Fight for Clean Water with Waterkeeper Alliance

Water is our world’s most precious resource. Without it, life ceases to exist. Unfortunately, our planet’s water supply is depleting faster than it can be replenished. What’s more, the water we do have is being compromised by pollution and runoff. Waterkeeper Alliance, one of the world’s fastest growing environmental organizations, is working to fight against water pollution and depletion.
Recently, Waterkeeper Alliance addressed the issue of water pollution caused by water runoff created by factory farms. It is one of the greatest sources of water pollution in the United States. Chemical contaminants from fertilized fields end up in our streams and rivers. Manure from overcrowded animal holding areas and warehouses also create runoff and contaminate water with deadly pathogens. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration passed a rule that allows factory farms to hide information about toxic pollutants from the public. This is a serious issue for communities all over the world. A petition from Last Call at the Oasis is working to give Americans back their right to know about what’s in their water. You can sign it here.

Airports also contribute to the pollution of our waters. They regularly dump toxic fuels, de-icing fluids and other pollutants into streams and waters. The Environmental Protection Agency has been petitioned by several environmental organizations to require that all airports report their toxic pollutants under the Toxic Release Inventory. Additionally, pollution runoff from the airport itself occurs. Organizations have requested that airports be forced to deal with their polluting practices. You can mail in letter, showing your support for the public’s right to know about toxic dumping and runoff from airports.
Flow the Film has links to a number of water-related petitions, actions, movements and issues. Find out what else you can do to help protect our planet’s most vital and precious resource. 

Shell Stops Arctic Drilling: Join Greenpeace in Urging Obama to Make Arctic Drilling Off-Limits Permanently

Oil drilling has caused complete devastation in waters all across the world. Entire ecosystems have been practically destroyed; countless animals and plants have suffered or died. This year, Shell, one of the biggest oil companies in the world, was set to start drilling in the Arctic. But after urging Obama to put an end to the company’s drilling plan, Shell announced that they would not pursue drilling offshore in the Alaskan Arctic waters.

But Shell isn’t the only oil company in the world; there are others that may try to extend their drilling efforts to the untapped Arctic waters and shores. If this happens, an already fragile ecosystem could suffer irreparable damage. But the implications of Arctic drilling could extend well beyond the boundaries of Alaska. Global warming, which is already an issue, could come into play.

It is the potentially permanent, catastrophic effects that Arctic drilling would have on our planet that Greenpeace is trying to fight against. They are asking everyone to take the time to sign a petition – a petition urging President Obama to make Arctic drilling off-limits for good. Protect the Arctic ecosystem and our planet by adding your signature to the petition today.

Walmart Offers Low Prices but Forgets Sustainability

Save money, live better; it’s Walmart’s tagline. Unfortunately, that tagline fails to mention that sometimes those low prices come at a price that can’t be measured by checking your pocketbook.

Though Walmart’s ‘Great Value’ tuna is offered to consumers at a low price, it’s costing countless sea animals their lives. That’s because, like many tuna distributors, ‘Great Value’ cans catch their tuna in one of the most destructive ways possible, a method that uses FADs, or fish-aggregating devices.

FADs are man-made floating devices that are placed out into the ocean. Though they are designed to attract fish, they also attract other forms of sea life – sharks, sting rays, sea turtles and more. Once the fishing boat returns to harvest the fish, they drop their nets into the water and scoop up everything that has gathered near the FAD, including the sea life they have no use for. Most of the animals trapped in these nets die, and crews simply toss whatever it is they don’t want back into the ocean. It is destructive fishing practices such as these that are destroying the biodiversity of our planet’s oceans. But things don’t have to be this way.



Safeway stores recently started selling their own store brand tuna, which is “Responsibly Caught.” What’s more, the nationally sold Safeway Select tuna costs less than the tuna provided by major name companies like Bumblebee and Chicken of the Sea, which also use FSD methods to catch their fish. This proves that sustainability can be done with affordability in mind. So if Safeway can make it happen, then certainly a store as large as Walmart can.

Though the message is out there, Walmart needs to hear from consumers like us; they need to know just how important sustainable fishing practices are to their customers. Companies like Bumblebee and Chicken of the Sea would rather carry on business as usual, possibly because it increases their profits. But because Walmart is such a large company shopped by so many consumers, a shift in their ‘Great Value’ fishing practices could very well force a change in the canned tuna industry. Large companies like Bumblebee and Chicken of the Sea may be forced to change their destructive ways, which would mean that our oceans might have a chance at making a comeback.

If you care about the tuna sold in Walmart stores, take action today. Let them know how you feel by signing the petition created by GreenPeace.



Make a Difference for Millions of Egg-laying Hens

The average egg-laying hen will spend her entire life confined to a cage so small that she can barely move, let alone flap her wings. Unlike her natural environment, there is no soft padding for her feet or body inside this cage. To force her body into egg-laying, her keepers may starve her – a process commonly referred to as “molting.” The conditions she lives in are more than unnatural; they’re inhumane. But it can be stopped.

Right now, Congress is considering ground-breaking, bi-partisan legislation that will outlaw these kinds of conditions. If passed, the Egg Products and Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 will:

  • Ban barren battery cages
  • Provide hens with double the space they currently have
  • Require keepers to provide more nesting and perching space for hens so they have an opportunity to carry out natural behaviors
  • Require that all egg cartons be labeled “from caged hens” or “cage-free hens” so that consumers can make more animal-friendly choices in the store
  • Outlaw forced molting
  • Prohibit the ammonia levels inside of hen houses
  • Require standards for the euthanasia of hens
  • Prohibit the transportation, sale and distribution of any eggs belonging to hens not being treated humanely, according to the aforementioned guidelines.

