Rochester Environmental Issues

Rochester Environmental Issues: A separate page for all Major Rochester Environmental Issues.    

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Rochester IssuesThese environmental issues should be on your radar and this site explains why.  Listed below are what I consider the most important long-term environmental concerns for the Rochester, NY area.  

Each page lists news links, resources, and information. There are several major environmental issues that pertain to the Rochester, New York area. 

Below is the directory to the web pages that provide a complete online resource to specific environmental issues for our area.  Each page provides first all Rochester-area news on the topic and then online resources. 

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Rochester Environmental Issues

Rochester Issues has a separate page for all Major Rochester Environmental Issues, including NewsLinks, Resources, and commentary. These environmental issues should be on your radar and this site explains why.  Listed below are what I consider the most important long-term environmental concerns for the Rochester, NY area.  Each page lists NewsLinks, resources, and information. There are several major environmental issues that pertain to the Rochester, New York area.  Below is the directory to the web pages that provide a complete online resource to specific environmental issues for our area.  Each page provides first all Rochester-area news on the topic and then online resources. 

  • Climate Rochester Climate change will hit home—it’s only a matter of how hard. (July 29, 2007) The latest in climate forecasts for our region, NEW YORK is the report "Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment" by Union of Concerned Scientists. "Well, like it or not, it’s becoming ever more evident that in New York State we can expect these possible scenarios: temperatures rising, a migration of plants and animals north as our climate adopts a Southern visage (though, most ((especially plants)) won’t move quickly enough), droughts, change in precipitation, lowering of Great Lakes water levels, coastal flooding, sea-level rise, shore-line change, extreme heat in our cities, more diseases (like Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and maybe malaria) and more potent cases of poison ivy, air quality loss, agriculture changes, changes in the fisheries, changes in the dairy industry, changes in spruce/fir forest of the Adirondacks, alterations in winter recreation (did you know the NYS has “more ski areas than any other state in the nation”?), and an increase in ozone pollution." 
  • Wetlands Consider how important wetlands are to our local ecology what condition ours are in--including NewsLinks, Resources, and Information for the Rochester, NY area. 
  • Brownfields Consider how how the proliferation of brownfields in our area affects our environment, including NewsLinks, Resources, and Information for the Rochester, NY area. Though we have over 30 Brownfields in our area, there seems to be no rush to clean them up.
  • Urban Sprawl Every community has to deal with urban sprawl ('also known as suburban sprawl, is the spreading out of a city and its suburbs over rural land at the fringe of an urban area" --from Urban sprawl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) --how to attract, plan, and manage growth.  With Monroe County and Rochester the population is going down and the urban sprawl is going up--not good for the environment. This page presents the latest news links on Rochester's growth and resources for this topic for responsible development..
  • Plants (Rochester's flora) An integral part of our city's environment are our plants and trees. Invasive species are a growing problem in our area. Our urban forest, the trees that line our communities, are important for cooling in the summer, absorbing carbon dioxide, water and soil retention.  Get all information, news, links, and resources for plants, urban trees, and gardening for Rochester, NY.
  • Air Quality Consider how our air becomes polluted and what we can do to prevent the diminishing air quality in the Rochester, NY area--including NewsLinks, Resources, and Information for the Rochester, NY area.  
  • Great Lakes Our Rochester area community's environmental health is greatly influenced by the Great Lakes--the largest source of fresh water in the world. There are several major issues (including diversion, water levels, fish diseases, invasive species and clean water) that could greatly alter our way of living if they were upset—and there’s evidence that many are. 
  • Pesticides Pesticide and herbicide use is coming under closer scrutiny because we are finding that even when properly used toxins from these products end up in our bodies, our children's bodies, our pets, plants and animals around us and in our waterways.  These toxins could be responsible for various cancers and health problems for many unintended victims. There are alternatives to the aesthetic application of herbicides and this page provides some of those alternatives.  Also, this page provides numerous resources and local news links on the use and misuse of pesticides, including a sub-page on the recent adoption of the 48 Hour Neighborhood Notification Law. for Monroe County. 
  • Water Quality Rochester's drinking water is very important, as it is in any community.  Any change in the high quality of our water is critical to our health. Also, the quality of the water in many of our bodies of water (including streams, rivers, the Finger Lakes, and Great Lakes) is changing because of the increase in human traffic, the introduction of new invasive species, and the presents of many man-made toxins and even pharmaceuticals .  Find out all there is about our area's water quality so that we can note important trends that are difficult to measure over time with constant vigilance. 
  • Recycling All NewsLinks, information and resources on how to recycling properly in the Rochester, NY area.  Although, does not endorse any specific recycler, we do offer many special lists that do suggest sites, and of course all official state, city, and county recycling suggestions are listed.  Especially popular is a page from a visitor to called. Donate Recycle Reuse (DRR) Check out this special resource for recycling opportunities for the Rochester area.
  • Transportation Transportation issues, or Commuting, is important because of the fuel involved and its relation to Global Warming and our area's Air Quality.  Public transportation exists in Rochester, but proportionally not many use it though this way of commuting offers the best hope of reducing Global Warming gases, improving air quality, and reducing taxes because less maintenance will be required if we use few vehicles.  Also, we should look seriously at the possibility of bikes being an integral part of our community's commute to work. Rochester has too few city streets with no shoulders and many trails that could be connected for biking commuting.
  • Food & Environment Food and the Environment There are a number of environmental issues containing concerns we should have about the food we eat. From genetically altered foods, toxins, mercury, how far we travel to get our food and how far our food travels to get to us,  to irradiation issues, we should learn about how our food is affected by changes in our environment. There a many groups and coops trying to change the way we think about what we eat and our environment in the Rochester area.
