Daily Archives: July 15, 2013

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative 2013 Request for Applications

EPA is soliciting applications for grants and cooperative agreements to be awarded as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

EPA will award approximately $9.5 million under this request for applications for about 20 projects, contingent on the availability of appropriations, the quality of applications received and other applicable considerations. This RFA is EPA’s major competitive grant funding opportunity under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for fiscal year 2013. It is one of several funding opportunities available through federal agencies under GLRI.

Applications are requested for projects within the following four categories:

  • Reducing exposure to toxic substances from fish consumption
  • Invasive species prevention and control
  • Lake Erie Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative
  • Facilitation of Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) stakeholder forums

Applications due: 11:59 p.m. EDT (10:59 p.m. CDT), Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

EPA will hold a webinar to provide more details about the RFA on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, from 11:00-12:30 p.m. EDT


The countries vying to be the centres of excellence for water technology

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Countries and cities around the world are competing to play host to the world’s most innovative sustainable water companies.

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Water


How Design Students See Gadgets Grappling With the Future of Urban Pollution

Read the full story in Atlantic Cities.

Air filtering plants. Air filtering walls. Air filters hanging from the ceiling, and pinned on backpack straps.

If the 20 semi-finalists in the 2013 Electrolux Design Lab competition are any guide, the next generation of designers sees air pollution as a primary challenge of 21st century urban life.

The annual contest, sponsored by Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux, elicits thousands of entries from design students around the world. The winner receives a €5,000 prize and a paid internship at Electrolux.

This year, the theme is “Inspired Urban Living,” and students were given the choice of three approaches to the challenge of urban life (filtered through the priorities of a company that makes a lot of refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and air conditions): “social cooking,” “effortless cleaning,” and “natural air.”


The Important Difference Between a Public Space and a ‘Common’

Read the full story in Atlantic Cities.

My neighborhood has a “commons.” So does yours. The commons comprises those explicitly or, in some cases, implicitly shared resources in which the community as a whole has an interest. At a minimum, these include the community’s streets, sidewalks, and public facilities and I would add, among other things, important scenic vistas, architectural character, and environmental resources. The most famous city park in Massachusetts is called Boston Common for a reason.

These places of shared interest are critically important to the urban environment and must be nurtured, protected and, in many cases, improved. Indeed, I would argue that the commons is what gives a community its identity, and knits us together.

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Smart growth


Map: Oysters, Reefs, and Swamps Protect Billions’ Worth of Real Estate—For Free

Read the full story in Atlantic Cities.

Among the hundreds of recommendations listed in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $20 billion plan to protect New York from climate change is a call to stock up on oysters. Not the kind you’d want to knock back with a nice pilsner on a Friday afternoon: The idea is to build large underwater oyster reefs around the harbor that could prevent coastal erosion and absorb storm surges. “Soft” infrastructure like this—reefs, wetlands, dunes, and other “natural” systems—is gaining in popularity over “hard” levees and sea walls as an effective way to insulate cities from sea level rise.

Turns out, some of the best of these defenses might already be in place: Yesterday the journal Nature published the first-ever nationwide maps that reveal just how much existing coastal habitats are going to save our butts from rising seas and wild storms. Remove reefs, coastal forests, marshes, kelp beds, and other coastal habitats, the study finds, and twice as much coastline and 1.4 million more people will be highly exposed to climate risks.

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Climate change, Publications, Water


U.S. court says biofuel producers must face carbon emissions rules

Read the full story at Planet Ark.

Biofuel producers will be subject to rules regulating carbon emissions, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday, in a decision hailed by environmental groups.

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Regulation


Outdoor clothing makers strip environmental nasties from their kit

Read the full story at Planet Ark.

Makers of outdoor clothing are bowing to pressure to get rid of many of the chemicals in their kit that help keep hikers and climbers warm and dry but are also harmful to the environment.


Webinar: Insights from UT Austin Energy Poll on U.S. Consumer Attitudes

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at

Join us to learn about how your residential upgrade program can leverage the insights, and data, from a nationwide public opinion poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin.  Since 2011, the Energy Poll has measured and reports biannually (October and April) on consumer opinions and attitudes toward energy efficiency, climate change, energy consumption, pricing, development and regulation. These poll results provide an impartial and authoritative source of public perspectives on energy to inform and guide discussion, business planning, and policy development.

Sheril Kirshenbaum, Director of the Energy Poll, will discuss consumer willingness to adopt new technologies, expectations on the future of energy prices, trustworthy messengers, consumer values, and more.  For example, did you know that 49% of households are satisfied with how they are addressing their energy consumption?  Or that 33% of the population consider themselves knowledgeable about how energy is produced, delivered, and used, and of those 33%, more than double the number of men as women self-report themselves as knowledgeable?  And 2012 results showed that over 40% of consumers believe that energy will become more affordable and cleaner in the next 5 years, as a result of U.S. energy policies.

Hear more about what people are thinking nationally and find out how you can better understand consumer opinions in your region.


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