Action - Rochester, NY area Environment 

RochesterEnvironment.com

Take Action for your area's environment.  These actions come for non-profit and governmental (many in the form of public input forums) on issues that will affect our particular environment.

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Page Contents: Actions with Specific Due Dates | On-going actions | Contact your Representatives in Government |

 

Take Action for our Rochester area environmentOften, 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. 

This page is designed to bring all these requests under one roof so the Internet can facilitate these requests by various groups for aid. Look for the due date for each of the action items.  I try as much as possible (because there are so many environmental online actions) to limit my listings to items that will influence the Rochester, NY area

 

 

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Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment

Sure there are lots of top ten lists around.  So why not one on the things you can do for your local environment—that system that keeps us alive and thriving?  But, this list is different from the usual stuff.  It’s not one of those really easy, warm and fuzzy lists of fun activities you can do in your spare time.  It’ll be transformative.

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:     

 

  1. Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  2. When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  3. When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  4. Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  5. Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  6. Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  7. Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  8. Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Some are annoying and critical.  Some are cute and a burden.
  9. Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  10. Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly. 
  11. Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.

R-Cause

Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

Actions with Specific Due Dates:

  • ACTION: Due Date: April 1 – Memorial Day (May 26)
    • April 1st when the snow is projected to be gone for awhile, think of helping out with some spring cleaning:  "Adopt-a-Beach™ Call for Volunteers   Who: New and returning volunteers are needed for the Alliance’s Adopt-a-Beach™ Program, now numbering nearly 13,000 participants on all five Great Lakes. There are two ways to participate: Register to volunteer for a cleanup at www.greatlakesadopt.org, or sign up to lead your own team at www.greatlakes.org/teamleader.   When: April 1 – Memorial Day (May 26).   What: The Alliance’s annual launch of the Adopt-a-Beach™ season brings volunteers to beaches and shorelines throughout the region. Adopt-a-Beach™ team leaders and volunteers are lake lovers from all walks of life, and include individuals, families, schools, businesses and community groups. The Alliance hosts a number of web-based and in-person trainings for new and returning adopters to sharpen their data-collection skills.     Where: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. To find events in your community, visit www.greatlakesadopt.org. To locate information on in-person and web-based trainings, visit www.greatlakes.org/adoptabeachtrainings.   Why: Participants enhance beaches and coastal areas by picking up trash and recording their findings in the Alliance’s Adopt-a-BeachTM online system. Volunteers also conduct water quality sampling and make science-based observations. Information logged into the Adopt-a-Beach™ online system is accessible to the public.   More: Contact the following state coordinators about Adopt-a-Beach™ in your state:   New York/Pennsylvania: Nate Drag, ndrag@greatlakes.org, 716 261-9393"
  • ACTION: Due Date: through April 14, 2014
    • Make comment on how NYS DEC governs the use environmental monitoring services by April 14, 2014 DEC Proposes Updated Policy Governing Use of Environmental Monitors Update Will Provide Clarity, Establish Uniformity and Limit Need for Monitors 60-Day Comment Period Runs Through April 14, 2014 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a proposed Environmental Monitoring Services Policy that will update DEC's existing On-Site Environmental Monitor Policy, Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The new policy could ensure clarity, establish uniformity, provide notice to the regulated community and limit the need for monitors. A public comment period on the draft policy begins today and extends through April 14, 2014. "This policy will clarify instances when environmental monitors should be employed to monitor activities at regulated facilities, sites or activities providing businesses, local governments and other regulated entities a clear framework under which environmental monitoring services will be required," said Commissioner Martens. "While these environmental monitoring services are an important management tool to ensure the protection of public health and the environment, environmental monitors do not replace DEC staff. They are used where circumstances warrant an added level of oversight." (February 12, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • ACTION: Due Date: April 26, 2014 | Cleanup goes from 9am until noon, at all Monroe County Parks. 
    • Consider you and your group helping out for a few hours to clean up our Monroe County Parks, April 26. Pick Up the Parks Event 5th annual Pick Up the Parks Event Saturday, April 26th, 2014.  Cleanup goes from 9am until noon, at all Monroe County Parks.  Thank You Picnic goes from noon until 2pm at the Olmsted Lodge in Highland Park.  Join the Monroe County Parks Department and Cascades Recovery, along with many local recreation and environmental groups, as we host the 5th annual Pick Up the Parks Event. This event is designed to foster stewardship of our 21 County Parks and 12,000 acres within.  We are all stewards of the great outdoors, and should do our part to keep the parks clean and green. Site-Host organizations will meet & greet, direct & orient the volunteers that participate.  All supplies are provided by the Parks Department and its partners. You'll even get a free lunch for your service.  We host a Thank You Lunch at the Olmsted Lodge in Highland Park. For more information click here or visit our Pick Up the Parks Facebook Page.
