EVENT: David Pope of non-profit environmental advocacy organization, Southern Environmental Law Center, to speak at Skidaway Rotary

3 02 2009

David Pope of the Southern Environmental Law Center will speak to the Skidaway Rotary Feb. 18 about “Protecting Coastal Treasures.” Pope will discuss the unique and important resources on the Georgia coast, the threats they face, and what SELC is doing to protect those resources. The Southern Environmental Law Center is a non-profit, donor-supported environmental advocacy organization using the power of the law to protect the environment and special places in the South. Working to defend the public’s interest and never for private gain, SELC provides its legal services without charge to other environmental organizations and partner groups.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(SAVANNAH, GA) David Pope of the non-profit environmental advocacy organization, the Southern Environmental Law Center, will speak to the Skidaway Rotary February 18 about “Protecting Coastal Treasures.” Pope will discuss the unique and important resources on the Georgia coast, the threats they face, and what SELC is doing to protect those resources. The Southern Environmental Law Center uses the power of the law to protect the environment and special places in the South. Working to defend the public’s interest and never for private gain, SELC provides its legal services without charge to other environmental organizations and partner groups. SELC has a special initiative focused on protecting the Georgia coast with three lawyers working on this effort.

The Director of the Georgia/Alabama office of the Southern Environmental Law Center, Pope oversees the nonprofit environmental advocacy organization’s special initiative focused on protecting the Georgia coast. He also supervises all of SELC’s other work in Georgia and Alabama, including work to protect the public’s interest in our air, water and forests and work to improve our transportation issues and energy efficiency. In addition, he serves on the management committee for the organization and helps sets the priorities for work throughout the South.

He is a former partner at Carr, Tabb & Pope in Atlanta, with 29 years of environmental law practice. He graduated from University of Florida, Phi Beta Kappa, and University of North Carolina Law School.
About the Southern Environmental Law Center SELC is a nonprofit donor supported, environmental advocacy organization using the power of the law to protect the environment and health in the Southeast. Since 1986, SELC has informed, implemented and enforced environmental law and policy concerning clean air and water, mountain forests, the coast and wetlands, and rural lands and livable communities. Working to defend the public’s interest and never for private gain, SELC provides its legal services without charge to other environmental organizations and partner groups. SELC has 63 staff members and offices in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia; Chapel Hill and Asheville, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina, Washington, DC,; and Atlanta. Visit SELC online at www.southernenvironment.org





DeKalb to Earth: Have we got a school for you!

2 02 2009

 

Kristina Torres | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It will be Georgia’s premier “green” school —- one of the first public schools in the state with a national certification for environmental construction and perhaps the only one with an environmentally themed curriculum.

DeKalb County’s Arabia Mountain High School opens Aug. 10, but officials are already working to get the sparkling new campus ready —- installation crews are putting on the final touches and a teachers job fair and parents’ meetings are scheduled this week.

Here’s a look at the school.

LOCATION

The campus sits in southeastern DeKalb near the Arabia Mountain national heritage area, which comprises thousands of acres of protected green space and is one of 37 federally designated heritage areas nationwide. On campus, easy access to miles of trails in and around the forested area is just past the practice football field behind the school building —- where deer are often spotted checking out their new neighbor.

CURRICULUM

All subjects will be infused with the standardized EIC curriculum —- which stands for using the Environment as an Integrating Context for learning. Simply put, all teachers will use the environment as a backdrop for their lessons. The curriculum, developed jointly among 16 state education departments, can be seen at http://www.seer.org.

The school also will incorporate small learning communities. Students will be divided among different programs, with students going to class within these programs for all four years. The concept has been around in various forms for many years but has regained favor as schools try to increase graduation rates and student performance.

Continue Reading Here.





UGA loses bid for bio lab

4 12 2008

The University of Georgia has apparently lost its bid for a $450 million laboratory to research biological threats posed by animals, including anthrax.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility will be constructed at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, a staffer in a congressman’s office confirmed on Wednesday.  UGA says that if it had won the research center, it would have employed as many as 1,500 construction workers, provided permanent jobs to at least 250 people and had an economic impact of $1.5 billion over 20 years. Supporters of the Georgia bid said the facility would have also significantly raised the state’s profile as home for scientific research.

Amy Kudwa, a Homeland Security department spokeswoman, said the agency would not comment on the matter until the department officially announces its selection. It’s not clear when the announcement will come, but Homeland Security’s website notes a decision is expected in early December.

The new complex will replace an existing research facility on Plum Island, a few miles off Long Island, N.Y. That location has enabled the federal government, for more than a half-century, to prevent its research on foot-and-mouth disease from accidentally infecting American livestock.

