Photos and Quotes from WCS on Earth Day 2017/ March for Science

New York, April 22, 2017, Earth Day — The following quotes are from Wildlife Conservation Society scientists from around the globe — from New York City, to Russia.

WCS colleagues and advocates joined marches on six continents to celebrate the contribution of science to saving wildlife.

 

Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO, Washington DC

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58fae4c4e4b0f02c3870ea66

 

“Science is the antithesis of fake news.”

 

By marching this Earth Day, we aim to celebrate science, not to politicize it. Science helps us navigate the complicated world of wildlife conservation with the facts. Nothing we do in our efforts to save wildlife is accomplished without science.

Rob Wallace, Bolivia

https://medium.com/@WCS/bolivias-madidi-national-park-and-the-power-of-protected-areas-1189f2eb54fe

“On this Earth Day it is important to take a moment to celebrate the key role that protected areas play in the conservation of the natural world.”

Climate Team (Liz Tully, Darren Long, Molly Cross)

https://medium.com/@WCS/how-nature-is-the-best-teacher-when-it-comes-to-adapting-to-climate-change-d7bcf38245a6

 

“Earth Day reminds us all of the many problems that climate change is creating for our planet. Now more than ever, we need tangible solutions to grapple with the damaging effects climate change is having on our wildlife, our ecosystems, and our communities”

 

Alison Clausen, Madgascar on Climate Change

https://medium.com/@WCS/from-madagascar-a-view-of-the-looming-climate-crisis-d529ae4f6d7d

“In some areas of drought-stricken southern Madagascar last year, school attendance dropped by nearly 25 percent as parents pulled their children out of school to help look for water, earn money, or simply forage for food.”

 

Don Reid, Canada

https://medium.com/@WCS/the-conundrum-of-change-d8fd11ac9659

 

“Lately, however, climate warming is creating new and different kinds of changes, often taking place more rapidly than we are accustomed to.”

 

Jon Slaght, Russia

https://medium.com/@WCS/science-based-decision-making-an-example-from-the-russian-far-east-cf0b564ea3e1

 

“Scientific study, even simple research, gives us an unbiased assessment of a situation. These are facts we then use to inform decision making that benefits both people and wildlife.”

 

Melvin Gumal, Malaysia

https://medium.com/@WCS/in-borneo-4-generations-of-orang-utan-conservation-11055e49afb5

 

“May your Earth Day be full of natural wonders and may nature continue to inspire you.”

Snow storm blasts Moldova: UN provides essential equipment as hundreds of villages without electricity

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Apr 22, 2017

Around 400 villages in Moldova were without electricity over the weekend after a freak snowstorm pummeled the country, causing widespread disruptions and injuries and prompting the City Council to declare a state of emergency in the capital, where 3,000 trees fell between Thursday and Friday.

The United Nations – comprised of IOM, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF and UN WOMEN – moved immediately to provide $47,000 worth of electricity generators, fuel, chain saws and other equipment. This will enable authorities to provide access to electricity, ensure safety from damaged trees, and provide access to remote locations, some of them now completely isolated. The generators will be distributed in 12 affected districts and Chisinau municipality, and the chainsaws – in 10 districts and Chisinau.

The priority is to assure the safety of people from immediate hazards, such as falling trees, as well as their continued access to running water and electricity,” Dafina Gercheva, the UN Resident Coordinator said. „We are working with the authorities around the clock to make sure essential services remain in place.”

Gercheva added that the risk of flooding remains as the snow begins to melt. As the weather warms, the immediate priority will therefore be clearing the snow.

Moldova has the highest vulnerability to climate change and disaster in the Europe and Central Asia region, with average annual economic losses averaging 2 percent of GDP. These risks are affecting primarily the rural poor and women.

In 2007, the UN in Moldova coordinated a prompt response to cope with a severe drought, which compromised the harvest in over 80 per cent of Moldova’s agricultural lands. With UN Support, over 383,000 drought victims received wheat seeds, fertilizers, diesel fuel, fodder, corn seeds, and food packs.

Contact information

Laura Bohantova, Communications Analyst

Office of the Resident Coordinator

laura.bohantova@one.un.org

Tel: (+373 22) 269 112, 220 045

Cell: (+373) 68 511 883

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Trump Gaslights While Gutting Bedrock Environmental Safeguards

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Earth Day Comments Directly Contradict Every Action Taken

Jonathon Berman, (202) 297-7533, jonathon.berman@sierraclub.org

Washington, DC — Today, on Earth Day, Donald Trump, the only world leader to deny climate change, released a statement claiming his administration is committed to protecting America’s clean air and water, running counter to the numerous actions he has taken in his short time in office.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“Once again, Donald Trump is gaslighting America. He isn’t committed to protecting our clean air and water, he’s committed to the corporate polluters that fill his cabinet and campaign coffers.