  • ACTION Due Date: April 30, 2014
    • High speed rail would provide us with a real Climate Change adaptation strategy for reducing GHG’s (27%) from Transportation.  Works like this: Bike or cab to train station, zip across state on high speed rail, arrive safe and fast, walk or bike or cab to hotel across state. Look Ma no car! Empire Corridor Tier 1 EIS Project I.D. No. S937.51 , Contract Number   The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is available for public review and comment. Download the DEIS and appendices by clicking on the links below. You are also welcome to view the printed DEIS at a library. Please see below for a list of libraries in New York State where you can go to view the DEIS and appendices. Please note the DEIS public comment period is extended in response to community requests. Public comments will be accepted through Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Read:  New York extends public comment period on high-speed rail plans
  • ACTION: Due Date: April 30, 2014
    • Make comment on the “2014 New York State Energy Plan” by April 30, 2014. Climate Change is about planning.  One of the most important things you can do is add your voice to create a good plan to address and mitigate Climate Change. The “2014 New York State Energy Plan” falls far from the mark by vague language, pretty pictures, and no baselines for a real clean energy future.  This is all explained and by Agree New York, who will quickly take you through the process of learning about the energy plan, explaining the problems with the plan, and pointing you towards making your own comment to the plan. “On January 7, the New York State Energy Planning Board released the long-awaited draft New York State Energy Plan. Unfortunately, the draft plan does not represent the sea-change in energy policy that New York needs to confront the challenges of global climate change, pollution, public health, or energy affordability. The draft plan sets some ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but lacks aggressive policies and interim commitments to move the state from fossil fuels and nuclear power to energy efficiency and renewables. It's time for you to let the energy planners know what you think about this proposed plan. Read the draft New York Energy Plan at energyplan.ny.gov. Public Comments are due by April 30, 2014. (Note, this deadline has been extended from March 31, thanks to the efforts of AGREE, Frack Action and 51 other organizations that are demanding a better public comment process.) Visit energyplan.ny.gov/Process/Comments.aspx to submit comments electronically.” from Agree New York. Also: Submit your comments about the NEW YORK STATE DRAFT ENERGY PLAN!  Keith Schue's 22 letters are available here for us to edit or submit as is: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5952/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16887 
  • ACTION: Due Dates: Training starts May 23rd and goes into June
    • Want to be a citizen scientist and help monitor the Lake Ontario watershed region. Find out more at 2014 WAVE Training Sessions “We are now offering training for Local Coordinators!   For the first time, NYSDEC is offering training sessions for local coordinators so that they may train and coordinate their own team of WAVE participants. Citizen scientists working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a WAVE training session. Citizen scientists who wish to work independently must attend a WAVE training session.  2014 Trainings will be in the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and Mohawk River Watersheds The WAVE training sessions are rotated throughout the state's 17 major drainage basins on a five year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by the DEC Stream Biomonitoring Unit in the following year (NYSDEC Stream Biomonitoring Unit's monitoring schedule). This year, WAVE training sessions are being offered at the locations listed below in the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and Mohawk River watersheds. Local coordinators should plan to attend from 9am-4pm whereas basic WAVE training will be held at the same location from 12-4pm. To sign up for one of these sessions, please contact me at wave@gw.dec.state.ny.us.” (March 24, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • ACTION: Due Date: June 19, 2014
    • Consider addressing Climate Change by Rochesterians leaving their cars home for one day—June 19, 2014 ROC Transit Day | [more on Transportation in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Make comment on Rochester’s Bicycle Boulevard Plan. Missed Rochester’s 1st Public Meeting Presentation on Bicycle Boulevards? Don’t fret you can see the presentation and comment and find out more about Rochester’s Bicycle Boulevards here. Remember: Because Transportation causes 27% of GHGs, bicycle boulevards for Rochester is a major Climate Change adaption strategy.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now:  
    • Give Feedback to open.ny.gov! Back in March of 2013,  Governor Cuomo Launches Open.NY.Gov Providing Public Unprecedented User-Friendly Access to Federal, State and Local Data “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched "open.ny.gov," a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides - for the first time - user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government.”  open.ny.gov is now up and running and filled with a lot of data, most of not really helpful in learning about the state of our environment.  This data site is a good start, but it could use some more datasets focused on information we need to monitor the health of our New York State environment—especially as Climate Change affects our state. Consider giving open.ny.gov suggestions on new datasets, like Brownfield sites that need cleaning up, what kind of toxins are still the in Genesee River, where are all the landfills, what routes to hazardous materials take through our state, in what areas are folks getting cancer and what kind of cancers, and a lot more.  Give Feedback to open.ny.gov!
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now. 
    • Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers   Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation.  The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for more information or to sign up today! "
