A Voice from the Eastern Door

Environment / Gardening


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  • Clarkson Grad Student to Study Mercury in the St. Lawrence River

    Apr 12, 2018

    Clarkson University graduate student Evie Brahmstedt was awarded a $500 grant from the New York State Wetlands Forum. Her research on mercury mobilization in St. Lawrence River wetlands in response to changing water levels was recognized at the recent New York State Wetlands Forum Annual Conference, held in Watkins Glen. Since mercury is a harmful neurotoxin and can bioaccumulate in fish and humans, the key to understanding the impact on mercury mobilization will be to determine how fast mercury is released, where it goes, and in what form. As...

  • Take a Personal Journey and Get Ready for Earth Day 2018

    Mar 29, 2018

    To End Plastic Pollution and to recognize World Water Day, let’s take a look at how microplastic pollution gets into our drinking water supply. Here are some facts for you to consider: PLASTIC POLLUTION FACT: Microplastics (extremely small pieces of plastic) are present in almost all water systems in the world—streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. PLASTIC POLLUTION FACT: 83% of the samples of tap water tested from major metropolitan areas around the world were contaminated with plastic fibers. In another study, 93% of water samples from maj...

  • Not in Tents, Just Intense

    Feb 8, 2018

    Submitted by Paul Hetzler, Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator, CCE St. Lawrence County Winter is not the season when people think about tents, except maybe to be glad they don’t live in one. I do have friends who love winter camping, and the fact they have never extended an invitation is evidence of how much they value our friendship. Oddly enough, winter is a crucial time to look for signs of forest-tent caterpillars (FTC). In spite of their name, FTC do not weave a silken tent-like nest as do their close cousins the eastern tent cate...

  • Will the Extreme Winter Cold Wipe Out Ticks?

    Jan 18, 2018

    Submitted by Richard Gast I’ve been asked on four different occasions, recently, how tick populations will be impacted by the December/January below-zero cold. Some of those asking had heard reports, apparently claiming that tick populations would be decimated, if not eradicated, by the prolonged period of extremely cold weather. We’d all certainly welcome that. It’s probable that you or someone you know has been affected by ticks and/or by Lyme disease. And any downward pressure on tick populations is welcome. But, the answer isn’t that si...

  • U.S. Senate Tax Bill Includes Drilling in Arctic Refuge

    Dec 7, 2017

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attached to the Republican tax plan that passed the Senate on Friday was a provision that would open up 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Republican lawmakers have been trying to allow drilling in the refuge for years. But according to Marissa Knodel, Associate Legislative Council with the environmental law firm EarthJustice, the majority of Americans want the wilderness area left untouched. Past efforts weren’t able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster. But b...

  • Native American tribe bracing for Keystone pipeline leak impact

    Nov 22, 2017

    Reprinted with permission from APTN A Native American tribe in South Dakota is on edge following a large oil leak from TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline. TransCanada said in a statement Thursday 795,000 liters of oil leaked from an underground section of its Keystone pipeline near Amherst, S.D., about 64 kilometers west from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribal chairman David Flute said his community is concerned the leak, the largest by the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota to date, c...

  • Nebraska Approves Alternate Route for TransCanada Keystone Pipeline

    Kaniehtonkie|Nov 22, 2017

    After nearly a decade of debate, protests and hearings Nebraska officials voted Monday to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the state, a key step toward the completion of the Keystone Pipeline network. The state's Public Service Commission voted 3-2 in favor of the expansion pipeline, just days after the existing Keystone Pipeline spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. Under Nebraska law, the state Public Service Commission is not allowed to consider pipeline safety and spill risk...

  • Governors Report 14 States and Puerto Rico are 'On Track' to Hit Paris Climate Targets

    Sep 28, 2017

    (September 20, 2017) New York, NY -- Citing recent extreme weather event as further evidence of the urgent need for climate solutions, the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA)--an effort among 14 states and Puerto Rico to reduce greenhouse gas emissions--released a report showing that member states are collectively on track to meet and possibly exceed their portion of the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement. Representing the USCA, Governors Brown (CA) Cuomo (NY), and Inslee (WA), were joined by former Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss how...

  • Trump Plans to Remove Protection to 10 National Monuments

    Sep 21, 2017

    The Trump administration's plan for shrinking and diminishing protections at America's national monuments appears far more expansive than previously reported, targeting 10 of the nation's most ecologically sensitive landscapes and marine preserves. The plan, which the White House has been keeping secret since it was submitted by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke late last month, would shrink the borders at half a dozen monuments and ocean preserves and open four others up for uses such as...

  • Antidepressants Found in Fish Brains in Great Lakes Region

    Sep 7, 2017

    By Charlotte Hsu (August 31, 2017) BUFFALO, N.Y. — Human antidepressants are building up in the brains of bass, walleye and several other fish common to the Great Lakes region, scientists say. In a new study, researchers detected high concentrations of these drugs and their metabolized remnants in the brain tissue of 10 fish species found in the Niagara River. This vital conduit connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, via Niagara Falls. The discovery of antidepressants in aquatic life in the river raises serious e...

  • Acid Rain Still Impacting Adirondack Lakes and Forest

    Aug 31, 2017

    By Richard Gast, CCE Program Assistant: Horticulture and Natural Resources, Master Gardener In a recent newsletter from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, she mentioned visiting the facilities of the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation to discuss strategies for measuring and combating acid rain in the Adirondacks. Although acid rain remains an important topic of study and discussion, the once commonplace phrase has become somewhat obscure in recent years and the problems associated with acid rain have taken a back seat to other, more widely...

  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid - Forest Landowners Take Note

    Aug 17, 2017

    By Richard Gast, CCE Program Assistant: Horticulture and Natural Resources, Master Gardener Eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) are one of the most beautiful conifers found in northern New York forests. It can take up to 300 years for them to reach mature heights of up to 70 feet and diameters of up to 3-feet. They commonly live for 500 years and can live for 800 years or longer. Many are among the oldest trees in the state. In their northern range, they're found at a variety of elevations (sea...

  • NY, CA & WA GOVERNORS ANNOUNCE FORMATION OF CLIMATE ALLIANCE

    Jun 8, 2017

    In response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement on June 1, 2017, that same day, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay R. Inslee, announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change. “The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has devastating reper...

  • How to Dispose of Paint

    Jun 8, 2017

    The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne would like to inform the community of the proper way to dispose of paint and paint cans. Recently, a well-intentioned individual attempted to dispose of a paint can with the rest of their recyclable materials. However, the paint leaked and contaminated all of the other materials that were to be recycled. As a result the materials had to be disposed of at a landfill and not recycled. MCA is reminding the community that wet paint is strictly prohibited from being disposed of with the regular trash or recyclables...

  • US Attorneys General Band Together to Fight Trumps Rollbacks of Air Quality Standards and Reconfirm Commitment to Paris Climate Agreement

    May 4, 2017

    April 26, 2017. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of 16 Attorneys General in urging Congress to reject the rollback of critical protective ozone air quality standards. In letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Attorneys General detailed their opposition to S. 263 / H.R. 806, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, which would substantially delay the ozone standards promulgated by the...

  • Native American & Environmental Groups File Law Suit Against Trump's Keystone XL Pipeline Permit

    Apr 6, 2017

    The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and North Coast Rivers Alliance (NCRA) have filed suit in Federal District Court in Great Falls, Montana, challenging the Presidential Permit issued by President Trump allowing construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Stephan Volker, attorney for IEN and NCRA, filed the suit on Monday, March 27th. The suit alleges that the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“FSEIS”) fails to (1) provide a detailed and independent Project purpose and need, (2) analy...

  • GOVERNOR CUOMO AND GOVERNOR BROWN REAFFIRM COMMITMENT TO EXCEEDING TARGETS OF THE CLEAN POWER PLAN

    Mar 30, 2017

    (March 28, 2017) With the announcement that the United States will begin to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued the following statement reaffirming their ongoing commitment to exceed the targets of the Clean Power Plan and curb carbon pollution: “Dismantling the Clean Power Plan and other critical climate programs is profoundly misguided and shockingly ignores basic science. With this move, the Administration will endanger public health, our environment and our e...