  • Genesee River The Genesee River, which runs through the city of Rochester and dissects there with the Erie Canal, also has its unique ecology and a history of contamination from industry and agricultural run-off.  There are many environmental issues relating to this river that people still use to canoe, boat, swim on. It even harbors large vessels as the Genesee River meets Lake Ontario.  Cleaning up the Genesee from centuries of use as a transportation route and drainage for industry should be instrumental before developers begin yet another millennia of use, this time for tourism. Get the news links and all the resources for this topic. 
  • Wildlife The Wildlife in our environment, because they are so intimate with it, are often indicators of our environmental health.  Animals were part and parcel of how our particular environment in this area developed by what plants they fed on and what other animals they preyed upon.  Our way of life has change a lot of the dynamic between animals and plants.  How this interdependency has changed should be on our radar as an indication of present and future environmental health. How we treat our pets too is an indication of our sensitivity towards our environment. Added to this page is a sub-page with a directory for all humane societies within the Rochester area.
    • Humane Societies This is a list of all the Humane Societies in and around Rochester, NY.
    • Geese Problem Sometimes (it seems) tolerating geese that crowd our lawn, ponds, and streets makes us want to eliminate them altogether. That doesn’t make much sense environmentally or humanely, but as we sprawl out into the wilderness animals that we used to encounter only in the wilds now find our new properties home
    • Deer Problem From the animal activist’s view, deer mean us no harm, and there is a case to be made that we demean ourselves pleasuring in the slaughtering of a harmless.    Then, there is the problem of trying to control our environment with a bullet.
  • Environmental Health Ultimately, this issue looms the largest of all environmental issues, because our environmental health describes our own health.  Our Rochester, NY area has many universities which specialize in Environmental Health, which makes it a leader in detecting and a leader in solutions for environmental health. 
    • Lyme Disease
    • Rabies
    • West Nile Virus Since 1999, West Nile Virus, an invasive disease from North Africa, has become a yearly concern for us in Western New York, as in other US states.  This potentially dangerous disease for people with fragile or compromised immune systems can be fatal.  However, monitoring this disease during middle and late summer and taking a few precautionary measures, we can keep this new disease, which will probably be with us for a long time and have periods of high and low concern, in check.  This page has most of the resources you'll need to stay abreast of this disease with list of resources we can use to prevent this disease without using pesticides--which has the potential to make a bad problem much worse by further polluting our environment with toxins.
    • Lead Poisoning Lead Poisoning Issue in Rochester, NY - Lead poisoning is a major problem in our area and affects the health of our children.  Learn about the news stories and what you can do. The point to get about our Lead Poisoning problem is not that we have a serious lead poisoning problem--we do.  Most cities in the US and perhaps around the world have this problem.  The point is that Rochester, NY is taking this problem seriously and putting it up front and center of its concern--not hiding it and not dealing with it, as many communities do.
    • ViralHemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) Read about the progression of the invasive fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)  spreading in the Great Lakes
  • Parks Get all the news, information, resources, photographs about Monroe County and surrounding parks. Eventually, each park will have its own page. Right now these parks pages exist: Seneca Park, River Bend Park. Cobbs Hill Park.
  • Invasive Species We should be aware of the various invasive species in our area because they can wreak havoc.  When an invasive species arrives, they usually do not have any natural enemies and they can, over time, change our area's ecology.  The Purple Loosestrife, for example was brought to North America from Europe as a decorative plant spices, which it is, but it now covers our fields, pushing out endemic plant species, which in turn changes our pollinating insects many of which do not have any use for this new plant. Our Rochester area is not immune from the environmental problem of invasive species. This page points out some the invasive species in our area, including plants and animals, resources to find out more about this issue, and recent news stories about them in our local media.
    • Zebra Mussels Zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, are small, fingernail-sized, freshwater mollusks accidentally introduced to North America via ballast water from a transoceanic vessel. Since their introduction in the mid 1980s, they have spread rapidly to all of the Great Lakes and an increasing number of inland waterways in the United States and Canada. This invasive species represents what happens when an invasive species takes hold in a area, as I have watched the progress of this species since the mid 1980's.  Now many of our lakes have been redefined by the Zebra Mussel, their ecology forever changed.  
  • Energy The prospect of Climate Change for our area looms large and the extent of change will most probably be influenced by where we get our energy in the future. Find out about energy and how it relates to Rochester. Also, discover alternative energy sources that are environmentally friendly.  Rochester, because of its many schools of higher education, is becoming an innovative leader in developing many kinds of renewable energy sources. 
    • Wind Power Because the federal government will not make comprehensive rules for the placement of wind turbines around the country, providing us with one of the best sources for renewable energy, most town councils have been given this critical role for each of their communities.
    • Solar Power Solar power is slowing coming to our area. This page has all the past news as companies develop this technology here in Rochester and others--homeowners, business, universities, and government use solar to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Fracking Some would say if you are ‘pro’ Fracking or ‘anti’ Fracking you cannot be objective on Fracking.  I say that is the wrong heuristic because the focus of our attention should be on the health of our environment, not on the health of a particular industry.  Our media needs to change their notion of ‘objectivity’ when it comes to environmental issues, especially as Climate Change becomes the lens from which we should view all environmental issues. Check this site for all the news, resources, and studies about Fracking as it pertains in New York State