Saturday, August 04, 2012

RENewsletter | August 4, 2012

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

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[07/29/2012 – 08/04/2012]

Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |

Opening Salvo: “Shrugging off the risk of Fracking to our NYS water”

As the moment looms nearer when Governor Cuomo makes his final decision on lifting the moratorium on horizontal Hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) in New York State, we should reflect on what risking our environment actually means. “Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a (an undesirable outcome)” Wikipedia. However, ‘undesirable outcome’ doesn’t quite cover what happens when we risk our environment.

Some of us like riding motorcycles and are willing to risk our lives doing that. It’s a high risk, as a day doesn’t go by when someone in the area isn’t killed on one of those things, but the danger is to one’s own life. Not like risking the future of all animals and plants and generations of folks who want to have children, as environmental risks can do. The risks that Fracking imposes on our water resources is another kind of risk than extreme sports, than skateboarding without a helmet, than petting a junkyard dog. Risking our fresh water in New York State by Fracking is jeopardizing everyone’s fundamental right to potable water—and generations to come. Not to mention the health of our riparian ecologies, wildlife and plant life.

Let’s not quibble: while some will argue about this point until their water starts on fire, most agree that there is a threat to our water if mistakes are made. And that’s why community after community in New York State, including the City of Rochester, has put a moratorium on Fracking—though Monroe County has left the door open on using our public wastewater treatment plants for Fracking waste. Mistakes will be made and there are too many known unknowns and unknown unknowns on Fracking:

EPA Sees Risks to Water, Workers In New York Fracking Rules New York's emerging plan to regulate natural gas drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale needs to go further to safeguard drinking water, environmentally sensitive areas and gas industry workers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has informed state officials. The EPA's comments, in a series of letters this week to the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, are significant because they suggest the agency will be watching closely as states in the Northeast and Midwest embrace new drilling technologies to tap vast reserves of shale gas. (January 13, 2012) ProPublica

Actually, there’s no human or corporate equivalent to environmental risk because the kind of risks we take to our lives and the risks corporations take to their livelihoods cannot compare to threatening the underpinnings of life itself on this planet. Somehow we have let the concept of ‘risk’ bleed into our unquenchable thirst for money. We all have to take risks to get ahead and that has evolved into the absurd notion that we should risk all life on this planet in our pursuit for the almighty dollar. We use phrases like “willingness to tolerate significant risk” in deciding issues like Climate Change and Fracking as if we know what we are talking about. But, we really don’t understand the risk in just the way we didn’t understand decades ago how incredibly risky and stupid it was to let industries use our lakes for their toilet:

America's 'Most Polluted' Lake Finally Comes Clean : NPR Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, N.Y., has often been called the most polluted lake in America. It was hammered by a one-two punch: raw and partially treated sewage from the city and its suburbs, and a century's worth of industrial dumping. But now the final stage in a $1 billion cleanup is about to begin. Standing in his office amid stacks of reports, scientist Steve Effler glances at an old front-page headline of the Syracuse Herald-Journal: "Divers find goo in Onondaga Lake."  (July 31, 2012) Environment : NPR

New York City and Rochester and others can shrug off the risk imposed by Fracking for awhile because many consequences of our actions on our environment take awhile to boomerang back to us—though they always change something somewhere. For example, throwing stuff away into landfills and our waters seems to go away, and then comes back as pollution and methane leaks that warm our atmosphere. Allowing only areas in southern New York State where there are no moratoriums is merely another example of thinking we can shrug off the risks to our water by arbitrarily compartmentalizing our environment and thinking we have mitigated our risk.

Cuomo Proposal Would Restrict Gas Drilling to a Struggling Area ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology. The plan, described by a senior official at the State Department of Environmental Conservation and others with knowledge of the administration’s strategy, would limit drilling to the deepest areas of the Marcellus Shale rock formation in an effort to reduce the risk of groundwater contamination. (June 13, 2012) New York Times

Who are we kidding? As soon as the camel’s nose of Fracking slips into New York via this method, lawyers, drillers, the fossil fuel industry, and free market fundamentalists (who believe Nature is but a candy man of resources) will consume the Marcellus then the much larger Utica Shale from all the greenhouse gas emitting fuels until what’s in our ground from billions of years of life will be spewed into our atmosphere and warm our planet further. There is no point of satiety if money is one’s only value.

