Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blacks Outdoors


By Norris McDonald

There are other African American groups out there involved in outdoors activities.  There is the notion that Blacks aren't necessarily interested in the outback.  There is also the reality that Blacks have abandoned rural and outback experiences in favor of a sophisticated urban pathos.  Well the groups below are taking us back out there where we belong too.

Urban American Outdoors

Urban American Outdoors is the First Multicultural Outdoor TV show in the country. Celebrating our thirteenth year we are EMMY nominated and have won over 50 Broadcast Industry Awards representing the Outdoors Lifestyle.
Mission: To share the beauty of the Outdoors Lifestyle. To let everyone know that Outdoors belongs to all of us and everyone should be included in decisions concerning its healthy continuation for future generations.The Outdoors brand has always been represented by one viewpoint and we are here to promote inclusion and bring Diversity to the table to share all stories of the greatness of Outdoors.
Company Overview: Urban American Outdoors is produced by Urban American Productions based in Kansas City and is a MBE and WBE. The show is hosted and produced by businessman and avid outdoorsman Wayne Hubbard and Executive Producer Candice Price. The show airs across the US on various TV Affiliates and Internationally in Europe. The show depicts the Outdoors Lifestyle, Entertainment, Travel, Cultural History and Cooking.

Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Afro celebrates and inspires African American connections to nature.
Mission: Outdoor Afro uses social media and develops locally relevant leadership to create communities and events in nature.

They collaborate and partner with regional and national organizations that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors.
Company Overview: Outdoor Afro is a community that supports reconnecting African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, birding, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more!

African American National Parks Event

June 7th & 8th 2014, are the new dates for this event. Please mark your calendars.
Description: They are organizing a day when African Americans across the country will congregate in one of their local National Parks.This CALL TO ACTION is to show that African Americans do enjoy the outdoors and will work to protect and maintain our precious resources. There are numerous stories of African Americans forging history in our national parks, such as the Buffalo Soldiers and Colonel Charles Young. Let's make sure their stories continue to be told.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Heather McTeer Toney Named EPA Region 4 Administrator

Heather McTeer Toney
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced President Barack Obama's selection of Heather McTeer Toney as regional administrator for EPA's regional office in Atlanta. EPA Region 4 includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and six tribal nations.Ms. McTeer Toney was the first African-American and first female to serve as the Mayor of Greenville, Mississippi, holding that post from 2004-2012. She joins EPA from Mississippi Valley State University, where she is the Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Student Learning. She is also the Principal Attorney at Heather McTeer, PLLC.

Ms. McTeer Toney's private-sector success is complemented by considerable experience in local and state politics. She began her career working as a member of McTeer and Associates Law Firm and handled a diverse group of cases ranging from racial discrimination to medical malpractice. Later she served as the President of the National Conference of Black Mayors and in 2009, was nominated by former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, to serve as the Chairwoman of the Local Government Advisory Committee.

Previously she was president of START Strategies & Consulting Group. She serves as one of the National Spokeswomen for She Should Run!, and is the State Director for the Political Institute for Women. Heather appeared regularly on Women for Progress Radio 90.1 in Jackson, MS. Heather is an expert with SheSource, a publication of the Women’s Media Center.

McTeer has received numerous award and honors. She has appeared on news outlets such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and C-Span. She has been featured in the Washington Post, Jackson Clarion Ledger, Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine and the Mississippi Business Journal. She is also a published author in Voices of Historical and Contemporary Black American Pioneers Vol. 2. McTeer was featured in the May 2005 issue of Essence Magazine as one of the “50 Most Remarkable Women in the World.” She was featured in the November 2011 issue of Marie Claire magazine as the “Top Politician” in their annual “Women On Top” awards. She was also recognized by Black Entertainment Television (BET) as a “Black Woman In Politics That Rock!” Most recently, Heather is included in the PBS/AOL documentary entitled “MAKERS”, where she appears alongside noted women such as Hilary Clinton and Condalizza Rice.

Heather received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College and her law degree from Tulane University Law School.  Heather enjoys reading, running and is the MS Delta Run coordinator for Black Girls Run! MS Chapter. She is an active member of New Living Way Christian Fellowship church in Greenville, MS.  She is married to Dexter Toney and they have two children.