  • Bad Emeralds

    Mar 23, 2017

    Submitted by Paul Hetzler Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Kermit the Frog may have lamented “It’s not easy bein’ green,” but these days, everyone wants to market themselves as “green.” It seems to make us feel good. You might recall how in the early ‘90s, lawn-care giant ChemLawn became (unfairly, to be honest) a magnet for public criticism as risks related to pesticide use became more widely known. With the help of some green paint for their trucks, and a pile of trademark lawye...

  • FALL GARDEN CHORES

    Oct 6, 2016

    • Pull dead annuals, leaving the roots to decompose in the soil • Divide perennials to make room for next spring’s garden • Fertilize in early fall to help next year’s lawn • Repair dead patches –seeding in the fall gives you fewer weeds • Clear plant debris and stubborn weeds from the garden • Clean your garden tools to get them ready for winter storage • Plant bulbs for next year’s spring blooms • Mow the fallen leaves instead of raking to help feed the lawn – remove excess leaves before they matt down and smother the grass • To keep rain...

  • Governor Cuomo Announces Establishment of Clean Energy Standard that Mandates 50 Percent Renewables by 2030

    Aug 11, 2016

    (August 1, 2016) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Public Service Commission’s approval of New York’s Clean Energy Standard, the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state’s history, to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution, and ensure a diverse and reliable energy supply. The Clean Energy Standard will require 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030, with an aggressive phase in schedule over the next several years. In i...

  • River Institute Monitoring Bats in Eastern Ontario

    Jul 21, 2016

    Cornwall – Thanks to grants from the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the Ontario Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, the River Institute is busy this summer gathering information to help protect declining populations of bats in Eastern Ontario. The funds will help engage youth and families from SD&G and Ottawa in survey and monitoring work to evaluate artificial bat houses as a rehabilitation tool for threatened species of bats. Bats in eastern North America are undergoing a dramatic p...

  • US Government Upholds Its Treaty Obligations - Rejects Giant Coal Export Terminal

    May 19, 2016

    By Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign (May 9, 2016) This is big—for our climate, for clean air and water, for our future. It’s also big because the U.S. government is honoring its treaty obligations. After a five-year struggle that engaged hundreds of thousands of people, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a landmark decision Monday to deny federal permits for the biggest proposed coal export terminal in North America—the SSA Marine’s proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, a coal export facility at Xwe’chi...

  • Do you really need to use a pesticide?

    Apr 7, 2016

    Like humans, pests need three critical elements to survive: food, water, and shelter. Before using pesticides, try these three simple steps to control or kill pests: STARVE THEM OUT! Pests will eat just about anything, but they might leave you alone if they don’t have easy access to food: • Seal up boxes and bags of food. Roaches love cardboard boxes and can climb into these items with ease. • Store open food in plastic bags or containers, such as cereal, flour, or sugar. Do you really want to share your sweets with ants? • Immediately clean u...

  • Former VP Al Gore Leads Coalition of AG's on Historic State Based Effort to Combat Climate Change

    Mar 31, 2016

    Unprecedented Coalition vows to defend climate change progress made under President Obama and to push the next President for even more aggressive action; Attorneys Generals from California, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington State and the US Virgin Islands agree to coordinate efforts to use all the tools at their disposal to fight for climate progress. NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today joined...

  • 2,696 Sewage Overflows into NY Waters Endanger Public Health

    Mar 17, 2016

    Albany – Environmental Advocates of New York has released a new report – Tapped Out: New York’s Clean Water in Peril – which documents sewage overflows and the rampant underreporting of such spills in New York State. The report also documents how underinvestment has lead to a crumbling infrastructure and increased sewage discharges in New York waterways. A review of data published through the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in accordance with the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act of 2012, shows that between May 2013 and Jun...

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