Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Nature of Conservation: Hawaii Adventure with Dad

In January of this year, my dad and I went on a trip to Hawai’i, to the islands of Hawai’i Island and Oahu. We enjoyed exploring a tropical environment with diverse and beautiful ecosystems and welcoming people. I only was able to glimpse a fraction of what the region holds, but I enjoyed seeing manta rays, humpback whale, green sea turtles, many fish, and even a monk seal! 

In addition to being in Hawai’i for vacation, I was there as part of a team to review work of the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, a collaboration between the United States Geological Survey (USGS), also under the Department of the Interior, and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, University of Guam, and other research partners. We also visited the Hawai’i Wildlife Research Center, the only center of its kind in Hawai’i, which provides wildlife rehabilitation to native wildlife, mostly birds, in Hawai’i. 

I think NECWA and the Hawai’i Wildlife Research Center both exemplify a profound dedication to and care for the creatures on this planet. Their work should be acknowledged and supported by the people, communities, and state and federal agencies that depend on them to step up and help where no one else does. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Nature of Conservation: Your Voice Does Matter

Hi: This is Ingrid Biedron again.

I learned from a colleague who works on the Hill that it DOES make a difference if you contact your Senator or Congressperson! You can tweet them, call them, e-mail them, send them a letter, or visit them in person! It does matter! Even as few as 10 tweets on one issue is sometimes enough for a staffer to highlight that issue for their boss, the Senator or Congressperson. 

If you care about an issue, I encourage you to let your representatives know, in the way that is easiest for you. It is important that you contact the representatives for the STATE YOU LIVE IN! Most likely, representatives will be concerned about responding to issues that their constituents care about, so that they can count on their votes for re-election. That means that representatives will most likely listen to and address the concerns of the people they represent but may not pay as much attention to comments from people living outside the state they represent. To find out who your Senators and Representatives are and what their contact information and twitter handles are, I suggest just googling them!

Since I am an environmentalist and I am concerned about increased offshore drilling in US waters, I suggest you reach out to your representatives on this issue, letting them know if you don’t want drilling in US waters (right now, most coasts on the Continental US and Alaska, except for parts of Florida, are on the table for drilling as soon as 2019). If you would like to voice your concerns to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Federal Agency (under the Department of the Interior) regulating offshore drilling in the US. 

It is very important that as many people as possible attend the pubic listening sessions at various cities in the next few weeks and/or submit your comments online! 

Here are the New England public listening sessions:
  • February 13 – Hartford, CT
  • February 27 – Boston, MA
  • February 28 – Providence, RI
  • March 5 – Concord, NH
  • March 7 – Augusta, ME
Here are the links listing the public listening sessions and describing how to submit your comments online. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Ingrid Biedron - The Nature of Conservation!

I’m Ingrid Biedron, a marine scientist and conservationist, and I’m excited to have an opportunity to blog for NECWA! I am a huge fan of NECWA and the blood, sweat and tears that its Founder, President, and CEO, Krill Carson, and NECWA’s many volunteers and interns, dedicate to wildlife in New England’s coast and oceans. 

I have worked at an ocean conservation NGO, for NOAA, and for several academic institutions, and I’m always looking for a better way to use science and policy to protect the planet and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. I am originally from Chelsea, Michigan, have spent a lot of time in New England, and currently live in Washington, DC. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on marine ecosystems and how we can continue to protect them. 

So keep an eye on this blog site and thank you for taking an interest in the natural world around you!