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Environment

Few places encourage a healthy lifestyle like the great outdoors, and National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is mobilizing urban communities across the U.S. to get active outside.  NPLD is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands and parks nationwide and is held on September 24, 2011.  The event will involve more than 170,000 volunteers around the nation dedicated to improving and promoting use of our national, state and local public lands.  This year, NPLD is actively recruiting cities, including their African-American residents, to join their neighbors and visit local parks and green spaces.  The initiative aims to beautify urban communities, increase care for the environment and positively impact participants’ health.

“Studies have routinely shown that physical activity greatly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death for African-Americans,” said Dr. Nelson Adams, past president of the National Medical Association.  “Plus, it also reduces the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension, notable causes of health problems, and reduces stress, tension and depression.  Getting outside and taking care of your local parks can help improve your physical and mental health as well.”

Few places encourage a healthy lifestyle like the great outdoors, and National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is mobilizing urban communities across the U.S. to get active outside.  NPLD is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands and parks nationwide and is held on September 24, 2011.  The event will involve more than 170,000 volunteers around the nation dedicated to improving and promoting use of our national, state and local public lands.  This year, NPLD is actively recruiting cities, including their African-American residents, to join their neighbors and visit local parks and green spaces.  The initiative aims to beautify urban communities, increase care for the environment and positively impact participants’ health.

“Studies have routinely shown that physical activity greatly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death for African-Americans,” said Dr. Nelson Adams, past president of the National Medical Association.  “Plus, it also reduces the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension, notable causes of health problems, and reduces stress, tension and depression.  Getting outside and taking care of your local parks can help improve your physical and mental health as well.”

As recreational boaters prepare to head to Florida’s waterways for the last holiday weekend blast of the summer, Save the Manatee Club sends out a reminder to exercise safe boating practices and to remain watchful for endangered manatees and other wildlife.

Manatees are slow-moving, and because they are mammals, they need to surface to breathe air.  They also prefer shallow waters where they feed on submerged seagrasses. These factors combine to make manatees vulnerable to boat hits, and many are injured or killed by the crushing impact of the hull and slashing blades of the propellers.

Boaters can be active participants in manatee protection by holding aloft Save the Manatee Club’s public awareness banner whenever a manatee is sighted in areas where boats are motoring close by.  The bright yellow, 1 ½ by 2 foot, waterproof banner states, “Please Slow: Manatees Below.”  They are provided free to the boating public in Florida from the Club.

Shark populations over the last 50 years have decreased dramatically. From habitat degradation to overfishing and finning, human activities have affected their populations and made certain species all but disappear.

A recent article in Current Issues in Tourism by Austin J. Gallagher and Dr. Neil Hammerschlag of the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami study the impact of these apex predators on coastal economies and the importance of including conservation efforts in long term management plans.

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