EPA regional administrators are responsible for managing the Agency's regional activities under the direction of the EPA administrator. They promote state and local environmental protection efforts and serve as a liaison to government officials. (EPA Press Release, Linkedin)

Job Available: The Conservation Fund Major Gifts Manager

Major Gifts Manager

The Conservation Fund, headquartered in Arlington, VA, seeks a dynamic fundraiser with a minimum of 3-5 years experience to create, manage and implement donor strategies for a large portfolio of major donors.  Will work collaboratively with field staff to research, cultivate, solicit and steward significant contributions.  Assists Vice President of Development and President with select donor relationships.

The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills and the ability to work with all types of people.  A bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred.  Must be able to work long hours and/or weekends from time-to-time.  Some overnight travel required.  This position will be located in the Philadelphia/New York corridor.

For additional information, visit our website at  We offer a great benefits package including, medical/dental insurance, 403(b), educational assistance and vacation/sick leave.  Qualified/interested candidates should send their resume and cover letter with salary requirements to:

The Conservation Fund


Fax:  (703) 525-4610



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Issues Voting Record

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights today released vote ratings for every member of the Congress for the First Session of the 113th Congress. The Voting Record, which has been published for every Congress since 1969, reflects positions taken by every senator and representative on the legislative priorities of The Leadership Conference and its more than 200 coalition members.

Members of Congress were graded on 13 House and 19 Senate votes taken through December 2013 addressing important civil rights protections, as well as jobs, the budget, education, immigration reform, judicial and executive branch nominations, violence against women, and more.

The publication of the Voting Record is accompanied by the 2014 edition of the Civil Rights Monitor, a review of the year’s civil and human rights issues published by The Leadership Conference’s sister organization, The Leadership Conference Education Fund. This edition, which focuses heavily on the Supreme Court, brings substantive commentary on voting rights, equal opportunity in college admissions, immigration reform, judicial and executive nominations, education, financial reform, and much more.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund's campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States.

For more information on The Leadership Conference and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, visit   (Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Press Release)

Friday, January 17, 2014

5,900 Natural Gas Leaks Discovered Under Washington, D.C

A Dozen Locations Had Concentrations High Enough to Trigger Explosion

More than 5,893 leaks from aging natural gas pipelines have been found under the streets of Washington, D.C. by a research team from Duke University and Boston University.

A dozen of the leaks could have posed explosion risks. Some manholes had methane concentrations as high as 500,000 parts per million of natural gas -- about 10 times greater than the threshold at which explosions can occur.
Repairing these leaks will improve air quality, increase consumer health and safety, and save money.

Nationally, natural gas pipeline failures cause an average of 17 fatalities, 68 injuries, and $133 million in property damage annually, according to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

In addition to the explosion hazard, natural gas leaks also pose another threat: Methane, the primary ingredient of natural gas, is a powerful greenhouse gas that also can catalyze ozone formation. Pipeline leaks are the largest human-caused source of methane in the United States and contribute to $3 billion of lost and unaccounted for natural gas each year.

Researchers from Boston University and Gas Safety, Inc., mapped gas leaks under all 1,500 road miles within Washington using a high-precision Picarro G2301 Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer installed in a GPS-equipped car. Laboratory analyses then confirmed that the isotopic chemical signatures of the methane and ethane found in the survey closely matched that of pipeline gas.

The average methane concentration observed in the leaks was about 2.5 times higher than in background air samples collected in the city. Methane levels in some leaks were as high as 89 parts per million, about 45 times higher than normal background levels.

Last year, the team mapped more than 3,300 natural-gas pipeline leaks beneath 785 road miles in the city of Boston. The average density of leaks mapped in the two cities is comparable, but the average methane concentrations are higher in Washington.

The new study comes at a time when the nation's aging pipeline infrastructure is generating increased legislative attention. Last November, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced two new bills to speed up the replacement of natural gas pipelines in states with older infrastructures by offering new federal programs and incentives to help defray the costs associated with the repairs. (Science Daily, 1/16/2014)

Elite Green Groups Challenge President Obama on Climate Change


By Norris McDonald

The large, rich, elite environmental groups sent a letter to President Obama condemning his belief in an 'all of the above' energy strategy.  They also condemned any approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.  We support President Obama's 'all of the above' energy strategy because it makes sense in the real world.  Also, the Keystone XL pipeline is already operating and the Canadian tarsands will be developed (and transported via rail) regardless of whether the proposed shortcut part of the pipeline is approved by the Obama administration.  Ignore them President Obama.  You are the strongest global warming mitigation president in history and these groups are still complaining.

