RENewsletter | July 19, 2009


The Free environmental newsletter from  

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

[07/12/09– 07/19/09]


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Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |


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Opening Salvo:  Watching Fish


A recent reading of local environmental news finds several interesting studies about the present state of our fish life. Things appear to be going well or not so well. For example, our Great Lakes fish populations are either doing swimmingly as noted in the New York Statewide Angler Survey 2007 - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (although, given the frequent fish eating advisories, maybe that’s not entirely true) or not so swimmingly: “No sign of threat: Don't expect gov't to issue warning of dangerous fishing,” June 26, 09 NY Daily News).


Another report about our regional fish population indicates that fish are not doing so well: Up to the Gills: 2009 Update on Pollution in Great Lakes Fish which states “that levels of toxic chemicals in Great Lakes fish are alarmingly high, and are not improving.” And, as if eating fish were not enough of a worry, even playing on beach sand (Study: Digging in sand can increase health problems -- ) may be problematical. Not to mention, “The State of the Lakes: Still a Bummer” - Healthy Lakes - Healthy Lives “A new report by the US and Canadian Environmental Agencies finds that the Great Lakes ecosystem continues on a rapid decline due to toxic pollution and invasive species and poor sewage management.” Learn more at State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference | Great Lakes | US EPA


Certainly, much has to be qualified about implications of these reports because disparaging the fishing industry could be bad for this lucrative industry. Also sporadic and disjointed studies make concrete observations about those underwater denizens of our lakes and streams difficult.  We cannot say for sure why fish populations are dropping or how various chemicals got into our fish and what it means exactly. Very hard to point fingers these days because there’s always a lawyer’s desk to hide under.


But, I think it’s safe to say that fish have not fared well since the time of Samuel de Champlain. It’s safe to say that our lakes and streams around the Rochester, NY area used to have a lot more healthy fish in the late 1500’s than they do now. 


I think it is also safe to say that watching fish populations as we do birds and other wildlife is more than an avocation for enthusiasts or objects of study for Scientists. For, if our fish populations are ridden by pollutants and their numbers are dropping, we ought to be paying attention. Something is going on and cherry-picking the facts to present a cherished view or ignoring it altogether will not make this issue go away. The laws of nature don’t work that way.


I think it’s safe to say that we too are not going to be faring well if we don’t find some way to stay focused on these environmental indicators—wildlife like fish whose numbers have changed drastically in the relatively short time between Champlain and ourselves.  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]


         Greening Our Colleges

         Fox and Bear Stories

         Ginna Nuclear Power Plant Cleanup

         State of Great Lakes' Health

         DEC: Fresh Water Angler Survey Report

         Xerox Give Earth Award

         Little Sewage Overflow

         Adirondacks: Keeping Up with Pollution

         "Up To The Gills" Updated Canadian Report on Toxicity in Great Lakes Fish

         EEE Found in Local Mosquitoes

         Energy: Gas Zones

         Victor: On Wind Turbines

         Brownfields Sites

         Obama | Green Jobs | Rochester

         4 Million to Improve NYS Water Provide Jobs

         Testing Wells for Water Quality

         Killing Invasives on Great Lakes

         Energy "Extreme Fusion" U of R

         NYS Energy Efficiency Clearing House Website

         Law: "Cash for Clunkers"

         Merging Conservation Groups Canandaigua

         Development & Environment Canandaigua Lake

         Gas-Drilling Regulations

         Bottled Water Fewer Regulations Than Tap

         Beach Sand Hazard

         Great Lakes Fish - PCBs Dioxins

         Rochester Test Site Flu Vaccine

         Canandaigua Lakes Phosphorus Concerns

         Rochester Smart Cars

         Rochester Influenced by Energy Act



UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]



EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line.








ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 




AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]