Weekly News Roundup – August 30, 2012

Want to know what National Wildlife Federation was up to this week? Here is a recap of the week’s NWF news:

NWF Report Says Climate Change Ruined Summer in the U.S.

August 30 – A new National Wildlife Federation report says climate change made its presence felt in disappointing, dangerous, and destructive ways this summer. From severe heat waves, devastating wildfires, catastrophic floods, serious crop damage, and destructive pests expanding their range; people in most parts of the U.S. suffered the impacts scientists have predicted for years. Those impacts will spill over into next year with higher food prices and damaged ecosystems struggling to rebound.

“This summer has been the season climate change became real to many Americans,” said Joe Mendelson, NWF’s director of climate and energy policy. “From burned houses to parched fields to West Nile virus, it’s time for all political parties to start protecting our homes, families, and communities. We need to get serious about reducing the uncontrolled carbon pollution that is ravaging our country.”

Important Wetland Gains Achieved in Mirasol Settlement near Corkscrew Sanctuary

August 23 – National Wildlife Federation and Florida Wildlife Federation and partner conservation groups achieved hundreds of acres of additional wetland protection and restoration in a landmark settlement over the Mirasol project, a proposed golf course development to be sited in wetlands and wood stork habitat of Florida’s Western Everglades. The groups had opposed and litigated to reduce the damage from this development for almost a decade.

This latest settlement follows on the groups’ 2010 settlement of challenges to the adjacent Saturnia Falls and Parklands developments. All three developments were proposed originally in 1999 in the ecologically sensitive Cocohatchee Slough, a natural wetland flowway emanating from Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The Slough plays a vital role in providing foraging habitat for the endangered wood stork, whose largest nesting rookery in the nation is at Corkscrew Swamp. The Cocohatchee Slough also provides vital regional watershed benefits, like water supply and flood protection.

New Fuel Efficiency Standards Historic Step in Climate Fight

August 28 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is set to finalize new fuel efficiency and carbon standards, landmark rules that will double the fuel economy of America’s cars, SUVs and pickups to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

“As a onetime General Motors mechanic, I’m proud to see Americans already proving we have what it takes to lead in a prosperous clean energy future. Taken together, new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks are the biggest step America has ever taken to cut carbon pollution and reduce our oil dependence, critical for wildlife which faces both the global threat of climate change and the direct impacts of oil spills and pollution.”

Make a Play Date with Nature

August 27 – Back to school shouldn’t mean back inside for kids. While busy school schedules, sports and other extra-curricular activities make free time for playing outdoors or a trek to the park more challenging, National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Learning Initiative at North Carolina State University, have developed a guide to creating enticing outdoor play spaces as close as your backyard, patio or balcony.

Nature Play at Home : A Guide for Boosting Children’s Healthy Development and Creativity shows parents and caregivers how they can turn an uninspired outdoor environment into an entertaining and exciting play area that will have kids from 1-12 years welcoming that frequent parental command, “Go outside and play!”

And here are highlights from NWF in the News:

For more, visit www.nwf.org/News