Also big media like The Washington Post, and particularly reporters like Juliet Eilperin, restrict alternative environmental viewpoints by exclusively reporting the agenda of the elite groups.  It is a disservice to the public for such big media outlets to strictly endorse only one particular viewpoint when it comes to environmental public policy.  In essence, big media is rejecting dissenting viewpoints and is serving as a biased conduit for elite environmental groups to dominate the discussion.

America is an energy consuming nation.  We believe in the efficient use of natural resources.  We also believe that climate change is best addressed via technology solutions instead of 'banning fossil fuels' the way the rich groups recommend.  They can afford a world where energy is very expensive and unavailable.  Many of the rest of us cannot.

We are proposing two strategies to address global warming: 1) Defense Energy Reservations (DER) and 2) Energy Defense Reservations (EDR).  The DER leads with renewables implementation under a Presidential Executive Order to 'Declare War on global warming and a Congressional 'Declaration of War' on global warming.  The EDR proposes to utilize nuclear power and oxycombustion of coal in a process that produces hydrogen via steam cracking or hydrolysis for a hydrogen economy and converting CO2 into diesel fuel.

Although expensive, and any 'solution' to global warming will be expensive, we believe these technological solutions are more practical than banning the use of fossil fuels.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

National Harbor Capital Ferris Wheel

Artist's rendering/Brown Craig Turner Architects + Designers

National Harbor developer Milt Peterson envisons a $15 million brightly lit 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel offering visitors 12- to 15-minute rides on the Potomac River.

A look at the scale of the planned ferris wheel in D.C.
Scale of the planned ferris wheel

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

Peterson envisions the attraction, easily visible from flights arriving at or departing from Reagan National Airport, becoming as much a part of region’s skyline as the Washington Monument or U.S. Capitol. In mid-2016, it will be joined by a $925 million MGM resort and casino.   The attractions will be part of the $4 billion playground known as National Harbor, seven miles south of the District in Prince George’s County.

AAEA supports the Capital Wheel.  The Army Corps of Engineers will have to issue a permit for the ferris wheel.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wayne Hubbard

Wayne Hubbard
Wayne Hubard is the host/producer of the Urban American Outdoors (UAO), which is the first multicultural Outdoor Lifestyle TV show in the country.

UAO is an EMMY nominated award winning TV program that first aired in 2003 and shares the outdoors from a different perspective.

According to Hubbard:
"We bring it to you like you have never seen it done before. Our show is always entertaining and different, you never know quite what to expect. So stay tuned!"
The show is airing across the country on various TV affiliates and Overseas. UAO has been on air since 2003, is EMMY Nominated and has won over 50 Broadcast Industry Awards.  Hubbard has also created a spin off cooking show "Urban Soul Wild" featuring Celebrity Chef Kevin Kimbrough.

Along with hosting and producing duties, they sponsor free annual outdoor kid events that has serviced over 51,000 youth in the past 7 years and provide food to families in need in the community.

Hubbard is organizing annual Urban Outdoor Summits that celebrate and inform people in regards to the Outdoors Industry.  Hubbard consult on diversity and inclusion in regards to connecting to underserved markets. He want to continue to connect people to nature to help improve their lives and health.  His specialties: Outdoors Lifestyle & Adventure, Media, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting. (LinkedIn)

Candice Price

Candice Price
CandicePrice is the CEO and owner of Urban American Productions, LLC, which produced the first award winning diverse Outdoor Lifestyle TV show in the US; Urban American Outdoors with Host Wayne Hubbard. The show and concept were created in 1999 and the show has been in syndication on air nonstop since the fall of 2003.

