January 17

Orange Tide ride

first_imgBy Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaThe Sea Monkeys could never have imagined how far those orangeswould take them.”I had no idea we would do more than just gather facts for localscientists,” said Nathan Potts, one of the Glynn County, Ga.,high school 4-H’ers who call themselves the Sea Monkeys. “Webecame the scientists.”At first, the group simply had been concerned about the waterwashing the St. Simons Island beaches. Health advisories hadwarned of enterococcal bacteria, and nobody knew where it wascoming from.So in December 2004, the 4-H’ers launched the first 280 orangesof their “Orange Tide Marshwater Tracking Study.” Working withlocal environmental scientists, they used the floating fruit totrack the flow of tidal streams.They trailed those oranges and later launches over the followingmonths. They combed beaches and searched from kayaks. They notedthe oranges’ exact locations with Global Positioning System gearsecured with a grant after the project began.Based on the group’s findings, environmental scientists focusedtheir searches and found enterococcal bacteria sources. The SeaMonkeys found an unexpected source, too: dog feces on thebeaches. They mounted an intensive public education campaign toturn that “brown tide” around.As the project progressed, awards started coming. Big awards.* In November 2005, the group won a trip for four to theEarthwatch Conference in Cambridge, Mass. There, they were nameda grand prize winner in the international Earthbound3 Challenge.The honor includes a $12,000 award that will send Potts, HarvestHale and Will Prince and their 4-H advisor, Robi Gray, on aresearch expedition in southern Spain. (Three students accepted$1,750 each in lieu of the trip.)The 4-H’ers will live aboard a refitted Norwegian fishing vesselfor two weeks in late June and early July. They’ll studydolphins, whales and sea turtles in the Alboran Sea during thedays and spend each night in a different port.* In April, the Sea Monkeys took top honors in the GeorgiaConservancy Youth Environmental Symposium. The award includes$2,000, a plaque and a number of T-shirts, guide books, waterbottles and other prizes.”YES is a wonderful venue for inspiring young Georgians to takeaction in their communities,” Gray said.* In October, four of the Sea Monkeys will go to SeaWorldAdventure Park in San Antonio, Tex. They’ll be honored there asone of eight national winners in the 2006 EnvironmentalExcellence Awards given by SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Fujifilm.The award includes, besides the SeaWorld trip, $10,000 to expandand enhance the project; a digital camera; trophies andcertificates for every student and group leader; T-shirts forschool and community partners; and an environmental partnershipwith the National Geographic Society.The biggest impact, though, may be where the Orange Tide projectis taking the Sea Monkeys next.Will Prince, for instance, had moved to Glynn County only a monthbefore the 4-H project began. “He had never thought of marinebiology,” Gray said. “But now he wants to be a marine biologist.”Before the project, Hale planned to become a music teacher.”After the study, I realized how much fun environmental sciencereally is,” she said. “I want to study marsh ecology.”Potts, too, intends to study an environmental science andengineering. “I’d like to work in an area,” he said, “where I canbridge science with other fields to solve problems.”The Sea Monkeys will go to the National 4-H Technology LeadershipConference in Lincoln, Neb., July 24-27. There, they’ll useexpertise they developed in the Orange Tide project to teachother 4-H’ers how to help develop community emergency evacuationmaps.”People from local and state organizations really like highschoolers getting involved and looking for solutions to communityproblems,” Potts said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity tohelp my island be a better place.”(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

September 26

IMF urges Italy to enforce spending cuts

first_img Share Sharing is caring! Share Share Tweetcenter_img Italian shares had a volatile day of trading on TuesdayThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Italy to ensure “decisive implementation” of spending cuts to reduce the country’s debt.Its comments come as concerns continue that Italy may be the next country to be affected by the debt crisis in the eurozone.The Italian government is now moving ahead with plans for an austerity budget.The IMF said Rome may be being too optimistic about economic growth.“[IMF] directors stressed that decisive implementation of the package is key and a number of them felt that more front-loaded spending measures would have a positive effect on market sentiments,” said the IMF report.It added that Italy’s plans on tax reform lacked detail, and that the Italian government had to do more to boost the economy.“Only sustained growth will reduce the burden of public debt.” it said.The IMF predicts that the Italian economy will grow by 1% this year, down from 1.3% in 2010.Responding to the IMF report, Italy’s Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said: “We have to do more and we will do more in the coming hours.”Deficit target Concern about Italy’s finances saw its main share index, the FTSE MIB, fall as much as 4% at one point on Tuesday, before recovering to rise 1.2%. The index was up 0.6% in Wednesday trading.Mr Tremonti is proposing 48bn euros ($67bn; £42bn) in budget cuts over three years, and aims to cut the deficit to zero by 2014 from this year’s 3.9% of gross domestic product.He left a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels early on Tuesday so he could continue to work on the austerity plans.In a sign that investors are worried about Italy’s financial situation, the yield on Italian 10-year bonds on Tuesday increased to 5.8%, before falling back to 5.6% on Wednesday.Analysts say the yield remains close to levels at which the Italian government will have problems servicing its debts, which are currently more than 120% of the country’s annual economic output.The Italian central bank has confirmed this is the case.“If these kind of [yield] levels persist, the burden for public finances would be severe,” Ignazio Visco, the Bank of Italy’s deputy director general, told a parliamentary hearing.As concerns about the debt crisis in the eurozone continue, the Irish Republic had its debt-rating cut to junk status by ratings agency Moody’s on Tuesday.Moody’s said there was a “growing possibility” that the country would need a second bail-out from the European Union and the IMF.The credit rating agency’s move was criticised by the European Commission.A spokeswoman for Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso described it as “incomprehensible”, adding that the timing was “questionable” because it came before the Commission published its latest review of Ireland’s finances.The Irish Republic is one of three eurozone countries that have so far needed such financial support, the other two being Greece and Portugal.BBC News LifestyleMoney IMF urges Italy to enforce spending cuts by: – July 13, 2011 82 Views   no discussionslast_img read more