Some critics fear that moving the facility to the U.S. mainland would raise the risk of an outbreak of potentially fatal diseases among animals and humans. Federal officials insist that a new facility will be safe.

The Kansas site was identified as Homeland Security’s top choice in an environmental impact statement dated December 2008. Lanier Avant, an aide to U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said agency officials informed the congressman of the decision on Monday. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) also released a statement Wednesday hailing the decision.

Public-private partnerships from Kansas and competing bidders from Texas and Mississippi offered generous financial incentives totalling $100 million from each bidder. Georgia offered $25 million in incentives.

David Lee, UGA’s vice president of research, said, “I can’t fault (the Department of Homeland Security) for choosing the Manhattan site. I felt all along that Manhattan was probably our strongest competitor.

“I also happen to think Athens is the better site,” Lee said. “We’re disappointed. I feel the disappointment of a lot of people at the University of Athens and across the state.”

In bidding for the facility, Georgia noted that UGA has other facilities that could enhance the research. Among them are the university’s school for veterinary medicine and its animal research center.

Continue Reading Here.





Energy Production and Global Change Expert Joins Georgia Tech

20 11 2008

Newswire.com

Atlanta ( November 19, 2008 ) —Philippe Van Cappellen, Ph. D., an internationally renowned environmental geochemist, has joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Georgia Research Alliance ( GRA ) Eminent Scholar.

Dr. Van Cappellen is the Georgia Power GRA Eminent Scholar in Global Climate Studies in Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. In this position, he is investigating the connection between human activity, including power generation, and global environmental change. In particular, Van Cappellen is studying how the key nutrient elements nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon and iron, affect the global carbon cycle on the continents, in coastal areas and in the oceans.

“Energy is and will continue to be a central research topic in our nation and the world,” said GRA president and CEO C. Michael Cassidy. “Dr. Van Cappellen will greatly contribute to an already outstanding team of energy and climate investigators at Georgia Tech and help make our state a leader in these matters.”

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Van Cappellen at Georgia Tech,” said Dr. Paul Houston, Dean, College of Sciences. “He was an assistant professor and an associate professor at Tech between 1991 and 1999, so we welcome him back to Atlanta. I am confident that he will be highly successful as the Georgia Power GRA Eminent Scholar in Global Climate Studies.”

Prior to his appointment, Van Cappellen served as the chair of geochemistry at Utrecht University in The Netherlands for nine years. While there, he earned numerous accolades, including the Pioneer Award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the André Dumont Medal from the Belgian Geological Society. He was also the founding director of Utrecht University’s Center for Soil, Water and Coastal Resources. Additionally, Van Cappellen served as associate editor for the American Journal of Science from 1999 to 2003, as co-editor-in-chief for the Journal of Hydrology from 1996 to 2004 and is currently associate editor of Geomicrobiology Journal.

“I am excited to return to Georgia Tech as the Georgia Power GRA Eminent Scholar in Global Climate Studies,” said Van Cappellen. “A better understanding of what affects the global climate is essential for effective environmental stewardship and energy policy.”

Van Cappellen received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Geology and Mineralogy from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geochemistry from Yale University.





Asbestos found at a South Georgia college

19 11 2008

WALB

AMERICUS, GA  – A South Georgia college is being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Traces of asbestos were found during the demolition of Georgia Southwestern University’s Complex III, but the EPA said the amount was to small to pose a threat to the public.

The demolition of that old dormitory began October 14th and is now completely leveled.

The University plans to open a new residence hall in August 2009.

The EPA’s investigation is still on going.





Nonprofit group bringing its environmental advocacy to Savannah

31 10 2008

 

Marjorie Young | The Creative Coast

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has launched a special initiative focusing on the Georgia coast, says David Pope, Director of the Georgia/Alabama office of the SELC. The nonprofit SELC is the South’s largest environmental advocacy organization, using the power of the law to protect the environment and health in the Southeast. SELC’s Georgia Coastal Initiative brings the organization’s long-standing reputation and expertise to local environmental efforts. With three attorneys on the project, SELC will provide its legal services without charge to other environmental organizations and partner groups. http://www.SouthernEnvironment.org

Media contact: David Pope, (404) 521-9900

(SAVANNAH) – The Southern Environmental Law Center, the largest, nonprofit environmental advocacy organization dedicated solely to protecting the South’s environment, has launched an initiative focusing on the Georgia coast, including Savannah and the surrounding coastal region. For some time, the Georgia coast, home to some of the most beautiful and vast marshlands, has been under increasing development pressure threatening its special landscape and ecosystems.

“We believe the Georgia coast and certainly the Savannah area are special places that deserve special attention and protection,” says David Pope, Director of the Georgia/Alabama office of SELC. “The Georgia coast is a place with a unique ecology. Georgia marshes are famous worldwide attracting tourists, fishermen and Georgia residents alike.”