Candice Price is also the Executive Producer and Show Runner of this first outdoor show that had an African American presence that was created to dispel the myth that Black people were not into nature and outdoor recreation. Through visual presentations and images of multicultural people in the outdoors—which was never seen before on TV—the show struck a major chord and garnered much attention with viewers.  
The show Urban American Outdoors often touches upon cultural and historical events while weaving a good story and these factors make it a multi award winning TV show. The program has won over 50 Broadcast Industry awards, is twice EMMY nominated and is a fan favorite. The show has also been bestowed Proclamations, a Resolution, and Congressional Recognitions from local state and federal government.

Candice and Wayne Hubbard have also created a spin off show called Urban Soul Wild utilizing everything that Wayne has harvested to bring back to cook a delicious healthy meal. The two also created a Sportsman Feeding the Hungry program to donate to food pantries, woman’s battered shelters, churches and families in need. They believe in demonstrating sustainability. They also conduct community outdoor events and speak and consult throughout the US about diversity outreach, conservation and their outdoor program.

Candice was born in Topeka, Kansas but grew up in Kansas City. She came from a family—much like many other families—that had migrated from the south and settled in Kansas and Missouri for opportunities.
Candice’s mother’s family owned land and were farmers close to the St Louis area. Her father, Carl Price Sr., was one of the original black radio DJ's in the country.  Her grandfather was also the first black dentist in Kansas. He was good friends with actress, Hattie McDaniel, and poet, Langston Hughes. Candice’s uncle owned and ran a record store and worked with youth and was the sparring partner to Joe Louis.
Her family was touched by the arts from all directions, whether it was music, literature, thought, theatre or dance. It is through this upbringing that eventually led to her desire to pursue the business of entertainment. She grew up singing, dancing and performing in several bands, eventually became a professional singer who performed across the US and overseas. However, those indoor venues just couldn’t compare to her love of singing outdoors in the open air, probably because Candice’s home was directly across from a city park which she played and sang in daily. With her family she enjoyed traveling all across the US going to the National Parks and Historical landmarks.

Candice has a BA degree in Communications from the University of Missouri Kansas City, as well as a degree in music from the Conservatory of Music. She worked in television for over a decade and other multimedia jobs over the years before starting her own business. She has her MBE, WBE certification and has been a Hunter Ed Certified Instructor as well as Instructor of Outdoor Safety. 
Candice was recently appointed by Secretary Tom Vilsack of the USDA to a Federal Advisory Committee as Representative for Youth, Diversity Outreach, racial and ethnic minorities, and low income communities for the US Forest Service Planning Rule 2012. She and a committee of 20 recently handed over their recommendation for implementation to the US Forest Service in which they had work diligently over the past year.   
Candice is married with children and loves her lifestyle of outdoors and adventures with her husband as they travel and work to encourage others to engage, connect and enjoy the open spaces and public lands that belong to all of us. It is definitely a family affair and they are available to come and speak and or consult with your business.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gov Brown Using CO2 Cap & Trade Money To Fund Rail & Disadvantaged

Gov Jerry Brown
Last year, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) diverted half a billion dollars from the auction of carbon dioxide permits to bolster the state's financial reserves.  Brown wants to keep the lion's share of the money for at least another year.  Of course, $600 million of cap-and-trade money would still go for renewable energy, energy efficiency and other carbon-cutting programs.

The money will go toward energy efficiency retrofits and solar installations for low-income communities, low-carbon transportation, transit-friendly planning and other programs. Brown is expected to propose a budget of $154.9 billion.

AAEA supports Governor Brown's budget proposal and we are particularly pleased that a quarter of the funds will benefit disadvantaged communities

Brown plans to return $100 million of the $500 million he borrowed last year from the cap-and-trade account, which is projected to grow to $850 million over the next fiscal year as the state continues its economywide carbon trading system.

Brown is also proposing to spend nearly a third of the expected proceeds on high-speed rail.  The rail line, which is scheduled to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles by 2028 at a cost of $68.4 billion,

Brown appears to be complying with a bill he signed in 2012, S.B. 535, which reserves 25 percent of the market's proceeds for projects that help communities with low income, high unemployment, low levels of homeownership or other economic disadvantages.  (E&E Publishing, 1/9/2014)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Urban American Outdoors

Urban American Outdoors is the first multicultural outdoor TV show in the country. Celebrating their thirteenth year they are EMMY nominated and have won over 50 broadcast industry awards representing the outdoors lifestyle.
To share the beauty of the Outdoors Lifestyle. To let everyone know that Outdoors belongs to all of us and everyone should be included in decisions concerning its healthy continuation for future generations.The Outdoors brand has always been represented by one viewpoint and we are here to promote inclusion and bring Diversity to the table to share all stories of the greatness of Outdoors
Company Overview
Urban American Outdoors is produced by Urban American Productions based in Kansas City and is a MBE and WBE.

