Environment & Weather
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sharon Day   
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 15:05
1200 mile Mississippi River Water Walk aims to draw attention to the health of the river.

Sharon Day River Walk  Image 1.jpg

A group of Indigenous Women are carrying a ceremonial copper pail of water from the headwaters of the Mississippi in Minnesota to the delta at the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana.

The Mississippi River Water Walkers and their supporters will leave Lake Itasca State Park on March 1 following a traditional Ojibwe water ceremony at 7:00 am and will continue walking each and every day until they reach the Gulf near New Orleans on or around April 29th. Now four weeks and 600 miles into their mission, the women have walked through heavy wind and snow in the Upper Midwest as lower than average temperatures made the going rough but did not dim their enthusiasm or dampen their commitment.

The Water Walkers aim to draw attention to the perils facing the river due to pollution. The Mississippi River is the second most polluted river in the United States. Toxic chemicals from municipalities, farms and corporations are taking their toll on the river. By the time a drop of water reaches the “dead zones” near the mouth of the river, the water is nearly depleted of oxygen. The Walkers bring a message of hope as they educate people along the way and encourage them to do what they can to be better stewards of the river..

“We want the walk to be a prayer,” Day says. “Every step we take we will be praying for and thinking of the water. The water has given us life and now, we will support the water.”

Safe Access. Safe Water PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by International Rescue Committee   
Friday, 22 March 2013 14:24

Today is World Water Day. Share this post to spread the word about women and girls' urgent need for safe access to safe water. Help us reach our goal of 1,500 shares!

World Water Day is an opportunity to spotlight the fact that many women and girls in crisis zones worldwide must trek miles every day just to reach clean water. And as they make this difficult journey, they often face the threat of sexual violence.

Governor Quinn Launches Sister Rivers/Lakes Website to Celebrate World Water Day 2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 22 March 2013 14:17

Illinois Partners with Six Nations to Share Best Practices, Stimulate Exports and Promote Tourism 

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled a website highlighting the Illinois Sister Rivers/Lakes Initiative today in honor of United Nations World Water Day 2013, whose theme is “International Year of Water Cooperation.” The website is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protecting our natural resources and driving Illinois’ economy forward. This is the 20th Anniversary of World Water Day, which highlights sustainable management of freshwater resources. Illinois has built partnerships with officials in six nations to share creative solutions to common problems, such as run-off, silt and invasive species.

“The Illinois Sisters Rivers/Lakes Initiative celebrates the spirit of ‘water cooperation,’ as we share our successes with and learn from our partners across the world,” Governor Quinn said. “Each nation has unique challenges, but we have common priorities: clean and healthy waterways, improved commercial and recreational opportunities, and we all are working hard to leave a better watershed than we inherited.”

The goals of UN World Water Day’s “Year of International Water Cooperation” are to spark concrete, innovative action and foster partnerships and dialogue around water. Dozens of events have been organized worldwide, such as 6,000 students in 21 nations who will walk six kilometers (3.7 miles) while carrying a water-filled backpack to dramatize the inaccessibility of fresh water for many of the world’s children.

Governor Quinn has crafted Lake Michigan and Illinois River “sisterships” with Brazil’s Capibaribe River, China’s Huangpu River, Ireland’s River Lee, Israel’s Lake Kinneret, Poland’s Vistula River and South Korea’s Han River.

The new Illinois Sister Rivers/Lakes website (SisterRivers.Illinois.gov) is designed to share best practices with not only our partners, but advocates for waterways worldwide. The website details successful initiatives such as Governor Quinn’s innovative Mud-to-Parks project, Dam Removal and Safety Initiatives and the Clean Water Initiative to modernize drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The new site will also help boost tourism and export opportunities among the Sister Rivers/Lakes partners.

