Environment

Kevin Montano / The New York Reporting Project at Utica College

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has designated this past week as Invasive Species Awareness Week. The goal is to encourage the public to help stop and reverse the spread of invasives. A group of volunteers from central New York has joined the battle.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Legislature has agreed to contribute its share in funding a plan to clean up a portion of Ley Creek, which is polluted with toxic chemicals. The money will be reimbursed to the county by the company responsible for the pollution.

Farmers helping to limit algae in Great Lakes

Jul 2, 2016
Elizabeth Miller / Great Lakes Today

Summers along the Great Lakes include fishing, boating -- and dangerous algae blooms that can shut down beaches. These blooms are caused by excess phosphorous, a lot of which comes from farms. Now some of the region's farmers are testing agricultural practices that could reduce harmful runoff.

Duane Stateler and his son Anthony run Stateler Family Farms, one of a handful of demonstrations farms across the country. Over the next five years, three farms in Northwest Ohio will test different practices to find out what reduces phosphorus runoff.

In this archived broadcast from June 29, 1990, John Weeks talks about tulip trees and the Baltimore oriole. He gives a brief history of both species and their modern day roles in the natural world.

Courtesy: Save the River

On June 23, 1976, an oil barge called the NEPCO-140 ran into a shoal on the St. Lawrence River, spilling 300,000 gallons of crude into the heart of the Thousand Islands. The "Slick of ‘76" remains one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history.

That tragic incident changed how local residents viewed the St. Lawrence River. Many felt a strong urge to protect it from future catastrophes.

In this archived broadcast from June 25, 1992, John Weeks speaks about bird songs and their qualities.  Songs by different species of thrush, wrens, thrasher and others are interspersed throughout the talk.  Weeks examines each song, touching on qualities such as tone and energy.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Aging homes, poverty and unemployment force too many central New Yorkers to live in housing that just isn’t safe according to the New York state attorney general’s office. So it’s giving Home HeadQuarters $1 million to create the Greater Syracuse Green and Healthy Homes Initiative.

Local governments and several agencies have signed a pact promising to support initiatives that will lead to healthy homes. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said one of the big issues will focus on potential lead poisoning from lead paint.

Save the River

On June 23, 1976, an oil barge called the NEPC-140 ran into a shoal on the St. Lawrence River, spilling 300,000 gallons of crude into the heart of the Thousand Islands. On this, the 40th anniversary, the ”Slick of ‘76” remains one of the largest inland oil spills in the United States.

A Study in Bird Nesting

Jun 8, 2016
Dan Dangler / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 10, 1993, John Weeks discusses the observations he made during a study of a local wetland.  These observations include several notes on the nesting habits of over a dozen different bird species. 

Worst of the worst Great Lakes invasive species: Sea Lamprey

Jun 4, 2016
Angelica A. Morrison / Great Lakes Today

The sharp scent of chemicals bites the air as Jason Krebill wades in a creek and pulls out two slippery, slimy, parasitic creatures.

He’s holding dead adult sea lampreys, one in each hand. They’re about two feet long, with suction-cupped mouths, lined with nearly a dozen rows of sharp teeth.

Like a vampire, the sea lamprey latches onto its prey and sucks the blood and nutrients out of fish in all five of the Great Lakes. Krebill, a biological science technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a part of a team whose job it is to control the invasive species.

Changes in Birdwatching

Jun 3, 2016
Keith Williams / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 4, 1992, John Weeks discusses some observations in migration patterns he has witnessed while bird watching and offers a metaphor involving his daughter moving to a new home.

Flying Architects

Jun 1, 2016
Henry T. McLin / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from June 7, 1991, John Weeks discusses nature's flying architects, commonly known as birds.  Weeks covers the nest building of several species including Baltimore orioles and hummingbirds.

Mice

May 27, 2016
Michael Becker / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 27, 2005, John Weeks discusses the role mice play in maintaining an ecosystem.  Weeks goes into detail on how mice provide meals for several predator species and how this makes mice important members of the natural world.

Sarah Harris / NCPR

Across the North Country, wind energy has forced communities to ask tough questions about what they stand to gain or lose from the industry. Most recently, the town of Clayton, in the Thousand Islands, has barred all wind development for six months. The move came after developers showed renewed interest in building the Horse Creek Wind Farm. Clayton's moratorium gives town leaders time to consider ways to protect their interests.