The show is hosted and produced by businessman and avid outdoorsman Wayne Hubbard and Executive Producer Candice Price.

The show airs across the US on various TV Affiliates and Internationally in Europe. The show depicts the Outdoors Lifestyle, Entertainment, Travel, Cultural History and Cooking. (UAO-Facebook)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

S.W. Waterfront Redevelopment Receives Green Light in Washington D.C.

Master Plan ©

Hoffman‐Madison Waterfront, the master developer of the 3.2 million square foot Southwest Waterfront project - “The Wharf” - that stretches across 27 acres of land along the historic Washington Channel, has announced the approval of its Phase1 Planned Unit Development (PUD) by the District of Columbia Zoning Commission.

The Zoning Commission’s action approves all of the architectural designs and specific plans for each parcel of the project’s first phase encompassing 1.5 million square feet of residential, hotel, office and retail uses along with three piers, numerous open spaces, gathering places and a 3‐acre waterfront park.
Overall Plan © Perkins Eastman
Consistent with the Stage 1 PUD, approved by the Zoning Commission in 2011, the Stage 2 PUD encompasses Parcels, 2, 3 and 4. Additionally, in order to accomplish the development needs of St. Augustine’s Church, the Stage 2 application also includes Parcel 11, as well as a new 3‐acre waterfront park designed with a community charette process.
District Pier Summer Festival © Perkins Eastman
The District of Columbia Zoning Commission approval includes:
  • Parcel 2: Residential, Cultural and Entertainment Venue, Retail Spaces and Combined Heating and Power Facility.
  • Parcel 3a: Commercial Office Building and Ground Floor Retail.
  • Parcel 3b: InterContinental Hotel and Ground Floor Retail.
  • Parcel 4: Residential Building and Two levels of Retail Space.
  • Parcel 11: St. Augustine’s Church and Residential Building
  • Piers, Open Spaces and Thoroughfares: Streets, Yacht Club Piazza, Mews, Parks and New Piers
  • Parking and Bicycle Transit: Below‐Grade Parking Facility for Cars and Bikes, Surface Parking, New Maine Avenue Bike Lane, and Completing Link of the 20‐Mile Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
  • Wharf Kiosks: Outdoor Retail Pavilions.
District Pier at Entry Court © Perkins Eastman

Hoffman‐Madison Waterfront has developed guidelines to ensure that The Wharf has been designed in accordance with LEED‐ND Gold objectives, in order to meet certification requirements and to comply with all LEED‐ND criteria. Innovative stormwater management designs have been carefully integrated into The Wharf. Significant Low Impact Development (LID) zone plantings and a monumental storm water reuse cistern that stretches beneath the entire length of The Wharf will drastically reduce or eliminate stormwater runoff the enters the Washington Channel and help improve the health of the Potomac River watershed. The Wharf’s reuse of stormwater runoff for CHP cooling and the creative use of LID strategies will help the development meet the stormwater management goals of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative.
Wharf © Perkins Eastman
Phase 1 Design Team:
Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2013 and completion of the first phase is projected in the last quarter of 2016.  (Arch Daily, 1/21/2013)

Seafarer's Yacht Club


By Norris McDonald

I was a member of Seafarer's Yacht Club from 1996 -2001. I serverd on the Seafarer's Board of Directors for two years and rewrote the constitution for the group.

I have great memories from this period. I learned to boat at Seafarer's Yacht Club. An EPA employee donated a Boston Whaler to our organization and I docked the 22 foot boat at the club. I conducted tours of the Anacostia with inner city kids during that period.

Gore/Mbeki Commission Tour

I also took government officials on toxics tours to show them pollution sites along the river. One of by best memories is arranging for a group of South Africans to go out on their on one of the larger yachts of one of the members. They were representatives from the Gore/Mbeki Commission and I coordinated the trip with representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sandy and Norris McDonald

Norris McDonald at right casting off



Nuclear Waste Storage - Nuclear Energy Institute Press Conference

AAEA Past Circa 2002: This is the first time any environmentalist publicly supported nuclear power in the United States.

