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Covid-19

When I first moved to the city I took a picture of me in front of my window to show everyone I had fucking arrived and now everything is fucking shit!

This is me now, so fucking fat and ugly. Thought living in the city was my dream. And it was, until it wasn’t.

I look out at these businesses and wonder, will any of them reopen? To illustrate my fear, the black building is a parking garage that temporarily closed during the construction of the 2nd Avenue Subway. It has not reopened.

March 16 was the first day of working remotely, NYS way of saying we are working from home. At first it was until March 30, it is now April 13 and I am still at home.

At first it was, Yay! No getting up early or having to get dressed! And it was fun. Then I started to think about all the things I wasn’t getting done. Not being able to pop by the brewery after work for a pint. The isolation is starting to wear on me.

And then started the petty annoyances, not being able to go anywhere, wanting to sew face masks and not having the supplies and nowhere to buy them. Ordering contacts and not getting them and it’s been a month. Ordering knitting supplies and having the store call me to say they can’t ship them.

Then things started to break, the home button on my iPhone, a knitting needle, and most heart rending of all, my laptop. Yes I am typing this on my iPad with an itty bitty keyboard. At least I have an iPad with a keyboard.

If any thing else breaks, I’m hiding under the bed until July.

Haiku

The train is crowded
Speeds along swaying, rocking
I make myself small

Link to article

Typically you would think a day late in November would be too cold for the beach, but that wasn’t the case on a recent walk at Mount Loretto Unique Area. It was not that hot, but not that cold. You needed a jacket, but not gloves and hats.

The sun was bouncing off the water which was nearly flat, it was so calm.

“It’s a nice time of the year,” said Glenn Mazzola.

Joe Padalino was not thrilled to hear we were going to the beach.

“I didn’t want to get caught in the sand,” said Padalino who uses a wheelchair to get around.

But it was a different story when we traveled from the parking lot along the non-vehicular road to the coastal area of the state park. There were two paths to the beach to help people go places they couldn’t usually go.

“Now I feel good because I am actually on the beach,” said Padalino from the observation deck at the end of one of the paths. “It’s not something I get to do much.”

“It’s a good place to get lost in your mind,” he added.

What made it especially nice was Howie Fischer, an experienced birder, met us there. He had his telescope for getting a better look at the water fowl out in the bay which included brant, grebes, loons and ducks.

A black-and-white duck (bufflehead) was one some of us got a good look at. Fischer reported back that he saw or heard 30 species, and he helped us be aware of some of them even if we didn’t get a good look.

We started our visit to MLUA at the observation deck on the Mount Loretto Pond near the parking lot. This is a special place for Lifestyles because we were at the ribbon cutting for the accessible trail to the observation deck.

At the pond we saw geese, and a large blue-and-white bird (great blue heron) and a small blue-and-white bird (a kingfisher), both with serious beaks for fishing.

Take a look at our photos for more of what we saw and commentary on it.

Written collaboratively by Joseph Jones, Greg Mazzola, Dolores Palermo, Joseph Padalino, Steven Filoramo for Life-Wire News Service with Kathryn Carse.

LINK

WASHINGTON (Dec. 4, 2019) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $4 million cooperative agreement with Restore America’s Estuaries to help fund projects supporting National Estuary Program coastal watersheds and estuaries. Restore America’s Estuaries will operate a competition that provides entities from across the country an opportunity to apply for funding for projects that will improve the health of our nation’s waters.

“EPA is pleased to work with Restore America’s Estuaries to advance our shared goal of protecting our nation’s waters and supporting aquatic ecosystems,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This cooperative agreement is the first of its kind and solidifies the partnership between EPA and non-governmental organizations as we work together to improve the health of our coastal waters.”

The National Estuary Program is an EPA initiative committed to protecting and restoring the water quality and ecological integrity of 28 estuaries across the country. Estuaries play an important role in our environment, providing places for recreational activities, scientific study and aesthetic enjoyment. EPA is committed to working with our partners to protect estuaries from issues that threaten their stability, including coastal flooding and marine litter.

“Restore America’s Estuaries is proud to have been selected to administer this critical new program. Combined, Restore America’s Estuaries and EPA bring decades of knowledge and experience, and together, we’ll have a significant impact on our nation’s estuaries by strategically funding critical projects and programs that will have long-lasting impacts,” said Restore America’s Estuaries President Jeff Benoit.

