Save Water, Drink Wine Supports Clean Water Initiatives In Caribbean And Tennessee Valley

Friday, January 11, 2013
Environmental scientist and educator Mary Beth Sutton founded Caribbean SEA eight years ago in an effort to empower young people in the Caribbean countries of St. Lucia, Dominica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Curacao and Jamaica to care about and take action to protect their water.
Environmental scientist and educator Mary Beth Sutton founded Caribbean SEA eight years ago in an effort to empower young people in the Caribbean countries of St. Lucia, Dominica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Curacao and Jamaica to care about and take action to protect their water.

Save Water, Drink Wine, a festive winter wine-tasting event, will take place in the greenhouses of the Barn Nursery on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 6-9 p.m.

The mid-winter evening garden getaway, Save Water, Drink Wine, offers guests the opportunity to tour the warm greenhouses of the Barn Nursery while enjoying Argentinian wines from Panoram Imports and other vintages, paired with tapas and cheeses provided by Whole Foods. 

Dan Landrum will entertain the crowd with his hammered dulcimer, and the Barn Nursery will raffle a garden planter. Wine and gardening experts will also be on-hand during the event.

Proceeds from the event will support Caribbean SEA and TenneSEA, sister organizations working to tackle clean water issues at the grassroots level in the Caribbean and the Tennessee Valley through education and partnerships within communities.

 

As the world’s population grows, and as water pollution and water-borne illnesses increase, the protection of watersheds across the planet is of critical importance, officials said. Environmental scientist and educator Mary Beth Sutton founded Caribbean SEA eight years ago in an effort to empower young people in the Caribbean countries of St. Lucia, Dominica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Curacao and Jamaica to care about and take action to protect their water.

“Many places in the Caribbean don’t have sewage treatment or controls for erosion or sewage,” says Ms. Sutton. “We work within the communities to help them deal with these problems. If our work is going to be sustainable, it has to start from within the community.”

More than 80 percent of the coral reefs in the Caribbean are dead or dying due to water pollution and climate change, Ms. Sutton explains. Caribbean SEA aims to reduce the stress on the reefs by reducing the land-based sources of pollution: sediment and sewage coming out the rivers. Some recent Caribbean SEA projects include: installing biogas digesters on farms in St. Lucia; developing constructed wetland projects at resorts and communities in Curacao and Dominica; installing toilets in Haiti; and teaching students at Kids 4 Clean Water Camps throughout the Caribbean.

Water pollution is not only a concern in the third-world countries of the Caribbean. Here in the Tennessee Valley, our rivers and streams are also contaminated due to faulty sanitation systems and pollution from industry. The southeast is a hotspot for aquatic biological diversity, and yet the waterways have become some of the most imperiled ecosystems in the United States, officials said. That’s why Ms. Sutton expanded clean water programs to her hometown of Chattanooga three years ago through the creation of the Tennessee Student Environmental Alliance (TenneSEA). TenneSEA provides stormwater education programs, water monitoring activities for schools and communities, and Kids 4 Clean Water camp programs each summer.

Tickets to Save Water, Drink Wine are $40 per person and can be purchased online at www.caribbean-sea.org or at the Barn Nursery.  For more information, call 413-0471.


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