AAEA President Norris McDonald spoke at the press conference along with some other nuclear power supporters.

Participants spoke to reporters about the Bush administration’s decision to store spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste material at federal facilities in Yucca Mountain. Following their remarks they answered questions from the reporters.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Compton To Catalina Program - All Trips


The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) established a partnership with the Greater Union Baptist Church (GUBC) and the California Center for Economic Initiatives (CCEI) to operate an environmental tour called the “Compton To Catalina Program,” which takes students and other young people from Compton, California to Catalina Island.  AAEA also recruited Compton High School and Compton Community College (El Camino) as partners in the program.

AAEA initiated its Compton-To-Catalina Program on Saturday, April 21, 2012, which is the day before Earth Day.  The program began with a press conference at the Greater Union Baptist Church in Compton, California.  Participants then travelled to Long Beach, California to board the Catalina Express to make the one hour trip to the island. Once on Santa Catalina Island, the participants boarded the Nautilus to observe underwater life around the island.  Finally, participants toured Southern California Edison's Pebbly Beach Generating Station, the island's primary electricity generation source.

The Compton To Catalina Program is being operated thanks to a grant from Southern California Edison.

The purpose of the program is to expose young people from Compton to the Pacific Ocean and an incredibly beautiful island. People take it for granted that the vast majority of these kids never get on the water and many people live their entire lives without directly experiencing the Pacific Ocean even though they live within five or ten miles of it. We believe that such early exposure to this environment could lead to a lifelong environmental stewardship ethic.

GUBC and CCEI recruited people to participate in the Compton To Catalina (CTC) Program.  The Center made arrangements for the tours and facilitate educational experiences for the students.  Each tour is be a daylong affair that includes transportation to Long Beach, where the tours originate.  Participants have escorts at all times and activities on the island are arranged to maximize the environmental experience.

We utilize the services of Catalina Express.  Passengers on board Catalina Express can expect to arrive in Catalina in about an hour from Long Beach.  There are numerous activities available on Catalina Island, including: hiking, biking, camping, swimming, snorkeling, diving, sightseeing, dining, shopping or relaxing, to name a few.  Our main activities are a Nautilus submarine ride to view submerged vegetation and fish species and a tour of the Southern California Edison Pebbly Generating Station.

AAEA, GUBC and CCFEI are providing important environmental and technical services to the youth of Compton, California.  This partnership provides a rich environmental experience for participants.  We are engaging as many churches, schools and other institutions as possible and we are also appealing to the greater Los Angeles community to support the program.  

Call us today if you are interested in supporting this program: 443-569-5102  or email us at

Funding provided by:
Trip 6 December 5, 2014

AAEA conducted its 6th Compton To Catalina Island Trip on Friday, December 5, 2014. The trip included the following participants: Dimond Williams, 15, King Drew High School, Jasmin Bumpas, 15, King Drew , Jessica Cortez,10, Ritter Elementary School, and Jaela Bumpas, 17, King Drew High School.

The trip included a tour of the Southern California Edison Pebbly Beach electricity power plant and submersible underwater tour of Avalon Bay where they observed numerous fish species and submerged aquatic vegetation. An interesting footnote is the the sea kelp were totally wiped out by recent storms.

Jaela Bumpas aspires to be a marine biologist and she was particularly impressed by the experience.

Trip 5 October 18 2013

AAEA conducted its 5th Compton To Catalina Program trip on Friday, October 18, 2013. The trip was completely successful and the students thoroughly enjoyed their experiences. The California Center for Economic Initiatives recruited the students and John Long conducted the tour of the Southern California Edison Pebbly Beach electricity generating plant.

The tour group left the Catalina Express Long Beach downtown landing at 10 a.m. ABC-7 TV covered the launch and it was broadcast on the evening news in Los Angeles. The tour group had a great burger/fry lunch at Eric's on the green pier and proceeded to the to the semi-submersible boat to view fish species and unique kelp. After the 45-minute submersible trip, we proceeded to the Pebbly Beach power plant for a tour. The group left the island on the 4 pm Catalina Express back to Long Beach.