EPA is providing $4 million over four years to Restore America’s Estuaries to fund a wide variety of projects. Projects will include those that apply new or innovative approaches and technologies to treat, remove, or prevent pollution before it enters estuaries; build on and implement existing nutrient management strategies; build local capacity to protect and restore coastal watersheds; and prevent trash from entering or removing trash that has entered coastal waters. Restore America’s Estuaries will fund awards between $75,000 and $250,000.

For more information about Restore America’s Estuaries, visit Protecting & Restoring Our Nation’s Coasts & Estuaries

For more information about the Coastal Watersheds Grant, visit Estuaries and the National Estuary Program.

New York Daily News, August 19th, 2019

FULL TEXT:

ALBANY — New York’s clear air program is strapped for cash.

A Department of Conservation program that collects fees and issues permits to the state’s major air polluters is seeing its revenue decline quicker than its expenses, leading to annual deficits that topped $70 million in 2017, according to an audit conducted by Controller Thomas DiNapoli.

The probe found that the program, meant to be self-sustaining based on fees collected, wound up borrowing from the state’s short-term investment pool and reallocating almost $50.4 million in expenses primarily from its general fund appropriations.

“New Yorkers rely on the Department of Environmental Conservation to control pollution and keep our air clean,” DiNapoli said. “My auditors found that this important program regulating industrial pollution is running a deficit, forcing the agency to spend money that should be going to other priorities.”

Revenues fell 38.8% during the audit period, from 2009 to 2017, while expenses only fell 10.8% during the same time, DiNapoli found.

The good news is that New York’s air quality may be better off despite the program’s shortfalls. The deficit is in part due to a drop in the number of regulated facilities, from 468 to 380, and overall emissions fell 54.4%.

Businesses that emit pollutants from manufacturing chemicals or plastics and energy facilities that burn oil, gas or coal need permits from the state to comply with the federal Clean Air Act. The “Title V Operating Permit Program” requires states to monitor pollutant output, collect permit fees and take action against violators that exceed established limits.

In its response to the audit, the DEC noted that several other states are in the same situation and that “program costs do not decrease as pollution decreases because additional regulatory complexity requires more oversight.”

Auditors looked at 32 invoices totaling $8,328,281, consisting of four invoices from each of the eight years and found inconsistencies and inaccuracies that led to overcharging and underbilling. A total of 15 of the 32 invoices were not accurately documented and seven mistakes led to a total of $352,418 being billed incorrectly.

The audit also found the program uses an overly complex system to record, track and assess fees and the DEC failed to hand over annual reports to the controller’s office in a timely manner.

The DEC said the agency is already taking steps to improve monitoring systems to ensure expenses are appropriately charged and stood by its system.

“As noted in our response to the Comptroller’s report, despite the 90 percent reduction in emissions under the Title V program over the last 20 plus years, resulting in improved air quality for New York communities, program costs have not declined at the same rate, and it is unrealistic and impractical to expect otherwise,” a spokeswoman said. “This challenge is not unique to New York State, which has some of the most rigorous air quality standards in the nation.”

Nature World News, April 2nd, 2019

FULL TEXT:

Staten Island residents have another reason to apply insect repellent and obsessively check for ticks this spring and summer: the population of a new, potentially dangerous invasive pest known as the Asian longhorned tick has grown dramatically across the borough, according to Columbia University researchers. And the tick–which unlike other local species can clone itself in large numbers–is likely to continue its conquest in the months ahead.

"The concern with this tick is that it could transmit human pathogens and make people sick," explains researcher Maria Diuk-Wasser, an associate professor in the Columbia University Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, who studies ticks and human disease risk.

In a new study appearing in the April issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, Diuk-Wasser and colleagues provide the most exhaustive local census of the new species to date–and suggest the Staten Island infestation is far more advanced than previously known.

The researchers found the species Haemaphysalis longicornis in 7 of 13 parks surveyed in 2017 and in 16 of 32 in 2018. In one park, the density of the ticks per 1000 square meters rose almost 1,698 percent between 2017 and 2018, with the number of ticks picked up in the sample area rising from 85 to 1,529. They also found the ticks on anesthetized deer from the area.

The news comes less than a year after the New York City Department of Health announced the discovery of the first member of the species in the city–a single tick–found on southern Staten Island last August.

The tick, native to Asia and Australia, had been identified in the months prior to the Staten Island sighting in New Jersey, West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas and just a few weeks earlier in Westchester County. The Westchester sighting prompted a number of state senators to send a letter urging state health officials to act aggressively to stop the spread of the new species.

