Sunday, October 09, 2011

Gulf Coast Task Force Releases Ecosystem Restoration Strategy For Public Review

Gulf Coast Task Force Releases Ecosystem Restoration Strategy For Public Review

Agenda outlines blueprint for reversing decline of Gulf Coast ecosystem

WASHINGTON - The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, chaired by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, today released for public review and feedback its comprehensive preliminary strategy for long term ecosystem restoration. The strategy, which will be presented to President Obama at the end of the public review period, represents an historic opportunity for addressing long-standing issues contributing to the decline of the Gulf’s critical ecosystem. The preliminary strategy is the first effort of its kind to be developed with the involvement of parties throughout the region, including the states, tribes, federal agencies, local governments and thousands of interested citizens and organizations. The plan strategy, which builds upon on-going efforts underway in the Gulf Coast states includes specific steps for on-the-ground action and represents the Task Force’s commitment to putting Gulf coastal restoration on an equal footing with other national priorities. 
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Read the entire release at our Gulf Coast Post blog
http://gulfcoastpost.org/2011/10/gulf-coast-task-force-releases.html

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cornell Cooperative Extension Announces Three-Day Invasive Species Workshop

Cornell Cooperative Extensive is happy to announce the schedule for this year's three-day invasive species in-service workshop for CCE educators, PRISM members, and other invasive species partners: Tuesday, November 15 - Thursday, November 17. This year's sessions will be held in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations conference center on the Cornell University campus.


Tuesday, November 15 - Thursday, November 17, 2011
Cornell University, ILR Conference Center, Ithaca, NY

Invasive Species Education:
Our Strongest Tool for Invasive Species Prevention and Management

Over the past three years, the November invasive species inservice workshops have focused on: the species themselves, their impacts and on-going research (2008); applying research results and basic education tools to "fight" invasive species (2009); and, moving beyond the basics into the larger issues of being more proactive in prevention, early-detection, rapid response, and long-term management and control (2010).  This year's workshop is going to move to the next level of using research and education in the fight against existing and new invasions. Based upon input solicited from Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs), CCE County Association educators, and other partners, this workshop will address in detail how to develop and apply various outreach education techniques to effectively prevent, identify, and manage invasive species at statewide, regional and local levels. Presentations will include a mixture of invasive species science, education process skills, educational program planning, invasive species control and management, and restoration techniques. Ample time will be provided within the structure of the workshop for interaction between attendees and presenters and among attendees.
Conference hotel packages have been arranged at the Ithaca Best Western University Inn (1020 Ellis Hollow Road, 607-272-6100 x 4714) and the Ithaca Courtyard by Marriot (29 Thornwood Drive, 607-330-1000 or 866-541-3600).


Tuesday Sessions
Part 1 (8:00 am - 10:00 a.m.)
Part 2 (10:30 am - 12:00 pm)
Part 3 (1:30 pm - 3:00 pm)
Part 4 (3:30 pm - 5:00 pm)


Wednesday Sessions
Part 1 (8:00 am - 10:00 a.m.)
Part 2 (10:30 am - 12:00 pm)
Part 3 (1:30 pm - 3:00 pm)
Part 4 (3:30 pm - 5:00 pm)

Thursday Sessions
Part 1 (8:00 am - 9:00 am)
Part 2 (11:00 am - 12:30 pm)
Part 3 (1:30 pm - 3:00 pm)
Part 4 (3:30 pm - 5:00 pm)





2011 Invasive Species In-service Thematic Outline - Working Draft

Tuesday Morning
            Update on invasive species in NY (new invasions, spread of existing species, research updates,  mitigation/management updates)

Tuesday Afternoon
            Current state of invasive species knowledge (DEC pathways study; underlying causes of invasion; economic impact of Long Island legislation; effects of climate change on invasives; top agricultural pests; top forestry pests; top horticultural pests)

Wednesday Morning
            Early detection/rapid response and how to make the best use of resources (the effort to standardize the process of early detection of plants statewide; use of the TNC decision tree to prioritize efforts; novel detection projects; impact specifics {economic, human health, etc.} that can be used to “sell” public on reality of the invasive species issue; update on invasive species mapping)

Wednesday Afternoon
            Context Appropriate Invasive Species Management (evaluating new herbicide applications; restoration efforts to suppress invasives; use of native alternatives; plant/seed mixes to discourage invasive species; BMPs for control of select species; Strategic Management and Monitoring – are we reaching conservation goals?)

