Great Waters Group
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 01:24
Autumn Assembly October 10-12, 2014
WI’s John Muir Chapter will hold its annual Autumn Assembly at the Phantom Lake YMCA in Mukwonago, WI. This year's event will be co-hosted by the Great Waters Group and the John Muir Chapter and will include indoor and outdoor environmental activities for all. This camp, founded in 1896, sits on 72 acres of scenic woodlands.
The event will feature keynote speaker Ron Seely, editor and reporter for the WI Center for Investigative Journalism. Until he retired in 2013, Seely was an award-winning reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal, the state’s second largest daily newspaper, where he worked for 35 years. For 20 years, he covered science and environment. Seely has also served as a senior lecturer in UW Madison’s Life Sciences Communication Department for the past 15 years.
In 1997, Seely was the co-writer and narrator for Wisconsin Public Television’s “Love of the Land,” a documentary about private landowners who have adapted Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. Seely has received many awards for environmental and investigative reporting, including reporting the role of Wisconsin’s tribes and their powerful treaty rights in the debate over the proposed 4 ½-mile-long open pit iron mine in the Penokee Range. An avid angler and wilderness paddler, Seely lives in Madison.
This event will include various timely program topics, possibly including tar sands oil, mining, water quality, Great Lakes protection, coal, renewable energy, energy efficiency, protecting our wild Wisconsin, and more. Various outings and activities.
Check back later for more details as the planning continues.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 01:23
UPDATE on GWG and Plastic Bag Issue
A major goal of the Great Waters Group is to reduce the number of single use bags distributed in our community. Working toward that goal, we continue to present educational programs to community groups describing the environmental impact and community cost of using these bags. Our biggest effort so far was the April 5 showing of the "Bag It" movie in the Rosebud Theatre in Wauwatosa. Forty six people joined us for this program which included introductory remarks from Wauwatosa Mayor Ehley and reports by Alderman Jeff Roznowski, Janet Anderson, and Dianne Dagelen.
Our initial strategy to reduce the distribution of single use bags is public education. We are often called on to present programs to community groups. These programs usually include the "Bag It" movie as well as supplemental material to tie into our local community.
We continue to survey local audiences with a simple form designed for this purpose. We have four basic Yes/No questions:
- Do we need to do more education on the effects of adding plastic bags to our environment:
- Should there be a charge for each bag taken from a retail store as is done in other communities with good results in reducing the number of single use bags?
- Should plastic bags be banned as is done successfully done in other places around the world?
- If people are now using throw away bags, are they willing to change?
- We then poll people on their views regarding the solution. Here are the choices:
- Need more community Education
- Place a tax plastic bags from stores
- Ban single use plastic bags
- Willing to change behavior
We plan to use the results of these surveys to encourage stores to reduce the distribution of bags either by charging for bags people use, or by no longer providing free bags. Each of these practices is currently being used by some stores in our community. Other more comprehensive action may be considered if voluntary efforts don’t work well enough.
We have preplanned educational programs that include a copy of the "Bag It" movie, a PowerPoint program, and discussion material. You can help with our work by lining up groups that would like such a program and/or distributing survey forms.