Besides, we don’t even need Fracking fuel in New York State. The price is down and that gas will be sold overseas. And if your argument is that Fracking will decrease the risk for national security by using this fuel instead of their fuel, wouldn’t it make more sense to leave that natural gas in our ground until we actually need it?

Let’s, as the muckrakers of old, call a spade a dirty little shovel: Why is Governor Cuomo risking our environment, our water, our national security, our farmlands, our roads, and our climate with Fracking? He is doing so because a lot of powerful folks want it that way. If it was energy we needed, we would have tolerated wind turbines. If it was jobs we needed, we would have carved up the banking system and spread the wealth with public sector jobs instead of giving it to the 1%--who have made more money since money was invented.

Frackers know they can shrug off the risk that Fracking imposes on New York State because they can pick up and leave when they’ve had their way with us. They are risking our environment for their profit, so it’s understandable how they can shrug it off.

We need Fracking about as much as a fish needs a bicycle.

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com (Click on my email for feedback)

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* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @ http://twitter.com/#!/FrankRrrr On Twitter and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RochesterEnvironment and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens. If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up. We who care about our environment and future need to ‘Occupy’ the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.

The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to safe ourselves?

Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. -- Carl Sagan

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NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]

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UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

  • 8/03/2012 - The massive Indian power outages teach corporations to take care of themselves, but the workers still have to go home.  This story highlights a disturbing tendency for those rich enough to take care of themselves in power outages, water shortages, food shortages, and shortages of air conditioning in heatwaves that they have the means to escape the consequences of Climate Change and leave the rest, even their workers, to pay the price of not adapting and mitigating Climate Change.  This kind of isolationism, islands of prosperity, from the ravages of Climate Change will work for awhile, but soon that will end.  We are all on this planet together and only solutions to curb GHGs and adapt to Climate Change on large enough scale to protect all will work.  Ambani, Tata ‘Islands’ Shrug Off Grid Collapse: Corporate India Abdul Qasim, an accountant who works at Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT), wasn’t aware of the world’s biggest power outage until he finished work in the Indian city of Jamshedpur. He didn’t have to go far to learn about the blackout. Qasim broke his Ramadan fast with his family under candle light. Barely 10 kilometers (6 miles) away, truck production at the Tata Motors factory located in the city continued with minimal disruptions even as the state-owned national grid collapsed on July 31 knocking out supply to 640 million people.  (August 2, 2012) Bloomberg
  • 8/02/2012 - Local Groups Will Host Film and Q&A About Industrial Siting on Tuesday, August 7th at 7PM at Glen Theater in Watkins Glen ""Finger Lakes Bioneers, Gas Free Seneca and  The Finger Lakes Sierra Club Group are co-sponsoring an event to foster learning and communication within the region regarding the challenges of development that has an industrial focus. The 90-minute film entitled My Name is Allegany County will be screened followed by a discussion afterwards with one of the principal figures involved with the recorded events. Admission is $5.00. Some refreshments will be available. This film explores democratic decision-making, environmental policy, legal rights, corporate responsibility, and the challenges of using highly industrial technology in rural locations. The Glen Theater is located at 112 North Franklin Street right in downtown Watkins Glen  
  • 8/02/2012 - Missed the reports of the Stop The Frack rally last Saturday in Washington, DC (our nation’s capitol) because mainstream media doesn’t know where that is, then go here.     Reports from the  STOP THE FRACK ATTACK  in Washington, DC, 7/28/12: --from R-Cause
