11/19/17

Colorful Catch Basins around Jersey City Star a Red-eyed Tree Frog

Jersey City, have you seen all the colorful images painted on catch basins all around town?

Our city wants residents and business owners to “adopt a catch basin.” When Frogs Are Green heard about this program, in which artists decorate these basins with whatever images you suggest, we claimed a drain, and now the corner of Central Avenue and Bleecker Street boasts a gorgeous, colorful red-eyed tree frog. We also just claimed the opposite corner which we call Biodiversity Matters. Environmental themes make the most sense.

Red-eyed Tree Frog artwork for catch basin in Jersey City Heights.

Red-eyed tree frog artwork for catch basin in Jersey City Heights.

As you walk around Jersey City, you’ll see a lighthouse, fish, turtles, sea turtles, an octopus, and many other original artworks by different artists. When you join the program and adopt a drain, you get to name it and request a certain image.

This is a great way to give artists work, clean up the streets, and show citizens where rain water goes. Once you claim a drain, you become responsible for keeping it clear from trash and, in the colder months, ice and snow. It’s a useful reminder not to throw garbage down there. Year after year I’ve walked around my neighborhood and seen trash and leaves piling up at these catch basins and trees, like a new sign post for trash. Since the city has a limited amount of street cleaners–actual people who only work main streets and only certain days– getting the public involved will help.

 

About the “Adopt a Catch Basin” program from the Jersey City Office of Innovation’s website:

“Catch basins or sewer drains collect storm and rain water from streets and sidewalks, which then travels into the sewer system. Any debris in the street and on the sidewalk can clog and block a catch basin, causing local flooding and potentially polluting our waterways. Our ‘Adopt a Catch Basin’ program empowers local residents and other volunteers to help keep catch basins clean and expand awareness of our sewer system.”

 

Once I made this commitment, I started researching what does go down the drain besides rain water and have discovered some unbelievable facts.

NJ’s sewage systems are old and in serious need of repair. Just read this article about what happened to the Middlesex County Utilities Authority in New Jersey. They were just starting to repair the main pump when Hurricane Sandy hit.

 
…Hurricane Sandy triggered flooding that knocked out the Passaic Valley Utility Authority in Newark—the fifth-largest wastewater treatment facility in the country—for weeks, sending some 840 million gallons of untreated sewage into Newark Bay, according to a 2013 report by the independent research organization Climate Central.

The federal EPA in 2008 estimated the cost of upgrading New Jersey’s CSOs statewide at $9.3 billion.

…Environmentalists warn that the high cost of fixing New Jersey’s ailing sewer systems pales beside the cost of doing nothing. While our ocean waters were deemed swimmable in a July 2013 DEP assessment, 73 percent of the state’s non-ocean waters tested failed due to bacteria indicating the presence of fecal matter. And only 3 percent of 952 watersheds were judged safe to eat, with 38 percent containing dangerous levels of mercury or toxic PCBs…

Please read the entire article here:
https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/down-the-drain-njs-sewage-system/
 

Just imagine what this means to wildlife. Let’s all do our part in helping the environment be safe for all.

 

04/21/15

Earth Day Celebrations 2015

Each year as Earth Day approaches, Frogs Are Green goes into high gear.

Sunday, April 19, we celebrated with our local (and not so local) area, as many came out on a beautiful spring day to the Pershing Field Vietnam Veterans Memorial Community Center in Jersey City Heights, to see the winning artworks done by children around the world.

Visit this link to see the whole gallery of the event on Facebook: 2nd Annual Green Dream
laura-skolar-rolando-lavarro-susan-newman-at-green-dream-JC

Pictured above is Laura Skolar, President of Pershing Field Garden Friends; Jersey City, City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr. and Me.

 

We’ve published our “Frogs, Amphibians and Their Threatened Environment” six-week curriculum book on Amazon and Createspace!
Pick it up here >> Frog and Art Curriculum

 

We have two new awesome posters: one for “Saving the Bees” with a gorgeous micro close-up by wildlife photographer, Wes Deyton… and our adorable “Naturally FROGADELIC” illustrated by the always original, Mary Ann Farley.

Visit our shop here: Frogs Are Green Shop

Earth Day Buzz - Save the Honeybee

Earth Day Buzz – Save the Honeybee – Photograph courtesy of Wes Deyton.

Naturally Frogadelic - Earth Day Poster by Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green, Illustration courtesy Mary Ann Farley

Naturally Frogadelic – Earth Day Poster 2015 by Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green; Illustration courtesy of Mary Ann Farley.

 

We also want to share that our favorite Frog author, Irwin Quagmire Wart has written a new book and you can pick up a free download 4/21 – 4/25: >> Green Is Good

 

On Saturday, April 25th, Frogs Are Green will visit Liberty State Park’s Earth Day Festival and Sunday, April 26th, we will have a tent/table at the Earth Day festival in front of Jersey City’s City Hall! Children will be able to sit and draw pictures of frogs and nature. Art supplies and frog/amphibian reference on hand.

Swing by and visit us and have a fabulous EARTH DAY (week) and Happy Save The Frogs Day too!

– Susan Newman, founder

04/6/15

The Benefits of Frogs in Your Garden

Frogs and toads, just like so many other animal species, are suffering a decline in numbers. This is due to environmental problems, climate change and human factors and show that the changes we are seeing in the environment are signs that something is wrong.

What many people should realize is that frogs need to be viewed as an important part of the ecosystem.

The Benefits of Frogs in Your Garden

Frogs and toads are not only very beautiful and diverse (Frogs per Wikipedia – approximately 4,800 species); they can also prove to be very beneficial for your garden.

