City Hosts 5th Annual Bioneers By the Bay Conference

New Bedford will again host the Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change conference. The 5th annual conference will be held in several venues throughout historic downtown during the weekend of October 22-25, 2009.
Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change, is a program of the Marion Institute which provides an opportunity for concerned citizens to meet with environmental, scientific, and social justice innovators to address the Earth’s most pressing challenges. Plans include three days of live keynote speakers, afternoon workshops, an extensive Youth Initiative program, a downlink of the 20th Annual Bioneers Conference in California [www.bioneers.org], an exhibition hall featuring sustainable businesses and organizations, a 350 Day of Action event, films, music, art installations, a farmers’ market and local and organic food.
This year’s kick off event will be held Thursday, October 22 at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm) at the Zeiterion Theatre, downtown New Bedford. The event, sponsored by the Women’s Fund of Southeastern Mass, will highlight a wide array of issues surrounding climate change and how it directly affects the vitality of New Bedford, from its potential to transform our booming commercial fishing industry to our food systems. There will be a screening of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) newly released short film ACID TEST, featuring Sigourney Weaver, followed by a discussion led by ecology and evolutionary biologist and NRDC senior scientist Dr. Lisa Suatoni. The film was made in an effort to draw attention to the virtually unfamiliar issue of ocean acidification. “Like global warming,” cites NRDC, “ocean acidification stems from the increase of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution.”
Due to today’s increase in carbon dioxide, ocean acidification, known commonly as the other carbon problem, is transforming the chemistry of the ocean. New Bedford, the top US commercial fishing port in terms of volume and dollar value, is dependent on the ocean. Maintaining the continuance of the commercial fishing industry is fiscally fundamental for all citizens of this city.
The kick off event brings both climate changes effect on land and sea together with speaker Will Allen, and his contributions to urban farming. This will be a preview of Allen’s keynotes and workshop on the first day of the conference, Friday, October 23rd. Allen, founder and CEO of the urban based farm Growing Power, is at the forefront of the “good food revolution”. The former professional basketball player and Maryland native has dedicated his life to the vision of making health locally-grown foods available in cities—a message which resonates with the New Bedford community, familiar with a lack of healthy organic foods accessible.
Conference scholarships and volunteer opportunities are available. For more information, please visit www.connectingforchange.org or call 508.748.0816

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