Weekly News Roundup – November 16, 2012

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

Gulf Restoration: A Win for Wildlife and the Economy

November 16 – The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion sent more than 200 million gallons of oil and large quantities of hydrocarbon gas into an ecosystem already weakened by years of wetlands degradation. More than two years later, hundreds of miles of coastline from the Florida panhandle to the Mississippi River Delta still have visible oil and it may be decades before the spill’s full impacts are understood.

The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly reached a $4.5 billion criminal settlement with BP over the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. Under the Clean Water Act, BP could owe as much as $21 billion for its role in the disaster. (BP also violated a host of additional federal laws; the company’s total federal liability will likely be far higher.)

BP Criminal Settlement a Good Down Payment, Not the End of the Line

November 15 – The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly reached a $4.5 billion criminal settlement with BP over the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. The Deepwater Horizon rig explosion killed 11 workers and sent more than 200 million gallons of oil and other hydrocarbons into the Gulf of Mexico, with hundreds of dolphins and sea turtles and thousands of birds being found dead in the disaster zone.

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

This is a good down payment on the massive restoration needed for the Gulf’s ecosystems and the people and communities that depend on them. There’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to penalizing the parties responsible for the Gulf oil disaster through the civil provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act, but this criminal settlement marks important progress and devotes much-needed resources toward restoration.

Ranger Rick Celebrates 50 Years with Debut of New Ranger Rick Jr. Magazine and “Ranger Rick Jr. Appventures”

November 15 – National Wildlife Federation, publisher of Ranger Rick, one of the longest-running, most successful children’s magazines of all time, announces that the Ranger Rick brand will include print and digital fun for younger children, too! For the first time in Ranger Rick’s 50-year history, beginning readers can receive a Ranger Rick-branded magazine specially designed for their interests and reading skills. Ranger Rick Jr. is a new, colorful print magazine packed with intriguing facts and world-class animal photography. But that’s not all.“Ranger Rick Jr. Appventures – Lions!” is a cutting-edge storybook app for the iPad designed for kids to explore, create, and play their way through incredible animal adventures.

If your child loves animals, he or she will love Ranger Rick Jr. magazine,” said Lori Collins, Editor of Ranger Rick Jr. “The magazine’s dazzling wildlife photos and simple, easy-to-follow text make it the perfect first magazine for any young animal lover.”

As Budget Talks Heat Up, Great Lakes Advocates Urge Public Officials to Hold the Line against Cuts to Restoration Programs

November 14 – A week after the re-election of President Barack Obama and amidst federal budget negotiations to stave off across-the-board reductions to government programs, Great Lakes advocates are urging the nation’s leaders to hold the line against cuts to successful programs that are restoring the Lakes, the source of drinking water for 30 million people.

“President Obama’s support for Great Lakes programs has been invaluable, and we challenge him to maintain his commitment to the Lakes,” said Jeff Skelding, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

New Poll: Sandy Fuels Widespread Concern on Climate Change

November 14 – Superstorm Sandy is fueling concerns about climate change and how it’s inflating the costs and risks of extreme weather, according to a new post-election poll from Zogby Analytics. The poll shows key voting groups in the 2012 election – Hispanics, women, young voters – are among those most concerned with confronting climate change now and protecting America’s air, water, wildlife and other natural resources.

These results show the dramatic impact 2012’s extreme weather has had across party lines, with half of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 82 percent of Democrats saying they’re worried about the growing cost and risks of extreme weather disasters fueled by climate change,” said Pollster John Zogby.

American College Campuses Getting Even Greener

November 13 – Colleges and universities around the country are making a substantial investment in the sustainability of their campuses according to new information from the National Wildlife Federation. These innovative efforts, from renewable energy systems to campus organic farms, can now be seen in a single online resource from NWF.

National Wildlife Federation’s campus sustainability case study database, the only resource of its kind, is available online now at www.nwf.org/2012campuscasestudies thanks in part to the support of The Kendeda Fund. More than one hundred new case studies highlight efforts to dramatically reduce pollution, waste, and costs, including recycling, energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installations and green jobs training programs.

And here are highlights from NWF in the News:

For more, visit www.nwf.org/News