Action - Rochester, NY area Environment
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.
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.
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
Top Ten Things You Can Do for
’s Environment Rochester
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
- 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.
- Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
- Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
- Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment. Some are annoying and critical. Some are cute and a burden.
- Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
- Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.
- Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.
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 dates are listed first, then actions due now (and without specific dates that I can determine are listed after.]
- Action: Due Date before
- Tell the EPA: I choose clean water The Clean Water Act should protect our waterways. But right now, it doesn't. Loopholes in the law have left more than half our streams without the protections they need. And pollution upstream can contribute to more beach closings each summer. Should we let polluters off the hook when their pollution has contributed to more than 1,600 beach closings in New York? Of course not. Nobody should be allowed to treat our waterways like a personal sewer. The EPA has finally proposed a rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to critical waterways. But polluters are going all in to stop this effort and keep using our waterways as their personal sewers. Join us in showing the EPA that now’s the time to close the loopholes and protect New York’s waterways and beaches. Environment New York
- ACTION: Due Date: November 30th
Because NYS DEC comment period has been extended yet again (Nov 30) on proposal by an oil terminal operator at the Port of Albany, take action. The Tar Sands fight comes home to NY “Right now there is a proposal before the Department of Environmental Conservation to expand the amount of crude oil coming into the port of Albany from 1.2 billion gallons to nearly 3 billion gallons annually. In addition, the applicant, Global Partnerss LLC is looking to build a boiler facility to heat the heavy tar sands coming off rail cars to reduce viscosity and facilitate more fluid transfer to ships. The DEC has already determined that there are no significant environmental impacts attached to these actions. Will you tell DEC to take the necessary steps to ensure a full environmental impact statement is conducted on this emerging threat to New York’s health and safety?” Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. Read more: Comment period extended on Port of Albany oil plant proposal
ACTION: Due Date: December 17th 2014
- Making comment on open space in NYS and Climate Change, it’s no longer fun and games. This is critical ”…the Commissioners now ask the public to make recommendations on how open space conservation programs can make the state better prepared and more resilient in preparation of future storms and climate change.” “Public comments can be submitted by email to LF.OpenSpacePlan@dec.ny.gov or mailed to DEC by December 17 to: Open Space Conservation Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233” DEC and State Parks Release State Open Space Conservation Plan for Public Comment Public Comments Accepted Through December 17; Public Hearings to be Held Statewide Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) Commissioner Rose Harvey today released the 2014 State Open Space Conservation Plan for public comment. The plan guides State Environmental Protection Fund investments in open space protection. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted from September 17 until December 17 and a series of public hearings will be held across the state from October 21 to October 23. (September 17, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
ACTION: Due date:
February 27, 2015
- Got short film abilities and want to message importance of our environment? "Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT, and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute The Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment. As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness. An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015 "
ACTION: Due Date: now
- Get your community to pledge to the NYS Climate Smart Communities program. This will be one of the most important actions you can take on addressing Climate Change in our region. If you live in the Western New York, Rochester region and don’t belong to Irondequoit, Brighton, Rochester, and Victor, [check here] your community probably has not voluntary pledged to this program. Your community should belong in order to take “Local Action to Combat Climate Change. Two types of actions enable Climate Smart Communities to minimize the risks of climate change and reduce its long-term costs: Reducing GHG Emissions: Starting now to reduce GHG emissions and create permanent sinks that remove GHG from the atmosphere; these actions will help stabilize atmospheric GHGs at manageable levels and avoid severe climatic changes. Adapting to a Changing Climate: Altering the built and natural environment in anticipation of predicted climatic changes, or in response to actual changes, which will alleviate the risks associated with unavoidable changes in climate.” Ask your community leaders to make the pledge, get state assistance, and help make this voluntary program more robust. For more info go here: Climate Smart Communities and check the Rochester Sierra Club’s 2014 Forum on this: "Climate Smart Communities: Let’s Get With the Program" There is no excuse for your community not being a part of this state-wide program.