  • 8/02/2012 - Interested in Washington Grove Park? There’s going to be a City meeting on that:  "The City of Rochester Invites you to a Community Meeting For the Neighbors of Bengal Ter, Pinnard St., Cobbs Hill Dr., Beckwith Ter, Nunda Blvd, Rosegrey Ter, Castlebar Road, and San Gabriel Dr.  and  the Washington Grove area Thursday, Aug 9, 2012 7:00 p.m. At Lake Riley Lodge 100 Norris Drive PURPOSE : 1)   The City needs to replace the concrete pole lighting circuit with the City Standard 14’ fiberglass pole and colonial high pressure sodium fixture and needs feedback on making the change or neighbors need a petition to install Concrete poles instead 2)   Neighborhood Pac-Tac Recruitment for the Neighborhood and Washington Grove 3)   The City’s Washington Grove work plan progress and installation of Information Kiosk 4)   100th year Celebration of the Grove Ø Recruitment of volunteers for Celebration and ongoing work in the Grove   Will Not discuss Changes of Park Codes or Regulations Clarification will be offered if needed. EVERYONE is welcome we hope to see you Southeast Neighborhood Service Center, 846 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620  •  585.428.7640 "
  • 8/02/2012 - Worth your time to listen to this short speech my Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Climate Change and our Congress:  Global Warming is Real "Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in a speech delivered to the Senate on July 30th, 2012, rebutted what he called "myths" espoused by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Many who take climate science seriously dismiss Sen. Inhofe. I believe that is a huge mistake," Sanders said of the Senate panel's former chairman. "For better or worse, when Sen. Inhofe speaks, the Republican Party follows. And when the Republican Party follows, it is impossible to get real work done in the Congress." "
  • 8/02/2012 - If you are interested in the big picture about Recycling in American, check out this half-hour discussion with the author of Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash.  You can listen online or through a podcast.  At some point we are going to have to look at our trash problem directly because of the sheer volume of it.  Much of our trash is ‘instant trash’ like packaging and paper plates that get used once and instantly thrown away.  We throw away so much paper that China uses our paper trash for their paper products.  But recycling is not a solution for zero waste. America's addiction to trash What's America's largest export? According to Edward Humes, the surprising answer is trash.  Humes writes about America's trash problem in his new book Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. For Humes, wastefulness is one of the few big societal, economic and environmental problems over which ordinary individuals can exert control.  (June 3, 2012)  WBEZ
  • 8/01/2012 - So how come California gets to plan for Climate Change, but NYS and US bury their plans—even though they have them?  California prepares for harsh realities of changing climate Climate change is real and unfolding, and the outlook for California is bleak. A series of state-sponsored scientific studies released Tuesday warns that California can expect more scorching heat waves, severe and damaging wildfires, emergency room visits and strain on the electric grid as the Earth continues to warm and sea levels rise along the state's 1,100-mile long coast. (July 31, 2012) Home - San Jose Mercury News [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • 8/01/2012 - Climate Change is going to get complicated.  For those already bored by Climate Change this will make them moan, but that won’t make it go away. Like Ozone Layer, Holes in Study on Thunderstorms | Climate Central Scientists know plenty about how Earth’s climate works, and greenhouse-gas pollution is messing with sea level, weather patterns, and more. There’s also plenty they don’t know yet — how global warming might affect tornadoes, for example, or how quickly the massive ice caps on Greenland and Antarctica could slide into the oceans.  (August 1, 2012)  Climate Change | Climate Central
  • 8/01/2012 - Excellent Citizen Scientist learning event:  Castle Creek Community Stream Monitoring Event Wednesday, August 29th , 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm, Brook Street Playground, Geneva A Family Friendly Event! To complement the FLI’s upcoming downtown Geneva window display, “Going With The Flow”, the Finger Lakes Institute is hosting a community stream monitoring event in Castle Creek, Geneva’s urban stream. With a focus on environmental awareness, participants in this event will learn from stream ecologist Dr. Susan Cushman about the health of Castle Creek and what indicators are used to measure stream health. Community members are encouraged to attend and to bring children and friends as they will all have a chance to get their feet wet finding stream critters and measuring water quality. Participants will receive a free take-home water monitoring kit, while supplies last. This event, sponsored by the Ontario County Water Resource Council and in cooperation with the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center, is free and open to the public. Participants should meet at Brook Street Playground on Brook St., Geneva. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants MUST wear water-shoes to participate.Happenings | the monthly newsletter of the Finger Lakes Institute
