Environment

Luxury hotel InterContinental Miami today announced that it has partnered with Greenlight Energy to purchase 15,467,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power in 2012. The purchase is part of a broader corporate-wide sustainability strategy and makes InterContinental Miami the largest green power purchaser in Florida to be named to the most recent 100% Purchaser’s List maintained by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. The purchase also earns the luxury hotel membership in the Partnership’s prestigious Leadership Club. The EPA's Green Power Partnership is an industry-government partnership that helps increase the use of green power among leading U.S. organizations. Currently, there are over 1,300 EPA Green Power Partners that are collectively buying nearly 21 billion kWh of green power annually.  Beyond the use of renewable energy, InterContinental Miami has a broader sustainability focus that covers design, operations and technologies that reduce energy, water and waste, cut carbon emissions, improve guest health and comfort, reduce operating and maintenance costs and raise guest and staff awareness of sustainability issues. “Our decision to go green was another way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity”, says Robert Hill, InterContinental Miami’s General Manager. “Our Hotel has a reputation as an active member of the community and part of that social responsibility lies in making green and sustainable operating decisions that set an example for others to follow.”  InterContinental Miami has partnered with New York-based green power supplier Greenlight Energy to provide renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from wind farms across the U.S. Because RECs are not tied to the physical delivery of electrons, they allow organizations to purchase green power from suppliers other than their local electricity provider. RECs help overcome a major barrier to renewable energy development - the fact that the best renewable resources may not be located close to population centers.  “We commend InterContinental Miami’s environmental leadership,” says Kelly Bennett, CEO of Greenlight Energy. “InterContinental Miami not only has incredible amenities and accommodations, but now they should be known as a hotel of choice in south Florida and in the U.S. for anyone with a focus on sustainability,” adds Bennett. All of the wind supplied by Greenlight Energy is certified by Center for Resource Solutions’ Green-e Energy certification program, ensuring that the purchase is sourced from new renewable generators that meet strict environmental and consumer protection standards. The EPA estimates that InterContinental Miami’s purchase avoids an estimated 10,665 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 2,091 passenger vehicles each year or the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of 1,330 average American homes for one year. 
A sunset safari to the Everglades will take place March 10, and provides an opportunity to visit the most northern remaining wetlands of the River of grass. Tickets are available through March 5.  The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation is sponsoring this annual sunset safari. It will be held at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge canoe tours, nature walks, state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, music, storytelling, and dinner and cocktails at sunser are featured. It is from approxiametly 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.             "This is a unique opportunity to engage, experience, explore and enjoy," said nancy Marshall, president of the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation. The wildlife refuge has a boardwalk through a spectacular cypress swamp, a new visitor center, exhibits and trails. The airboat and canoe tours feature knowledgable guides, and each lasts about 30 minutes. (Participants have a choice of airboat or canoe ride on the safari.)     Tickets are $75 and $125 per person, and include all activities. Proceeds benefit the education programs of the Arthur R, Marshall Foundation. Purchase tickets online at www.artmarshall.org or mail payment to sunset Safari, P.O. Box 2620, Palm Beach, F: 33480. RSVP by March 5.   Round-trip charter bus transportation is provided from West Palm Beach. The bus will depart from Trump Plaza at 3 p.m. Please arrive by 2:45 at 525 S. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (valet parking is free). The bus returns at approxiametly 7 p.m. If driving on your own, plan to arrive at 3:45 p.m. at the Refuge, 10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach, 33473. (Enter off State Road 7, approxiametly 2 miles south of Boynton Beach Boulevard.)                                                      
     Fresh water isn’t free, and it certainly isn’t unlimited.  That’s why the Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Division is hosting a Rain Barrel & Water Conservation Workshop on Saturday, September 11.  The workshop will be held at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Participants will learn how they can use water more efficiently to conserve this important natural resource, all while saving money. There will also be an opportunity to exchange your old showerheads and light bulbs for new ones that are more energy efficient.
The first in a series of frequently asked questions concerning common coastal issues: QUESTION: Why do beaches erode? ANSWER: The simple answer is they do not have enough sand. However, the causes are different in different parts of the country. On the West Coast, beaches are sand starved when river dams block the flow of sand. Eastern beaches often lack sand because inlets or navigation projects interrupt sand’s along-shore movement. All beaches suffer from storms and other natural events that cause erosion. Things as disparate as storm-driven waves or a simple change in an offshore sandbar may cause one coastal area to lose sand while another gains
We all think where things should be located is a pretty simple, logical matter. Not so. Think about your local grocery store. Let’s say you want to buy some meat; most of us would wander over to the meat counter. But, depending on whether the meat was fresh, frozen, canned, or cooked and packaged on request, there might be any number of places you go looking for your next meal. Location also matters in federal agencies, particular those which evolve. Over time similar agencies develop based on different initial functions. A case in point is the National Weather Service, which is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which itself is housed in the Department of Commerce.
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