The website also helps Illinois residents planning a trip abroad with information on Illinois’ Sister Waterways. For example, you can fish for salmon in Ireland’s Lee River, pedal along Seoul’s Han River or Israel’s “Jesus Trail,” or kayak on Poland’s Vistula River. The skylines of Shanghai and Recife, Brazil, may best be seen from a boat on the Huangpu or Capibaribe Rivers.

Governor Quinn also invited tourists in China, Israel, Poland, South Korea, Brazil and Ireland to enjoy all that Illinois waterways have to offer.  For tourism information, visit EnjoyIllinois.com. For information about fishing, boating, paddling and birding, visit dnr.illinois.gov.


Take the DriveLessLiveMore Challenge for Earth Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ethan Spotts   
Friday, 22 March 2013 13:34
Track trips online, win prizes

CHICAGO – The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and the Active Transportation Alliance will launch the Earth Day Rideshare Challenge next month to increase awareness and appreciation by encouraging commuters to consider an alternative form of transit.

The new challenge encourages companies and their staff to participate in a free, team-based carpooling and vanpooling competition for Chicago-area employers by logging on to www.drivelesslivemore.com and tracking their trips. The website features a unique, interactive trip-tracking calendar, which can rank competitors and display statistics, such as greenhouse gases prevented, fuel and money saved, and calories burned. The Earth Day Rideshare Challenge begins April 8 and runs through Earth Day, April 22.

“Ridesharing is a great option for commuters who don’t have easy access to transit or safe cycling routes to their job,” said Richard Kwasneski, Chairman of the Pace Board of Directors. “Getting involved in ridesharing saves commuters money and is easy to do using our free, online matching service at www.PaceRideShare.com.”

The Earth Day RideShare challenge will offer employers the tools to organize their workforce and participate in a fun competition that can encourage environmental and social change.

“Drive Less Live More has proven to be a groundbreaking program for the Chicago region,” said Joe Costello, RTA Executive Director. “We’re very excited how this contest has engaged our transit riders, companies and their employees to leave their cars at home and choose an alternative form of transportation,”

Challenge participants must register at drivelesslivemore.com, and then either create a team or join an existing team for their employer. Each team competes for the highest percentage of carpoolers and vanpoolers among similar-sized organizations.

Teams will find everything they need at the website to prepare their teams including: easy sign-up process, automated trip logging and team ranking, posters, and online resources. Team members can also choose to sign up as an individual participant, track their trips and be eligible to win prizes.

The companies with the highest percentage of employees who log rideshare trips at the website during the challenge win—and all teams will be publicly recognized!

A company wins if it has the highest percentage of employees logging an eligible commute to work in its category during the challenge time-frame. The winning team receives public recognition, a virtual winner’s certificate, and the satisfaction of being the healthiest and greenest workplace in northeastern Illinois.

The RTA’s transit system makes a significant impact on the region’s environment by saving approximately 150 million gallons of gas annually. And as saving money continues to be on everyone’s mind in this economic climate, the drive less live more challenge is another means to encourage travelers to see the value in public transportation and other alternative methods of greener travel.

Learn more by visiting www.drivelesslivemore.com. For all your travel plans, visit www.RTAchicago.com.

The RTA provides financial oversight, funding and regional planning for the three public transit operations in Northeastern Illinois: The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and train, Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus and paratransit.  For more information, visit www.RTAchicago.com.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit safe, convenient and enjoyable. We advocate for transportation that encourages and promotes safety, physical activity, health, recreation, social interaction, equity, and resource conservation. The Active Transportation Alliance is supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.


The Best Internship on Earth PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sierra Club   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:10
Do you have a passion for the environment? Love spending time outside? Enjoy telling your friends about your adventures? Do you want to have the Best Internship on Earth?

This summer, two young adults will travel around the country with the Sierra Club's activist and outings programs and video blog their experiences. They'll also receive $1,000 gift cards from primary sponsor The North Face.

Submit your video application by April 9, then share it with your friends and family. The top five videos with the most comments will receive a Sierra Club swag bag with a surprise from The North Face.

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