If enacted, this bill will be the first federal law relating to the treatment of farm animals raised for food in over 30 years. You can be a part of this ground-breaking legislation. Please, take action and sign the petition today!


Stop the Negative Effects of Net-Cage Fish Farming

In theory, open net-cage fish farming seems like the perfect way to meet high fish consumption demands; very little work and manpower is needed to raise and harvest the fish. Unfortunately, open-net fish farming works ONLY in theory. Its negative impacts extend well beyond the life of the fish within the farm.

For the fish contained within the nets, life can be miserable and short-lived. Because parasites like sea lice depend on fish for their survival, the high concentration of fish within the open-net farms provide the perfect conditions for infestation. What’s more, the high stress levels of the fish within these nets can make them more susceptible to naturally occurring diseases like infectious hematopoietic necrosis (IHN) and bacterial kidney disease (BKD). All of these diseases and parasites can have lethal adverse effects for the fish within the farm.

But it’s not just the fish in the farms. Because the cages are open-net, wild fish swimming near the farm also become susceptible to these diseases and parasites. What’s more, waste from the farm is unfiltered and allowed to wash away into the ocean. Ocean bottom-dwellers are especially damaged by the effects of fish farm waste since much of the waste settles to the ocean floor. Even after a fish farm moves, the area where the fish farm once existed may be inhabitable for marine life up to five years.

Mammals are also harmed by the effects of net-cage fish farming. More than 6,200 seals and sea lions have been shot on sight by net-cage farmers between 1989 and 2000. Regulations require that these shootings be reported, but local residents found 14 dead sea lions in a pit; they had been killed by a fish farm in Clayoquot Sound. But the shootings aren’t the only threat to marine mammals; at just two fish farms, 52 sea lions, a harbor porpoise and a Pacific white-sided dolphin died of entrapment in April of 2007 alone.

And if the damage to the world’s already fragile ecosystems wasn’t bad enough, open-net fish farming also damages the local economy. In contrast to commercial and recreational fishing, which has provided an estimated 14,300 jobs in BC, only 2,945 direct, indirect and induced jobs were provided by salmon farming within the same area. This is because much of the work in open-net farming is mechanized.

Open-net fish farming can be stopped. Even though the petition to stop a new fish farm from opening in BC (in an area that is designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, no less) is closed, interested parties can still contact government officials by mail or by email. Your action can help stop unnatural fish farming and help protect nature’s already fragile ecosystem.


Tell Parks Canada to Protect The Southern Strait of Georgia

You don’t have to live near the Georgia Strait to care about its abundance of wildlife and the environment it provides for countless beautiful species. We’ve made signing the petition as easy as possible for you–please, this only take a few minutes of your time. Your voice is valuable and is desperately needed. The form even sends your comments directly to each appropriate government representative.

The Need: The Southern Strait of Georgia is an incredibly rich part of our inland sea with unique marine habitats and a huge diversity of marine life. It is also bustling with human activities. A National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) will help ensure that the special species and their habitats are protected, and the wide array of human uses – from fishing to shipping to whale watching and more – are sustainably managed.

Simply SIGN HERE and use the following info (or customize as you wish):

Subject: NMCA Georgia Strait Alliance

Your Letter: As someone who cares for the wildlife that depends on the preservation of the Southern Strait of Georgia, I ask you to please consider the following when making plans for an NMCA for the area:

  • The proposed north and south boundaries are good, but the large rectangular area NE of Galiano and Valdes Islands should be added back into the National Marine Conservation Area.
  • The National Marine Conservation Area boundary should extend up to the high tide line and include important near-shore ocean habitats.
  • Please assume management responsibility for the entire National Marine Conservation Area at once, rather than phasing it in over many years.
  • The National Marine Conservation Area should include a network of core “no take” areas that are fully protected.

Thank you for your time,

Your Name

Photo by Christopher Michel


Raffle Event Winners and Thank You Announcement

A week and 2,500 entries later, the Lights ON authors managed to raise funds for a variety of causes, give away some great swag prizes, and hopefully shed light on issues that deserve some much-needed attention. A HUGE thank you to all who participated and helped promote the event in some way, including a few Twitter peeps who volunteered time and effort of their own accord to help get the word out all week long.

Special thanks to: The Sub Club Book Club, Literati Lit Lovers, Karen Everett, Melissa Iorio, Neda Amini, Suz, Kari, TwiArcady90, The GI Series Fans, and of course, all of the wonderful authors for their generosity and time spent.

All winners have been drawn and notified via e-mail. We hope you enjoy your prizes and we thank you again for your kindness, compassion, and generosity in supporting these fantastic organizations.

Until the next event…

Thank You :)

Lights ON Launch Raffle Event

If you or someone you know is a bookworm, be sure to join us for the official Lights ON launch raffle event on August 1st. You can enter to win from a slew of exclusive prizes from a variety of authors, and it gives you a chance to reach out and help a cause in need. You don’t have to be a reader to stop by and show your support. Come on by and simply show some love for one of the represented charities, or endorse your own by leaving a comment here. Be sure to tell us why the cause needs attention and how we can help. See you there!

Authors in attendance include: