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Eastern Missouri Group E-Newsletter

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Eastern Missouri Group February 24, 2011, General Meeting
7:30 pm to 9 pm at Litzsinger School, Lindbergh Blvd and Litzsinger Road (map)
Diane Donovan, horticulturist at Whitmire Wildflower Garden -- Shaw Nature Reserve, will speak about Native Plants for a Deer Resistant Landscape. Free and open to the public. Join us for dinner before the meeting at around 6 pm at The Daily Bread Cafe, 11719 Manchester Road in Des Peres (map)

March 24, 2011, Sierra Club/Audubon joint meeting
7:30 pm to 9 pm at Litzsinger School, Lindbergh Blvd and Litzsinger Road (map)
Catherine Redfern, Development Director at the World Bird Sanctuary, will celebrate UNESCO’s 2011 Year of the Bat with a multi-faceted presentation about their amazing abilities like echolocation that allows them to detect and avoid objects as fine as a single human hair.  Free and open to the public. Join us for dinner before the meeting at around 6 pm at The Daily Bread Cafe, 11719 Manchester Road in Des Peres. (map)

Needed: Program Chair to organize General Meetings    
After many years of service to the Eastern Missouri Group (EMG) in organizing the monthly General Meetings, Leslie Lihou has decided to take a well-deserved retirement.  However, this has left a serious void in the group's leadership. We are now looking for a volunteer to schedule ten speakers per year and arrange the meeting location.  There is no experience necessary for filling this valued position!  If interested, please contact Richard Egan at egan.egan@att.net.
 
Also Needed: Membership Chair
The EMG is seeking a self-motivated "people person" to lead our membership engagement team.  The primary tasks for this person would be to engage our members, recruit new members, recruit volunteers from our current membership, and maintain a healthy level of activity and enthusiasm within our community.  The Sierra Club actually has created a detailed guide for doing all this.  If interested, please contact Richard Egan at egan.egan@att.net.
 
CONSERVATION LOBBY DAY
Be part of Conservation Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 29, in Jefferson City. This is a great chance for legislators to hear about our desires to protect state parks and clean up our air, land and water. For more information, click here.

Confluence Trash Bash
Saturday, March 26, 2011, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Lunch and Celebration to Follow
EMG and Piasa Palisades Group of the Illinois Sierra Club will cooperate to clean up Maple Island. We will meet and sign-in at 8:30 am at Alton, IL on the riverfront. The US Corps of Engineers will take us in boats to Maple Island Conservation Area.  About 11:30 am the Maple Island crew will join the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge volunteers for a free lunch and a celebration complete with Trash Artists who will be turning trash into art. All participants will receive a free lunch and t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded for the most interesting trash finds.  Many environmental groups are working together to make this a memorable event at several locations.  Anyone interested in working on our Maple Island crew must register with Gloria Broderick at 314-741-4588.  Please attend and send us your pictures of the event.

The EPA is Under Threat

Our new Congress is threatening the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the behavior of polluters on behalf of our health and the natural world. California Representative Darrell Issa has literally asked industry leaders for a wish list of regulations they wish to be changed and scrapped -- he is now taking the list before Congress to try to make it a reality.

For over forty years the EPA has been instrumental in maintaining our country's health. In fact, on just a fiscal level, the EPA pays for itself multiple times over. For example, in 2010, with a budget of $10 billion, EPA regulations have saved us an estimated $110 billion in health care costs. Click here to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining to the public the importance of the EPA.
 
Vote NO on St. Louis City Earnings Tax Repeal April 5
The Eastern Missouri Group joins the Missouri Chapter in urging our members who reside within the St. Louis city limits to vote NO on repeal of the one percent St. Louis City Earnings Tax on April 5.  A major loss of revenue could have numerous environmental repercussions.  Impacts would include:  less maintenance of city parks, our urban green spaces; reductions to the newly-installed recycling program; reduced air-pollution monitoring; and, potentially, lessened quality of city water.  

Those entities favoring repeal have proposed no ideas for replacing the $140 million of annual revenue which would be lost if this tax were repealed.  There will be a meeting in the Sierra Club office on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. to coordinate activities for contacting our city members and highlighting the environmental cost of repeal.  Please join us.

Ask US Army Corps of Engineers to prevent Asian Carp from Moving into Great Lakes

The geographic reach of the Eastern Missouri Group of the Sierra Club extends along the Mississippi River from the northern border of Missouri to the southern border of Missouri.  We have a responsibility to protect our reach of river, as well as other water bodies, from invasive species.  

