An overcast start to Sunday morning will give way to partly Sunny skies later this morning. High temperatures expected to be right around 85 degrees with a 30% chance of a stray thunderstorm in the PM hours. Water temperatures are climbing up towards the mid-70’s and there is a nice breeze on the beach with about 1-2 foot wave heights. I hope everyone enjoys the last day of July and have a superb Sunday!
Workers are young and productive”From class surveys, we’ve seen that some of these Hispanicworkers have technical school or college degrees,” Martinez said.”Most are young, single and in the prime of their productivity.They can easily work 14 hour days at strong, labor-intensivework.”Most say they’re in the United States to work so they can sendmoney back home to their families. Their goal is to return home.”Regardless of why they’re here, they’re here and working in avital industry, and they need to be trained,” he said.Fonseca, who began training Hispanic landscape and greenhouseworkers as a Cherokee County extension agent, said the trainingneeds are great.”The poultry industry in the state has the need, too,” he said.”The majority of their workers are now Hispanic.” By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaA $105,000 Occupational Safety and Health Administration grantwill help University of Georgia faculty members accomplish whatthey’ve been trying to do on a shoestring budget: train thestate’s Hispanic landscape workers.OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grants focus on improving workers’on-the-job safety records. Plant pathologist Alfredo Martinezserves as the project director for UGA.The project is aimed at reducing equipment- and driving-relatedinjuries and the misuse of pesticides and unnecessary exposure tothem. 75 percent of the work force”Of the 65,000 workers in the state’s green industry, 75 percentare Hispanic,” Martinez said. “As three-fourths of the work force,Hispanics are the backbone of this industry.”The turf, ornamental and landscape companies that make upGeorgia’s green industry are among the fastest-growing in thestate.And the trainings don’t just help those companies and theirworkers. It’s important to everyone around them that theseworkers are trained to work safely, Martinez said.”Every day,” he said, “they’re mixing chemicals and using heavyequipment and tools with rather limited training.”Business owners are eager to have their Hispanic workers trained,he said. The lower insurance premiums and other benefits ofreducing accidents are easy for them to see.Martinez, horticulturist Marco Fonseca and other UGA colleagueshave trained Hispanic workers for years through programs in theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Bilingual training materials”We plan to develop more in-depth trainings that include manualsin both Spanish and English,” he said.The HSG specialists plan to train both the Hispanic workers andtheir managers. “We’ve developed a training for managers thatfocuses on understanding cultural differences,” Fonseca said.”These things affect production and safety.”Over the past two years, the group has reached more than 500Hispanic workers.”The workers have learned to trust us, and they’re no longerafraid to approach us,” Martinez said. “I get four to six calls aweek from Hispanics I have met who have questions and need moreinformation.”Of the Hispanic workers who have come to his trainings, Martinezsaid, 75 percent are Mexican. The rest are from Central or SouthAmerica. Hispanic Specialists GroupTwo years ago, they formed Georgia’s Hispanic SpecialistsGroup tounify their efforts.Jorge Atiles, an extension housing specialist with the UGACollege of Family and Consumer Sciences, helped with the grantprocess. Martinez, Fonseca and Atiles have both professional andpersonal reasons to see the program succeed.They work closely with the green industry in their UGA programs,and they’re all Hispanic. Martinez is from Mexico, FonsecaHonduras and Atiles the Dominican Republic.”The Hispanic work force in Georgia has grown 300 percent overthe past decade,” Fonseca said. “They’re a very important laborforce to agribusinesses in the state. And the UGA ExtensionService is in the position to deliver training to them across thestate where it is desperately needed.”In the past, the group trained Hispanic workers primarily onproper pesticide handling. With the grant, Martinez sees morepossibilities.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, has received an application for a 10-year permit for the Bolsa Chica Lowlands Restoration Project.The Bolsa Chica Project is an approximately 950-acre coastal wetland restoration scheme located on lands owned by the State of California.It is the largest coastal wetland restoration project completed in California, where a new coastal inlet has been developed to restore tidal influence to previously diked and drained wetlands.According to the Corps, the project was opened to tidal influence in 2006 and included the construction of an approximately 167-acre Full Tidal Basin (FTB) along with muted tidal basins consisting of the Pocket Marsh, West Muted Tidal Basin (MTB), Central MTB, and East MTB, as well as Seasonal Ponds and the Future Full Tidal Basin.The project also included the first two sediment management dredging cycles required for the scheme. Additional dredging, which was contemplated in the original environmental review for the project has been performed periodically under extensions of the previous permits.Now, the California State Lands Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are jointly submitting the application for the maintenance dredging and beach nourishment activities for ecological restoration, flood risk management at the Bolsa Chica Lowlands Restoration Project site.The sediment management dredging program for the Bolsa Chica Lowlands is proposed to continue removing sands from the Full Tidal Basin entrance channel and flood shoal deposits on a recurrent cycle of every one to three years, with the next cycle anticipated to begin in fall-winter 2017.As reported by the applicant, each dredging cycle would dredge approximately 50,000 to 350,000m³ (65,397 to 457,782 cy) of material, depending on conditions. These amounts would be consistent with those allowed under prior Corps permits for the project.Like in previously permitted dredging cycles, the material will be excavated from intertidal and shallow subtidal deposits and placed back into the littoral cell at the down coast beach in an area extending from the southern inlet channel jetty a distance of up to 5,000 feet down coast to the location of the Huntington Bluffs, a natural headlands that does not retain a wide beach.The receiver beach is the Bolsa Chica State Beach and the Huntington Beach City Beach, both State Parks-owned properties. The dredged sand is to be deposited along the beach face, or within near shore subtidal areas, to provide feed sand for littoral transport southeastward along the shoreline.[mappress mapid=”24685″]