Thursday Morning
Working with stakeholders - Part 1 (Citizen Science and volunteer recruitment techniques; engaging communities to prepare for invasive species; existing programs/projects that utilize volunteers, not-for-profits, partner agencies, etc. for citizen science data collection; age appropriate invasive species activities for youth)

Thursday Afternoon
            Working with stakeholders - Part 2 (the role of outreach education; organize stakeholder groups to get involved in volunteer removal projects; EAB community preparedness planning – what’s working, what could be improved, can it be applied to other approaching threats; group take home assignment: develop action plans for enhancing our regional networks and partnership projects)
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For more information, contact:

Charles R. O'Neill, Jr.
Coordinator, Invasive Species Programs
Cornell Cooperative Extension
365 Roberts Hall Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853
Voice: 585-831-6165
E-mail: chuck.oneill@cornell.edu
Web site: http://nyis.info

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Adirondack Research Institute, Inc. is Launched to Provide Global Research Expertise and Focus Resources in Select Areas

NEWS RELEASE

The Adirondack Research Institute, Inc. is Launched to Provide Global Research Expertise and Focus Resources in Select Areas
Dedicated to improving the world for current and future generations.

McLean, VA and Keene, NY, October 1, 2011 – The Adirondack Research Institute, Inc., a new non-profit research focused think tank and institute was formed to serve as a global leader and concentrate research efforts, financial resources, and expertise in a number of key sectors:  Economics; Education; Emerging Markets; Energy; Entrepreneurship; and Excellence.

“Our decision to launch The Adirondack Research Institute, Inc. at this time was driven by a confluence of dynamic factors – the demand for more resources, leadership and guidance in developing alternative energy sources; the increased pace of globalization; the expansion of developing markets, including the frontier markets; and the continued spread of democracy and expansion of free market capitalism as demonstrated by the Arab Spring,”  commented Edmund L. Luzine, Jr., Founder and Managing Director of Adirondack.  “Those factors, combined with the vast expansion of knowledge driven by fundamental scientific research, the explosion of information technology, 24/7 media coverage, social media, the impact of the financial crises combined with natural disasters, and the break-down of governmental agencies during a period of global war and recession have created the need for a new and innovative non-profit research institute and charity.

“We have been very impressed with the pace of globalization and the spread of capitalism, and the need for a research institute to be focused on supporting these items along with promoting excellence in government and corporate operations, and promoting other initiatives, such as a global energy strategy focused on cleaner sources of energy – clean natural gas, clean coal technology, nuclear/solar power, wind power, an improved energy storage and distribution grid and many other areas of benefit to the world’s residents,”  he added.

The new think tank will allow individual and corporate donors to capitalize on Adirondack’s global infrastructure of experts and its network of corporate, governmental and academic relationships in order to direct research and focus donations to provide solutions and assistance where it is needed most.

Adirondack’s first donation was made in the Education sector - to the St. Agnes School in Lake Placid, New York.  ARI is currently working on a number of projects to promote and support veterans of the current global war, and to concentrate research efforts on the rare earth elements.

