Butte Environmental Council Newsletter, June 2020
BEC's mission is to protect and defend the land, air and water of Butte County and the surrounding region through action, advocacy and education. Our monthly newsletter is designed to keep our community informed about local issues that impact our region's environmental quality and bring you opportunities to become involved.
Are you passionate about what we do and want to see our work continue? Please consider becoming a Sustaining Member today! A Sustaining Member is an individual who contributes anywhere from $3 to $30 a month to ensure we have the sustainable support we need to fulfill our mission and continue the kind of work that is highlighted in this newsletter.
Join us for the 33rd Annual Bidwell Park & Chico Creeks Cleanup
Save the Date(s) and Pre-Register Now!
We are elated to announce, the Annual BEC Cleanup will now be expanded to 2 days! On Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th from 9 to noon , hundreds of community volunteers will disperse through more than 15 miles of Bidwell Park and Chico creeks to remove literal TONS of trash and recyclable materials. It is crucial that we do our part to help keep our vulnerable riparian areas and natural spaces healthy and thriving. Pre-registering now before August 10th will ensure you get a 2020 cleanup t-shirt!
A Message on Safety
We have planned specific safety measures to keep volunteers safe during this time. Because our community is still at risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus through close contact, we STRONGLY encourage you to register as a group. This year, we will deliver cleanup materials to groups in the weeks preceding which will allow us to alleviate large numbers of volunteers gathering each morning of the event. Grab a few friends or a group of co-workers and pre-register now!
Each year, passionate community members and allies contribute in a very special way to this event. Offering your financial support in this way will make it possible to engage hundreds of volunteers and help us with our new goal to sustain a full weekend of cleaning up! We know you are dedicated to a healthy watershed and our mission to protect the land, air, and water of Butte County. We invite you to be a Friend of the Cleanup today.
BEC Increases Partnership with City on Urban Forest Campaign
You heard it here first! BEC and the City of Chico Parks Dept. are increasing their partnership on the Urban Forest Campaign to provide opportunities to local up-and-coming professionals. These internships will provide unique and meaningful experience as those hired will work under the umbrella of BEC as a non-profit and directly with the City's Urban Forest Manager. Urban Forest Interns will work towards goals specific to the Cal-Fire Urban Forest Grant and assist BEC with involving the community in tree planting and urban forest education efforts. To express interest in this opportunity and be the first to receive more information, email danielle.baxter@becnet.org. To learn more about this program, click HERE .
Do You Have a Local Environmental Concern You'd Like to Report?
Our Creek Watch Hotline Program provides an online tool for you to easily file a report on local environmental concerns you have. You can choose from the following categories and the form will be directed to the appropriate City Department so that your concern is addressed: Fire Hazards, Hazardous Waste, Encampments, Illegal Dumping, Pollution, and Water Quality. We are partnered with the City of Chico on this program to encourage collective community care of our parks and waterways.
We Have Open Seats on our Board of Directors!
We currently have (5) open seats on our Board of Directors. We are looking for community members who are passionate about the environment and want to contribute to the success of BEC's mission. If you have experience in environmental advocacy, education, event planning, fundraising, or other expertise you'd like to offer, please reach out to our current Board Chair, Becky Holden at beckyholden747@gmail.com.
Not sure if now is the right time? Well... if one or more of the statements below resonate with you, it may be time to take the leap!
Virtual Recycling and Composting Workshops
The RARE Program is adapting its educational and interactive workshops to he conducted virtually! RARE is designed to bring awareness to local and global waste impacts on the environment and implement waste reduction education in K-12 classrooms. With the school year right around the corner, you can take a look at the calendar and schedule a virtual workshop for your classroom early.
Action Item: Give Your Input to the Climate Action Plan Process
We are happy to share that the City of Chico and recently established Climate Action Commission are hosting a virtual workshop on the Chico Climate Action Plan. We encourage all BEC members and allies to participate in this conversation and provide your input to guide this process. As impacts of climate change continue to worsen globally and in our own region, now is the time for community members to use their voices and advocate for the change they want to see regarding a viable future for all.
Wipes Havocking the Sewage
Article by Neil Bajaj, BEC Member & Local High School Student
The State Water Board encourages Californians to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes to avoid spreading the COVID virus. It is also important to dispose of those items in the trash, not the toilet to avoid additional impacts. Flushing wipes, and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk. Even wipes labeled “flushable” will clog pipes. The wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper. Wipes are among the leading causes of sewer system backups, impacting the sewer system, and spilling into our lakes, rivers, and oceans where they have broad-ranging impacts on public health and the environment. Preventing sewer spills is important for the protection of public health and the environment. Fortunately, given these impacts, there is an alternative to disinfection. According to (CDC), It is critical for hospitals to provide the cleanest environments possible. Since its inception in 2007, UVC disinfection has been proven to be effective at maintaining a sterile workplace. Ultraviolet light is a form of light, invisible to the human eye. UV wavelengths inactivate microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, making UVC a chemical-free and environmentally friendly method of disinfecting any space. Conventional UV light, although a disinfectant, is also a safety hazard because it causes skin cancer and eye problems. According to Dr. David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, preliminary studies conducted have shown that ultra-violet lighting kills the Covid-19 virus. New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority4 will use ultraviolet light to help remove Covid-19 from its subways, buses, and commuter trains. Dr. Brenner is MTA’s technical adviser on this project. In short, exposure to far-UVC light is safe for people and the environment, but potentially lethal for viruses in the air. - Neil
As always, thank you for your continued support. We wish you safety from all of us here at BEC!
General Manager
Butte Environmental Council