“The American people aren’t fooled by Trump’s outrageous claims. That’s why tens of thousands are marching across the country in the name of science today, and more than 100,000 will descend on the streets of Washington next Saturday to speak out against this administration’s attacks on Americans, our communities, and our planet.”

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Federal Aid Programs for the State of Washington

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Trump’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Washington.

Assistance for State, Tribal, and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal, and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

Application procedures for state, tribal, and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Pitt Property and Facilities Committee Approves Renovation Projects and Lease Agreement

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Projects include renovations to the Cathedral of Learning; Chevron Science Center; and Posvar, Scaife and Victoria Halls

412-624-8252

Cell: 412-715-3644

PITTSBURGH—The Property and Facilities Committee of the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees has approved renovation projects within five Pitt facilities, with an estimated total cost of $26,970,000. The Committee also approved a lease agreement on behalf of the School of Medicine’s Aging Institute.

The approved projects will create 135 construction and 54 support jobs. The lease agreement will generate $44,299.69 annually in property taxes for local government.

Details of the University’s approved projects follows:

  • Renovation of approximately 22,050 gross square feet of space on the first and fourth floors of Posvar Hall. The first-floor project includes the construction of three high-functioning lecture halls for classroom instruction, which will add windows for natural light and reduce the amount of outside noise entering the facility. The project also will provide new study space adjacent to the new classrooms. The fourth-floor project provides the Center for Urban Education with a more efficient floor plan, enhanced audiovisual systems, upgraded mechanical systems and energy efficient lighting. The projects, in aggregate, carry an estimated cost of $10,200,000.
  • Remodeling of approximately 7,120 gross square feet of space on the fourth and fifth floors of Scaife Hall. The project includes the construction of a two-story window entrance, clearing of space for a new student lounge with amenities and replacing the existing escalator with a new staircase to reduce energy footprint. The project carries an estimated cost of $5,970,000.
  • Renovation of approximately 20,000 gross square feet of space on the second floor of Victoria Hall. The project will modernize and enhance Pitt’s teaching and skills labs by providing the School of Nursing with three simulation labs, a recording studio, a 20-bed skills lab, a telehealth lab and student study areas. The project carries an estimated cost of $4,800,000.
  • Replacement of electrical equipment within the Chevron Science Center. The project will install a main breaker and feeder breakers as well as distribution wiring and panels. This will improve the reliability and resiliency of the building’s electrical distribution system. The project carries an estimated cost of $3,400,000.
  • Renovation of approximately 7,900 gross square feet of space on the 17th floor of the Cathedral of Learning. The project will allow for the consolidation of Pitt’s financial operations onto one floor for increased synergy and collaboration, improve environmental conditions for the floor, provide more energy efficient lighting and upgrade the restrooms and lobby areas. The project carries an estimated cost of $2,600,000.

Details of the University’s approved lease agreement follows:

  • Beginning Sept. 1, 2017, the School of Medicine will begin a five-year lease agreement for approximately 12,000 square feet on the fourth floor of the Bridgeside Point One Building, 100 Technology Drive, Oakland. The space will be used for a laboratory and offices for the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh.

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Federal Aid Programs for the State of Idaho

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Trump’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Idaho.

Assistance for State, Tribal, and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal, and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

Application procedures for state, tribal, and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Gov. Scott Issues Update on Wildfires in Florida

Trump Administration Approves Additional Requests for Fire Management Assistance Grants

Lehigh Acres, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott received a briefing at the Collier County Emergency Operations Center from local fire officials, law enforcement, the Florida Forestry Service and local emergency management officials on the ongoing wildfires in Collier, Lee and Polk Counties. Following the briefing, Governor Scott announced that the State of Florida received two Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which allow the use of federal funds to reimburse response costs to the Red Grange wildfire in Polk County and the Ann Avenue wildfire in Lee County. Governor Scott requested the FMAGs on behalf of the Florida Forest Service. Federal fire management assistance covers seventy-five percent of eligible fire response costs, including aviation assets, field camps, equipment use, tools, materials and supplies.

Governor Scott said, “We are continuing to closely monitor these wildfires and do everything we can to ensure our firefighters and first responders have all the resources they need to protect our communities. I appreciate the Trump Administration’s quick approval in fulfilling my request for additional Fire Management Assistance Grants to assist ongoing firefighting efforts in Lee and Polk Counties.

“As these wildfires continue, there are people who woke up this morning to find their homes destroyed and their lives completely changed. For those of you who have lost or damaged homes- we will be with you every step of the way. This is an incredibly heartbreaking and challenging time, and I am encouraged to see our entire state working together to help one another and keep our communities safe. We are incredibly thankful for the firefighters, first responders, and law enforcement officials from all across the state that have redirected individuals and resources to help Southwest Florida during this dangerous time. Firefighting personnel and vehicles are coming in from Miami-Dade, Broward, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, along with many other areas from across the state.

“Our firefighters are putting their own lives on the line in order to help keep our families safe, and we are praying for their safety. As we know, these fires can change at a moment’s notice due to wind and rain. It’s important that no one risks their lives or the lives of our first responders by ignoring important evacuation orders. If you are in an evacuation zone, leave immediately and do not return until the evacuation order is lifted. I will be touring wildfire damage in Lee County today and will continue to remain in close contact in local officials to make sure all their needs are being met. We will keep working together to ensure our firefighters have the resources they need to continue this fight and that our families have the support they need to stay safe and rebuild and recover.”

Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said, “We at the Division are grateful for FEMA’s continued support. These additional Fire Management Assistance Grants will ensure those on the frontline are properly equipped to combat these wildfires while minimalizing damage and keeping affected individuals safe.”

UPDATE ON ONGOING WILDFIRES ACROSS THE STATE:

  • COLLIER COUNTY:
  • The Frangipani Wildfire from yesterday is 100% contained.
  • There is a 5,500-acre wildfire at 30th Avenue that has already destroyed two trailers, more than two vehicles and several outbuildings.
  • Mandatory evacuations in effect for more than 6,000 structures and a shelter is open at North Collier Regional Park.
  • POLK COUNTY:
  • There is a 700-acre wildfire in Red Grange.
  • Mandatory evacuations in effect at Indian Lake Estates. The area contains 800 residential homes. A shelter is open at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales.
  • LEE COUNTY:
  • There is a 400-acre wildfire at Ann Avenue that has already damaged or destroyed 13 homes.
  • Mandatory evacuations in effect for more than 2,000 homes and a shelter is open at Lehigh Senior High School.
  • INSURANCE INFORMATION:
  • It is important for individuals with damaged homes or property to begin with documenting all damaged property and belongings. A free smartphone app developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners called “MyHome Scr.APP.book” is available to assist with photo documentation.
  • For help finding your Florida’s property insurance company’s website and contact information, click HERE. For a list of licensed insurance agents in Florida, click HERE. Additional consumer resources are available HERE.
  • To contact the Office of Insurance Regulation with reports of fraud or suspicious activity, call the Office of Insurance Regulation at: 850-413-5916 or the Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
  • IMPORTANT WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS:
  • For updates on current evacuation orders and available shelters:

FEMA Authorizes Federal Funds to Help Battle Floridas Lehigh Acres Fire

ATLANTA–The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to Florida to fight the Lehigh Acres fire in Lee County.

This authorization makes FEMA grant funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fires. Eligible costs can include labor, equipment and supplies used for fighting the fire and costs for emergency work such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control.

“This funding allows Florida to fight these fires and save lives, structures and property,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families who’ve been affected.”

The fire threatens approximately 2,000 residences in and around the subdivision of Lehigh Acres. The fire is also threatening buildings, businesses, infrastructure and utilities in the area.  

Federal fire management assistance grants are provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to reimburse costs associated with fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided.

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FEMA Authorizes Federal Funds to Help Battle Floridas Indian Lakes Estate Fire

ATLANTA–The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to Florida to fight the Indian Lakes Estate Fire in Polk County.

This authorization makes FEMA grant funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fires. Eligible costs can include labor, equipment and supplies used for fighting the fire and costs for emergency work such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control.

We are working closely with the state of Florida to monitor the numerous fires. We have approved emergency funding for the Indian Lakes Estate Fire to help save lives and protect property,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech.

The fire started Friday and has since grown to more than 350 acres of state and private land. The fire threatens approximately 200 residences.

Federal fire management assistance grants are provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to reimburse costs associated with fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided.

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

FEMA Authorizes Federal Funds to Help Battle Florida Wildfires

ATLANTA–The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to Florida to fight a wildfire in the Golden Gate area of Collier County.

This authorization makes FEMA grant funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fires. Eligible costs can include labor, equipment and supplies used for fighting the fire and costs for emergency work such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control.

FEMA approved these funds to make sure that Florida has the money to fight these fires and save lives, structures and property,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families who’ve been affected.”

The fire started Thursday off 30th Avenue in or near the Golden Gate Estates subdivision and has since grown to total nearly 2,850 acres. The fire threatens approximately 2,000 residences, and a mandatory evacuation is currently in effect for approximately 6,000 residents.

Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Okeechobee counties and the state of Florida are providing firefighting assistance to Collier County. Fire trucks, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are involved in battling the blaze, which is less than 10 percent contained. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Federal fire management assistance grants are provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to reimburse costs associated with fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided.

###

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.