Celebrating Nature's Art

May 25, 2016
covrazio / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 23, 2003, John Weeks discusses some of the local nature art exhibits.  Weeks talks about the Great Swamp Conservancy and the Sterling Nature Center, among other topics.

SUNY ESF

Every year an international committee of taxonomists for SUNY ESF’s International Institute for Species Exploration comes up with a list of the top ten new species discovered in the last year. For the first time, it has social media to thank for one of the discoveries.

It was a random posting on Facebook in Brazil of a carnivorous plant called a sundew. There are nearly 200 variations of the plant that secretes a thick mucus on its leaves, which traps insects. This particular plant, which at four feet high is taller than any others, wasn’t in any science books.

Strange Sounds of Nature

May 20, 2016
Tom Moseley / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 21, 2004, John Weeks reviews the strange sounds one might hear on a spring evening.  Weeks goes into depth on the calls of the pie-billed grebe, the woodcock, the rough grouse and more.

An Episode with Deer

May 18, 2016
Andrew Reding / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 17, 1991, John Weeks recalls an encounter he had with several deer while walking a nature trail. 

Nature Trails

May 18, 2016
Don Rogers / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 20, 2005, John Weeks discusses local nature trails.  Weeks touches on his hand in constructing the trail designs and gives accounts of experiences he's had on these trails. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use path which extends 360 miles across upstate New York following the original manmade waterway. But there are still large gaps in the trail that advocacy groups want completed.

There are about 288 miles of trail open to the public, but that leaves about 72 miles that still to need to be completed to connect the project. Greg Francese of Parks & Trails New York said there is money to complete 20 unfinished miles of the gap, but funding is needed for the remainder. He estimates that would  cost about $40 million.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Binghamton resident Sara Hopkins wants her good, used clothes to have a second chance. But there are some she simply doesn't donate.

"I'm honestly not sure the best way to get rid of ratty old clothes, [like] old gym clothes with holes in them," she said in her home on the city's east side. 

"I don't know how to recycle those, so they usually end up going in the garbage."

It turns out a lot of ratty old clothes -- and plenty of not-so-ratty ones -- don’t end up at Goodwill or the Salvation Army. They find their way into the trash.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Scientists are going to war against an invasive insect that’s decimating the ash tree population in central New York, by using one of its natural predators. While these tiny wasps may not stop the current infestation in its tracks, they may help deal with these kinds of things in the future.

SUNY ESF graduate student Mike Jones spends a lot of time scraping the bark off of dead ash trees. And occasionally, he’ll find a plump emerald ash borer larva.

The Aftermath of Winter

May 13, 2016

In this archived broadcast from May 9, 2003, John Weeks talks about the aftermath of winter.  Weeks remarks on the visible marks that winter leaves behind each year and how that effects the natural world. 

David Stone / Flickr

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is updating the public on its deer management programs. Deer programs used by towns and villages are seeing results but still need to track the lasting effects.

David Chanatry / New York Reporting Project at Utica College

The dispute over whether an energy company should be storing natural gas in salt caverns underneath Seneca Lake reaches a milestone this week.

For the last year and a half, more than 500 protestors from the group We Are Seneca Lake have been arrested at the Watkins Glen entrance of the Seneca Lake storage facility, owned by the Houston-based company Crestwood. The environmental group is upset with plans by Crestwood to expand storage of natural gas in salt caverns under Seneca Lake.

Len Blumin / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 13, 2005, John Weeks discusses the ivory-billed woodpecker.  Weeks goes over the bird's history and its appearance's rarity.

Salamanders

May 6, 2016
Fyn Kynd Photography / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 2, 2003, John Weeks discusses salamanders.  Weeks goes into detail on the different species living in New York and talks about some encounters he has had over the years.

Woodland Flower Show

May 4, 2016
Jean-Pierre Chamberland / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from May 4, 1984, John Weeks discusses the beauty that comes with spring flowers.  Weeks takes a journey where he searches for various spring flowers and gives details on various species.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Toxic chemicals have been found in the yards of homes along Ley Creek in the town of Salina, just north of Syracuse. Cleanups have been ongoing in other areas of the creek, but it was not discovered in residents' backyards until testing was done earlier this year.

Brian Rogers / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from April 25, 2003, John Weeks discusses how spending his youth on a farm shaped his love of sparrows.  Weeks talks about his own enjoyment of the bird and describes how to find them in order to listen to their songs.

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