  • 7/31/2012 - Interesting feedback about Climate Change and public perception of it.  There’s really nothing like it in our human history. It’s going to take us awhile to get our heads around the fact that our species has dramatically altered the planet’s environment, and the clock is ticking.  Public opinion: 1988 vs 2012: How heat waves and droughts fuel climate perception -- 07/30/2012 -- www.eenews.net A crop-searing drought grips the Midwest and Southeast. In the Rocky Mountains, extraordinary "superfires" rip through thousands of acres of high-elevation pine. The Mississippi River runs so low that barge traffic must be slowed, at times suspended. Across the country, roads buckle under the heat. The year is 1988, and for the first time, a majority of Americans are waking up to a disconcerting phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. (July 30, 2012)  E&E Publishing -- The Premier Information Source for Professionals Who Track Environmental and Energy Policy.
  • 7/31/2012 - Climate Change Debate Heats up between U.S. Senators « EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement In a summer of record heat, severe drought, extreme storms, melting glaciers and raging wildfires, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today challenged claims by a leading Republican senator who dismisses global warming as a “hoax.” Sanders, in a speech prepared for delivery to the Senate today, rebutted what he called “myths” espoused by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (July 30, 2012) EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement
  • 7/31/2012 - Some thoughts on the nuclear option: NEWS BLOG: What I’m reading – Nuclear power from nuclear waste? « City Newspaper When it comes to nuclear power, storing and disposing of spent fuel rods is a problem. Power plants have to keep the spent rods on site, because there’s nowhere else for them to go.  (July 30, 2012)  City Newspaper
  • 7/31/2012 - A business-to-business conference on green practices for our region:   Greentopia | INNOVATION | Rochester, NY "CEI and SWBR Architects would like to invite you to attend the first annual Greentopia: INNOVATION conference on Friday, September 14, 2012. This business-to-business conference is meant to enlighten, inspire, and ignite green ideas, action and innovation. Formerly CEI’s Triple Bottom Line (CEI: Center for Environmental Initiatives - Triple Bottom Line Conferences) conference, this event is geared towards professionals from all walks of life, creating the perfect opportunity to network, obtain new insights, and share business practices. As an innovation conference including presentations, case studies, and panel discussions, our aim is to promote cutting edge concepts in business incubation, innovation, green practices, and showcase brilliance in environmentally conscious technological design and implementation. Engaging and dynamic speakers will be joining us from all over the northeastern United States to present the latest innovations in business practices, sustainability and technology. You may even be able to pick up some CEU credits for selected topics. Complete details about the conference, including registration and exhibiting can be found at:Greentopia | INNOVATION | Rochester, NY"
  • 7/30/2012 - Mainstream media ignores Saturday’s protests on anti-Fracking in nation’s capitol Amazing how hard it is to find coverage about this anti-Fracking protest in Washington, DC.  Couldn’t be that mainstream media is pro-Fracking could it? One has to wonder in these days of a medium, the news medium, which is allegedly starving for money, why they would ignore a major rally in our nation’s capital on a major issue, like Fracking, with major speakers speaking: Rally speakers included, Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org; Josh Fox, producer of Gasland; Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas; Allison Chin, board president of the Sierra Club, and community members from swing states affected by fracking. (June 28, 2012) EcoWatch more...
  • 7/30/2012 - Nice to see the anit- Climate Change folks come around, but it’s getting a little lake in the day.  By the time most of the Climate Change deniers ‘get it’ on what’s coming with Climate Change it will probably be too late.  We need to plan now, not later.   Koch-funded climate change skeptic reverses course - latimes.comWASHINGTON – The verdict is in: Global warming is occurring and emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activity are the main cause. This, according to Richard A. Muller, professor of physics at UC Berkeley, MacArthur Fellow and co-founder of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Never mind that theUnited Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hundreds of other climatologists around the world came to such conclusions years ago. The difference now is the source: Muller is a long-standing, colorful critic of prevailing climate science, and the Berkeley project was heavily funded by the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, which, along with its libertarian petrochemical billionaire founder Charles G. Koch, has a considerable history of backing groups that deny climate change.  (July 29, 2012) Los Angeles Times - California, national and world news - latimes.com [more on Climate Change in our area]

