Environment & Science

Nature and Science news

A view inside an industrial-looking room, with purple pipes, an orange pump, and large metal water tanks
John Smith / WAER News

As the Carrier Dome’s roof protects Orange fans from the elements, now the rain run-off streaming down the Dome’s roof will be collected into two 25,000-gallon bulk storage tanks. The water captured will be chlorinated and then used to flush toilets in eight of the Dome’s restroom facilities. There will be about 8,000 gallons available for use throughout the facility, stored in an indoor room by the concourse. Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Matt Driscoll says it’s a sign of the times: 

wbur.org

  Hundreds of national companies are supporting stronger federal regulations regarding greenhouse gases.  One of those is Syracuse power provider National Grid, which is looking for more action on climate change. 

Support Plan 2014

  A large group of conservation and sportsmen’s organizations is trying to push for a new way to regulate water levels on Lake Ontario.  Groups such as Ducks Unlimited,  New York State Conservation Council, Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen, Onondaga Audubon, The Nature Conservancy and others say  5 decades of hydro-electric and shoreline concerns might be damaging wildlife and the environment …and the economy that’s based on them.

(c) John Smith, WAER.

An offer to “go solar” through a low-cost program has resulted in 70 Onondaga County homeowners placing energy saving solar panels on their rooftops. 

The time to enroll for Solarize Syracuse has passed; but the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board’s Chris Carrick says there are still ways to save.

“So, the federal tax credit is currently 30%, and it’s scheduled to go down to 10% by the end of 2016. So this is a great time for folks to go solar if they’re thinking about it,” Carrick said Thursday.

Dredging of Onondaga Lake Concludes One Year Ahead of Schedule

Nov 3, 2014
elected officials gather around a podium at the Onondaga Lake shore to announce that dredging of the lake has finished ahead of schedule
John Smith / WAER News

Politicians and scientists from around Central New York gathered Monday to mark a major milestone in the restoration of Onondaga Lake. Honeywell, which has been overseeing the lake’s restoration, announced that the dredging of the lake has been completed one year ahead of schedule. 

This comes after decades of concern regarding contamination levels in the lake. SUNY-ESF president Doctor Quentin Wheeler put the importance of the newly dredged lake in perspective: 

 

(c) Brad Spelich, WAER.

Advancements in using biomass technology for heat were front and center Wednesday at SUNY ESF for the second annual National Bioenergy Day. The event was held with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) which seeks to find ways to incorporate renewable heating methods into everyday living. 

two men stand under a white tent and talk with a female customer over a table displaying earns of corn
Hannah Warren / WAER News

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York has issued a challenge for the month of September: eat as locally and organically as possible to support businesses and sustainable farming in your community. The “Locavore Challenge” involves everything from shopping for local and thoughtfully-grown produce at the market to experimenting with various preservation methods like freezing, canning and fermentation. 

The Regional Farmers Market is the first stop in a series where we document some of the local farms, businesses, and ideas that are shaping the locavore landscape in Central New York.

energysmartjobs.org

A Central New York grass-roots initiative is taking strides to save people money on electricity while saving the environment.  Solarize Syracuse is hosting 9 free workshops over the course of several weeks to educate the public about solar panels and make them more accessible to residents.   Chris Carrick is the Regional Planning Development Board’s Energy Program Manager.  He says 230 people in the area have already signed up for a site-assessment. Carrick says he’s pleased there’s more interest than solar panel installers usually see.

group of people in a circular table arrangement with a speaker standing in the middle
Sarah Brechbill / WAER News

A few dozen Syracuse-area residents gathered today to talk about climate change at a community roundtable today hosted by EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.  

She opened the discussion with some staggering statistics, noting that this past May was the hottest May in over 130 years of recorded temperature records.  Enck said that fossil fuel power plants - those that burn coal, oil, and gas - produce about 40% of all greenhouse gas pollution. The EPA has a history of regulating other air pollutants, and now it's planing to address the greenhouse gas pollution problem.

Sarah Brechbill / WAER News

Honeywell Summer Science Week at the Museum of Science and Technology, or the MoST, is underway this week.   It began with water sampling and plant and wildlife monitoring, with a special boat navigating the waters of Onondaga Lake.

 “I’m happy to be with you today for the Honeywell Most Summer science week. I’m going to help you identify birds today.”

70 middle schoolers from around the area were on board the boat… identifying birds…

 “look at him! Look out for the ostrich and the eagles”

Getting close and personal with some of the fish…

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