Participants included:

1) Eduardo Torres, Firebaugh High School, 14,

2) Yamilex Martinez, Aloha Health Medical Academy, 12,

3) Carlos Martinez, Artesia High School, 14,

4) Akeem Arana, Stephens Middle School, 13,

5) Afeni Arana, Stephens Middle School, 13,

6) Melissa Tucker, Torrance High School, 16.

Ramon Martinez, the father of Yamilex and Carlos, accompanied us on the trip.

Norris McDonald and Bernard Peyton were also chaperones on the trip.

The Compton To Catalina Program is sponsored by Southern California Edison.


Trip 4

AAEA conducted its 4th Compton To Catalina Program trip.  The trip was completely successful and the students thoroughly enjoyed their experiences.  The California Center for Economic Initiatives recruited the students and John Long conducted the tour of the Southern California Edison Pebbly Beach electricity generating plant. 

The tour group left the Catalina Express Long Beach downtown landing at 10 a.m.  ABC-7 TV covered the launch (but Oklahoma tornado coverage bumped us).  The tour group had a great burger/fry lunch on the green pier and proceed to the power plant tour.  We proceeded to the semi-submersible boat to view fish species and unique kelp.  After the tour, we boarded a golf cart to tour the mountains around the City of Avalon.  Two separate groups were taken up along winding roads to experience incredible views of the island.

Participants included:

1) Rebekah Ramirez, Torrance Elementary School, 11,

2) Mireya Palencia, California State Dominguez Hlls, 21,

3) Daniel Zepeda, El Camino Community College, 22,

4) Samantha Ramirez, J.H. Hull Middle School, 12,

5) Anthony Ramirez, Torrance High School, 15.

The Compton To Catalina Program is sponsored by Southern California Edison.


Trip 3 October 13, 2012

Third trip participants included:

1) Tia Bondley, 15, Centennial High School,

2) Kelsee Williams, 14, Bellflower High School,

3) Raejonette Morgan, 12, LaTiera,

4) Khalilah Muhammad, 13, New Designs Charter School-Watts,

5) Nekko Williams, 17, Home Schooled K-12.

Chaperones included Bernard Peyton and Norris McDonald.

The Compton To Catalina Program is being operated thanks to a grant from Southern California Edison.


Trip 2: October 6, 2012

Second trip participants included:

1) Carlee Shepherd, Bancroft Middle School,

2) Keiarah Mitchell, Gardena Valley Christian School,

3) Candyce Clifton, Gardena Valley Christian School,

4) Benjamin White, Mira Costa High School,

5) Darren Daniels-Stokes, King/Drew Magnet High School.

Chaperones included: Richard Hastings, Christ Center Church & Debra Hastings, Christ Center Church and Norris McDonald.

Participants board the Catalina Express in Long Beach, California to make the one hour trip to the island. Once on Santa Catalina Island, the participants toured Southern California Edison's electricity generating station at Pebbly Beach, the island's primary electricity generation source. Later they boarded a semi-submersible to observe underwater life around the island.


Trip 1: April 21, 2012

First trip participants included:

1) Sam Darling, Glendale College,

2) Moriah Earley, LaSerna High School, 11th Grade,

3) Lori Wright, King-Drew High School, 11th Grade,

4) Alexandra Kidd, La Serna High School, 11th Grade,

5) Spencer Potter, Lakewood High School.

Chaperones included Sammy Darling and Norris McDonald.



By Norris McDonald

Recently, I had the pleasure of exploring Santa Catalina Island, which is 22 miles off the coast of California (from Long Beach).  As a follow-up to our Compton To Catalina Program (CTC Program), I decided to really get to know the island.  I took a few days to walk most of Avalon, the only incorporated city on the island. I previously visited the island two times, once with my son and once with an investor to scope the island for a wood chip to electricity power plant we are promoting.  My intent on this extended stay was to not only learn about the many activities that are available on the island, but to gain enough details to significantly enhance our Compton To Catalina Program.  I would say goal was completely fulfilled.

I took the tour bus up to the Airport In The Sky.  That was one scary ride.  It twisted and turned around the mountain road.  There were incredible views. 

