6.5 Billion Gallons of Sewage and Storm Water Released into NY Waterways Last Year

A combined sewage overflow in Newtown Creek. Photo by Alex Dolan.

A new report from the state comptroller estimates that 6.5 billion gallons of combined sewage and storm water were released into the environment last year in New York state. That sewage reached more than 200 water bodies, including rivers, streams and lakes that are used for recreation and in some cases, drinking water.

About half of the state’s sewage overflow comes from New York City.

In many communities in New York, storm water runs into the same system as sewage. During heavyt rains or snow melt, the treatment plants are overwhelmed and forced to discharge raw sewage into creeks and lakes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that correcting the problem would cost $5 billion statewide.

Source: Syracuse.com


UPDATE: Source of Hudson Diesel Spill Remains Mystery

Rockland County Sheriff’s Office responded on Sunday, placing oil-absorbing booms in the water to contain the spill. Photo via lohud.com’s Twitter account.

Note: This story has been updated. Residents of Dutchtown, a small neighborhood in Rockland County, awoke Sunday morning to the stench of diesel fuel blowing in off the nearby Hudson River. Residents saw the rainbow sheen of a fuel spill extending some 40 feet out onto the water. Continue reading “UPDATE: Source of Hudson Diesel Spill Remains Mystery”

#SkiptheStraw Gaining Momentum in NYC

The United States alone uses and discards millions of plastic straws every day, according to Eco-Cycle, a nonprofit group that promotes recycling. Photo via rawpixel/Creative Commons

While government officials argue amongst themselves over plastic bag bans or fees, consumers and businesses are taking matters into their own hands. The latest object of their wrath: single-use plastic straws.

Some New York businesses have stopped offering the straws completely; others provide alternatives like paper straws, or only hand them out when requested.

Source: New York Times

Prospect Park Owl Dies After Being Ensnared in Fishing Line

The owl suffered from starvation and a leg wound, and perished within hours of arriving at the wildlife rescue facility. Photo by Jon Nelson/Creative Commons.

A great horned owl died this week after becoming ensnared in discarded fishing line in Prospect Park. Now the birding community is calling for better enforcement of the park’s rules and regulations. Continue reading “Prospect Park Owl Dies After Being Ensnared in Fishing Line”

Suffolk County’s Ambitious (and Expensive) Plan to Clean Waterways

A hydro-action septic system is installed at a home in Nesconset in August 2015. The homeowners were winners in the initial lottery to have the equipment installed for free. Photo credit: James Carbone

Most homes in Suffolk County rely on septic tanks or cesspools to handle wastewater, methods which have resulted in severe nitrogen pollution in Long Island’s bays, rivers, and sound. Continue reading “Suffolk County’s Ambitious (and Expensive) Plan to Clean Waterways”

Prospect Park “Dead Zone” to Get Facelift, New Entrances

A rendering of the city’s $5.6 million fix-up of Prospect Park’s Flatbush Avenue perimeter. Rendering via Prospect Park Alliance.

The northeastern perimeter of Prospect Park is getting a much-needed facelift that will eventually include two new entrances, making the park safer and more accessible for the community.

Continue reading “Prospect Park “Dead Zone” to Get Facelift, New Entrances”