About The Adirondack Research Institute, Inc.:
Adirondack is a newly launched non-profit research institute and think tank formed to serve as a global leader and focus its efforts on a number of key sectors.  These sectors include, but are not limited to:  Economics; Education; Emerging Markets; Energy; Entrepreneurship; and Excellence.  ARI was founded by investment banker, professor and Army Colonel Edmund L. Luzine, Jr., an expert in the global emerging markets who has lived and worked in over 48 nations - from Afghanistan to Yugoslavia.  He was one of the initial pioneers and a major participant in the trading of LDC (lesser developed countries) or global emerging markets assets in the early 1990s.  Mr. Luzine worked for many years at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson North America LLC, Dresdner Bank, AG and First Chicago in New York.  He also served as an advisor to the World Bank Resident Mission in Sarajevo, Bosnia and assisted in privatizing state-owned assets, developing a new currency, and re-structuring the banking sector in order to stabilize Eastern Europe and assist with the reconstruction and development program after many years of war and the failure of communism.  He worked with Iraqi ex-pats at the US State Department, as a participant in the Future of Iraq Work Groups – established to repair and assist the development of a nation devastated by nearly 30 years of war.  He is an adjunct finance professor in the MBA program at Union Graduate College of Union University in upstate New York.  Lt. Colonel Luzine was one of the key special operations officers recalled to active duty after the 9/11 attacks and served in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) in 2002 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.  His duties in the Middle East and Central Asia involved funding reconstruction projects that built schools, renovated hospitals, overhauled irrigation systems, redistributed oil for food supplies, and numerous other operational and stabilization efforts.  Adirondack’s offices are located in New York and Virginia.  ARI is also affiliated with related entities that maintain a regional Latin American office in Miami and an Asian office in Singapore.

The Adirondack Research Institute, Inc. plans to open additional offices in the Middle East and Africa within the next year. 

Donors, friends, and associates may sign up for our email updates at ARI’s website listed below and we also encourage you all to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Donations, requests for grants and other non-media inquires may visit us on the Internet at our home page of www.adirondackresearchinstitute.org

For Press Inquiries Contact:
(703) 725-8303
____________________________________
Source: The Adirondack Research Institute, Inc.
P. O. Box 3648
Tysons Corner, VA 22103
(703) 725-8303
www.adirondackresearchinstitute.org

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Finger Lakes Institute announces its 7th year of the Finger Lakes Research Conference

The Finger Lakes Institute celebrates its 7th year of the Finger Lakes Research Conference, scheduled for November 19, by recognizing just a few of the research scientists that dedicate their work to studying the Finger Lakes environment. This issue of Happenings introduces you to just of few of the scientists working in the region. Visit the Finger Lakes Institute web page dedicated to these honored scientists. They have shared their personal inspirations, concerns, and descriptions of their work to offer transparency and clear understanding of the science that is conducted in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Dr. Lisa Cleckner 
  • Dr. Susan Cushman 
  • Dr. Bruce Gilman
  • Dr. John Halfman
  • Dr. Darrin Magee 
  • Dr. Nicholas Metz 
Interested in learning more? Attending the Finger Lakes Research Conference is an opportunity to interact and network with these research scientists, and many others, to learn of their findings, and share your concerns and ideas for future work. Abstracts for presenting at the conference (students welcome!) are due October 10 and early attendee registration closes on November 10.


Finger Lakes Research Conference
 November 19, 2011

Submit your abstract by October 10 to

Members of the public, students, educators, independent scientists are encouraged to attend and participate!
Learn More!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

EPA Announces the Healthy Watersheds Initiative National Framework and Action Plan, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the release of the Healthy Watersheds Initiative (HWI) National Framework and Action Plan. The HWI is intended to protect the nation’s remaining healthy watersheds, prevent them from becoming impaired, and accelerate restoration successes. The HWI National Framework and Action Planaims to provide a clear consistent framework for action, both internally among EPA’s own programs and externally in working with the Agency’s partners. EPA will work with states and other partners to identify healthy watersheds at the state scale and develop and implement comprehensive state healthy watersheds strategies that set priorities for protection and inform priorities for restoration.

Healthy watersheds provide many ecological services as well as economic benefits. If successfully implemented, the HWI promises to greatly enhance our nation’s ability to meet the Clean Water Act Section 101(a) objective of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. The HWI National Framework and Action Plan is available at www.epa.gov/healthywatersheds

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

DEADLINE LOOMING: Support New York's efforts to keep aquatic invasive species out of our Waters

New York State has enacted strong regulations to curb the spread of aquatic invasive species introduced into the state’s waters through ballast water discharges. In absence of strong federal protections, these regulations have put in place stringent technology requirements, based on sound science, for ships operating throughout New York’s waters (the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, Hudson River, NY Harbor, etc) as well as traveling through those same waters, effectively creating a standard for the entire Great Lakes region!

