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The Green Blog

Adopt a whale

December 20, 2010

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Excerpts from the Globe’s environmental blog.

Oseana, a female humpback whale that broke marine mammal travel records when she traveled 6,000 miles, is available for “adoption.’’

Allied Whale, a research group at Maine’s College of the Atlantic, is offering a last-minute gift idea for those interested in conservation, the ocean, and whales. For $30, people will receive an adoption packet with photos of Oseana, information about the discovery, a waterproof guide to whales, and a bumper sticker. The funds support research and conservation efforts.

Oseana, which means ocean in Malagasy, traveled from Brazil’s South Atlantic coast to Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Details were published in October in the scientific journal Biology Letters. The whale was identified by her tail. Work dating to the 1970s by Allied Whale and students at College of the Atlantic proved humpback whales have distinctive tail markings.

Humpbacks and fin whales are available for adoption, too, at alliedwhale.org or 207-244-7429.

BETH DALEY

MIT’s wind lanterns

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor is looking for the public’s financial support to install an art piece on MIT’s campus that would turn wind power into light.

J. Meejin Yoon designed the sculpture to get to the heart of the controversy over wind turbines: aesthetics.

Yoon wants to erect a screen comprised of about 500 small “wind lanterns’’ that would reflect wind speeds through the brightness of lights.

“The project is really about creating more public awareness in terms of renewable energy but specifically that of wind power,’’ Yoon said in a video explanation of the project as part of the United States Artists Projects, which seeks philanthropy for artists.

The program is an outgrowth of the nonprofit United States Artists program, which awards $50,000 annual grants to artists in poetry, film, dance, musical composition, and more. The program was launched in 2005 with $22 million in seed money from the Ford, Rockefeller, Prudential, and Rasmuson foundations.

Now, the USA Projects piece of the program allows those artists to directly solicit funds from the public. Go to unitedstatesartists.org/project/windscreen_wind_powered_led_lantern_installation to view Yoon’s work. She is attempting to raise $5,000. But if you want to donate, hurry; the clock runs out tomorrow night.

BETH DALEY

$1.14 million for recycling Cities and towns in Western Massachusetts have found it pays to recycle. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection runs a recycling facility in Springfield that serves 70 communities. It recycled 36,630 tons of material from July 2009 to June 2010 and paid those municipalities $1.14 million.

“These programs matter more than ever, given our current economy and pressing environmental challenges,’’ said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt.

DARA OLMSTED