NY Admits Defeat as Emerald Ash Borer Continues to Spread

The emerald ash borer is a shiny green beetle about the size of a penny. The borer likely will ultimately bring about the end of the state’s 700 million ash trees. Photo via Be a Smart Ash

The Department of Environmental Conservation has repealed logging restrictions put into place to contain the spread of the emerald ash borer, admitting that the quarantine had failed. The invasive insect has now spread so far into the state that officials believe most of New York’s ash trees will be gone within the next decade.

The state is now recommending that forest landowners move forward with harvesting the remaining healthy ash trees now, as “infested ash degrades quickly, resulting in decreased economic value and greater risk of personal injury and property damage.”

Source: Times Union

Denied: DEC Rejects Permit for Seneca Lake Gas Storage

Opponents of a proposal to store 88.2 million gallons of liquid propane in caverns on Seneca Lake, celebrated a major victory last week. Photo by stayadventurous.com

After a nearly-10-year battle by environmentalists, business owners, and community groups, the DEC has rejected a proposal to store propane in old salt caverns near Seneca Lake.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos denied the permit on the grounds the facility would have a significant adverse impact on community character in that Finger Lakes region. Seggos also reviewed resolutions adopted by local municipalities opposed to the project, and the area’s development of tourism, the wine industry and agriculture as economic drivers. There were also concerns about the integrity of caverns at the site.

Source: Innovation Trail

Make Your Garden Grow: Get Your Free Compost!

GrowNYC will provide free compost to New Yorkers at markets across the city.

Time to reap the rewards of your diligent composting efforts (you do compost, don’t you?)! GrowNYC is hosting compost giveback events in all boroughs this month. Bring your own container and take home all the compost you can use. First come, first served! Dates and locations after the jump. Continue reading “Make Your Garden Grow: Get Your Free Compost!”

Drug Take Back Act Becomes Law, Will Reduce Water Contamination

The new law establishes a unified statewide drug take-back program that will reduce water pollution and medication misuse. Photo by e-Magine Art/Creative Commons

Yesterday Governor Cuomo signed into law the “Drug Take Back Act,” regulation that establishes a statewide program to provide safe, free, and easy disposal of unused medications. Chain pharmacies will be required to provide drug disposal options, while other authorized collectors (e.g. independent pharmacies, local law enforcement) could also participate.

Providing convenient drug disposal will help to reduce the practice of flushing unwanted medications down drains and toilets, and eliminate one source of waterway contamination.

Previous surveys of pharmaceuticals in the Hudson River Estuary, conducted by Riverkeeper, Cornell University, and the EPA, found more than 50 different compounds, with greater numbers found at or near municipal wastewater treatment plant outfalls.

Wastewater treatment and septic systems are not designed to remove these contaminants, resulting in pharmaceutical pollution in waters across the state.

Source: Riverkeeper

Tracking New York City’s Coyote Population (Yes, There is a Coyote Population!)

The Gotham Coyote Project hopes to learn more about how coyotes navigate the city. Photo Credit: Gotham Coyote Project

You may not see them, but they’re there. More than 30 coyotes now call New York City home, and a new pilot project aims to find out just how these secretive creatures navigate a bustling metropolis relatively unseen. Continue reading “Tracking New York City’s Coyote Population (Yes, There is a Coyote Population!)”

Household Cleaners Must Reveal Their Chemical Ingredients

New disclosure rules passed by New York State apply to soaps, detergents and other cleansers used for households, dishes, utensils and fabrics.

New rules passed in New York State will require manufacturers to reveal the chemical ingredients in household cleaning products. Companies must also disclose internal research conducted on whether ingredients have any potential impacts on human health and the environment.

Under the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure program, this information must be posted on Internet web sites, initially in July 2019, with further details added by July 2020 and January 2023. There are exceptions for information considered a trade secret.

Source: Times Union

Floating Weed Harvester Gobbles Up Invasives in Prospect Park

Prospect Park Alliance has purchased a new $140,000 aquatic weed harvester to control invasive species. Photo via Prospect Park Alliance

A new “aquatic weed harvester” is being used to control unwanted invasive species in Prospect Park Lake. The machine will “gobble up” loads of aquatic primrose and duckweed, which grows across the surface of the lake in large mats, crowding out native flora. Continue reading “Floating Weed Harvester Gobbles Up Invasives in Prospect Park”

Your Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It: I BIRD NY

2018 has been named the Year of the Bird by the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the launch of two birding challenges for 2018. Continue reading “Your Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It: I BIRD NY”