SELC, founded 22 years ago, uses the full power of the law to preserve and protect the health and environment of the Southeast, including shaping, enacting and enforcing laws and policies, strengthening relationships with legislators and policy-makers, and partnering with other environmental organizations.

Pope adds, “We are not anti-development. We appreciate the need for responsible growth and economic prosperity. But, our job is to protect the public’s interest in the public’s resources and we will challenge those projects that do not meet the requirements of the law and may damage this special place.”

SELC works collaboratively with more than 100 partner groups who depend on the group’s expertise, regional perspective, and legal strategy to complement and strengthen their efforts. SELC’s consistent track record has earned it a reputation as one of the most effective non-profits in the nation. SELC, which is donor-funded by foundations, families and individuals, provides its services at no cost to its partner environmental groups. There are three attorneys based in the Georgia-Alabama office, headquartered in Atlanta, who are focused on Georgia coastal issues.

Pope adds, “the Southeast, already the fastest sprawling region in the U.S., faces unprecedented pressures from explosive population growth and development trends. Georgia’s coastal marshes and hammocks are very vulnerable in the next 10-20 years given the intense population growth expected in the area. If special attention is not given to the Georgia coast, we could lose one of the South’s most precious resources.”

In addition to beauty and recreations, the Georgia coast’s wetlands provide a cleansing sponge for stormwater runoff, he explained, and the marsh estuary is one of the most unique and productive areas in the U.S. Improperly placed development will cause serious damage to the marsh and the entire ecology.

About the Southern Environmental Law Center
SELC is a nonprofit donor supported environmental advocacy organization using the power of the law to protect the environment and health in the Southeast. Since 1986, SELC has informed, implemented and enforced environmental law and policy concerning clean air and water, mountain forests, the coast and wetlands, and rural lands and livable communities. Working to defend the public’s interest and never for private gain, SELC provides its legal services without charge to other environmental organizations and partner groups. SELC has 63 staff members and offices in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia; Chapel Hill and Asheville, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina, Washington, DC, Sewanee, Tennessee; and Atlanta. Visit SELC online here.





‘Generation Y’ forcing home builders to rethink projects

7 10 2008

 

People in their 20s — Generation Y — are changing residential real estate in Atlanta.

Gen Y is “our largest current clientele. It’s our largest future clientele,” said Patrick O’Donnell, a partner in the Lane Co., a multifamily developer.  Born from 1979 to 1996, the 80 million people in Gen Y represent more than 26 percent of the U.S. population and $1.6 trillion in earning power, according to the research firm Robert Charles Lesser & Co.

By 2015, Gen Y will be more than a third of U.S residents, said James Johnson, professor at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Their expectations are forcing developers to rethink how projects are designed, built and sold.

In Atlanta, interest in Gen Y is particularly keen because only New York and Los Angeles rate higher as places to live, Robert Charles Lesser says. And while most Gen Y folks living on their own today are renters, in four years they’ll be a home-buying force, the company says.

O’Donnell and others spoke at a recent forum called “The Impacts of Gen Y on Real Estate Development,” sponsored by the Urban Land Institute Atlanta.

Bottom line: Many in Gen Y have little interest in the lawn mowing, cul de sac life that’s characteristic of so much of Atlanta. At least for now.

Instead, Gen Y wants high-tech convenience and communication, walkability, green building standards and diversity. They’ll sacrifice space, and some will even pay more, to incorporate those qualities into their lives, real estate experts say.

That’s good news for infill redevelopment efforts. “Intown areas and inner suburbs will really remain on an upward trajectory” when the housing market turns around, said Sarah Kirsch, senior principal at Robert Charles Lesser.

Charlie Bible, 22, bought a condominium at the top of Viewpoint, a new highrise in Midtown, because of its central location, views and the sleek steel-and-glass look. And because “I love high-tech gadgets,” he said.

Bible watches ESPN and the news on small LCD screens that are part of the fitness equipment at Viewpoint. Novare Group, the developer, also installed a virtual art gallery and an online system where residents will be able to place restaurant orders or program their thermostats from remote locations.

Upgrades at Viewpoint include built-in iPod docking stations. Gen Y already is about 40 percent of the customer base for Novare, the biggest condo developer in Atlanta.

“This is a generation that has always known a computer,” said Uri Vaknin, vice president of business development at the Marketing Directors, a condo sales company. “They want these programmed lives.”

Oakland Park, a condo building in Grant Park, boasts that it’s LEED certified, meaning it has met national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. That includes floors of bamboo — a fast-growing renewable resource — and dual-flush toilets that conserve water.

Read on here.