Archive for December, 2019


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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.

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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.