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Past Events and Accomplishments

• In summer 2011, Turning the Tides gathered the signatures of over 2,000 Juneau voters to place a proposed ordinance taxing plastic bags on the city ballot. “It is the purpose of the tax imposed under this chapter to minimize the use of plastic shopping bags and encourage the use of reusable shopping bags, thereby reducing the impact of discarded bags on the marine and land environment of Juneau and Southeast Alaska and contributing to the general revenue of the City and Borough,” it stated. Although the ordinance failed to pass, TTT distributed hundreds of free recycled-cloth shopping bags at local stores and did a tremendous amount of additional consciousness -raising about the damage caused by plastics in the months before the vote.

• In summer 2012, TTT hosted a visit from Albert Bates, highly regarded author, teacher, futurist and permaculture expert. He gave several informal talks at different Juneau venues, highlighting themes of peak oil and biochar.

• In fall 2012, TTT began planning erection of Juneau’s first community greenhouse, working on a soil conservation grant and surveying potential sites, in order to increase Juneau’s food security and improve access to fresh, local produce. Anyone wishing to participate in this effort is welcome to attend informal quarterly meetings.

• In 2013 TTT began hosting “Green Drinks” gatherings at Zen, on the third Wednesday of each month, at 6 PM. For details about this worldwide organization, which brings environmentally-minded folks together for informal, low-stress local gatherings to share news and ideas, follow the link.

• In fall 2013, TTT hosted a biochar stove workshop, building gasifying camp stoves out of cookie tins, discarded beer cans and other found materials. The stoves cook food or heat water quickly with a minimum of fuel (such as pistachio shells or bark), and their waste product, biochar, is then buried, sequestering carbon.

• Introduction of two legislative bills– Senate Bill 118 sponsored by Senator Kim
Elton and House Bill 230 sponsored by House Representative Andrea Doll: “An
Act establishing a fee for disposable plastic bags distributed by retail sellers of
goods or services to consumers to carry away or protect goods; and establishing
the Alaska litter and marine debris reduction and recycling fund.” Spring 2007.

• Beach clean-ups (in cooperation with other local organizations)

• Retreat/workshop “Earth Connections” to raise awareness about our connections
to nature –featuring speakers, musicians and practitioners. August 18-20, 2007,
Juneau Boy Scout Camp. 30 participants. (Fundraiser)

• Invite and sponsor speakers in conjunction with Juneau World Affairs Council:
Carlos Yaipen-Lianos (ORCA), a Peruvian veterinarian who leads an
international volunteer program to save stranded animals and raise
awareness about the environmental crisis in the South Pacific.
Cosponsor: Juneau World Affairs Council. Dec. 2005.
Eric Lancaster, executive vice president of Effective Microorganisms (EM)
America. EM denotes a method to improve soil and water quality using a
mixture of microorganisms consisting mainly of lactic acid bacteria, purple
bacteria, and yeasts which co-exist for the benefit of whichever
environment they are introduced. June 2006.
Marcus Eriksen, Ph.D. {Aigalita Marine Research Foundation), an expert
on the pollution of the Pacific with plastics. Cosponsor: Juneau World
Affairs Council. April 2007.

• Established a partner relationship with ORCA, an organization in Peru dedicated
to saving marine mammals and raising awareness about ocean issues. TTT
facilitates Alaska college and high school student internships with ORCA in Lima,
Peru. Spring 2006- present.

• Participation in Juneau’s Earth Day events to raise awareness about ocean
issues. 2006, 2007.

• Benefit concert “Ocean Celebration” to raise awareness about the negative
effects of plastics on the ocean. Marine Park, Juneau, July 3rd, 2006.

• Sustainable lunch at the University of Alaska Southeast as part of the UAS
Spring Forum, March 31, 2007.

• Presentations at Juneau-Douglas High School and the University of Alaska

• Establishment of Turning the Tides @ UAS, an environmental student club at the
University of Alaska Southeast. Spring 2007.

• The Plastic Poison– an eight by seventeen feet Viking ship made of 4,000
plastic bottles, 3,000 plastic bags and other scrap materials. P’urpose: Raise
awareness about the pollution of the ocean. Dr. Marcus Eriksen (Algal ita Marine
Reseach Foundation- Los Angeles) led the construction together with Dr.
Hildegard Sellner (Turning the Tides) as project organizer: About 50 local
volunteers built the vessel; an unknown but much higher number of citizens were
involved in gathering and donating the materials. Press coverage of the maiden
voyage (Auke Bay Harbor, Juneau): Juneau Empire, Capital City Weekly,
Anchorage Daily News, ABC News, Good Morning America, In Touch. First
prizes in the 2007 Juneau and Douglas Independence Day Parades: Juneau –
“Most Alaskan”, Douglas- “Most Original”.
TTT volunteers showcased the Plastic Poison at the 2007 Southeast Alaska
State Fair in Haines and the Alaska State Fair in Palmer.