Environment & Science

Nature and Science news

Dr. James Gibbs

  For the next two weeks you can tell New York State wildlife officials just what birds, fish, turtles, insects and other creatures need help surviving.  One local scientist is reflecting on the importance of the “List of Species of Greatest Concern”.

Power Outage? Officials are Hoping to Prevent That with Microgrids

Jan 29, 2015
John Smith / WAER

Ever since the black-out of 2003, you’ve heard about necessary improvements for the U.S. power grid.  State-wide power officials came to Syracuse Thursday to get communities ‘plugged in’ to what could keep buildings with critical services like hospitals, police and fire departments on-line during those outages.  

NYSERDA will soon open a $40 million competition across the state to see if a microgrid can be constructed in ten Regional Economic Development Council regions.  Director of NY Prize and NYSERDA Strategic Advisor Micah Kotch says chances are they have a head start.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  O-K…so Christmas Day has come and gone…and I don’t know what your living room floor looks like.  But there’s probably some clean-up work to do.  Kristin Lawton with the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency knows there’s all kinds of debris you want to get rid of.

“Cardboard boxes, catalogs and magazines, gift boxes, gift bags, greeting cards and envelopes, and of course wrapping paper.  The important thing to remember about those gift bags and cards and wrapping paper is, if they’re paper items they can go in the blue bin.  But any of those metallic or glossy foil items, those need to go in your trash, because they are not recyclable in the paper stream.” 

Lawton realizes it takes a little more effort to separate just what can be recycled…but suggests a little organization on clean-up.  And when it’s time to get rid of the tree, there are also some suggestions, whether you have curbside pick-up or bring it to a mulching station.

“We do ask that you put them out to your curb or bring them to OCRRA (compost stations) completely naked, as in no plastic bags, not lights, no tinsel, no strands of anything, no ornaments.  What happens with these trees is they are chipped up and made into mulch and we can’t be chipping up your tinsel and other things because that wouldn’t make very good mulch.” 

Lawton says the compost sites are open December 29th thru January 10th…they’re in Amboy and Jamesville. 

CHOOSE THE RIGHT WAY TO GET RID OF TV'S, OTHER ELECTRONICS

  Lots of people will be traveling into and out of Central New York this holiday by planes, trains and buses.  And many of them might be seated next to someone with too much cologne or someone who just ate garlic and anchovy pizza or one who’s done more traveling than showering recently.  You know, a passenger that smells. 

poweredbymotherearth.org

  Upstate New Yorkers seem ready to have renewable energy replace any power and economic boost that might have been gained by Hydro-fracking.  The Cuomo administration banned expanded gas drilling.  Now a poll by the group A Renewable America finds almost five-out-of-six people believe renewable energy is a key strategy for energy independence and reduced costs.  Matt McArdle chairs the New York Biomass Energy Alli

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: 

 

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