Residential food scraps collection services and community food scraps drop-off spots are popping up across the state. Both are a great way to compost your food scraps locally if you can’t at home. Residential food scraps collection services collect food scraps at your curb while community food scraps drop-off spots allow you to drop your food scraps off at a designated location and time, such as your local farmers market or community garden. In return, the compost from these programs is used to build local healthy soils. Find a food scraps drop-off spot or residential food scraps collection service near you.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos released proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emission statewide and implement the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The proposed regulations mark a milestone in realizing New York’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda.
The announcement demonstrates New York’s leadership on climate by taking a new and ambitious approach to the accounting of harmful emissions from fossil fuels – within and outside of the state – and for potent, short-lived pollutants such as methane. Additionally, the proposed regulations enable New York State to apply a flexible, stakeholder-driven approach for the annual accounting of net emissions.
Denuding the Adirondack Woods.
There is in the previous sentence a title of a book. There are many reasons why we go into the Wilderness. I go to be away from people and visit my church, if you will excuse the expression.
The natural wonder of nature and of being in a wild place calms my nerves and feeds my soul more than anything else I can do in my day to day life. The Adirondacks feel timeless, and throwback to an early period in American history. Trees, water, rocks, sand, wildlife, all of this profoundly changed during the many periods of ice advancement from Canada almost down to Virginia. Advance and retreat, then repeat and repeat again.
Fish barrier dams are an essential tool for the protection of native and restored fish communities from non-native species that could devastate the current native fish populations.
The Little Fish Pond barrier dam is the lowermost fish barrier dam protecting the waters of the Saint Regis Canoe Area from invasion by non-native species. It was built prior to one of the biggest reclamation projects in NYS history. In 1952-1954,14 ponds and 21 miles of inlets, outlets, river and tributaries were treated to restore wild trout populations.
The main part of this dam was rehabilitated in 2015 and 2016 by Region 5 fisheries staff and the Student Conservation Association (SCA). In 2020, fisheries staff built a new splash deck to prevent scour in the river channel below the dam from forming a jump pool. From start to finish, DEC and SCA staff have spent nearly 1,100 labor-hours on this dam. The improvements should protect these valuable resources while providing a unique angling experience for many years to come- a true testament to the lasting value of such an endeavor.
This past Tuesday, the Explorer hosted our first public event of the COVID era — a Zoom panel discussion with Dan Kelting, the head of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith’s College.
We focused on something Kelting has been studying for a decade and I’ve been reporting on all year: road salt and what it does to drinking water supplies in the Adirondacks.
Kelting dived into the issue years ago, first to roundup what was known about road salt pollution elsewhere and then to find out what it was doing to the Adirondacks. In sum, too much salt running off roads ends up in waterways. There, it harms humans by messing with heart and kidney function, destroys plumbing and upends ecosystems.
Explorer policy reporter Gwendolyn Craig has reported plenty of news on invasive species this month — most of it unfortunate.
First came word of the long-expected confirmation of the emerald ash borer in the Adirondacks. That tree killer had long spread throughout the Midwest and East, and in recent years was chewing a circle around the park. Ash isn’t the most abundant species in our high country, but it has cultural and economic significance as well as an ecological role. Gwen will explore all of that in a magazine piece later this year.
Japanese knotweeds (Reynoutria japonica, Reynoutria sachalinensis, and their hybrid Reynoutria X bohemica) are invasive plants that are infamously difficult to control and have negatively impacted ecosystems and economies in the US, Canada and Europe.
For several years, researchers have sought to find a biocontrol for knotweed. Biocontrols are species selected from an invasive species’ native range that are used to control the invasive species in its introduced range. This approach is more targeted than chemical methods, and when successful, it permanently suppresses the invasive species.
After extensive testing and review by federal agencies, in March of this year, an insect native to Japan called the knotweed psyllid (Aphalara itadori) was approved for release in the United States as the country’s first biocontrol agent for Japanese knotweed.
When Americans try to work something out but fail, we head to court.
But that option isn’t available for many long-suffering New Yorkers with water made undrinkable by road salt.
Road salt has been a known threat to the environment and human health for decades. Yet, the state of New York, which applies about as much per mile of roadway as any other state, depending on the year, has done little to prevent, clean up or truly quantify much of the problem.
That has stood out to me in several months of reporting on how road salt is fouling up water in and around the Adirondacks. The scale of the problem is so uncertain that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers may have salty water without even knowing it.
But when they do find out, they have a heck of a time trying to make things right.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) canceled an open house at Perch River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) out of an abundance of caution to protect public health due to the Department of Health’s (DOH) recent discovery of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in horses in the immediate vicinity.
EEE is carried by mosquitoes and transferable to animals and people. DOH plans to spray for mosquito control in that area of Jefferson County.
DEC’s Perch River WMA open house was scheduled to open Saturday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 30. (Click here for all the WMAs having open houses.) For additional information, bird lists, and maps, contact DEC’s Regional Wildlife Office at 315-785-2263 or visit the DEC webpage .
Perch River WMA in Jefferson County/DEC photo
If you’re in search of ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle, one effective way to reduce waste and conserve natural resources is through buying gently used items and supporting second hand shopping. Thrifting and second hand shopping has environmental, social, and economic benefits such as:
- Job creation that supports materials reuse and the circular economy
- Maintaining value of an item by keeping it in the supply chain instead of sending it to a landfill or incinerator where it has no value
- Reducing consumption of natural resources like water, fibers, metals, and fossil fuels by getting more use of items
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and Clarkson University will deploy new technologies to combat harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Lake Neatahwanta in Oswego County this summer. In 2019, Governor Cuomo challenged these research institutions to use their scientific expertise in water quality to develop new and innovative technologies to reduce the impact of HABs. SUNY ESF and Clarkson University will study the effectiveness of their experimental inventions this summer. Learn more about this project at DEC’s Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Mitigation Studies webpage.
DEC will host a virtual public information session about the deployment of these experimental projects tonight, Wednesday, August 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. Register now for the information session.
photo courtesy of Upstate Freshwater Institute/Almanack archive
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the confirmation of an infestation of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) on Forest Preserve lands in the town of Dresden in Washington County.
The affected hemlock trees were located near a campsite within Glen Island Campground on the shore of Lake George. This is the second known infestation of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) in the Adirondacks.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation would like to remind hikers, and all who enjoy outdoor recreation to follow the “common sense rules of the outdoors,” such as preparing for arduous conditions, avoiding sensitive ecology, picking up your trash, and respecting your fellow visitors and those working to protect our wilderness.
We are currently experiencing a boom in outdoor recreation, with areas of the Adirondack park and the Catskill Parks reaching record numbers of visitors. Issues of littering, trash, and unprepared hikers affecting natural resources have increased in proportion to these record numbers, and it is essential to reinforce these common sense rules in order to protect both the safety of the public and the integrity of the sensitive plants and wildlife.
Adirondack scientist, photographer, and conservation advocate Brendan Wiltse has joined Paul Smith’s College as Visiting Assistant Professor with its new Masters of Science program and Water Quality Director with the college’s Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI). Brendan is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College and earned his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Ontario.
Brendan comes to the college from the Ausable River Association (AsRA) where for 6 years as Science and Stewardship Director he contributed to the group’s efforts to protect the Ausable River watershed through science and community engagement.
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