Sustainability Information Page

Management of Water (Andrew F.)

Almost 3/4 of our earth is water but only 1-2 percent of the worlds water is drinkable. More and more people are moving into urban areas and the growth of the population and demand for water go hand in hand. People waste a lot of water. Some of that water is toxic and can harm marine animals. One of the many ways to reduce our consumption of water is to get a low flow shower head. This can reduce your shower water use by 20 - 60 percent. Another way is to install a low flush toilet or add a toilet damn in your current one to reduce your toilet water consumption. There are dozens of other ideas out there like using rain barrels that can help us conserve the little water we have.

Management of Waste (Andrew F.)

Waste is a big problem for us and our planet. We throw away a lot of excess trash we never really needed in the first place. Some of the ways we can reduce this is by recycling paper and plastic bottles. We can also minimize our waste by using reusable water bottles and reuse the backs of scrap paper for printing. Another way to reduce waste is to buy less and use less.

Human Population Crisis (Harry)

Human population grows by exponential growth. Starts slow, but speed up really fast. Overpopulation happens when there are more people in one area than that area’s resources can handle. Rich countries have a larger problem. Because people are using resources more and more, eventually, every nation will be overpopulated. We also have to monitor how much we use, not just how many babies we have. Another thing that we have to look at is how much money we spend to keep people alive. Even though we want people to live a long time, nature is natural and it will keep the population natural.

Toxic waste dumping on the Ivory Coast (Harry)

In Abidjan, in September, 6 people died and 80,000 others had to get medical help because of toxic waste dumping in the area. There were 14 sites for toxic waste around the city! What happened was that a tanker from Europe with 500 tons of waste dumped it into one of the sites. The smell came into the city and made a lot of people really sick. Over the night, the tanker secretly dumped the waste into the sites, some of which we really close to farms. The ship was supposed to deliver petroleum to Nigeria and let the waste off there, but instead it dumped it in Abidjan. Basically, the reason the ship dumped it there is because it would have cost the ship $250,000 to properly dispose of the waste. In most cases, the ship doesn’t want to dispose of the waste properly, so they dump it in poor communities, and that’s what the controversy is about.

Sustainability Project-Invasive Species (Ellie)

First article-

According to this article, “an invasive species is an exotic species (one that has been deliberately or accidentally introduced into a habitat it would not normally populate) that thrives in its new environment, disrupting the natural ecosystem.” (Para. 1). Invasive species can enter the United States in a number of ways, either brought in on purpose or coming in stuck to someone’s clothes who had recently visited a foreign country (only plants do this). Most of the time this new species dies off in an unknown environment. Sometimes, however, they become invasive, thriving in this new place and killing off the other native species.

Four different things can happen when a new species is brought in to the U.S. The first is predation, where the exotic species kills off the native species by preying on them. The next is competition, which is bad for both exotic and native species. The third and fourth interactions are mutualism and commensalism. The latter, commensalism, is when one of the species does fine and the other does really well. Mutualism happens when both of the species, exotic and native, benefit from the interaction. In the last two interactions, the new species is not invasive.

To be invasive, the species must be able to have babies, be immune to herbivores and diseases, and out-compete the natives. Invasive species cost our government more than $123 billion a year in damages. Almost 70% of endangered species got that way because of invasive species. Many times invasive species also carry diseases, such as the Dutch elm disease, brought in by the bark beetle. Another example is the kudzu vine or water hyacinth. Sometimes, invasive species are brought in by the ballast water of ships, such as the zebra mussel from the Caspian Sea.

In 1999, President Clinton signed an executive order that created an Invasive Species Council to prevent and minimize the effects made by exotic species that have become invasive.

This article’s main idea addresses the problem of kudzu. In household gardens, kudzu grows over and around other plants, killing them. It also has a terrible disease called soybean rust riding along with it. For the last two years the Invasive Species Council (ISC) has been trying to develop aquatic and terrestrial management plans to respond to invasive species destruction. By the end of last year, 23 locations had enlisted the help of the ISC in Pennsylvania. According to this article, the main idea of the ISC is “a comprehensive approach on how to address any invasive species and includes risk assessment, rapid response, control and restoration, prevention, early detection, monitoring and data management, research, key personnel and funding, and education and outreach objectives.” Kudzu was introduced from Asia, and it has purple flowers and furry tan seed pods that come in autumn.

