Waterkeeper Alliance Announces Series to Celebrate the Right to Clean Water
Waterkeeper Alliance, the global voice for clean water founded by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., announced the locations of its Spring 2012 SPLASH Event Series, presented nationally by Toyota in partnership with national founding sponsor, KEEN.
The Spring SPLASH Series will take place on three waterways around the U.S.—the first on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Fla. on April 14, with events to follow on Santa Monica Bay in in Santa Monica, Calif. on April 21, and on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. on April 28. Each of the events will raise funds to support Waterkeeper Alliance, and its local Waterkeeper organizations, by engaging local citizens and clean-water enthusiasts in water-based activities like swimming, stand-up paddling, kayaking and boating.
“Recreational use of our waterways is one of the most important benefits of our work to protect the world’s waterways from pollution,” said Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “We are thankful to Toyota for presenting this national program and helping to ensure everyone’s right to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water, and to KEEN for helping develop this important series.”
Each of the SPLASH Series events is designed to raise awareness and celebrate access to clean water with activities that the whole community can participate in and enjoy. A wide range of water-based recreational activities will be offered within each market that appeal to individuals, community groups, families and school groups. “SPLASH Miami” invites children to enjoy interactive nature walks on the beach and in the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay while adults learn to stand-up paddle or participate in the competitive SPLASH swim relay; “Stand Up for Clean Water” invites Santa Monica area supporters to stand-up paddle races and demos in the Bay while friends and families enjoy an eco-DJ and other activities by the beach; and “Set Sail for Clean Water” features a sailboat race and pleasure sail up the beautiful Potomac River as supporters cheer on their team from the banks of the River.
“During the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act in 2012, Toyota is proud to support activities that celebrate the important role that clean water plays in our lives,” said Patricia Pineda, Toyota Motor North America, group vice president, National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.
“When we give people the opportunity to play in their local waterways, we connect their hearts and minds with the essential nature of clean water and empower them to help protect this precious resource,” said James Curleigh, CEO of KEEN Footwear.
For more information, click here.
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.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes insupporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half a billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S.
KEEN Inc., manufacturer of hybrid footwear, socks and bags, is an outdoor brand that delivers innovative hybrid products, enabling all outdoor enthusiasts to live an active lifestyle. Founded in 2003, KEEN was first recognized for its Newport sandal, which featured patented toe protection technology. The company strives to demonstrate integrity and leadership, especially on social and environmental commitments, while promoting an inclusive outdoors community. Through its giving programHybrid.Care, the company provides support to a variety of social and environmental organizations around the globe.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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