Category Archives: environmental volunteers

Volunteers at the Film Festival

IMG_0304

Photo by Robert Barossi

by Robert Barossi

After a long holiday-season hiatus, I’m finally posting the first story of the new year. A year which I’m sure will bring many more great stories of environmental volunteers and their inspiring, amazing work. There are countless ways for people to get involved and support environmental causes. This story out of Nevada City, California features volunteers who are doing just that at an environmentally-themed film festival. Along with nature and the environment, film is one of my other great passions and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival sounds like a fantastic event. I wish there were more festivals like this around the country, festivals which get people to connect with nature in new and different ways.  This one also gives people a chance to show their support for the environment by volunteering at the event. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the festival, and while you’re there, be sure to thank the volunteers for all that they do.

There are more great environmental volunteer stories in my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Download it at the following links:

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Climate Change, Birds and Volunteers

P1000364(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

According to Weather.com, it’s 44 degrees Fahrenheit today, here in the Boston area. Above normal, for sure, but perhaps not as shocking as this coming weekend. Temperatures are expected to hit the high 50s by the end of the week and then reach 62 degrees on Sunday. That’s Sunday, December 13th. These types of unusual temperatures have numerous impacts and ripple effects, on us humans as well as every other animal species.

This great story out of upstate New York details how citizen scientist volunteers are helping collect data on birds of prey. The volunteers are working alongside professionals in Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, cataloging the presence of raptors, from owls to hawks and numerous others. They are also seeing some of the ways temperature changes are impacting the birds, such as changes in migration observed in certain owl species.

Surveying and monitoring birds is just one way to deal with the ways climate change impacts our avian friends. As described in this blog post from the National Audubon Society, volunteers can also help by  protecting and maintaining bird habitats. Specifically, the story deals with volunteers with Audubon Miami Valley in Ohio who are working to remove invasive species which are negatively impacting places where birds find food and shelter. It’s another way that we can help birds, and other species, survive in the new environments and ecosystems created by the changing climate.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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After the Volunteers Test the Waters

IMG_0214(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

My last post offered a number of stories about volunteer efforts to clean up local rivers. Volunteers are also often the people who collect water samples from those rivers for local experts to test. There are many reasons why this is important and essential work, as detailed in this story from South Carolina. That state was recently hit with a devastating and deadly flood event. When the waters from flooding recede, they are often, if not always, filled with greater levels of bacteria, pollution and chemicals. Volunteers like the ones in the story linked above are often tasked with collecting samples of those degraded waters so that scientists can find out just how polluted or unsafe the water might be. This effort in South Carolina was led by Waccamaw Riverkeeper and their volunteers, along with volunteers from Coastal Carolina University’s Waccamaw Watershed Academy.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download m eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links.

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A Roundup of Volunteer River Cleanups

IMG_1096(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

One of the most common ways for volunteers to get involved in their local environment is through river cleanups. Local rivers are often in dire need of help and dedicated volunteers are there to answer the call. They are often on and in their local river all year long and in all kinds of weather. And it’s the kind of volunteer story I like to highlight on here from time to time. Here are just a few recent ones:

A “Source to Sea” cleanup effort recently took place along the Connecticut River, in locations from its source near Canada all the way to the Long Island Sound.

The annual Rivers Alive cleanup recently took place along bodies of water in the Athens, Georgia area.

Volunteers have been working to clean the Bakulahi River in India.

With similar cleanups happening in Florida and Wyoming.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links.

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Volunteers and Coral Bleaching

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(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

On the radio this morning, there was a discussion about the massive coral bleaching event currently taking place around the world. Coral bleaching is caused when environmental conditions, such as water temperature and acidity, cause coral reefs to become stressed. The stress causes the coral to release a symbiotic algae which is what gives them their color and provides nutrients, a loss which causes the coral to become weakened.  If this leads to major coral reef deaths, it can and will seriously impact the ecosystem of our oceans and the other species who live in and among the coral reefs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains it here and there are news stories from the BBC and Washington Post detailing the worldwide coral crisis. How does this relate to environmental volunteers, you ask? It’s volunteers who are now working to monitor coral reefs in their area, watching carefully for bleaching among their local reefs. This story out of Hawaii discusses a volunteer event aimed at training people to monitor coral reefs and report to the Eyes of The Reef Network. Here’s another story and one more about the event, which is being called Bleachapalooza. Very similar events will likely be needed around the world as coral bleaching continues and worsens.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links.

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Volunteers Restore a Riverbank

Roaring_Fork_from_backyard(photo courtesy of MarcelBeauchamp94 at English Wikipedia) 

by Robert Barossi

Man-made changes to the land sometimes lead to man’s returning to try to change it back. Just outside of Aspen, Colorado, along the Roaring Fork River, volunteers are working to restore the land along the river’s bank to something similar to what it once was. The area, part of the North Star Nature Preserve, was once used for agriculture, which wiped out the plant life along the river. Now mostly barren, a number of organizations, led by the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, are working to restore the land. Volunteers from near and far came together for the event, which included planting “about 1,200 willow and cottonwood seedlings and clippings along the banks of the Roaring Fork River,” according to the article.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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Composting Volunteers

Underwater Leaves

(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Food waste is a huge problem in the United States and across the globe. Some of the facts and figures, all of which are shocking and rather depressing, can be found here and here. In Maine, a number of stakeholders have come together to provide composting services for the community, through the Farmington Compost Cooperative. As this story details, the effort is being spearheaded by University of Maine professors, current and retired, as well as members of the community. The new compost cooperative is open to the public and the people working there are volunteers, including students from the University. Hopefully this kind of project, with cooperation from government, businesses, the University and the public, will be a model for other composting efforts in other parts of the country.

If you have enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links:

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International Coastal Cleanup 2015

by Robert Barossi

International Coastal Cleanup Day took place over this past weekend. I’ll let these stories speak for themselves in describing just how many volunteers showed up, how many  miles of coast they cleaned and the incredible amounts of trash they collected.

Here’s a story from Miami.

Another one from Guam.

Two stories about preparations for the event in India and South Africa.

A story about volunteers in Jamaica.

A story about the work of rowers in Virginia.

And back to Florida for a story about mangrove  planting in conjunction with the event.

All of these stories and many more like them demonstrate the success of the Ocean Conservancy’s 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup Day. Much of that success comes from the inspiring and amazing work of volunteers (according to the Conservancy’s website, 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries.)

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links:

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Great Ways to Get Involved and Volunteer

Sunset on Lake Michigan(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

I thought I’d start this week off with something a little different. Although every story on this blog includes ideas for how you can get involved in your own area, I don’t often post stories that specifically offer advice for getting involved. This is a great list that I found this morning, with some fantastic ways that anyone can work for the planet, no matter where they live. While you’re there, check out some of the other great stories on One Green Planet.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links:

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Volunteers Keeping Wales Beautiful

Through the Trees(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Short on time this morning but came across this story from Wales and wanted to share it. In the town of Barry, volunteers are working to rebuild and restore an urban garden near a church. Their work will help to keep a patch of green space alive and well in this highly developed seaport. What’s also notable about this story is that the garden project is being funded by a grant from Keep Wales Tidy, a grant which is funded through a partnership with Tesco, a British retail giant (it’s akin to Target in the U.S., judging from their website). These kinds of environmental organization/business partnerships are essential and invaluable as we continue to work towards preserving and protecting our planet. And it’s often volunteers who are the “boots on the ground,” benefiting from the partnerships and the resources they can provide.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this site, download m eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links:

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