Launch of ChesapeakeCommons.org -- The Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and The Heinz Center announce the launch of ChesapeakeCommons.org to provide a common virtual space for data sharing and analysis to advance Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. Click here for the news release.
Horizons@Heinz #4: Ocean Acidification (14 November 2012) -- Richard Feely (NOAA), Carol Turley (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), Steve Roady (EarthJustice), and moderator Julia Roberson (Ocean Conservancy) discussed the dramatic lowering of the pH levels of the world Ocean. The damages to marine and coastal biodiversity will be grave, they demonstrated. Adaptation measures will be costly or impossible; and the only solution is to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Horizons@Heinz #3: Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (8 May 2012) -- A panel of expert specialists, headed by Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, discussed the counter-intuitive science of endocrine disrupters, where low doses can do more damage than large doses, and where timing may be the most important factor of all. Here is EPAInside.com’s write up of the event.
Conn Nugent Becomes New Heinz Center President -- Conn Nugent, a veteran conservationist and foundation executive, has been appointed President of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment. Click here for the news release.
Ecosystem Monitoring -- The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recently issued a report entitled Sustaining Environmental Capital: Protecting Society and the Economy to U.S. President Barack Obama recommending a new initiative to gain a better understanding of the nation’s biodiversity and the ecosystem services upon which our society relies. The initiative - dubbed the Quadrennial Ecosystems Services Trend (QuEST) assessment - would review the condition of our nation’s biological resources and ecosystem services every four years. PCAST’s report goes on to say that The Heinz Center is especially well-suited to implement this project based on our decades of experience advancing strategies for environmental monitoring and data analysis using the best available science.
Biodiversity Protection -- In his role as Chair of an Independent Advisory Group on Sustainability for the Inter-American Development Bank, Dr. Thomas Lovejoy has been working with IDB staff to develop a plan to mainstream the initiative. He is very encouraged that effort is being taken seriously and plans to fly to a donors meeting in June to pitch the need for flexible funds for quick start implementation. He has also been busy conducting as seminar on 21st Century Botany for the New York Botanical Garden Board’s Botanical Science Committee, serving as part of a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Brazil (which has a major environment section), and spearheading a monthly George Mason-Woodrow Wilson Center seminar series on Managing Our Planet.
Wildlife Conservation -- Program leaders were especially busy during the spring and early summer. In early April Dr. Jonathan Mawdsley, Sandra Grund and our team of consultants traveled to Gallup, New Mexico, and Window Rock, Arizona, for follow-up meetings with the staff of the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife is developing a 10-year strategic plan for the management of its fish, wildlife, and plant species, and has asked The Heinz Center to assist with the development of this plan. The second workshop with Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife was held April 6-8 in Gallup, New Mexico, focused on identifying priority conservation activities for each of the Navajo Nation’s priority wildlife species and habitats. We are currently making final preparations for a workshop on wildlife monitoring programs in the state of Wyoming, to be held the week of May 16th in Cheyenne. This workshop is part of our larger series addressing monitoring needs for fish, wildlife, and plant species on Bureau of Land Management lands across the western United States.