Public health officials are particularly concerned because the longhorned tick is notorious for its ability to quickly replicate itself. Unlike deer ticks, the common local variety known for carrying Lyme disease, the female Asian longhorned can copy itself through asexual reproduction in certain environmental conditions, or reproduce sexually, laying 1,000-2,000 eggs at a time. They are typically found in grass in addition to the forested habitats that deer ticks prefer, adding a new complication to public health messaging. The Columbia analysis suggests that the public warnings may have come too late.

"The fact that longhorned tick populations are so high in southern Staten Island will make control of this species extremely difficult," says Meredith VanAcker, a member of Diuk-Wasser’s lab who collected the data as part of her Ph.D. thesis. "And because females don’t need to find male mates for reproduction, it is easier for the population to spread."

The threat these new arrivals pose to human health is still unknown. In Asia, there have been reports of ticks passing on a virus that can cause a number of diseases, including hemorrhagic fever and ehrlichiosis, a bacterial illness that can cause flu-like symptoms and lead to serious complications if not treated.

The arrival of the species on Staten Island adds another unwelcome dimension to the region’s tick woes, which have grown dramatically in recent years. Thanks to an expanding deer population, Lyme disease spread through deer ticks has reached epidemic proportions in some areas of the Northeast. Deer ticks (also called black-legged ticks) are capable of disseminating six other human pathogens.

The first Asian long-horned tick in the U.S. was identified in New Jersey in 2013. A large population was later found on sheep in Mercer County, New Jersey. Diuk-Wasser became aware of the potential danger when a doctor at a Westchester clinic removed a tick from a patient and sent it in for identification. The discovery of the first human bite prompted widespread alarm.

By then, the Columbia team was already in the midst of an extensive "tick census" on Staten Island to determine how the landscape connectivity between urban parks influenced the spread of disease.

The Asian longhorned is easy to miss because it resembles a rare native species of rabbit tick. VanAcker spent months combing areas of Staten Island for ticks, dragging a square-meter corduroy cloth over leaf litter and examining it every 10 to 20 meters Diuk-Wasser, post-doctoral student Danielle Tufts and other members of the Diuk-Wasser lab found huge numbers of them on the bodies of unconscious deer that had been captured and anesthetized by wildlife authorities.

VanAcker found her collections were overflowing with the new species, leading to publication of the current study in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Her work on landscape connectivity, slated to appear in the June issue of the same journal, drives home the difficult decisions facing policymakers as they attempt to arrest the spread of the new species and others like it.

"The easier it is for deer to maneuver through urban landscapes between parks, the more likely the ticks are to spread to new areas," Diuk-Wasser says. "This suggests that the emphasis on urban wildlife corridors has a previously unappreciated downside for human health."

The EPA Thinks So. New York State’s DEC Says No Way.

Published on Apr 22, 2019 3:09PM EDT

Lissa Harris

Few environmental cleanup efforts in US history have been as extensive—or as emotional—as General Electric’s years-long, $1.7 billion dredging project on the Hudson River to remove millions of pounds of PCBs dumped between the 1940s and ’70s.

Last week, that project hit a major milestone—or a major roadblock, depending on your perspective. On April 11, the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a Certificate of Completion to GE for the dredging conducted so far. The certificate was a major victory for GE; the company promptly gave a statement announcing that the dredging had been a success. For New York State, whose own Department of Environmental Conservation holds that the river is still unacceptably contaminated, the EPA’s decision was a slap in the face.

The EPA plans to study the impact of the cleanup effort on the river and its wildlife. Agency officials say that GE could still be compelled to dredge more, or take other actions, if further research shows the cleanup has failed to achieve results. That’s not enough for Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Attorney General Letitia James, who announced within hours of the EPA’s decision that they intend to sue the federal agency.

Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson, the environmental groups that have long been at the forefront of the effort to restore the Hudson River, were also quick to condemn the EPA’s action. In a statement issued about the decision, Riverkeeper explains how the granting of the certificate will make it legally more difficult to compel GE to do more cleanup in future:

Issuing this certificate triggers a “covenant not to sue,” which will severely limit the EPA’s ability to compel GE to conduct additional cleanup action. Therefore, even if the EPA finds after evaluating several additional years of data that the goals of the cleanup will not be met—and that remaining PCBs continue to harm communities and wildlife—it will be more difficult for the EPA to hold GE accountable. In fact, issuing the Certificate of Completion without a fully supported finding that the remedy and the cleanup goals have been met is inconsistent with Superfund law.