I took the Zip Line Eco Tour.  That was fun.  I will recommend it to CTC Program participants (but only if parents participate).

I played the 9-hole golf course.  I played 18 holes by playing from the white tees first and the blue tees second.  I like the course.

Other activities available on the island include para-sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boat rental, golf cart rental, bike rental (including battery assist), submersible tour, glass bottom boat tour, stand up surf boat rental, Jeep Eco tours, hiking, camping, Segway rental, miniature golf, mini-bowling and arcade, swimming, pedal boats, and a climbing wall, among other activities.  I think it was important for me to personally see all of these activities so that I can make appropriate arrangements for CTC Program participants to experience them.

The inner harbor area also has numerous retail shops, restaurants, eateries, hotels, a grocery store, drug store, post office and other facilities.

I stayed at the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel.  I highly recommend it because it has the best view of any reasonably-priced hotel in Avalon.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Plan EJ 2014

Plan EJ 2014 is a roadmap that will help EPA integrate environmental justice into the Agency’s programs, policies, and activities.

Plan EJ 2014 is named in recognition of the 20th anniversary of President Clinton’s issuance of Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (PDF).

In implementing the Plan, EPA will seek to meaningfully engage with communities and stakeholders.

The goals of the plan are to:

  • Protect health in communities over-burdened by pollution
  • Empower communities to take action to improve their health and environment
  • Establish partnerships with local, state, tribal and federal organizations to achieve healthy and sustainable communities.

Plan EJ 2014 is not a rule or regulation. It is a strategy to help integrate environmental justice into EPA's day to day activities. (EPA)

AAEA Special Projects: Dr. George W. Sloan

Dr. George W. Sloan is the AAEA's Chairman for Special Projects. 

Update: Costa Concordia Salvage Plan Presented

Henry Kissinger, Doc Sloan, former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

Dr. Sloan has initiated projects for AAEA that have ranged from steel plant pollution remediation to helicopter tours.  His expertise has been a great asset to the Center over the past 15-years.  The Special Projects he brings to AAEA range from local projects to international programs.

Rudy Giuliani, Dr. George W. Sloan

Dr. Sloan's background ranges from advising presidents, governors, mayors and corporate America to civic and environmental groups.  "Doc," as he is called, is the power behind numerous projects, but he is not an attention seeker.  He promotes equity in energy projects and respects the balance between job creation and environmental protection. 

One particular project included arranging pollution remediation services for Avesta Sheffield steel plant just outside of Baltimore, Maryland.  The remediation was coupled with a proposed shipbreaking project that was to have included 'Welfare-To-Work' employees.  Doc also arranged for negotiations with the Steelworkers Union on the porject(s). Unfortunately, the steel plant closed without notice.  The photo below shows a tour of the plant for youth that Doc arranged.

AAEA youth tour of Avesta Sheffield Steel Plant outsite of Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Sloan is currently formulating methologies to adequately monitor hydraulic fracturing sites, nuclear power plant sites and pipelines.


Dr. Sloan is Chairman of Special Projects for Compassion Creates Change He will be providing input into the Nigeria Project.
Compassion Creates Change Nigeria: Overview
Compassion Creates Change™ is extremely excited to announce the Badagry Project. The Badagry Project will leverage the collective strengths of its U.S. and Nigerian anchor partners, MissionsAid International (Lagos, Nigeria) and Hope Fellowship (Frisco, Texas), along with many other supporting churches, community development agencies, businesses partners, and contextual leadership to create change through the following development projects planned to commence in 2014:
  1.  Construction of a Multi-Use School, Church and Community Center
  2.  Construction of a Medical Clinic
  3.  Solar-power Based Electrification
  4.  Clean Water Projects
  5.  Medical Mission
  6.  Vocational Training
  7.  Compassionate Outreach
Badagry is an ancient port city, in Lagos State, Nigeria, with both a famous and infamous history. It is famous because the first Christian missionaries to Nigeria landed in Badagry and established a mission center, which grew and spread through West Africa. It is infamous, because it was the shipping center for over 500,000 African slaves during the European and American slave trades. The area has suffered with tremendous poverty for generations. The most severe human needs throughout the globe are too complex to solve in isolation; but, through collaboration, we can work together from our areas of strength to transform lives and build healthy communities. (Compassion Creates Change)