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EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.] If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.

August 2012

  • Saturday August 4 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm for a presentation about his conservation work with grassland and shrubland birds and their habitats. Space is limited. Registration required. To register or for more information about the Montezuma Audubon Center please call 315-365-3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org
    • Nature of Montezuma Lecture and Hike: Conserving Our Most Imperiled Grassland Birds   The Montezuma Audubon Center is proud to welcome Mr. Andrew Hinickle, Conservation Biologist with Audubon New York, on Saturday August 4 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm for a presentation about his conservation work with grassland and shrubland birds and their habitats. The talk will provide landowners a chance to learn about the habitat needs of New York’s grassland and shrubland birds like the American kestrel, bobolink, short-eared owl and golden-winged warbler, hike through one of Montezuma’s most extensive grasslands and learn about what land owners can do to improve habitat for these birds.   As Audubon New York's Conservation, Mr. Hinickle works closely with agencies and organizations to engage landowners in cost-share or other incentive programs, drafting conservation and management plans for project sites, and monitoring the bird response to management activities. Andrew comes to Audubon from the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, where he was employed as a Wildlife Biologist. Previously, he held positions with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, restoring wetlands and grasslands on public and private lands. Andrew has degree in Environment Science from the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay.     Fee: $3/child, $5/adult, $15/family, FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Space is limited. Registration required. To register or for more information about the Montezuma Audubon Center please call 315-365-3588 or emailmontezuma@audubon.org.   Photo captions: Bobolink courtesy USFWS American kestrel courtesy USFWS 
  • Tuesday, August 7th at 7PM at Glen Theater in Watkins Glen
    • Local Groups Will Host Film and Q&A About Industrial Siting on Tuesday, August 7th at 7PM at Glen Theater in Watkins Glen ""Finger Lakes Bioneers, Gas Free Seneca and  The Finger Lakes Sierra Club Group are co-sponsoring an event to foster learning and communication within the region regarding the challenges of development that has an industrial focus. The 90-minute film entitled My Name is Allegany County will be screened followed by a discussion afterwards with one of the principal figures involved with the recorded events. Admission is $5.00. Some refreshments will be available. This film explores democratic decision-making, environmental policy, legal rights, corporate responsibility, and the challenges of using highly industrial technology in rural locations. The Glen Theater is located at 112 North Franklin Street right in downtown Watkins Glen
  • Saturday, August 25, noon to 6pm | Monroe Avenue between Rutgers and Oxford
    • Spokes and Ink – A Bike and Poster Party Spokes and Ink at the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education Saturday, August 25, 2012 Noon to 6pm Monroe Avenue at Oxford/Rutgers   Spokes and Ink is a new festival in Rochester that brings bicyclists and artists together.  This event on Monroe Avenue showcases the diversity of both groups – avid cyclists, recreational riders, the environmentally aware, letterpress printers, graphic designers and talented artists of all sorts!     There will be poster art, food and merchandise for sale, live music and activities to attract a crowd.  In the inaugural year of 2011, Spokes & Ink drew 600+ guests.  2012 is expected to be bigger and better!   If you are interested in reaching this wide-ranging demographic who are into bicycles and art or just want to support this activity for others, please consider a sponsorship.  Your business or organization could benefit from the exposure that is possible at Spokes and Ink.   What: Spokes and Ink – A Bike and Poster Party Where: Monroe Avenue between Rutgers and Oxford When: Saturday, August 25, noon to 6pm   Proceeds from the event will benefit the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education and R Community Bikes.   The Genesee Center for the Arts & Education is a community-based 501(c)3 organization that educates, encourages and inspires all people to create and enjoy the visual arts. We have 40+ years of experience in serving the Rochester community with great arts programming including classes, exhibits, studio access and special events. R Community Bikes is a grassroots, 501(c)3 organization that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to Rochester, NY's most needy children and adults. Their mission is meeting the basic transportation needs of those in the community who depend on bikes for recreation as well as for transport to work, school, rehabilitation programs, and training sessions.   If you have any questions about the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education or about Spokes and Ink,  please call the office at 585-244-1730.  We look forward to hearing from you!
  • Wednesday, August 29th , 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm, Brook Street Playground, Geneva
    • Castle Creek Community Stream Monitoring Event Wednesday, August 29th , 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm, Brook Street Playground, Geneva A Family Friendly Event! To complement the FLI’s upcoming downtown Geneva window display, “Going With The Flow”, the Finger Lakes Institute is hosting a community stream monitoring event in Castle Creek, Geneva’s urban stream. With a focus on environmental awareness, participants in this event will learn from stream ecologist Dr. Susan Cushman about the health of Castle Creek and what indicators are used to measure stream health. Community members are encouraged to attend and to bring children and friends as they will all have a chance to get their feet wet finding stream critters and measuring water quality. Participants will receive a free take-home water monitoring kit, while supplies last. This event, sponsored by the Ontario County Water Resource Council and in cooperation with the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center, is free and open to the public. Participants should meet at Brook Street Playground on Brook St., Geneva. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants MUST wear water-shoes to participate. Happenings | the monthly newsletter of the Finger Lakes Institute

