May 20, 2012
The Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) has been an active and vitally important part of the environmental community here in Berkshire County for many years now. If there is a concern in the community about some environmental issue or threat, BEAT can be counted on to become involved, either as the leader spearheading an effort, or as a supporting partner that knows how to work collaboratively with other groups. One of the things I appreciate most about BEAT is it's ability and willingness to not only identify the needs of our local environment, and of the environmentally-minded community, but to then step in to do what's necessary to meet those needs. For instance, BEAT recognized the need for communication between like-minded environmental groups and individuals and stepped in and created what has essentially become a clearinghouse of What's Going On among our local environmental groups. With both a website and regular eNewsletter, BEAT has become the group that all others use as a liaison for information about upcoming events, as well as updates on current environmental issues in our community. BEAT has also become one of the important contacts that individuals in the community think of when they observe environmental threats, like when a neon green liquid was seen entering the main river in town, BEAT was who they contacted, and BEAT was who followed up on what was happening and made sure the polluting was stopped. BEAT has been monitoring the cleanup of PCBs from that same river for many years and has done an amazing job at staying on top of what is a very complex and complicated situation. BEAT does not hesitate when it comes to advocating for our environment, even when the offender is a gigantic corporation (GE) and has the room stocked with lawyers. BEAT trains community members to become citizen scientists, and coordinates regular river cleanups in which anyone and everyone can participate. I can't speak highly enough about the members of BEAT and how important BEAT has become to maintaining a healthy environment here in western Massachusetts. THANK YOU, BEAT!! :)
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