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • New website by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to demand clean energy and do away with dirty energy to prevent more Climate Change. "Tell President Obama to reject the climate-destroying, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and lead the way to a clean energy future instead. " DemandCleanPower.org
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now. 
    • As I was looking through past local news articles on pesticides and their relationship to Climate Change (according to studies, Climate Change in our region will increase plant and insect pests and we’ll dump more pesticides on them and with heavier rainfall events more pesticides will wash into our waters), I found that trying the get the Safe Chemicals Act updated has been around for several years. That’s tragic: we cannot summon the will to fight the pesticide industry to get laws passed that would protect our children from toxic chemicals. Why would anyone not want The Safe Chemicals Act (S. 696) reformed and modernized?  Our NYS Senators have co-signed this bill and they are very cool, especially Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY] Bill Author. Take action: Urge your Senator to strengthen the bill
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • New way to mobilize volunteers for local environmental causes: Clean up events, Fracking demonstrations, whatever it may be, feel free to post it on “Rochester GreenCorps.’ Good place to get volunteers for your event and a good place to look for volunteer opportunities.
  • ACTION : Due Date Now:
    • Join the New York Water Sentinels stream team! Training provided periodically. Sentinels test and document stream quality now, so future effects from gas drilling are more easily identified. Water Sentinels has trained over 100 citizens to use simple scientific methods to evaluate stream quality. With stream information (such as stream depth and conductivity), we can help regulators recognize trends and address problems.  For more information:  NYWaterSentinels@gmail.com | or FaceBook
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • We are so going to cook on our planet if we don’t have a media that covers Climate Change.  Mainstream media must wake up. TELL NBC, CBS, AND ABC TO GIVE US BETTER COVERAGE ON CLIMATE CHANGE! In a year that brought the U.S. record-breaking heat, massive wildfires, a historic drought, and devastating storms like Hurricane Sandy, the nightly news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC barely talked about what was fueling this extreme weather -- climate change. We need better coverage if we want people to connect the dots and demand real action to curb global warming pollution. Please sign our petition below to Michael Corn, Executive Producer of ABC World News, Patricia Shevlin, Executive Producer of CBS Evening News, and Patrick Burkey, Executive Producer of NBC Nightly News, asking them to give us more frequent, accurate coverage of climate change this year. " --from League of Conservation Voters
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group."
  • ACTION: Due Date Now
    • Don’t need those massive phone books?  Just throw them away because you’re a digital kind of person? Opt out of getting those phone books, easy peasy, and save trees .  Phone Book Opt-Out Program Gives Choice to Consumers Did you know you can control how many phone books you get every year, or whether you get one at all? In the age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, the way people search for information is changing. For many, online search options are the new go-to for finding contact information to local residences or businesses. That means when a printed phone book arrives on your doorstep, it might go to waste. Find your local recycle  solution for Phone Books So why do phone books continue to show up? According to the Local Search Association, 70 percent of consumers still prefer to receive a printed phone book every year.  (November 20, 2012) Earth 911 [more on Recycling in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • As Climate Change increase the changes of combined sewer overflows due to increase frequency of heavy rain fall in the spring, this issue will become more critical.  We must plan for this and it will be expensive, but more so if we wait.  Take action here: Help Keep Sewage Out of the Great Lakes Billions of gallons of combined raw sewage and storm runoff are dumped into the Great Lakes each year. Raw sewage, trash and personal hygiene products — along with industrial wastewater, household chemicals, urban runoff, herbicides and pesticides — often flow into the lakes after heavy rains. Urge Congress and the president to support sustained and increased investment in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Help keep untreated sewage out of the Great Lakes! --from Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Sign this online petition against Fracking in Monroe County: Prohibit All Fracking Related Activities on Monroe County Properties, NY Last Tuesday, over 4, 000 petition signatures to ban all Fracking and related activities were delivered to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and members of the Monroe County Legislature.  But presumably that wasn’t enough because the press didn’t even show up.  Here’s the news that the local news media couldn’t bother themselves to print: Thousands Sign Petition to Ban Fracking and Related Activities On Monroe County Properties. Don't let New York State become a Resource Curse.  It would be great if we could march into the Monroe County Legislature next time and fork over 20,000 signatures.  Maybe that will wake our local government up to the fact that Fracking must be stopped here and in New York State.  Find out more about this petition and download hard copies for your church group or other organization here.  Numbers count. Don't be sorry after the fact, act now. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Tired of meteorologists failing to connect the dots between Climate Change and our daily weather?  Do something about it. Take action: Forecast the Facts WE NEED OUR TV METEOROLOGISTS TO REPORT THE FACTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. According to a recent national survey, more than half of TV weather reporters don’t believe in human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, their viewers are facing unprecedented climate-change induced heat waves, droughts, and flooding.

