July 14th, 2010 - Scott Shaffer
The Washington Post says environmentalists and culinary enthusiasts agree: we should chow down on lionfish. It tastes good and we need to get rid of it, for the sake of coral reefs. The invasive species was moved from the western Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic near Florida in the 1980s, where it became a top predator, feeding on Grouper and Snapper. Lionfish populations in the south Atlantic grew by 700% from 2004 to 2008, and it looks like it’s going to spread, destroying ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico (if the oil spill doesn’t beat it to the punch).
So what’s the only predator higher on the food chain than this venomous fish? Homo Sapiens, of course. But just because you’re saving the environment doesn’t mean your food can’t taste great! Seafood distributer Sean Dimin says “this fish is delicious.” Chef Teddy Diggs sauteed lionfish in brown butter, drizzled it with vinegar, and served it over greens.
If you can, get in on this trend and help out the Atlantic ecosystems (Fish2Fork has other tips on eating sustainable seafood). It can be a healthy move, too: fish are high in healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Bon appetit!
Read More:Sustainable Seafood Advocates Say: Eat Lionfish!
June 6th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
More than 275 million people visit America’s national parks each year, but “years of underfunding, pollution and climate change have taken a toll on our national treasures,” says Theresa Pierno, executive vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).
That’s why four-time Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney has partnered with granola-bar company Nature Valley to raise up to $500,000 for the NPCA. .
“To me, there’s nothing better than being outside, enjoying the parks, the lakes and the oceans—and that’s what makes protecting our national parks so important,” Chesney says. “Teaming up with Nature Valley to raise awareness and funds is a great way to make sure the public realizes how special these parks are.”
You may make a donation to support restoration projects by clicking here.
In the first year, Nature Valley will contribute to the NPCA through the National Parks Project, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $250,000. Money raised will focus on three preservation projects:
- Reestablishing plant life critical to the Grand Canyon
- Restoring habitat for Yellowstone’s wildlife
- Rebuilding Biscayne National Park’s damaged coral reefs
Pierno says the new partnership “is another step toward ensuring our national parks get the care and support they need for the enjoyment of our children and grandchildren in the years to come.”
You can follow park conservation efforts on Twitter.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: The Natural Parks: America’s Best Idea
Photos courtesy of Kenny Chesney; Jim Peaco/National Park Service
Read More:Give Our National Parks Some TLC
May 20th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
As we reported a few weeks ago, Disneynature contributed a percentage of opening-week ticket sales for its latest film, Oceans, to The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt a Coral Reef program.
The environmental partners have since announced that the proceeds will be used to protect more than 35,000 acres of coral reefs in The Bahamas. At 55 square miles, the area is 250% larger than Manhattan and could house more than 412 Disneylands.
A critically important ecosystem, The Bahamas’ 700 islands straddle the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Miles of coral reefs serve as the foundation for a healthy ocean environment, providing shelter, nurseries and feeding grounds for hundreds of marine species, including dolphins, sea turtles and a wide range of fish.
Scientists estimate Caribbean coral reefs could disappear in 50 years unless they have a network of well-managed protected areas.
“Disneynature has captured the beauty, wonder and fragility of our world’s marine habitats and species in Oceans,” says Nature Conservancy President and CEO Mark Tercek. “We appreciate Disney’s commitment to help protect marine areas in The Bahamas, which is home to 30% of all coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean.”
Disney Stores will also donate $1 from the sale of each eco-friendly Save Planet Earth Reusable Bag to the Adopt a Coral Reef program. Bags are now on sale for only $1.49 (50% off).
Read More:Coral Reefs to Benefit from Disney’s “Oceans”