environment

In a New York Times article published Wednesday, a plan for the first stage of hydrofracking in New York state was laid out by members of the Cuomo administration. But in a radio interview Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo himself was reluctant to actually call it a plan.

State lawmakers representing communities along the south shore of Lake Ontario are lining up against a plan to regulate water levels in the lake, and in the St. Lawrence River system.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

Every 10 years or so, the Department of Environmental Conservation goes out to Little Galloo Island, 20 miles off the coast of Cape Vincent in Lake Ontario, to survey waterbird populations there. The island, with a few dead trees, some grass and a rocky shoreline, is a haven for colonial waterbirds, with nests of Caspian terns, herring gulls and tens of thousands of ring-billed gulls – the standard seagull seen throughout the north country.

Lofty goals for Syracuse's first sustainability plan

May 31, 2012
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The city of Syracuse wants to get half its power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

That's just one of the targets laid out in a draft version of Syracuse's first sustainability plan [PDF].

It still has a ways to go, however: about 24 percent of New York's power currently comes from renewable sources - with hydropower accounting for the vast majority of that number, according to the New York Independent System Operator [PDF].

Syracuse is also hoping to reduce its energy consumption, advance education about environmental stewardship and increase urban agriculture and tree cover.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

SUNY ESF is showing off plants that will create a green roof on the new Gateway Center, which will open later this year.

This new green roof will almost be like visiting the shore of Lake Ontario.

Karen Dewitt

Anti-fracking groups presented Governor Andrew Cuomo with 200,000 signatures asking for a ban on the gas drilling process in New York,  and a state senator predicts  the opposition will  have an effect on the governor.

millicent_bystander / via Flickr

Scaling back urban sprawl could reduce carbon emissions released by communities throughout the Northeast, according to research done in part by New York scientists and engineers.

The study is by Hubbard Brooks Research Foundation and focused on nine counties, including Tompkins County in New York.

It found that a reduction in sprawl limits emissions from the first step of development onward by preventing the release of the carbon in vegetation when land is first cleared.

"So if you can work on redeveloping previously developed land, and think about land development smartly to try and minimize disturbance, that’s greatly going to reduce the carbon footprint," says Syracuse University professor Charles Driscoll, who co-wrote the study.

Environmental advocates were in Albany Monday making the case that investing in the state's natural resources is good economic sense.

One of the biggest and most controversial issues facing New York in the New Year is hydrofracking.  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental department is conducting a review process and is likely to begin issuing permits sometime in 2012.

A particular kind of  Yellow leaf you see amidst the fall foliage in New York State might not be part of the fall splash of color much longer.  Many  of the yellow leaves are ash trees, and an invasive insect is slowly munching across New York State. 

It's called the Emerald Ash Borer, and it's wiping out all ashes everywhere an infestation occurs.

Don Leopold is a tree expert at the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry and says Ash trees, which are native to New York, are prized for more than there color.

Dan Grossman is a freelance environmental journalist who has frequently appeared on public radio and the BBC, and has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Scientific American. He’s won a host of prestigious awards and been funded by many highly respected organizations—among them the Peabody award, the National Science Foundation, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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