Watershed Info No 1200

Daniel Salzler                                                                         No. 1200                                                             

  EnviroInsight.org                    Seven Items                       May 5, 2023     

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1. Are You Aware Of This Source Of Air Pollution? Per the NY Department of Environmental Conservation website: “Emissions from gas powered leaf blowers are a substantial contributor. The amount of CO (carbon monoxide) emitted from a typical backpack leaf blower for just one hour is equal to CO coming from the tailpipe of a current year automobile operating for over 8 hours.Sep 24,  2022.

A consumer-grade leaf blower emits more pollutants than a 6,200-pound 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor,

according to tests conducted by Edmunds’ InsideLine.com.

Lawn care equipment creates more pollution in California than cars do.  Editors comment:  I purchased a battery operated lawnmower (40Volt Ryobi) in mid 2021.  As of this week, I have recharged the battery four times. Emmissions = 0.0

 2.  What Is The Cost Of Climate Change?  ‘A Large Portion of This Base Is Going to Be Underwater’: U.S. Military Hub Adapts to Climate.  Virginia’s Hampton Roads region, including Norfolk, is preparing for higher sea levels amid debates on strategy and costs.

NORFOLK, Va.—This low-lying waterfront city rests in the most vulnerable place along the East Coast to rising sea levels, prompting billions in climate-infrastructure projects that have sparked debate about how best to protect neighborhoods.

To safeguard Norfolk, the city and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are leading a $2.6 billion, 10-year project that some other East Coast cities see as a model for pre-disaster coastal resilience. In nearby Virginia Beach, Va., residents in a referendum approved a $568 million bond to build tidal gates, pump stations and pipes to redirect water from heavy rainfall and tidal flooding. And communities are adapting their daily life in smaller ways, such as redirecting school-bus routes around tidal flooding.

“The alternative is to wait for the hurricane to hit us and then billions of dollars to get dumped in the community to fix it. That’s the old model,” said Kyle Spencer, Norfolk’s chief resilience officer. “The new model is trying to get it done pre-disaster.” 

Officials in the southeast pocket of Virginia known as Hampton Roads, which includes Norfolk and Virginia Beach, are moving forward with the kind of multibillion-dollar projects that have stalled in cities such as Miami and New York. The flurry of activity—along with local arguments over strategy and costs—is expected eventually to be replicated along the East Coast

 Norfolk has the highest rate of relative sea level rise among Atlantic coastal communities, according to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Its 235,000 residents are seeing more high-tide flooding, increasing bouts of heavy rainfall and the threat of a catastrophic hurricane storm surge.

Source: Wall Street Journal April 25, 2023

3.  If The Previous Article Gives You A Feeling Of Fantods, You might Be Experiencing:

                      a. Itchiness

          b. Orderliness

          c.  Uneasiness

          d. Alertness

Answer at the end of the newsletter

4 Stinknet: Do You Have It Growing In/Around Your Yard, Driveway or Roadway?  The Answer is probably, YES!

Stinknet, also known as Oncosiphon piluliferus or Oncosiphon piluliferum.   Plants begin growth as a basal rosette of deeply lobed deep green leaves. The leaves have scattered hairs and small oil glands which are the likely source of volatile chemicals responsible for the plant’s aroma.

Stinknet small                                     Stinknet mature with                                   Close-up view of flower
yellow globular flowers

Crushed foliage releases a pungent odor which has been compared to turpentine. As the rosette matures, the plant sends out longer shoots horizontally and vertically.The flower heads are bright yellow spheres without ray petals.  Each flower in the globe has the potential to form one seed. Flowering begins at the base of the globe and proceeds to the apex. Seed maturation will begin in early to mid-April and can continue into May after all flowers in the head have been opened.

Stinknet is native to South Africa (Kolokoto and Magee, 2018). It was found occurring in Riverside County,

California in 1981 (UCR Herbarium Projects, 2019) and has since become a widespread weed in California and all over Arizona. 

Wearing gloves and long sleeves is advisable due to sensitivity some people have experienced from contact with stinknet (it will form a rash where it comes in contact with the skin so wear gloves when weeding – editor).  It has been suggested that if you try to kill the plant using a propane torch, and inhale the smoke from the burning plant, you my become very sick and possibly die within hours after inhalation.

Roundup and two natural herbicides work well in controlling the plant growth.  These  are “Natria” and “Sunday Weed Warrior”  Sources: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and PBS.

6. Bee Season. Knowing The Buzz And What Not To Do.  Spring is a prime time for bee migration, and that puts some people on edge. Tucson Fire Department (TFD) Deputy Chief Barrett Baker has a few tips on how to keep you and your family safe from the bees this season, including running to safety and getting indoors if an angry swarm attacks you and giving space to a non-attacking swarm near you. Watch the Facebook video linked below to learn more.
TFD Facebook video

What you DO NOT WANT TO DO  is eat or touch a banana on the day you are going to work in the yard/field.  Bannana oil is the same pheromone bees give off when “going to war”.  Want to work with bees and not get stung?  Do not touch a banana. To be safe, place a little finger nail polish remover (containing acetone, ) on one fingernail.  The bees will see/smell you as a “friend”.

Good news for bees: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a first-of-its-kind vaccine to protect honeybees against American Floulbrood, a disease that can wipe out an entire colony of bees. The vaccine is distributed through food given to the queen bee who then transfers immunity to her larvae. Source: “Solutions” Spring 2023

7.  Cinco de Mayo- History.  Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, a popular misconception. Instead, it commemorates a single battle. In 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the Indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments.

In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico, demanding repayment. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces.

France, however, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve an empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large force of troops and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat.

The Battle of Puebla

Certain that success would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a ragtag force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either Indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla. 

The vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans, led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez gathered his army—supported by heavy artillery—before the city of Puebla and led an assault.

The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash.

Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement. In 1867—thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War—France finally withdrew.

The same year, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who had been installed as emperor of Mexico in 1864 by Napoleon, was captured and executed by Juárez’s forces. Puebla de Los Angeles was renamed for General Zaragoza, who died of typhoid fever months after his historic  triumph there.

Many people outside Mexico mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican independence, which was declared more than 50 years before the Battle of Puebla.

Independence Day in Mexico (Día de la Independencia) is commemorated on September 16, the anniversary of the revolutionary priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s famous “Grito de Dolores” (“Cry of Dolores,” referring to the city of Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico), a call to arms that amounted to a declaration of war against the Spanish colonial government in 1810. Source: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo

Answer to No. 3  

         C. Uneasiness

Copyright: EnviroInsight.org 2023

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