Fundraiser supports clean-water initiatives

Fundraiser supports clean-water initiatives

January 31st, 2013 by Staff Report in Chattnow Outabout

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.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: Save Water, Drink Wine fundraiser

When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2

Where: The Barn Nursery, 1801 E. 24th St. Place

Admission: $40

Phone: 413-0471

Website: www.caribbean-sea.org

Note: Tickets may be purchased online or onsite

Save Water, Drink Wine, a fundraiser that sets a winter wine-tasting within the tropical temps of a greenhouse, will take place at The Barn Nursery on Saturday, Feb. 2.

This midwinter getaway will offer guests the opportunity to tour the greenhouses while enjoying Argentinean 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 will raffle a garden planter. Wine and gardening experts will be on hand.

Proceeds 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.

Environmental scientist and educator Mary Beth Sutton founded Caribbean SEA eight years ago in an effort to inspire young people in the Caribbean countries of St. Lucia, Dominica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Curacao and Jamaica to protect their water.

"Many places in the Caribbean don't have sewage treatment or controls for erosion or sewage," says 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."

However, water pollution is not only a concern in the Third World countries of the Caribbean. In the Tennessee Valley, 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 our waterways have become some of the most imperiled ecosystems in the United States," according to Sutton.

That's why she expanded clean water programs to Chattanooga three years ago through the creation of the Tennessee Student Environmental Alliance. TenneSEA provides stormwater education programs, water monitoring activities for schools and communities, and Kids 4 Clean Water camp programs each summer.