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How Sequestration Will Hurt Visitors to America's Top National Parks

Over 1 Million Visitors to Experience Cuts at 12 Leading National Parks; Coalition of National Park Service Retirees Once Again Gets Early Read on Impact of Sequestration

Sequestration will cut visitor access to the rim of the Grand Canyon, significantly delay the spring opening of key portions of Yellowstone and Yosemite, reduce emergency response help for drivers in the Great Smoky Mountains, limit access to the beach at the Cape Cod National Seashore, and impair the experiences in many other ways for millions of visitors at America’s national parks. In addition, local, regional and state economies that depend on national parks will take huge hits as visitors are either turned away or skip visits due to the impact of the mindless sequestration budget cuts.

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DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Announces $10.5 Million for Small Business Research and Development in Clean Energy Technologies

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced 70 grants totaling $10.5 million to small businesses to develop technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation. These awards will help small businesses with promising ideas for clean energy solutions that could improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, reduce reliance on foreign oil, and generate electricity from renewable sources.

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Restoration Council Starts Critical Conversation with "Path Forward"

 

Draft plan clearly commits at least 30 percent of RESTORE funds to Gulf ecosystems

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released its proposed path forward for restoring the Gulf of Mexico following the 2010 BP oil disaster. Leading restoration organizations, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Ocean Conservancy released the following statement in response:

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Global Green USA Selects Six Cities to Receive Free Neighborhood Development Consultations Under Second Year of US EPA Grant

Six American communities will receive free neighborhood design consultation in 2013 from Global Green USA with the help of a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. Over the next ten months, four sustainability experts will conduct three-day visits to communities and provide comprehensive recommendations for infrastructure and policy changes aimed at helping the communities build a future that is more resource-efficient, livable, healthy, and environmentally responsible.

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Energy Department Announces New SunShot Projects to Harness the Power of Big Data

As part of the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, the Department today announced seven data-driven projects to unearth new opportunities for reducing costs and accelerating solar energy deployment in the United States. These projects—located in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas—will result in viable methods for dramatically transforming the operations of solar researchers, manufacturers, developers, installers, and policymakers, and speed the commercialization and deployment of affordable, clean solar energy.

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New Permit Would Allow Navy to Harm Millions of Marine Mammals

Navy has 200% higher rate of marine animal harm than first reportedMore than 31 million instances of harm are anticipated

A proposed rule to be published in Thursday’s Federal Register would permit the Navy to harm marine mammals in U.S. waters on more than 31 million separate instances between 2014-2019. The National Marine Fisheries Service authored the draft rule granting the Navy’s request for authorization to harass, injure, and kill whales and dolphins as part of its testing and training exercises along the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in waters off of Southern California and Hawaii. The estimated level of harm is 200% greater than previously requested permits to “take” marine mammals.

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