  • Every ecosystem is comprised of multiple species that create a chain. It is what keeps the balance in nature and what maintains life as we know it. As such, frogs and toads have their place under the sun and should be protected. This is the reason why you will do very well to ensure that frogs can find shelter in your garden. If you provide the right conditions and features for these amphibian creatures, they should appear.
  • Frogs are good bioindicators. There is a lot that you can learn from the frogs in your garden. Frogs can show you that something is wrong in the area, or if they are happily breeding and living in the area, then everything should be okay. If you are dedicated and want to have a perfect garden, you can use the indications from frogs to know if the conditions in your garden are good, or if the frogs that used to dwell there suddenly go missing, you will know there is a disturbance.
  • Pest control – frogs are amazing at cleaning the garden from harmful insects. If you are having such problems, you can easily eliminate them by introducing frogs among your plants. A single frog can eat over 100 insects, such as caterpillars, sow bugs and cutworms and more. These can destroy your entire garden if left unchecked. With frogs around, you won’t need to use harmful pesticides, either.

Toads and frogs can be one of the best solutions for your garden. Not only will you have a garden safe of bugs and insects, but you will also have very pleasant amphibians hopping around.

Tree Frog and Bug from EarthRangers.com

Tree Frog and Bug from EarthRangers.com

Guest post by Ella Andrews granted on behalf of: an excellent cleaning in Ruislip.

02/8/15

Frogs and Water Quality

Yesterday, in class with the Cloud Institute and Sustainable Jersey (NJ Learns), each student got to briefly share their project, so I was describing the Frogs Are Green mission and projects on the agenda for 2015.

My teacher Jaimie P. Cloud, challenged me with this question. “Much of what Frogs Are Green is about is bringing awareness to the public, but is there a change I want in the public’s behavior?”

It made me think about one specific area that we can focus on which would help frogs and amphibians as well as other wildlife and humans, and that is water quality.

We know that there are many issues, such as, pollution and oil spills, pesticides and other toxins, pharmaceuticals, and these aren’t just affecting wildlife, but us as well. It’s humans that are creating many of these problems, so it’s obvious that we must be the ones to correct it.

testing water quality

I did a search on Google for Frogs and Water Quality and was surprised to learn there is currently no standard for water quality as it applies to frogs and amphibians:
“The factors thought to be contributing to declines in frog populations include habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, overexploitation, disease, climate change, and decreasing water quality. With respect to water quality, agroecosystems use 80-90% of the water resources in the western United States, frequently resulting in highly eutrophic conditions. Recent investigations suggest that these eutrophic conditions (elevated pH, water temperature, and un-ionized ammonia) may be associated with frog embryo mortality or malformations. However, water quality criteria for frogs and other amphibians do not currently exist. Here, we briefly review data that support the need to develop water quality parameters for frogs in agroecosystems and other habitats.”
(from this website: PMC1519110/http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1519110/)

What this tells me is that currently the water quality is tested to make sure it’s safe for humans, but there are no regulations in place for it to be safe for wildlife? Doesn’t it matter that it’s healthy for all life?

I’ll be reading much more on this issue and would like to invite you to share your thoughts or links to additional documentation you may have found.

Here’s a video I’d like to share because it shows just how important it is to educate the young with hands-on education from Marie Hartford, Science, 5th Grade Teacher and her students in Redmond, WA on the Teaching Channel about “Measuring the pH as it Relates to Water Quality.”

12/21/14

Dr. Tyrone Hayes and Atrazine

This video is so important, we needed to share it on our site too. We have collaborated in the past with Save the Frogs on their campaign to Ban Atrazine.

Ban Atrazine graphic designed by Susan Newman

Original broadcast:

http://www.democracynow.org – We speak with a University of California scientist Tyrone Hayes, who discovered a widely used herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But when he tried to publish the results, the chemical’s manufacturer launched a campaign to discredit his work. Hayes was first hired in 1997 by a company, which later became agribusiness giant Syngenta, to study their product, Atrazine, a pesticide that is applied to more than half the corn crops in the United States, and widely used on golf courses and Christmas tree farms. When Hayes found results Syngenta did not expect — that Atrazine causes sexual abnormalities in frogs, and could cause the same problems for humans — it refused to allow him to publish his findings. A new article in The New Yorker magazine uses court documents from a class-action lawsuit against Syngenta to show how it sought to smear Hayes’ reputation and prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning the profitable chemical, which is already banned by the European Union.

Democracy Now!, is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,200+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9am ET at http://www.democracynow.org.

10/9/14

Robin Moore, Conservationist, Photographer and Author of In Search of Lost Frogs

Exclusive!

Tune in tomorrow, October 10, 2014 at 3pm EST and meet…

Robin Moore, conservationist, photographer and author of “In Search of Lost Frogs.”

*** Now Replaying *** The podcast interview is here:
Webcast: Robin Moore interviewed by Susan Newman

Follow the event and comment on Facebook:

Robin Moore Interview on Facebook with Susan Newman (aka Suzy Brandtastic)

Robin Moore, Conservationist, Photographer, and Author of In Search of Lost Frogs

About Robin Moore:

Robin Moore is a conservationist, photographer and the author of In Search of Lost Frogs (In Search of Lost Frogs).

Since gaining a PhD in biodiversity conservation, Robin has been a powerful voice for amphibian conservation.

He is a Conservation Officer with Rainforest Trust, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Amphibian Survival Alliance, the largest global partnership for amphibian conservation.

He is a proud Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (www.ilcp.com), represented by National Geographic Creative, and recently Co-Founded Frame of Mind (www.frameofmind.org), an initiative that empowers youth around the world to connect with their natural and cultural worlds through photography and visual.

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About Suzy Brandtastic interviews:

Susan Newman, an environmentalist and brand visibility designer knows how important it is to tell your “why.” Susan hosts a podcast series, live action video series and a written interview series, all featuring environmentalists, innovators, creatives and small business owners.