For Immediate Release: June 22, 1998
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989
Cool People To Conduct Pre-Flight
Dry Run for NASA Flyover Project
What: Students and other youngsters trained by the Sacramento Cool Community Project will practice ground-level temperature and ozone readings. The exercise is in conjunction with NASA's planned project to fly over Sacramento County to measure the "heat island" effect on the nation's 11th most air polluted metropolitan area. When: 1-2 p.m. Thursday, June 25, 1998 Where: Discovery Museum, 3615 Auburn Boulevard, Sacramento Who: Crews of students and other youngsters, armed with digital thermometers, will measure and compare varying temperatures of parking lots and grassy and shady areas. Why:
The pre-flight educational practice session will prepare participants for their actual ground level efforts to validate the temperature readings of a NASA jet during the actual flyover on June 29. The Cool Community Project, a consortium of public and private entities coordinated by the Sacramento Tree Foundation is leading the dry run. The group hopes to make Sacramento more liveable by increasing shade trees and other energy-efficient measures.
Researchers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, aboard a specially-equipped Lear Jet, will fly over the 40-square mile radius covering metropolitan Sacramento to gather information on bubble-like spots of hot air, called urban heat islands.
Heat islands develop over cities as natural vegetation gives way to asphalt, concrete and other man-made materials. The project will pinpoint where "urban forests" are to be strategically placed, and how the use of energy efficient methods, like reflective surfaces on roofs and parking lots may help cool cities, reduce air pollution, lower energy bills, modify growth plans and help mitigate further damage to air quality.
Sacramento, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Salt Lake City, Utah are the target areas in a pilot project on the heat island effect. Main sponsors are NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Contacts: Ray Tretheway, Executive Director, Sacramento Tree Foundation, 924-8733
Tom Whitney, Cool Community Project Coordinator, 730-8733
Note to Editors: Pre-flight educational practice session offers excellent local advanced story angles to the June 29 NASA flight. Lots of film and video opportunities for "live" or on-scene reporting for TV news meteorologists and regular beat reporters.
Sacramento Cool Community Project
- The Sacramento Cool Community Project is a collaboration of private and public agencies involved in a two-year Urban Heat Island Initiative coordinated by the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Federal sponsors are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) and the U.S. Department of Energy.
- On the Sacramento project's steering committee are the City and County of Sacramento, the Cleaner Air Partnership, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the California Energy Commission, California Department of Health Services, Nexus Distributors and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Urban Forest Research and Education.
- In the next two years, the project seeks to cool the Sacramento area and make it more liveable. Sacramento's ozone air pollution is among the worst in the nation.
- The project will study how shade trees in the right places and the use of reflective surfaces can help cool cities, reduce air pollution, lower energy bills, modify growth plans and help mitigate further deterioration of air quality. The Cool Project will strive to involve young people in the research, education and implementation efforts of the program.
- The project plans more "urban forests" and energy-efficient measures to deflect heat islands which develop over cities as trees and green surfaces are replaced with asphalt, concrete, rooftops and other man-made materials.
- Urban heat islands contribute to the production of ground-level ozone, the invisible cause of asthma, emphysema and lung cancer. They lead to high use of air conditioners during long, hot Sacramento summers, leading to higher energy bills.
- The NASA flyover scheduled for June 29 will help launch the project by pinpointing hot spots in the Sacramento Metro area for remedial purposes.
- After the flyover, the project will continue with strategic planting of trees to cool hot spots; work with private industry to develop higher standards for reflective roof coating and paving material; identify public buildings and parking lots where energy efficient surfaces could be applied during routine maintenance; and work with the city and county to update parking lot shading ordinances.
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For more information contact:
California Energy Commission
Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director
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