issue areas—water, air, food, energy and biodiversity—and covers topics including, renewable energy, water and air quality, sustainable agriculture, fossil fuel depletion, solution-based sustainability projects, species protection, global warming, climate change and pending legislation.
“The current assault on America’s environmental laws, like the Clean Water Act, creates a pressing need to educate and engage people to protect our infrastructure, the air we breathe, the water we drink, to provide our children with the same opportunities for dignity and enrichment as our parents gave us,” said Kennedy. “This website encourages people to be part of the solution and engage in democracy.”
EcoWatch, publisher of EcoWatch Journal with a distribution of more than 80,000 copies across Ohio, launched the nationwide news service out of Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood and become part of the growing online news media market.
“Northeast Ohio is a national leader in sustainability and EcoWatch is proud to call Cleveland its home,” said Stefanie Penn Spear, founder and executive director of EcoWatch. “This news service website follows the model we developed in Ohio over the last five years and expands on my more than 20 years of publishing environmental news.”
The public event featured brief remarks from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman; the George Gund Foundation’s Senior Program Officer for the Environment, John Mitterholzer; the Cleveland Foundation’s Program Officer, Nelson Beckford; and Kennedy, a member of EcoWatch’s advisory board, who served as keynote speaker.
Other advisory board members are Wendy Abrams, an eco-advocate and philanthropist; Ed Begley, Jr., an actor and environmentalist; Lester Brown, a prize-winning author and critical thinker; Laurie David, a bestselling author and activist; Paul Hawken, an environmentalist, entrepreneur and author; Randy Hayes, founder of Rainforest Action Network; Phil Radford, executive director of Greenpeace, and Harvey Wasserman, an anti-nuclear activist.
In addition to commemorating the launch of the national website, EcoWatch and Waterkeeper Alliance acknowledged the significance of the celebration’s location, near the historic site where the then oily Cuyahoga River caught on fire in June 1969. This event played a major role in the growth of the modern-day environmental movement and passage of the Clean Water Act. The event also highlighted the need for water advocacy and stewardship, public access to our waterways, human-powered recreation on the water and collaboration on solution-based projects like Rivergate Park. Immediately following the event, participants enjoyed Rivergate Park, home to the Cleveland Rowing Foundation, by touring the grounds and watching rowing, kayaking and paddleboarding on the river.
Kennedy also keynoted a fundraising event at Windows on the River at 2000 Sycamore St. at 6 p.m. that evening.
To visit the EcoWatch website, click here.
EcoWatch is a Cleveland-based nonprofit dedicated to uniting the voice of the grassroots environmental movement and mobilizing millions of Americans to engage in democracy to protect human health and the environment. EcoWatch, founded in 2006, publishes the bimonthly newspaper EcoWatch Journal, distributed for free throughout Ohio printing 80,000 copies per issue. For more information, visit www.ecowatchohio.org
Waterkeeper Alliance is a global environmental organization uniting more than 190 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and focusing citizen advocacy on the issues that affect our waterways, from pollution to climate change. Waterkeepers patrol more than 1.5 million square miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. For more information, visit www.waterkeeper.org.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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