September 2012

  • September 10th - 16th - High Falls region, Rochester, NY
    • Greentopia 2012 Greentopia 2012 is a week-long celebration of inspiration through art, music, organic and locally grown food and beverages, ideas and activism. The expanded event will contain four programmatic aspects, which include Greentopia Innovation, Greentopia Film, Greentopia Music and Greentopia EcoFest. In its first year the event drew between 18-20,000 people to the historic High Falls district. Through how-to workshops and cutting-edge films, visitors learned about big green ideas and how to apply them creatively in everyday life. There are special family activities, a community recycled art installation, mouthwatering organic and local food and beverages, and all kinds of live music. Businesses and organizations showcased products and programs that help to restore the planet, promote green living – even save consumers some money.
  • Friday, September 14, 2012 | Rochester Plaza Hotel, 70 State Street, Rochester, NY 14614
    • A business-to-business conference on green practices for our region:   Greentopia | INNOVATION | Rochester, NY "CEI and SWBR Architects would like to invite you to attend the first annual Greentopia: INNOVATION conference on Friday, September 14, 2012. This business-to-business conference is meant to enlighten, inspire, and ignite green ideas, action and innovation. Formerly CEI’s Triple Bottom Line (CEI: Center for Environmental Initiatives - Triple Bottom Line Conferences) conference, this event is geared towards professionals from all walks of life, creating the perfect opportunity to network, obtain new insights, and share business practices. As an innovation conference including presentations, case studies, and panel discussions, our aim is to promote cutting edge concepts in business incubation, innovation, green practices, and showcase brilliance in environmentally conscious technological design and implementation. Engaging and dynamic speakers will be joining us from all over the northeastern United States to present the latest innovations in business practices, sustainability and technology. You may even be able to pick up some CEU credits for selected topics. Complete details about the conference, including registration and exhibiting can be found at:Greentopia | INNOVATION | Rochester, NY "

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ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date.

