York River Group of Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club

Limiting our Waste

image of members of panel sitting at table discussing recycling

On May 15, 2019, facilitator Cheryl Ferriera led a Sierra Club York River Group program on how we as individuals can curb our waste and make recycling more effective. Ms. Ferriera introduced three speakers from the local Hampton Roads government. Together, they covered gasification and biochar as a waste management tool, the China crisis and how it affects our recycling, the “Recycle Right Campaign” to educate citizens of York County, and taking personal responsibility to reduce waste.

The first speaker was Dan Baxter, Business Recycling Coordinator in the city of Newport News. He talked about the Stoney Run landfill, closed … Read the rest

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Solar Power for Schools and Non-Profits

Image of solar panels

With a wide array of local politicians, office-seekers, city planners, environmental advocates, and concerned citizens in attendance, the Sierra Club York river Group held an informative program on how to bring solar to Schools and Non-Profits on April 17, 2019. Two knowledgeable speakers educated the crowd.

John Luker, Chair of the Sierra Club Chesapeake Bay Group, talked about how the cost of solar has been in steep decline, and how cost-effective its installation can be. This is especially true for places like schools, churches, other non-profits, and businesses. The fossil fuel industries in the U.S. are feeling increasingly threatened by … Read the rest

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The Green New Deal

Image of speakers at the Green New Deal Program

The excitement and energy in the room was almost palpable. About 50 people from all around the Hampton Roads area – nearly standing room only – attended a special March 20 2019 Sierra Club York River Group program on “The Green New Deal.” A distinguished panel described bold new and ongoing efforts to combat climate change, climate injustice, and moneyed corporate interests.

Glen Besa (former Director of the VA Chapter of the Sierra Club) served as moderator. First, Lee Williams, co-chair of the Virginia Green New Deal, introduced the program. Motivated by the urgency of reversing the effects of imminent … Read the rest

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Program on Environmental Justice

Speaker standing talking about environmental Justice

The York River Group of the Sierra Club held a special program on February 20, 2019 at Sandy Bottom Nature Park. Gustavo Angeles, the Environmental Justice Program Coordinator for the VA Chapter of the Sierra Club, led a stimulating and educational group discussion covering the important topic of environmental justice.

Just what is environmental justice? The EPA’s website defines it as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys … Read the rest

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Solar Event: How to be a Solar Patriot and Why

Solar Patriot panel discussion

 

On Wednesday September 19, 2018, the York River Group of the Sierra Club held a series of solar-related talks at Sandy Bottom Nature Park. Three speakers entertained the group.

 

Erik Curren, author of the new book The Solar Patriot, believes that ordinary citizens have the right to produce and use their own solar power, which will help create a clean energy future. Erik is a councilman in Staunton, VA. Dressed in American revolutionary garb, he stressed that solar power is a fundamental right, and in the public interest. But – like King George III from the

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York County Coal Ash

Image of Sierra Club speaker

Speaker for Sierra Club

On Wednesday, May 16, the York River Sierra Club held an evening discussion at Sandy Bottom Park in Hampton Virginia focused on Coal Ash.  Coal ash is the toxic remains of coal burning in power plants. It is full of metals and chemicals that cause cancer, developmental disorders and reproductive problems. It poisons our water and kills fish and wildlife. Guest speakers were Dean Naujoks, of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, and Mary-Stuart Torbeck, Senior Organizer of the VA Chapter Sierra Club. 

Mr. Naujoks is an expert and committed activist on coal ash issues and has had many years Read the rest

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Air Quality Discussion in Newport News

Old piles in Newport News VA

A special program was held at Pearl Bailey Library in Newport News on September 20, 2017, in the heart of zip code 23607, which is listed as one of the 25 zip codes in Virginia with the highest air pollution.

Program Participants included:
Dr. Erica Holloman – Scientific Advisor, Southeast CARE Coalition
Angela Harris – Coalition Coordinator, Executive Committee, Southeast CARE Coalition
Kendyl Crawford – Conservation Program Manager, Sierra Club VA Chapter
Mr. Allen Harville – Safety Chairman for the Steelworkers Local 8888 at the Newport News Shipyard

Many other local activists and community organizers also joined the discussion, which Read the rest

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Roundtable discussion on Saving Chesapeake Bay

citizens gathered in circle for roundtable discussion

On Wednesday, May 17, an informative roundtable discussion was held at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton Virginia, at the Sierra Club York River Group meeting. Several panelists attended from:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
City of Hampton Public Works Department
Stormwater Programs, York County
City of Poquoson
City of Newport News

The panelists described the TMDL (Total Max Daily Load), as well as other technical acronyms related to water pollution and the health of our local waterways.  Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Sediment are among the biggest “problem pollutants” of the Bay, and these pollutants can find their way to the Bay from … Read the rest

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Talk by David Imburgia, Environmental & Sustainability Manager, City of Hampton

On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, the York River Group of the Sierra Club at Sandy Bottom Nature Park heard a talk on Recent Environmental Programs and Happenings in Hampton. A lot of exciting stuff is going on in our very midst! The talk covered many different initiatives, some of which are highlighted here.

Hampton is a coastal community, and like many others is at risk from possible future sea level rise. A forum was initiated about 5 years ago to connect with people from all over the world, building relationships and learning science. This forum includes planners from the city … Read the rest

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Talk by Terry Brown, Superintendent of Fort Monroe National Monument

Fort Monore Park Ranger, Mayor of Hampton, and Co Chairs of York River Group

On Wednesday March 15, 2017, Terry Brown, a 24 year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), spoke to the York River Group of the Sierra Club at Sandy Bottom Nature Park. The NPS celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2016, and Superintendent Brown gave some highlights. He spoke about his own career path in the NPS, which brought him to Hampton last year to Fort Monroe, which became a National Monument in 2011 (designated by President Obama). The Fort Monroe National Monument is now a treasure in our local community, and many Hampton Roads residents are not even aware … Read the rest

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