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The Horinko Group Newsletter: Issue 12, December 2011

The Horinko Group Water DivisionThe Horinko Group Announces Next Free Webinar:
Family Farms, Rural Landscapes, and the Farm Bill

January 18, 2012 | 1:30 - 3:00 PM EST | Free Registration
On January 18, The Horinko Group's Water Division will host the first in its 2012 webinar series entitled, "Family Farms, Rural Landscapes, and the Farm Bill." The session will explore the issues and opportunities tied to moving our nation forward on a path of sustainable agriculture practices, while strengthening small family farms and diversifying rural economies to foster more livable rural communities.

The webinar is designed for NGOs interested in the future of rural landscapes and livable communites, federal and state natural resources professionals, agricultural research interests, extension specialists, local community planners, local officials including rural mayors and county board members, political science practitioners and students, sociologists, educators and entrepreneurial family farmers.

The webinar will be moderated by Richard (Dick) Warner, Professor Emeritus of Natural Resource Ecology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Presenters include Robert Stewart, Executive Director, Rural Community Assistance Action Project, and Mark Gorman, Policy Analyst, Northeast-Midwest Institute.

To register and find out about the other efforts The Horinko Group's Water Division is advancing with respect to sustainable farm practices, please visit our website at

Community College Recognized with IL Governor's Sustainability Award Marcia Lochmann and Ted Kratchmer accept the 2011 Governor's Sustainability Award on behalf of Lewis and Clark Community College.
Earlier this fall, Lewis & Clark Community College located in Godfrey, Illinois received the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award as recognition of the college's significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. Between 2008-2010, the college recorded a 14.4 % reduction in campus energy usage. Some of the energy conservation measures taken by the college include transitioning custodial work shifts to reduce building hours, instituting automatic shutdown of all computer labs, and replacing light bulbs with high efficiency fluorescent and LED bulbs. In 2008, the college also completed a Climate Action Plan, detailing a cautious and conservative approach to its estimates for achieving climate neutrality within 50 years.

"Reducing energy use on campus is not only about saving energy and money for the school, or even reducing our own campus footprint. It is about modeling best practices as an institution that can be adopted by individuals to make an even greater impact for our region, creating a more livable, sustainable community," said Marcia Lochmann, LCCC's Director of Sustainability and Public Engagement.

To find our more about this story, visit

Obama Established Task Force Releases Final Gulf Coast Strategy Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoraton Task Force
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, established by Presidential Executive Order 13554 in October 2011, released its final strategy for long-term ecosystem restoration on the Gulf Coast last week. The strategy is the first restoration blueprint ever developed for the Gulf to include input from states, tribes, federal agencies, local governments and thousands of involved citizens and organizations across the region. Key priorities include: (1) stopping the loss of critical wetlands, sand barriers, and beaches, (2) reducing the flow of excess nutrients into the Gulf, and (3) enhancing resiliency among coastal communities.

Too read the press release and learn more about the restoration strategy, visit the EPA Newsroom

Upcoming Events

Marine and Hydrokinetic Environmental Research Webinar SeriesUS Department of Energy
December 14, 2011 | 1:00 - 3:00 PM EST | Register
Emerging marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies convert wave, tidal, ocean current, river in-stream, and ocean thermal energy into electricity. These technologies have potential to serve as low-carbon energy sources for many regions of the United States. In order to ensure the responsible deployment of these technologies as they are developed, a number of different agencies, federal research institutions, and universities are working to research the potential environmental impacts of MHK technologies.

This webinar series aims to increase awareness of current research efforts. During the upcoming session, Acoustic Impacts, will focus on current research efforts to determine the potential impacts of MHK-produced noise to aquatic animals.

To find out more information or to register for this webinar, visit the DOE's website for this webinar series at

Agricultural Outlook Forum 2012 - Moving Agriculture Forward US Department of Agriculture
February 23 - 24, 2012 | Arlington, VA
A historic gathering of former Secretaries of Agriculture will occur at the 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum.  Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate a plenary panel of former Secretaries of Agriculture invited to speak on “Agriculture: Visions of the Future.”  At least six of the last eight Secretaries will participate on the panel.  The Forum will be held February 23-24, 2012, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

USDA has hosted the Outlook Forum since 1923 to provide farmers and ranchers, government, and agribusinesses with sound information for decision-making.  Attendees are expected to include members of farm organizations, food and fiber firms, academia, foreign governments, and the news media.

For further information and to register, please visit:

AWWA 2012 Sustainable Water Management Conference & Expo
American Water Works AssociationMarch 18 - 22, 2012 | Portland, OR
The American Water Works Association’s 2012 Sustainable Water Management Conference seeks to combine technical presentations with in-depth discussions on legal, regulatory, and legislative matters facing water utilities today.  

The conference will address a wide range of topics concerning sustainable water management, including managing water resources and the environment, water conservation, sustainable utilities and infrastructure, urban planning and design, and community sustainability.

To register, please visit the AWWA's conferences website at:

Spotlight On...

Patrick McGinnis moderates a panel at the 2011 GOVGreen Conference and Expo in Washington, DC.

Greening Our Nation's Backyard -
Green Infrastructure, Low Impact Development, and Sustainable Landscapes
Moderator remarks provided by Patrick McGinnis, Water Division Team Leader, The Horinko Group
The Horinko Group’s Pat McGinnis was invited to moderate a panel discussion at CEIL’s GOVgreen Conference and Exposition held on November 30 at the Washington Convention Center.  The panel entitled, Greening Our Nation’s Backyard - Green Infrastructure, Low Impact Development, and Sustainable Landscapes, explored the idea of sustainable, low-impact development from the unique perspectives of the governance sector, advocacy sector, and business sector.

Mr. McGinnis’ remarks are available in their entirety on The Horinko Group's website at

Featured Column

Excerpt From: "Standardizing Sustainability Metrics to Spur Public Action"
Marianne L. Horinko By: Marianne L. Horinko, President, The Horinko Group
Being "green" has become not only trendy, but mainstream in our society. Retailers tout their earth-friendly products; carmakers applaud high mileage vehicles; celebrities showcase their nurseries and eco-friendly abodes. Earth Day has become a staple in the cultural lexicon. The days of granola-eating tree-huggers are in the rear view mirror of our collective vision.

The challenge for consumers is defining exactly what "green" means in everyday lives. No federal law or regulation prescribes a well-defined term for "green." Some governmental agencies set forth guidelines for specific parts of sustainability - EPA has the Energy Star and WaterSense programs; the Department of Agriculture has the Sustainable Farms program for organic foods, for example. In other cases, industry groups, academics, and non-profits have filled in the blanks - LEED, Sustainable Forestry, Green Guides, Green Seal, to name a few.

Click here to read the remainder of the Featured Column.

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The Horinko Group is an environmental consulting firm operating at the intersection of science, policy, and communication. The Horinko Group has become a leader in designing and applying innovative solutions to address our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges. We bring together disparate groups of stakeholders and facilitate the collaboration critical to ensure efforts are cost-effective and sustainable.

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