  • ACTION: Due date: August 4th :  
    • "Join the Raging Grannies in once again calling for an end to offshore oil drilling and a renewed focus on renewable energy.   We will join hands on Saturday, August 4th, at noon in cooperation with organizations all across the country and the world.   Where:  Charlotte Beach When:  August 4th Time:   Noon   Contact: Diana Voellinger, 467-7431 "
  • ACTION: Due Date; this summer
    • Another opportunity to be a citizen scientist in our NYS region.  Citizen Scientists will be critical in gathering info for Climate Change. DEC Seeks Participants for Summer Game Bird Surveys New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today encouraged New Yorkers to participate in surveys for two popular game birds: wild turkeys and ring-necked pheasants. "Citizen science efforts such as these provide our wildlife managers with invaluable data and give people the opportunity to partner with DEC to help monitor New York's wildlife resources," Commissioner Martens said. "I encourage you to take the time to record your observations of turkeys or pheasants while exploring the outdoors or driving through the state's beautiful landscapes this summer."  (August 2, 2012) Press Release of NYS DEC
  • ACTION: Due Date now
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
  • ACTION Due Date Now:
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Tired of meteorologists failing to connect the dots between Climate Change and our daily weather?  Do something about it. Take action:     Forecast the Facts WE NEED OUR TV METEOROLOGISTS TO REPORT THE FACTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. According to a recent national survey, more than half of TV weather reporters don’t believe in human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, their viewers are facing unprecedented climate-change induced heat waves, droughts, and flooding.
  • ACTION: Due Date now:
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Tell the NRC: Expand emergency evacuation zones Today, NIRS and 37 other organizations submitted a formal Petition for Rulemaking to the NRC to expand emergency evacuation zones around U.S. nuclear reactors and make other improvements in emergency preparedness. We're calling this the Nuclear 911 campaign. You can join us as a co-petitioner below! The widespread radioactive contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster (and Chernobyl before it) makes clear that the current 10 mile Emergency Planning Zones in the U.S. are woefully inadequate to protect the American people. "Nuclear Information and Resource Service - NIRS
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • What to do something concrete about solving Climate Change?  Go here: "Are you passionate about changing the conversation about the climate crisis? Are you interested in leading the climate movement? What if I said you have the chance to be personally trained by Al Gore to educate others about climate change? This summer, you could have that chance. I'd like to invite you to apply to be one of our esteemed Climate Reality Presenters -- impassioned volunteer leaders who bring the reality of climate change to people around the world. We call our grassroots network of Presenters the heart of our Climate Leadership Corps. Learn more: "Climate Reality "To reveal the complete truth about the climate crisis in a way that ignites the moral courage in each of us. "Climate Reality | Climate Reality Training Application
  • ACTION: Due Date Now
    • Request from the DEC for some help on keeping our Great Lakes healthy:    "Your Observations Can Help the Health of the Great Lakes! If you spend time around the Great Lakes shoreline, please consider sharing your observations of injured or dead animals, or algal blooms by using the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative - Wildlife Health Event Reporter (http://glri.wher.org/)(GLRI-WHER). Scientists working in state, federal and non-profit agencies are looking for your help to identify events that are important in research of avian botulism and algal bloom outbreaks, in the interest of protecting wildlife from this disease as well as algal neurotoxins. For a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem, do your part and share what you see by setting up a reporter account (http://glri.wher.org/users/add) on the GLRI-WHER website. E-mail any questions regarding reporting to botnet@wdin.org.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Sewage Pollution - Citizens Campaign for the Environment "Many communities in New York State, Connecticut, and throughout the nation are served by aging and dilapidated sewage infrastructure. When our sewage infrastructure is not properly operated or maintained, billions of gallons of untreated raw sewage can be released in to the environment before reaching a treatment plant. Sewage is primarily discharged into the environment through Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) and Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO). Separate sewer systems carry only wastewater such as domestic sanitary waste and commercial and industrial waste to a sewage treatment plant. Separate sewers are not designed or intended to carry water such as storm water. SSOs occur in separate systems. Combined sewer systems are built larger than separate sewers so that they can carry two components: wastewater, carried continuously, and runoff, carried after storms.  How you can help: Email your state representatives. Urge them to support a Sewage Pollution Right-to-Know law. Sewage overflows put our environment, economy, and health at risk; and we deserve the right to know when they occur. "
  • ACTION: Due date: Now

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AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]

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