Please ask the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to completely prevent invasive species, like Asian carp, from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.

US Army Corps Imperatives:

  • The Corps must "prevent" rather than "reduce the risk" of invasive species movement between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.
  • The Corps should acknowledge the urgency of finding a permanent solution, condense the timeline and produce final results for the Chicago portion of GLMRIS within 18 months rather than mid-2015.
  • The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) is a prevention study and its results should be used first to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. The study timeline and strategy must be structured so a solution is delivered prior to the establishment of breeding populations of Asian carp in the Chicago Waterway System.
  • The Corps should create an opportunity for twice annual discussion forums so that the public can interact with technical staff for detailed Q&A on project progress. This should be in addition to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

Submit your comments on this website.

Background:  The GLMRIS study was authorized by Congress in 2007 and is being conducted under the following authority:   “The Secretary (of the Army), in consultation with appropriate Federal, State, local and nongovernmental entities, shall conduct, at Federal expense, a feasibility study of the range of options and technologies available to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and other pathways.”  - Water Resources Development Act of 2007

Thanks for your effort and time!  For more information contact Becky Denney at Becky.Denney@sierraclub.org.

Volunteer Opportunity
at Earth Day Celebration April 17
Eastern Missouri Group will again have an informational booth at EARTH DAY in Forest Park.  Please volunteer to help man the booth.  There will be 4 two hours shifts starting at 10:00 am and finishing at 6:00 pm.  Please sign up with florberbaum@yahoo.com.


Volunteer Opportunity in LeBarque Watershed
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The following are upcoming volunteer work days for the Lum Miller Hollow Project, Don Robinson State Park, LaBarque Creek Conservation Opportunity Area. More information is on the Confluence Chapter MO Master Naturalist web site. The scheduled dates are February 17, 24, 26 and March 3, 5, 10, 17, 24, 26, 31.

The Lum Miller Hollow Project is sponsored by the Labarque Watershed Stream Team partnership with Missouri Master Naturalist Confluence Chapter. It is funded by a USF and WS grant. Missouri State Parks are advisors on the project. It is a conservation project involving trail, grassland, woodland and glade projects. The near term goal is the removal, stacking and burning of downed Eastern Redcedar material.  For details Bob Coffing can be reached at 314-488-4013 or robertcoffing@sbcglobal.net.
                                                                                                            Photo by Lee Phillion


Eastern Missouri Group Outings Schedule

Sierra Club members and non-members are welcome to join club members on our outings.

 

Visit the Eastern Missouri Group website for more information about outings, activities and issues.

Please consider making a donation to the Eastern Missouri Group today!

Donate

The Urban Agriculture Committee of Eastern Missouri Group seeks to fill niches in the food security and local organic gardening efforts of other organizations in the St. Louis metro area. One such niche is a "backyard organic food swap" in Pine Lawn, where one of our members lives.  This 1st-tier suburb of St. Louis City lies directly between I-70 and Natural Bridge Road. We have applied for one of national Sierra Club's $500 mini-grants to do soil sampling to determine if this community's soil is free from toxic elements, and if so, what kinds of soil amendments are needed. If initial tests show the soil isn't safe, remaining funds would be used to build raised beds.  We invite you to "join our committee" via the on-line Activist Network to show your support, comment on-line about our activities, and/or give us advice.  Read about us here: http://connect.sierraclub.org/Team/Urban_Agriculture_Committee.

Member Sheila Pryor is an experienced backyard organic gardener despite her young age.  In November Sheila received an award for promoting community relationships. The award was bestowed by EarthDance, an organic farming enterprise that teaches interns how to grow and market organic fruits and vegetables.  Sheila will be our Committee's consultant on this project in Pine Lawn.

For the past 3 months 9 of our core committee members have also been volunteering approximately every other Tuesday morning with the gardening curriculum at Gateway Math, Science & Technology Elementary School in the City of St. Louis where a 10th member of our core committee teaches pre-school.  We invite you to join us.  Please contact Committee Chair Ginger Harris at gngr8s@gmail.com for dates, times and directions.  Our "meeting" on Dec.21 will be at a different location and possibly a different time from our normal 10:00 a.m. start time.

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Sierra Club - Eastern Missouri Group
7164 Manchester Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143 314-644-0890
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