Riverkeeper and the New York State DEC don’t always see eye to eye, but on the matter of the Hudson River PCB cleanup, they have been unanimous: GE’s work is not yet done.

New York isn’t the only state where federal and state officials are currently at odds over corporate pollution. Not far from the river, in Edgewater, New Jersey, residents have complained about toxic fumes released by Honeywell’s ongoing cleanup of the Quanta Superfund site. Here too, state officials appear to be taking risks to human health and the impacts of pollution more seriously than their federal counterparts.

According to a report by NorthJersey.com, the EPA has assured residents that despite the smells coming from the site, levels of naphthalene—the main chemical in mothballs—were merely a nuisance, not a danger to human health. But a recent health report issued by the state of New Jersey found otherwise: The state Department of Health has declared that naphthalene levels near the site were high enough to potentially cause harmful short-term health effects” in local residents.

River at a Crossroads

This week, American Rivers named the Hudson as one of America’s ten “Most Endangered Rivers of 2019.” Each year since 1984, the organization has published their Endangered Rivers report, which aims a spotlight on regions where looming critical policy decisions threaten a river and the natural and human communities that surround it. The Hudson River last appeared on the list in 2001, when the GE dredging project was being weighed as a solution to PCB contamination.

The key decision that landed the Hudson on the list for 2019 is an Army Corps of Engineers proposal to build a massive storm surge barrier separating the river and its tidal estuary, New York Harbor, from the Atlantic Ocean. The proposal is one of a number of alternatives currently being evaluated by the corps to deal with the accumulating impacts of climate change and sea level rise on New York City and the surrounding region.

Conservationists are deeply alarmed by the proposal, which would restrict the tidal flow of the river, partially blocking the movement of both water and marine life. In a statement released on Tuesday, Riverkeeper roundly condemned the proposal:

“For the Hudson, the stakes in this decision cannot be overstated. These storm barriers pose a truly existential threat to the Hudson. We cannot–must not–allow these barriers to be built. The twice-daily tides are the essential respiration and the heartbeat of this living ecosystem. The mouth of the river must remain open and unrestricted, as it has been for millennia,” said John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain and Vice President of Advocacy. “The Hudson has never faced a threat even close to this magnitude.”

In a 2018 article about the storm barrier proposal, The Hudson Independent discussed a similar structure that was built in the 1980s, the Eastern Scheldt Barrier in Holland—to the detriment of the river’s tidal estuary, conservationists say. Communities outside the proposed Hudson River barrier’s zone of protection are also worried:

New York State As­sem­bly­man Steven Otis wor­ries about what will hap­pen when the bar­ri­ers close. His con­stituents, in­clud­ing Ma­maro­neck, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye and oth­ers, are out­side the wall. “Where will the wa­ter go?” he asked. “To the Sound Shore com­mu­ni­ties.”

The corps has held a series of public hearings in New York and New Jersey to discuss the storm surge protection proposals. The Brooklyn Eagle has more on the timeline of decision making on the proposal, which will not be complete until at least 2022.

For more background on the efforts to clean up PCBs in the Hudson River, see our January story, “Cleaning Up The Hudson.”

Governor Cuomo Issues Earth Day Proclamation Declaring April 22, 2019, as Earth Day in New York State

Weeklong Celebration of Earth Day with DEC Regional Family-Friendly Events

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is commemorating the 49th anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored and partner events around the state from April 20 through 28. These family-friendly activities include opportunities for New Yorkers to connect with nature by hiking, observing wildlife, planting trees, and learning about the importance of protecting the environment.

“Earth Day is a perfect reminder to get outside and appreciate New York’s natural resources and to ensure that we’re all doing our part to protect and preserve our environment,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in some of the state’s week-long activities and learn more about the programs DEC’s environmental education centers have to offer across the state.”

           Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Earth Day Proclamation celebrating New York’s environmental leadership is attached. Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in 1970, after he toured the devastation of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. On April 22, 1970, demonstrations by an estimated 20 million Americans advocated for a healthy, sustainable environment. Later that same year, DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were established and the Clean Air Act was enacted, providing the authority for federal and state governments to limit emissions. In 1972, sweeping amendments were made to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, predecessor to the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act became law in 1973.

For more information about Earth Day, including a full, detailed listing of this year’s regional family-friendly events and “50 At Home Earth Day Tips,” visit the DEC website.  Additional announcements will be made during New York’s weeklong celebration of Earth Day.

