I love Portland. It’s such a great place to live. And in general, I feel that the powers-that-be (or whoever it is) really do work hard to ensure the environment is protected. But there is always so much to do. And that requires money. And not everyone is donating the money that is needed to protect and enhance the Portland environment.
So I was delighted to hear about the opening of the Alligator Head Marine Lab by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21). Launched with the intention of engaging in “research dedicated to the conservation and sustainable development of Portland’s marine life,” this is the brainchild of Baroness Francesca von Habsburg. It will be operated by staff at the University of the West Indies.
The program – aiming to enhance Portland environment in a variety of ways – received a large cash injection of $24.5m for five years, from von Habsburg. It will focus on seven areas of Portland environment: “lionfish control, plankton communities, coastal water quality, fish nursery establishment, reef herbivore research, reef community monitoring, and the establishment of coral nurseries.”
So this really is very exciting. I’m so glad that the Portland environment is continuing to be a top priority for the state. And I hope to hear more in the same vein some time soon.
It seems that Portland’s environment is an enviable one. I recently heard that there was a Japanese crew in the city, finding it to be one of the world’s “most sustainable cities.” Along with three other cities, Portland has been chosen to be part of “The Future of Spaceship Earth” series published by Japan’s NHK. According to director of the documentary Hiroki Inoue, the “documentary will look at the negative impacts to the environment due to people’s comfortable lives today and how it endangers the future of the earth.”
This isn’t really all that surprising to me. As it is, Portland has a whole slew of non-profit organizations working hard to sustain and promote the health of its environment. One of these is the Oregon Sierra Club which seeks to conserve the Oregon natural environment by influencing public policy decisions—legislative, administrative, legal, and electoral. A member of EarthShare Oregon this organization has been working to protect Oregon’s environment and natural resources since 1978. Today, the Sierra Club has eight staff members in Oregon, working alongside volunteers to “advance the chapter’s conservation priorities.”
Then there is the Protect South Portland group which, a few months ago obtained over 4,000 signatures to force a city-wide vote to block the export of oil sands. Its aim is to protect the region “from toxic tar sands oil, which would lead to more air pollution and additional oil infrastructure on our waterfront, like smokestacks next to Bug Light park.”
These are just a few of the organizations making efforts in the name of Portland environment. I for one, am glad to be living in a place surrounded by so many concerned individuals who believe that our environment is important to us.