Endangered Species Act (1973) by DISCovering Science

The ESA or Endangered Species Act was designed to save species from extinction. In 1999, 1,741 species of animals and 706 plants were listed in the ESA as being endangered. Most of these plants and animals can be found in the U.S. The ESA has been viewed as slowing down economic production by industries and also has been viewed as not providing good enough protection for animals by conservationists. The Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 said that companies should protect the 83 endangered animals on the act when “practicable and consistent with the primary purposes” of the companies. In 1969 the Endangered Species Conservation Act was created, where species could be added if they were threatened with extinction worldwide. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 followed, of which the primary goal is: “all methods and procedures necessary to bring any endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to [the] Act are no longer necessary”. This means that we must keep trying to preserve the species until no longer necessary.

This act had both endangered and threatened species on it. Threatened meant that the species could become endangered if actions weren’t taken. Section 7, the most controversial section, states that: “no action by a federal agency, such as the destruction of critical habitat, could jeopardize an endangered species”. Many companies disagreed heavily with this section, for obvious reasons. One famous example is the snail darter, an endangered minnow. A dam was being built in Tennessee that would destroy the only known habitat of the snail darter. Therefore, though almost complete, the dam could not be finished. Now, you must propose to have a species be put on the ESA list, and must have evidence of its critical habitat. This law has suffered from little public support and little funding. However, this law has made a substantial contribution to helping endangered species worldwide.

Water Pollution (Tess)

More than 70% of the Earths surface contains water. Water is one of Earths most valuable natural resource. Everybody knows that water is a huge value and something that everybody needs, but we are still continuing to pollute our rivers, lakes and, oceans. By polluting we are harming our environment and are quickly harming other living creatures on our planet. This also is affecting our drinking water as well as living organisms. By us putting bad pollutants in our rivers, lakes, and oceans we are putting more harm into the water we drink. There are two different types of water pollution, point source and non- point source. Point Source is when unhealthy substances are put right into a body of water. An example of point source is dumping your oil into a stream. Non- point source is when pollutants come from “environmental changes.” An example of this is when fertilizers run off into water and affects living things in the water. Most water pollution comes from fertilizers which affect almost everything in the oceans. Concluding, water is a huge resource that everyone on earth values. We need to do something to help and save our water supply.

Overfishing (Tess)

Over half of our planet is covered by ocean. Many people depend and rely on the ocean to support livelihoods. Overfishing means that we are catching too many fish. Overfishing is a “global disaster” because fisheries are catching too many adult fish which means that they can’t breed and grow the population. By overfishing we are decreasing the number of fish in our oceans, which will damage the whole ecosystem. We are losing a valuable food source and we are leading the oceans to collapse. It’s not just the fish that we are harming. Other organisms we are harming include, sharks, sea birds, and many other fish species. Overfishing affects the entire food web which again, will make the oceans ecosystem collapse. Marine ecologists think that overfishing is the biggest threat in marine life. Something that we could do to help stop overfishing is to have catching limits for fishermen. To make sure that happens we could have people monitoring and making sure that people obey the catching limits. Overfishing is a huge global disaster which is effecting the whole entire ecosystem.

Human impact on ocean environment. (Claudia)

In the two articles they talked about how people hardly know what is going on in their ocean, how we are polluting it and new species. The first article: Human Shadows on the Seas by Andrew Reviken. Says that there is many types if different pollution. For instance, organic pollution, agricultural runoff and sewage and damage on the bottom from scraping. Reviken says that there are many things that we hardly know about our own ocean. Also there is worry about what is drastically changing and what we haven’t even looked at yet. In the second article: Ocean Impact Map Reveals Human Reach say that there is over 5,300 species that hey have found and that they are dying off fast they can hardly calculate it. In this article it says that there is other reason of human impact some of which is fishing, shiping and climate change and some might not think of climate change being human impact but it is as global warming procedes the climate changes and we are causing the global warming.

Extinction. (Claudia)

In the two articles there was much to talk about extinction. Both articles were talking about the statistics and about how the animals “were in red” which here mean that the are so close to extinction and the are almost gone. Both articles where trying to find news ways to help with the stop of extinction. Many problems that are causing extinction are Pouching, Fishing, and destroying their habitat. Pouching is one main reason because poachers normally want the animals fur or tusks to make clothing out of so the kill the animal because they want to make money. Fishing is another problem because fisherman are trying to catch fish for restaurants and so forth but end up capturing whales or dolphins and the end up getting harmed. Another one is habitat disruption which is when people come and chop down rain forests or pollute the area where sea mammals live and much more, because when you take away an animals home it dose not have safe environment and u take away its food and along with a big cycle of prey and predator. This is what the two articles are talking about and they also go into stories of which they succeed in projects.