 

Rochester, NY February 2013

 

We Can Solve itWe Can Solve It The We Campaign is a project of The Alliance for Climate Protection -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. The goal of the Alliance is to build a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis -- in part through repowering America with 100 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources within 10 years. Our economy, national security, and climate can’t afford to wait.

 

On-going Action sites for our environment

Many local, national, and international organizations take action for our environment and make it easy for you to do so also.

League of Women Voters Rochester Metropolitan Area "The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy."

 

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Report an Environmental Violation Online "Report an Environmental Violation Online The New York State Environmental Conservation Police values the watchful eyes and ears of citizens concerned with our environment. Use this form to report suspected violations of New York State environmental conservation laws. Submitted forms are immediately forwarded 24/7/365 to DEC dispatchers. If an immediate response is needed, file your complaint by phone by calling the DEC Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800-847-7332). Caution: never put yourself at risk to get any of the information. Gather whatever information you can without trespassing or exposing yourself to harmful materials or situations. " from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

 

Contact Your New York State (Senator) and (Assembly) Representatives--from http://newyork.sierraclub.org/legislative/

You'd be surprised how influential a letter or phone call from a constituent can be to a State Senator or State Assembly Member.

  • To find your State Senator's Contact Information: Go to http://www.senate.state.ny.us, click on "Senators", click on your Senator, click on "contact." To identify your State Senator: Go to http://www.senate.state.ny.us, click on "Senators", click on "search by zip code", enter your zip code.
  • To find your Assembly Member's Contact Information: Go to http://www.assembly.state.ny.us, scroll to your Assembly Member, click "go", click on "contact". To identify your Assembly Member: Go to http://www.assembly.state.ny.us, click to "click here to search by zipcode", enter your zipcode, and click "search".

 

 

Need help choosing an environmentally friendly elected official? NYLCV - New York League of Conservation Voters | Educating and Electing for the Environment - NYLCV is a non-partisan, policy making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision-makers and the voters by evaluating incumbent performance and endorsing and electing environmental leaders to office in New York State.

One Hundred Months left to the point of no return100 Months: Technical note "We calculate that 100 months from 1 August 2008, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will begin to exceed a point whereby it is no longer likely we will be able to avert potentially irreversible climate change. 'Likely' in this context refers to the definition of risk used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to mean that, at that particular level of greenhouse gas concentration, there is only a 66 - 90 per cent chance of global average surface temperatures stabilising at 2º Celsius above pre-industrial levels.1 Once this concentration is exceeded, it becomes more and more likely that we will overshoot a 2º C level of warming. This is the maximum acceptable level of temperature rise agreed by the European Union and others as necessary to retain reasonable confidence of preventing uncontrollable and ultimately catastrophic warming. We also believe this calculation to be conservative. "