Flight of the Bumble Bee by Eric Heistand,
Appalachian Mountains Photo Competition finalist
After such a long, hard winter, I think we are all excited about the official start of Spring this weekend! Longer days, warmer weather and the brilliant blooming of Appalachian flora are soon to come. And though we do need to take time to "smell the roses" we can't forget that there is much work to be done to protect the land, air and water of the Appalachian region.
Just last week, the crew here at Appalachian Voices returned from the 5th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington. Over 200 people from the across the region and the country descended upon our nation's capital to talk to decision-makers about ending mountaintop removal, providing a great and noticeable force as we strode the halls of Congress wearing our "I Love Mountains" buttons. The event was a huge success, gaining us two more co-sponsors for the Clean Water Protection Act. One participant said they felt, "inspired, shocked, informed and amused...into readiness for tackling Capitol Hill."
We hope you will join us in feeling inspired this season as we work together to protect one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Here's to a wonderful Spring in the mountains!
End Mountaintop Removal Week In Washington a Success!
Last week Appalachian Voices and the Alliance for Appalachia put on the largest lobby week ever to end mountaintop removal. More than 200 participants from 27 states gathered in Washington, D.C. to tell Congress to end mountaintop removal and pass the Clean Water Protection Act and the Appalachia Restoration Act. Citizens directly impacted by mountaintop removal were joined by concerned Americans from as far away as Oregon, Maine, California, Minnesota, Michigan, and Colorado in an incredibly powerful act of solidarity. A national call-in day in the middle of the Week also yielded calls from all over the US to support our efforts.
Read more about the week and see the pictures!
National Coal Ash Report Puts North Carolina on Top
North Carolina tops the list with 13 coal ash ponds where waters have been polluted with "wastes [that] contain some of the earth's most deadly pollutants, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, and other toxic metals that can cause cancer and neurological harm [in humans] or poison fish." On Feb 24th, Appalachian Voices helped release a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice that identified 31 additional coal-ash contamination sites in 14 states with proven damage and pollution of groundwater, rivers, streams and/or wetlands.
The EPA had previously identified 70 sites with high contamination levels. The new report brings the total sites polluted by coal ash to more than 100 nationwide.
Based on this report, the Charlotte Observer called for stronger state-wide and national regulation of coal ash.
AMPC People's Choice Voting For Your Favorite Photograph
The competition judges have made their decisions, now it’s time to cast YOUR vote in the 7th Annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. Over 1000 entries were submitted for seven categories, out of which 47 finalists were chosen. Appalachian Voices is hosting the event's newly renamed environmental category, Our Ecological Footprint, and Communications Coordinator Jamie Goodman served as one of the competition's three judges.
Visit the exhibition at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, N.C. or visit appmtnphotocomp.org to view the finalists and vote for your favorite.
Bickering Buntings by Dana Warren, AMPC Flora and Fauna category finalist
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