Biological Invasions (Cecilia)

In a river bank habitat located in California, the natural and biologically diverse habitats are invaded by foreign plants more than other types of habitats. After some experiments performed by members of the Department of Integrative Biology in the University of California, it was proven that this is true, despite the previous belief that biological diversity prevents exotic plants from invading. The results tell us that when species decrease in small scales, it is easier for foreign plants to invade. The loss of species causes there to be more of a chance for invasion, causing problems and unbalance within the biological community.

In Hawaii, a bird species called the Hawaiian Honeycreeper is becoming endangered because of biological invasions. It is considered a member of the finch family, and is generally vibrantly colored. It is a “dramatic example of anthropogenic extinction”, which means that it is an example of a particular species that is affected greatly by biological invasions. It generally lives in the forest, but its forests have now been turned into crop and pasture land. Also, humans have created predators and diseases, such as malaria. These conflicts cause it not to be able to live in the low-elevated forests. Also, anthropogenic climate increase, combined with the changes caused by the uses of land and biological invasions, could cause the species to become extinct in Kauai and Hawaii.

The Environmental Management of Forests (Cecilia)


In the past, forests have served as a sort of natural “sink”, meaning they soak up the carbon dioxide in the air. However, it is difficult for the forests to soak up all the pollution when they are constantly being cut down. 80% of forest area on Earth has been cut down or otherwise altered. Deforestation causes many problems for the Earth. Not only does it increase carbon dioxide levels by an estimated 30%, but it also is the main cause for loss of genes, species, and habitats. Deforestation also causes floods and pollution and breathing-related sicknesses. Over the past 150 years, deforestation has caused Earth many problems, and if we do not cut back soon, it will continue to do so. Deforestation is becoming an environmental disaster.


In past years, the carbon held in forests has received special attention. As deforestation increases, so do carbon levels. If deforestation continues, carbon levels will continue to increase. This is a major crisis. There have been several successful agreements which we hope will moderate deforestation. One of these agreements was called the Kyoto Protocol. This Protocol was created in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, 1997. The point of the Kyoto Protocol was to monitor emissions and cut down on deforestation. Although agreements like this exist, deforestation remains a significant crisis that must continue to be addressed in order to stop the increasing carbon levels.

Water Pollution (Armand)

Water is the one of the three necessities of life that human beings need to survive. Water covers 70% of our Earth and is being polluted right this minute. We dump waste into our rivers, lakes and oceans. Water pollution will hurt everyone in the long run because when people pollute, the water organisms die off and then the animals that eat those animals die from food shortage and the animals that eat those animals die and so on. Eventually that chain will lead up to the humans and we will start to die too. Through all this chaos there are something we cannot control as much. This is called nonpoint source pollution. This is the human race polluting indirectly like for instance cars polluting the air which causes acid rain which causes the waterways to become contaminated. Most of water pollution is caused by nonpoint source pollution. There have been ways to try and stop these type of pollutions but they are very costly and take a lot of time. Many causes of pollution including sewage and fertilizers contain nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates. In excess levels, nutrients over stimulate the growth of aquatic plants and algae. Excessive growth of these types of organisms consequently clogs our waterways, use up dissolved oxygen as they decompose, and block light to deeper waters. Pollution is an issue that we need to stop, soon because even though it doesn't affect us as much now it will in the future.

Child Labor (Armand)

Throughout Amercian history there you would think that the grown- ups go to work but with poverty, children are going to jobs just like adults. Not only that they are overworked. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the numbers of child laborers in the U.S. peaked. Child labor began to decline as the labor and reform movements grew and labor standards in general began improving, increasing the political power of working people and other social reformers to demand legislation regulating child labor. Rich and Powerful companies take advantage of this and use the kids to make their product. children worked in large numbers in mines, glass factories, textiles, agriculture, canneries, home industries, and as newsboys, messengers, bootblacks, and peddlers. Children were picked for these jobs because they were less likely to strike, manageable and very cheap. Child labor was thought of as normal to the people in power but to most others if was viewed as abuse. In some instances children work eighteen hours a day wit is twice the average work time. The National Child Labor Commitee worked very hard to try and diminish child labor and the fight is still going on. Child labor in the future will be stopped.

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