Great Lakes Commission and NOAA to celebrate start of construction
Buffalo, N.Y. - As the 10-year effort to remove toxic sediment from the Buffalo River nears completion this summer, the focus now shifts to shoreline access and habitat restoration along this once-dead river. After nearly five years of planning and design work, construction is beginning at RiverBend and seven other locations along the Buffalo River that are essential for removing the river from the federal list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern by 2016.
To celebrate this next phase in the river's restoration, New York's Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Congressman Brian Hig gins (D-NY, 26th District), together with other state officials and local leaders, met today across from the RiverBend site. Restoration work there will transform the shoreline into a healthy and viable ecosystem and enhance recent economic development activity at this former brownfield site.
"This revitalization effort is a product of a thoughtful and historic public-private partnership that is restoring habitats and strengthening our local economy," said Lt. Gov. Hochul. "It was almost unheard of decades ago to imagine this site attracting new outdoor recreational opportunities - like fishing and boating - to our beloved shorelines. Today, it is clear that this investment has finally brought this dream into a reality."
"Federal investments combined with community-based action are bringing the Buffalo River back to life and breathing new life into our city," said Congressman Brian Higgins. "This progress was made possible thanks to the great collaboration of federal partners committed to the Great Lakes, private partners committed to investing in western New York's future and community partners, including outstanding leadership by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper whose commitment is truly transforming Buffalo for generations to come."
When fully implemented, the projects will restore nearly two miles of shoreline and 20 acres of habitat at eight sites on the lower Buffalo River: RiverBend (east and west shorelines), River Fest Park, Blue Tower Turning Basin, Old Bailey Woods, Ohio Street Boat Launch, Toe of Katherine Street Peninsula and Buffalo Color Peninsula.
Why solar panels won’t solve climate change Interview:The environmental movement should shift its emphasis from personal responsibility to political change, says activist Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org
Economists and engineers are ahead in terms of finding solutions, according to McKibben. “Economists – left, right and centre – have been saying we need to put a price on carbon to reflect the damage it does. And engineers have said we need government effort to take advantage of new renewable technologies. Up to now we can’t have these things, because of the power of the fossil-fuel industry.”
McKibben says that the most important thing people can do is join together with others to fight against large fossil-fuel infrastructure projects and encourage investors to stop giving money to the fossil-fuel industry.
Described by Time magazine as the planet’s best green journalist, and by the Boston Globe as the United States’ most distinguished environmentalist, McKibben made his first visit to Ireland, to speak at Meeting the Challenge of Climate Justice: From Evidence to Action.
Read more at IrishTimes.com Pope Francis, science and government are reframing climate change The long-anticipated encyclical by Pope Francis to the world on the environment was released mid-June. The Lancet Commission, a distinguished United Kingdom-based health body, the following week released its report on health and climate change. Pope
Francis has already changed the conversation in the Catholic Church by
prioritizing issues of justice and mercy. He holds a unique status today
as a moral leader not only of Christians but of all peoples of the
world. He has used that moral authority to call for a needed moral
conversion about what he considers the interconnected issues of the
environment, the poor, humanity, global development and peace.
professionals and scientists are also changing the conversation by
calling attention to the ways in which environmental destruction, such
as climate change, threatens human health and well-being. We feel the
effects through more severe storms, risks of infectious diseases, food
scarcity and more. There is strong evidence that the world’s poor are
among the most vulnerable — a common-sense, but often overlooked, fact
that Lancet and the encyclical spotlight. The Lancet report shows that
combating climate change is an unprecedented opportunity to advance
health, equitable development and sustainability.
Two Years After Oil Train Disaster, Profound Scars Remain in Lac-Mégantic Activists prepare for demonstrations across Canada and US this week to 'Stop Oil Trains' A week of direct actions across Canada and the U.S. to stop so-called "bomb trains" began on Monday, the two-year anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, when an unmanned train with 72 tankers carrying 30,000 gallons of crude oil careened into a small town in the Canadian province of Quebec, where it derailed, exploded, and killed 47 people.
Decontamination work continues to this day at the crash site, but was suspended at noon for a moment of silence. Later in the day, church bells will ring out 47 times at Lac-Mégantic's St. Agnes Church.
On every level, recovery in the small community has been challenging.
Thousands March in Toronto, Urge Canada to Turn Away From a Fossil Fuel Economy Labor unions, student groups, indigenous communities, and environmentalists joined forces for the Jobs, Justice and Climate march, which activists called the most diverse climate mobilization in Canadian history.
rally was timed to bring attention to the cause ahead of this week's
Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, this fall's Canadian federal
election, and the highly-anticipated UN Paris climate talks in November,
which aim to bring together world leaders in legally-binding climate
The EPA Just Banned the Chemicals That Helped Save the Ozone Layer Hydrofluorocarbons
(HFCs) can be as much as 10,000 times as powerful as carbon dioxide
when it comes to trapping heat in the atmosphere.
rule will not only reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, but also
encourage greater use and development of the next generation of safer
HFC alternatives," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.
HFCs is a no-brainer," said Jason Kowalski, the US policy director of
350.org, which advocates for action on climate change. To restrict them is to go after "low-hanging fruit," he told VICE News,
adding that the real issue in the climate change fight is the degree to
which the Obama administration is willing to battle the fossil fuel
Letter: How we heat, cool our homes matters The recently adopted New York State
Energy Plan recognizes that in New York, we generate more greenhouse
gases heating our buildings than by generating electricity. Heating and
cooling our buildings efficiently with renewable energy will become
increasingly more urgent as we address the challenge of climate change.
NY State Tax Incentives to Heat and Cool Homes Efficiently using Heat Pumps The potential for
widespread adoption of heat pumps (shallow ground-source, aka
'geothermal') in New York was recently
boosted by the passage of bills in the State Senate and Assembly. Final
approval of these important pieces of legislation is now in the hands of
Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Urge Governor Cuomo to cut both energy bills and fossil fuel pollution by signing an online petition. Click Here to go to the petition.
State adds funds to budget in case of coal plant shutdown The allocation of $19 million in the state budget that’s designed to help communities affected by retiring coal plants was hailed Monday by the local Just Transition coalition. The coalition has been planning for the possibility of the retirement of the Huntley Generating Plant in the Town of Tonawanda.
Reduced operations at the Huntley plant have resulted in decreased tax revenue received by the town, Erie County and the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Schools. While environmental advocates urge the transition from coal-powered electrical generation to clean energy, it’s also anticipated that a full shutdown of that plant could have devastating economic impacts on labor and the community.
The Pope’s Encyclical is drawing worldwide attention to the climate crisis. Here in Buffalo, writers have been busy adding their voices and calling for action. Thank you to these writers and to the Buffalo News for publishing their work.