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Environment in Brief for May 10, 2017


Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Massachusetts ‘Wildlife Climate Action Tool’ wins national award

The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy working group announced May 8 that it has selected the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool to receive its 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources in the “broad partnership” category. It recognizes the partners for “demonstrating exemplary leadership in reducing climate-related threats and promoting adaptation of the nation’s natural resources.”

The team that developed the online climate action tool included extension associate professor of environmental conservation Scott Jackson, Michelle Staudinger, adjunct professor of environmental conservation and science coordinator of the Northeast Climate Science Center, and project manager Melissa Ocana, all at UMass Amherst, and Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife biologist John O’Leary.

The tool highlights challenges for such iconic species as brook trout that are affected by warming stream temperatures and fragmented habitat, marbled salamanders affected by changing rainfall patterns, piping plover and other coastal shorebirds susceptible to sea-level rise and storm events and beech-birch-maple forests where warming temperatures affect sugar maples and other northern trees.

For more information, visit wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/award.php.

Plant Something Day

On May 15, 2017, something will take root in cities and towns all over Massachusetts. The goal is to plant something — anything! — on that day.

“Plant Something MA” is a campaign to help everyone enjoy the benefits of planting, and is a joint program of the Massachusetts Flower Growers’ Association and the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association.

The campaign will kick off in South Hadley on May 15. As part of the MNLA Environmental Leadership Award presented to Representative John W. Scibak, a flowering crabapple tree will be planted in his honor. The planting, as chosen by Representative Scibak, will take place at the South Hadley Senior Center, in South Hadley at 11 a.m.

“Our goal is to recruit everyone to plant at least one plant that provides pollen or nectar for pollinators, starting on May 15,” said Rena Sumner, MNLA executive director. “By planting for pollinators, you’re helping plants produce seeds and fruit for our food supply, nature and reproduction.”

For more information, visit plantsomethingma.org.

Massachusetts Envirothon

Some 250 teenagers from more than 30 Massachusetts communities will participate in the 30th annual Massachusetts Envirothon, May 18 at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln.

At this outdoor field competition event, teams will rotate through four “ecostations” where they will answer written questions and engage in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. At the fifth station, the Current Issue, they will give a 15 minute presentation on “Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation” in their community to a panel of judges.

The judges panel will include more than 60 environmental professionals from state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, higher education, and private industry.

Teams from schools in Deerfield, Holyoke, Greenfield and South Hadley will be among the competitors.

For more information, visit massenvirothon.org.