ACTION: Due Date: Now (with your friends and group)
- What if in the Rochester, NY area we channeled this idea of the street librarian to educate locals on Climate Change. So, we put together materials and get a neat bike (see photo) made so we casually ride around all the neighborhoods of Rochester and answer anyone’s questions about Climate Change in our area, hand out literature, engage the public at the very street level in a very low carbon emissions footprint way on this worldwide crisis. This wouldn’t be a charity project at all. This would be a crucial link in the Climate Change issue that is missing in the Rochester area—outreach. If we hope to have a chance that the public will support the long-term actions we must make to upgrade and refit our infrastructure (transportation, telecommunications, water, etc.) we are going to need the public to understand an support these efforts year after year, elections after elections. This outreach program would be inexpensive, effective, and probably a lot of freaking fun. Homeless Outreach in Volumes: Books by Bike for ‘Outside’ People in Oregon (October 9, 2014) New York Times
ACTION: Due Date: now
- Your input needed on shaping Western New York trails for the future, a future when less greenhouse gas emissions for transportation is a must. Help shape western New York’s trail network "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is updating its trails plan for the Genesee Finger Lakes Region and wants your input. This is your opportunity to help further shape a truly regional, interconnected trail network for Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Wyoming, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, and Yates Counties. Use the short needs assessment survey and online interactive map to provide feedback on existing and planned trails and ideas for new connections and other corridors or locations for future trail development. The map even lets you see what others have already suggested. "
ACTION: Due Date: Now
- Please make comment on a Strategic Plan for Transportation in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region through 2040. Transportation issues are strongly related to Climate Change because our transportation infrastructure (roads and bridges) is extremely vulnerable to extreme weather—heat, flooding, and very expensive to repair. Most of your transportation dollars ($15 billion annually in New York State) go to keeping this vast system in repair, and now it must do so in a time of warming. If the public doesn’t urge our transportation authorities to strongly make our system more robust and resilient, and provide more and more access to alternative transportation (bicycling and walking) in a time of increased extreme weather, the transportation system as a whole might be in jeopardy. We have many bridges and roads and disrepair already and much will have to be done at a high cost to ready the transportation system to Climate Change. More folks walking and bicycling would reduce the amount of infrastructure wear (after they are built) more safety, and a lot less greenhouse gas emissions. Without public support for this increase attention to our transportation infrastructure it may compromise our most robust and viable adaptation efforts in our region. All climate studies in this region call for major updating and repair of our transportation infrastructures. Transportation Survey: Genesee Transportation Council wants your input Work is underway for develop strategies that will guide investments in transportation for the NEXT 25 YEARS – a Strategic Plan for Transportation in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region through 2040. You can help by 1. Taking a Brief 5 Minute Survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GTC-LRTP-2040. 2. Go to the Public Input Map at http://wikimapping.com/wikimap/gtc-lrtp-2040/p-71950 and add any comments you have/show what projects you feel would be beneficial.
ACTION: Due Date: Now
- Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them? "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom. In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session. WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year. Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
- 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
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." The contact information for the local Rochester group: email@example.com We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
- 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:
- 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.
After the People’s Climate March, a Rochester manifesto The public has delivered a clear mandate on Climate Change. The People’s Climate March (PCM), which drew 400,000 concerned souls, demanded that their governmental leaders act on the most pressing crisis of our age. However milquetoast the UN Summit in NY turns out to be (the summit the PCM tried to kick start), the march will change everything. The media, despite their intentional use of the word ‘activists’ to dismiss most of the world’s peoples as only a special interest group, will have to change too. Never again. Never again will it be fashionable to deny or dismiss what most people know to be true: that our present way of living is causing our planet to warm up far quicker than most plants, animals and we can adapt to. Never again will our leaders be able to speak as if Climate Change is not occurring. Never again will public pressure cease to compel businesses and governments to respond to the climate crisis with actions that actually bring down greenhouse gases. Promises will be held to a strict standard of compliance—regardless of weak-kneed leaders. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, whose “objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world”1 must not fail. more...
Many local, national, and international organizations take action for our environment and make it easy for you to do so also.
- Citizen Science: Wildlife Observation Data Collection Many people enjoy observing wildlife in many different ways. Occasionally there are opportunities for you to help the Bureau of Wildlife collect valuable data. In some cases this may require special effort but, in many cases all that is required is recording what you see while bird watching, hunting, hiking, scouting, etc. See the links below and in the right hand columm of this page for current volunteer opportunities and results of past efforts. NYS Dept. of Envornmental Conservation
- How you can help monitor our local environment: Help Lab Researchers Develop The YardMap Network! — eBird "At eBird we love when birders submit data from their backyards. Your backyard can provide excellent habitat for birds, and when many backyards are put together, an growing network of green space becomes available for birds. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is developing a new project called the YardMap Network, which will allow you to describe in great detail the habitat and conservation practices happening in your backyard. Please take 15 minutes to tell us what you think about the YardMap Network by taking this survey. Your input will be valuable for developing the project, and will help ensure that we can learn more about how birds are using your yard! "
- Union of Concerned Scientists The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices. Action Center | Union of Concerned Scientists
- OMB Watch | Promoting open government, accountability, and citizen participation since 1983 OMB Watch exists to increase government transparency and accountability; to ensure sound, equitable regulatory and budgetary processes and policies; and to protect and promote active citizen participation in our democracy.
- 350.org 350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.
- Regulations.gov Regulations.gov is your online source for U.S. government regulations from nearly 300 federal agencies. Regulations.gov is your source for U.S. government regulations and related documents. On this site you can find, read and comment on documents. Share your knowledge and make your voice count.
- Citizens Campaign for the Environment ACTION ALERTS -from CCE - Water Protection Public Health Energy Renewable Policy Toxic Wildlife Chemical Contamination Subscribe Newsletter Jobs Calendar Pollution Air Quality Advocacy Farmingdale White Plains Albany Syracuse Buffalo
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."
- Espeically useful is the LWV's yearly "A Guide to Your Elected Offi cials for Monroe County 2009 "
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.