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RI DEM Offers Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

 

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is encouraging Rhode Islanders to celebrate Earth Day - Tuesday, April 22 - by joining a local clean up, taking easy steps to improve the environment or simply getting outdoors and enjoying nature in a state parks and management areas.

According to DEM Director Janet Coit, "We've made significant progress since the first Earth Day. Our air, rivers and Narragansett Bay are cleaner. We've preserved thousands of acres of natural areas. We're becoming more energy efficient. And, we're recycling more than ever." Coit continues, "We all share responsibility for protecting the environment, and take steps to ensure a good quality of life for our children and grandchildren."

Coit recommends getting outdoors as a great way to celebrate Earth Day: "Rhode Island is fortunate to have an abundance of easily accessible parks, beaches, management areas and bike paths where families can picnic, walk, bike, fish, or just enjoy the natural beauty. Getting out in nature is good for body and soul. I hope Rhode Islanders will use Earth Day as a motivation to explore the green woods, sandy shores, and sparkling waterways that grace Rhode Island." Rhode Island has fourteen state beaches, seven major state parks, 40,000 acres of state rural forestland, and over 400 miles of shoreline providing a diverse amount of conservation land and access points.

The Great Outdoors Pursuit

Click here for a a list of Rhode Island State Parks, the recreational opportunities available at each park and more information about the Great Outdoors Pursuit

Coit urges families to sign up for The Great Outdoors Pursuit. Registration is open for this summer-long game, led by DEM and the Department of Health, designed to help children and their families enjoy the recreational resources our state parks offer and encourage more physical activity. The kick off for Great Outdoors Pursuit is Sunday, May 18th at Lincoln Woods State Park.

Since its start in 1970, Earth Day has served as a yearly catalyst for ongoing environmental education, action and change. Activities surrounding Earth Day rekindle personal commitment and broaden the base of public involvement through active participation in a wide variety of events.

Although Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, Rhode Island residents can mark the occasion at local and regional cleanups, environmental festivals and other "green" events over the next several weeks. The venues and themes vary, but a common thread remains: environmental awareness and stewardship.

Earth Day events are occurring all across Rhode Island; find one in your community.

Take 3

The Department also encourages Rhode Islanders to "Take 3." Take 3, is a call to action that encourages citizens to raise their environmental consciousness by committing to take three easy steps to conserve water and energy, reduce waste, support local farms and conservation efforts, and improve the environment. Find ideas here

"Earth Day reminds us to take care of the lands and waters that sustain us," added Coit. "That responsibility requires action every day of the year."

 

Related Slideshow: New England’s Healthiest States 2013

The United Health Foundation recently released its 2013 annual reoprt: America's Health Rankings, which provides a comparative state by state analysis of several health measures to provide a comprehensive perspective of our nation's health issues. See how the New England states rank in the slides below.

 

Definitions

All Outcomes Rank: Outcomes represent what has already occurred, either through death, disease or missed days due to illness. In America's Health Rankings, outcomes include prevalence of diabetes, number of poor mental or physical health days in last 30 days, health disparity, infant mortality rate, cardiovascular death rate, cancer death rate and premature death. Outcomes account for 25% of the final ranking.

Determinants Rank: Determinants represent those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For clarity, determinants are divided into four groups: Behaviors, Community and Environment, Public and Health Policies, and Clinical Care. These four groups of measures influence the health outcomes of the population in a state, and improving these inputs will improve outcomes over time. Most measures are actually a combination of activities in all four groups. 

Diabetes Rank: Based on percent of adults who responded yes to the question "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?" Does not include pre-diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy.

Smoking Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are current smokers (self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke).

Obesity Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher.

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/

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6. Rhode Island

Overall Rank: 19

Outcomes Rank: 30

Determinants Rank: 13

Diabetes Rank: 26

Smoking Rank: 14

Obesity Rank: 13

 

Strengths:

1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. High immunization coverage among adolescents

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians  

Challenges:

1.High rate of drug deaths

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in heath status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/RI

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5. Maine

Overall Rank: 16

Outcomes Rank: 25

Determinants Rank: 12

Diabetes Rank: 23

Smoking Rank: 29

Obesity Rank: 28

 

Strengths:

1. Low violent crime rate

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Low prevalence of low birthweight  

Challenges:

1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High rate of cancer deaths

3. Limited availability of dentists

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/ME

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4. Connecticut

Overall Rank: 7

Outcomes Rank: 15

Determinants Rank: 4

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 4

Obesity Rank: 12

 

Strengths:

1. Low prevalence of smoking

2. Low incidence of infectious diseases

3. High immunization coverage among children & adolescents  

Challenges:

1. Moderate prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low high school graduation rate

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/CT

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3. New Hampshire

Overall Rank: 5

Outcomes Rank: 7

Determinants Rank: 5

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 11

Obesity Rank: 22

 

Strengths:

1. Low percentage of children in poverty

2. High immunization coverage among children

3. Low infant mortality rate  

Challenges:

1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High incidence of pertussis infections

3. Low per capita public health funding

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/NH

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2. Massachusetts

Overall Rank: 4

Outcomes Rank: 14

Determinants Rank: 3

Diabetes Rank: 10

Smoking Rank: 7

Obesity Rank: 2

 

Strengths:

1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians & dentists  

Challenges:

1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/MA

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1. Vermont

Overall Rank: 2

Outcomes Rank: 12

Determinants Rank: 1

Diabetes Rank: 4

Smoking Rank: 9

Obesity Rank: 5

 

Strengths:

1. High rate of high school graduation

2. Low violent crime rate

3. Low percentage of uninsured population  

Challenges:

1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low immunization coverage among children

3. High incidence of pertussis infections

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/VT

 
 

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