Highlighted DEC Community Earth Week 2019 Events include:

Long Island, Region 1

Monday, April 22, 6 – 9 p.m.: DEC Partner Event: Long Beach Latino Civic Association Earth Week Kickoff Event
Long Beach Library, 111 West Park Avenue, Long Beach
Event/launch party for the civic association’s DEC-funded coastal improvement project. The auditorium will show the film “Bag It” with Spanish subtitles, plus food vendors and other local conservation groups and family friendly environmental giveaways.

Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Eco-Carnival at Suffolk County Environmental Center
Seatuck Environmental Association, 550 South Bay Ave., Islip
For more information call 631-581-6908 or visit Seatuck Environmental Association’s website.

Join DEC environmental educators and other environmental groups for the 10th Annual Eco-Carnival at the Suffolk County Environmental Center. The event features a series of hands-on nature stations, nature-inspired arts and crafts, games and booths, music, food, and ice cream. It’s eco-friendly, nature-based fun for whole family. The event is sponsored by the Seatuck Environmental Association in cooperation with Suffolk County and the town of Islip.

New York City, Region 2

Saturday, April 20, 1 – 3 p.m.
Earth Day Festival at Gantry Plaza State Park, Rainbow Park Playground:
4-09 47th Road, Long Island City
DEC educators will lead a water conservation activity with youth and families at this event organized by New York State Parks.

Thursday, April 25, 11:30 a.m.
Earth Day Celebration, 47-40 21st Street, Long Island City (in courtyard):
DEC in partnership with the State Department of Transportation will host an Earth Day celebration in the courtyard of the regional office. There will be a tree seedling giveaway, a composting demonstration, and hands-on activities facilitated by DEC educators.

Hudson Valley, Region 3

Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls
For more information, call 845-831-3800, email foundation@stonykill.org, or visit DEC’s Stony Kill Farm webpage.

April 20 and 21, 27 and 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Open Barn
Stony Kill Farm maintains a working farm housing chickens, cows, pigs, and sheep. Visit with the farm animals and find out about their care from the volunteer Livestock Caretakers.

April 20, 21, 27, and 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Open Greenhouse
Learn about the life cycle of a plant during your visit to the greenhouse. Visitors can touch and, in some instances, taste what is being grown in the greenhouse.

Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
DEC Partner Event: Drop- In at the Drive-In National Parks Service Earth Day Celebration:
Recycling and earth day activities for all ages at the Hyde Park Drive-In Theater.

Capital District, Region 4

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
For more information call 518-475-0291, e-mail 5Rivers@dec.ny.gov, or visit DEC’s Five Rivers Environmental Education Center webpage.

Visitor center hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Five Rivers Scavenger Hunt
Stop in at the visitor center and pick up a scavenger hunt before heading out to walk the trails at Five Rivers. Visitors are encouraged to bring their imagination and observation skills, because this scavenger hunt is not about collecting things. Instead, it’s all about completing a list of activities, from gazing at clouds, to touching the earth, to taking a closer look at insects.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday April 22, 24, and 26, from 2 – 4 p.m. each day
EarthQuest!
DEC’s Office of Climate Change to play EarthQuest, a role-play game focused on climate change and sustainability. Appropriate for middle and high school students, the game will challenge players to think creatively about solutions for environmental problems. This version of the game will be set in New York State’s Capital District and the Upper Hudson River Estuary. Space is limited. Call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register, and organize friends and bring a group.

Monday, April 22, 1 – 3 p.m.
DEC partner event: Troy Earth Day Cleanup, 594 River St, Troy
A multi-location event to help clean-up the North Central and Hill Side neighborhoods of Troy. Visit City of Troy’s Earth Day website for more information.

Tuesday, April 23, 9:30 a.m.: DEC Fish Stocking at Six Mile Water Works
Six Mile Waterworks located off Fuller Road between Washington and Central Avenues
Join DEC’s Bureau of Fisheries and Bureau of Environmental Education staff as they stock Rensselaer Lake in Albany’s Pine Bush with approximately 2,000 rainbow trout.

Friday, April 26th (Arbor Day) 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Partnership with Albany Goes Green (AGG),10th Anniversary of Arbor Day tree plantings: Tree Planting at Stephen and Harriet Myers House: 194 Livingston Avenue, Albany
DEC environmental educators and foresters will join St. Rose college students and the new City of Albany forester, Jay LaVigne, to help community members plant trees and take part in family-friendly activities.

Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28, various locations
DEC partner event: Canal Clean Sweep
Each Earth Day, the New York State Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails New York host Canal Clean Sweep, a day of spring cleaning in public areas throughout the Canal corridor. Visit the Canal Clean Sweep website for more information.

Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
DEC partner event: Earth Day in the Pine Bush: Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, 195 New Karner Road, Albany
A variety of activities suitable for all ages will be taking place. All equipment will be provided. Meet at the Discovery Center. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit Albany Pine Bush’s website.

Central New York, Region 7


Rogers Environmental Education Center, 2721 State Route 80, Sherburne
For more information call 607-674-4733, email info@FriendsOfRogers.org, or visit Friends of Rogers website.

Family Fun Program: April Showers: Saturday, April 20, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Water is essential for life on earth and is all around us in many forms. Join the Rogers Environmental Education Center to go on a journey to explore water all over the globe and its various properties.

Community Read and Discussion: Monday, April 22, 6 – 8 p.m.
Discuss Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Prodigal Summer with a focus on its environmental themes. Light refreshments will be served, books can be checked out at the Sherburne and Earlville libraries.

Storytime and Hike: Wednesday, April 24 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Join Friends of Rogers educators for songs and a story, followed by a short hike along the trails. Bring a snack or a picnic lunch to enjoy with friends.

Central New York, Region 8

Family Nature Fest: Seneca Park, 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester: Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Participate in nature walks, make observations about nature for a WXXI’s Nature Challenge and the Seneca Park Zoo’s City Nature Challenge, do natural arts & crafts, and meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat!  Participants will also learn what citizen science is, how it helps inform local issues, and showing how families can participate in simple citizen science projects. Some of the activities will be outside, some will be inside, but there will be limited space indoors.  Families can go on guided nature walks with experts.  Please wear appropriate footwear like sneakers, hiking boots, or winter boots.

For more information, contact DEC’s Central Region Environmental Educator, NYSDEC Regional Headquarters, 615 Erie Blvd. West, Syracuse, NY 13204, phone: 315-426-7532

Buffalo Area, Region 9

Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Dr., Depew
For more information call 716-683-5959, e-mail reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov, or visit DEC’s Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve webpage.

Earth Day Home Energy Action Workshop: Monday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.
Celebrate Earth Day by discovering solar power programs and incentives available for your home. Explore home energy efficiency programs and learn practical tips for saving money by conserving energy. Door prizes and light refreshments provided. Registration is required, please call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Nature Apps: Tuesday, April 23, 1:30 p.m.
Explore how to use your smartphone to enhance your nature experience. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Geo-Caching Egg Hunt: Wednesday, April 24, 1:30 p.m. Participants will learn how to use a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and use the handheld GPS units to find hidden eggs in the preserve. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Solar Solutions: Thursday, April 25, 1:30 p.m.
Discover the fun side of science as we harness the power of the sun to bake, create art, and more!  For children ages 8 and up. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Citizen Science: Project Squirrel: Friday, April 26, 10:30 a.m.
Come join us on the trail as we learn how to be citizen scientists and record squirrel sightings in the preserve. Once you’ve learned, you can do at home too. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

Nature Tech Adventure: Birding: Friday, April 26, 1:30 p.m.
Celebrate John James Audubon’s birthday by birding in the woods! Incorporate technology with birding and learn about eBird and the Merlin bird ID app. For children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959.

 

DEC ANNOUNCES STATEN ISLAND “I LOVE MY PARK DAY”

Volunteer Cleanup Event on May 4 at Mount Loretto Unique Area

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Region 2 is seeking volunteers for the annual “I Love My Park Day” on Saturday, May 4, at the Mount Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island. I Love My Park Day is a statewide event sponsored by DEC, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Parks & Trails New York to enhance parks, historic sites, and public lands by raising awareness and visibility of the state’s outdoor recreation assets. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that registration is now open for I Love My Park Day and encouraged New Yorkers to sign up for cleanup events happening statewide.

Volunteer activities at Mount Loretto Unique Area begin at 10:00 a.m. on May 4, and include:

  • Project 1: Tree planting. Volunteers are asked to meet at the kiosk by the main entrance.
  • Project 2: Beach Clean-up. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Mt. Loretto Pavilion, near the beach entrance.

Work gloves will be provided for both activities, but volunteers should dress appropriately for working outdoors and wear sunscreen and insect repellant. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Mount Loretto Unique Area is located at 6320 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10309.

Registration for I Love My Park Day statewide can be completed by visiting: DEC ANNOUNCES STATEN ISLAND “I LOVE MY PARK DAY”