However, these regulations have recently come under attack, and we need to urge Governor Cuomo to stand firm on keeping new aquatic invasive species out of our waterways!

About two weeks ago, Governors from WI, IN and Ohio sent a letter to New York Governor Cuomo stating that New York’s standards will hurt their respective economies and that there is currently no technology to meet their own standards. This is not the case. In fact, New York has a company that has certified that they have technology to meet this standard for New York and California.

To help make sure the State maintains its strong standards, please sign onto the attached (and pasted below) letter to Governor Cuomo in support of New York’s comprehensive ballast water program. We are planning on delivering this letter to the Governor on Friday October 7th, so please reply to me (smahar@audubon.org) by Close of Business October 6th with the following information if your organization can sign on:
  • Name 
  • Title 
  • Organization
  • City, State 

Thanks for your help in keeping invasive species out of our waterways, and please feel free to forward this onto others!
____________________
Source: Sean Mahar
Director of Government Relations and Communications
Audubon New York
200 Trillium Lane
Albany, NY 12203
518-869-9731
518-869-0737 (Fax)
518-253-7000 (Cell)
smahar@audubon.org

DEC Announces Hurricane Emergency Loan Program (HELP)



Aerial view of a wastewater treatment plant surrounded by floodwaters
Up to $1 million in no-interest loans is available
to municipalities with damaged drinking water
or wastewater treatment facilities.
(Photo: Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department)
A new emergency loan program will help local governments make immediate repairs to drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Hurricane Emergency Loan Program (HELP) will provide up to $1 million in no-interest loans for each municipality that needs critical assessment and repair of flood damage to its drinking water or wastewater treatment facility. Repairs to pump stations, electrical equipment, treatment facilities and other critical equipment are eligible for the loans. Communites can also obtain funds to hire temporary emergency services, such as vacuum truck hauling, bypass pumping and disinfection, and related engineering and other professional services.

A $25 Million Emergency Fund

To create this $25 million emergency fund, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) is using funds from the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). SRFs traditionally provide short- and long-term financing for major improvements to water and sewer systems in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo called the loans "a lifeline to communities working hard to recover from these devastating storms," and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens noted that "the sooner repairs can be made, the sooner drinking water can be fully protected and harm to the environment can be minimized."
EFC President and CEO Matthew J. Driscoll noted, "DEC organized engineers from DEC, EFC, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to perform site inspections that will qualify a municipality for both a HELP loan and FEMA assistance." Driscoll is also co-chairman of the governor's Upstate Storm and Flooding Recovery Task Force.

EFC created the HELP loans in cooperation with the State Department of Health (DOH), DEC, the State Emergency Management Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EFC and DOH administer the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, while EFC and DEC administer the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

DEC engineers have contacted all affected facilities and are available for further assistance. EFC financial analysts are available to drinking water and wastewater plant administrators and other officials for questions and consultation. For more information and assistance with a HELP loan, local governments in counties designated as eligible for FEMA assistance are invited to call James Levine, EFC Senior Vice President and General Counsel at 1-800-882-9721 or via e-mail at irenerecovery@efc.ny.gov
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Source: NY DEC EnvironmentDEC October Issue

Think Twice When Fertlizing your Lawn This Fall

Everyone lives in a watershed whether you live close to a body of water or not. A watershed is the surrounding land that drains into a lake, stream, or river. It includes drainage systems such as ditches and storm sewers, which means you have a direct effect on water quality.

As we welcome fall, many homeowners realize it is time to fertilize your lawn. The grass has endured the summer stresses and the cool temperatures provide the perfect opportunity for recovery. The benefits of fall fertilization include a healthier turf before winter along with a healthier root system.

Before you fertilize however, think responsibly. Phosphates are a major source of pollution in lakes and streams, and high phosphate levels support over-production of algae and water weeds. Phosphorous comes from many sources such as leaves, lawn clippings, animal waste, and it is in most lawn fertilizers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some wonderful videos and publications on Healthy Lawn Care Practices that you can apply to reduce the amount of runoff pollutants in your watershed.
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