Tag Archives: Conservation

SCEEP Celebrating 20 Years Of Promoting Good Environmental Stewardship

The South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP) is celebrating its 20th year of recognizing companies that practice good environmental stewardship. There are currently 46 member companies representing industries, businesses and utilities. A celebration is being planned for later in the year.

SCEEP is a voluntary initiative designed to recognize and reward South Carolina facilities that have demonstrated superior environmental performance through pollution prevention, energy and resource conservation, and the use of an environmental management system. The program is coordinated by DHEC’s Office of Environmental Affairs, but is directed by the SCEEP Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of industry, environment, government, academia and public interest.

SCEEP encourages companies to become environmental leaders and to mentor other companies. The member companies are able to share environmental knowledge and expertise so that other companies and facilities can better understand and appreciate the importance of environmental excellence and become environmental leaders themselves. They are committed to improving South Carolina’s environment by reducing their waste streams through pollution prevention and by reducing their consumption of energy and other resources.

For more information and a list of companies that have been honored by SCEEP, visit the DHEC website at www.scdhec.gov/sceep or contact Rebecca Sproles at (803) 898-3139 or by e-mail at sprolemr@dhec.sc.gov.

DHEC in the News: Safe sleep, protecting water, workplace noise and high blood pressure

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Health in Brief: DHEC encourages parents to practice ‘safe sleep’ habits with babies

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control recently published a press release reminding parents to practice safe sleep habits with infants. The agency reported that six infants in South Carolina die each month due to sleep-related deaths.

Study aims to protect water at the source

The clean air and water, mountain views and scenic rivers that attract so many people to the Upstate is the driving force behind a watershed plan being developed for the 220,000-acre Tyger River Watershed Basin.

Keeping it beautiful and clean for future generations is the goal of Upstate Forever, a Greenville-based land conservation organization that is parlaying a $40,000 federal grant into a plan to identify sources of water pollution as well as areas deemed “critical” for protection or restoration.

General Interest

CDC: Workplace noise linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol

High blood pressure and high cholesterol — two risk factors for heart disease — are more common among workers exposed to loud noise in their workplaces, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

From Other Blogs: Preparedness and response workforce training, conservation easements, epilepsy

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Building the Future Preparedness and Response Workforce

When I think about public health preparedness and response I ask myself three questions: Who provides the infrastructure to train public health responders? Where do they learn what they know? Who helps a responder fulfill their mission? The answers to these questions may rest in the TRAIN Learning Network (TRAIN). — From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s  (CDC) “Public Health Matters Blog”

Landowners in Deep South Protect 700,000 Acres of Wetlands with USDA Help

Private landowners in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have protected 700,000 acres of critical wetlands in the past 25 years, which accounts for one-third of all wetlands under USDA conservation easements in the country. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and several conservation partners recently celebrated this milestone by visiting one of the landowners who used a conservation easement to restore and permanently protect the wetland. — From the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog

Loving Someone With Epilepsy

When Zayan first told me that he has epilepsy, I didn’t believe him.  “You mean seizures, right?”  I was embarrassed at how much I didn’t know. Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that triggers recurrent seizures. It can be caused by different conditions that affect a person’s brain. —  From the CDC’s “Public Health Matters Blog”

DHEC in the News: Healthy Greenville grant winners, land conservation, West Nile virus

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Healthy Greenville grant winners chosen

Greenville County EMS, Clemson University’s public health department and Gateway House are among the winners of the first Healthy Greenville 2036 grants.

Announced Tuesday by the Greenville Health Authority board of trustees, the nine winning grants total $12.4 million and provide funding for one to five years.

Charleston Harbor deepening funds finance 600-acre conservation deal

A conservation group has purchased about 600 acres near the east branch of the Cooper River through a preservation program tied to the Charleston Harbor deepening project.

The Lowcountry Land Trust bought Hyde Park Plantation for $3.525 million from Hyde Park Estates Inc., which had owned it since 1993.

The property is near the Francis Marion National Forest off S.C. Highway 402, between Huger and Cordesville in Berkeley County. It includes more than 100 acres of rice fields and almost 500 acres of woodlands, as well as a main residence, servant’s quarters and a guest house.

County battling West Nile Virus

UNION COUNTY — The people of Union County are being urged to take steps to protect themselves from the West Nile Virus after a Jonesville area resident was diagnosed with the disease.

According to the DHEC website (www.scdhec.gov/westnile/) West Nile Virus “is a disease transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after feeding on infected birds.”

Champions of the Environment Merit Winner: Montessori School of Anderson Compost Initiative

by
Charles Jordan
Montessori School of Anderson

This is the fifth of a series of blog posts recognizing winners of the 2016 Champions of the Environment awards.

At the Montessori School of Anderson, environmental education is an important aspect of our curriculum. Montessori philosophy encourages children to be self-directed and follow their interests. If we can provide a school environment with opportunities for children to discover the outdoors, we are planting seeds for a healthy environment. The inspiration for MSA’s Champions of the Environment project was food. We realized that after lunches and snacks, we had scrap food that was going to the landfill. This was a missed opportunity for replenishing nutrients in our garden’s soil! Through our composting project, our students are learning how red wiggler worms and bacteria can break down scrap and spoiled food into something useful and beneficial to the soil. Students learned that the worm castings not only return nutrients to the soil but they can help break up clumps of soil to allow air and water to pass through. They were surprised by some of the statistics that shows how much money families can save by composting. The students were given a lesson about the efficiency of red wigglers and how to assemble a worm bin. The class has created two vermiculture bins to compare and contrast the vermicomposting and hot composting methods.

The best part of our project is the campus-wide involvement across grades from K3 to 12th. The most challenging part of this project has been educating teachers and students about the importance of composting and what can be added to a compost pile. We think that this project will have lasting impacts beyond this school year. One of our goals is to grow crops, such as alfalfa and buckwheat that can be added to our compost in addition to food scraps, to create a continuous supply of compost for our gardens. Each level offers a daily morning snack and the students are responsible for preparing their own snack. Our aim is to create an environment where our students can grow, harvest, clean and prepare the food that they have grown. This will help them have a greater understanding of where their food comes from and how easy and rewarding it is to grow your own fruits and vegetables. If you want to start your own environmental education project, we suggest start planning and building community involvement early for your project to continue being successful after its launch.