Environment & Science

Nature and Science news

EPA.gov

  The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has weighed in on the fracking question and is raising concerns about the adverse environmental impact of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State. While the DEC statement doesn’t explicitly state that fracking cannot be done safely, they do agree with the Health Department’s recommendation issued in December against fracking due to the uncertain risks to public health and the environment.

The impact statement released Wednesday has been in the works for over 5 years. The DEC was tasked to determine whether or not fracking could be done safely in New York State. The study incorporated community input and various academic research across the country and state, including scientific studies from Pennsylvania, where fracking is permitted and shares apart of the Marcellus shale region with New York State.

Many New York State Anti-Fracking Organizations are celebrating in support of the DEC’s findings. Water and Natural Resource Associate Liz Moran states, 

USGS / John Smith, WAER News

The weather might finally be warming up in Central New York, but a new exhibit illustrates the damaging effect climate change is having on the world’s coldest features.  “Losing a Legacy” is the name of a photography project on display at the Museum of Science and Technology revealing the dramatic decline of glaciers over the past century, especially at Glacier National Park. Exhibits project manager at the MOST Peter Plumley says the photos from the U.S. Geological Survey portend a grim future.

Exhibition to Showcase Wildlife's Return to Onondaga Lake

Apr 23, 2015
Cheryl Lloyd

What used to be an almost dead lake is now teeming with fish and bird activity, as well as other plant and animal life. Audubon New York and the Onondaga Lake Conversation Corps will be showcasing the restoration of Onondage Lake this weekend. "Images of a Recovering Onondaga Lake" features pictures of birds and other species taken by local photographers. Executive Director of Audubon New York Erin Crotty says it's no surprise wildlife has come back to the lake.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A small group of SUNY ESF students marked Earth Day by using their ears.  WAER tagged along with a microphone to gather what they heard during their "soundwalk." The four students walked silently around campus, taking in natural and man-made sounds.  Junior Jordan C’Dealva-Lenik says it’s the final element of a semester-long project based on a sense of place…

Honeywell

Much of the focus of the Onondaga Lake clean-up project has been on the lake itself with dredging completed last fall and capping operations set to begin this spring.  But there’s also been an effort to clean and restore  44 acres of contaminated  wetlands in the lake’s watershed.  This report takes a closer look at what’s being done…and the wetlands' role in the return of the lake’s ecology. It’s a chilly, early spring day, and we’ve pulled up to where Geddes Brook joins Nine Mile Creek, just across the 695 freeway from the state fairgrounds.    SUNY ESF Professor and Chair of Environmental and Forest Biology Don Leopold says the now meandering brook didn’t always look like this.  Before, it resembled more of a ditch surrounded by a single invasive plant.

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

Pages