WXXI AM News

Department of Environmental Conservation

www.KQED.org

New York state’s environmental agency will begin enforcing a ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and other retailers on Oct. 19, more than seven months after the law took effect.

The law banning the single-use bags was to have taken effect on March 1, with a grace period before actual enforcement began. But the COVID-19 pandemic, and an unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the plastics industry, delayed its implementation.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said that changes next month.

Angling may see surge in popularity ahead of trout season

Apr 1, 2020
The Daily Star file photo

With most sports on hiatus due to the threat of COVID-19, trout season is set to open in New York on Wednesday, and anglers are hoping to capitalize on spreading the sport's popularity at a time when other sports are on hold.

"Everybody is hunkering down like they tell us to do, but there is currently no directive telling us we can't go fishing," said Tom Trelease, president of Oneonta's chapter of Trout Unlimited, a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's cold-water fisheries and watersheds.

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has released a proposed plan to clean up parts of the Genesee River that were polluted by Eastman Kodak operations decades ago.

It will host a public meeting on the proposal from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County's Rundel building, 115 South Ave.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Lewis McCaffery stands on a dock looking out over Seneca Lake.

"Sometimes while you’re doing this job, you do think, 'Wow, I am the luckiest guy to be paid to go out on the lake.' Even though there are some problems on the lake, it’s still wonderful to be out there."

The problems McCaffery is referring to are what he is here to test for.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Cumming Nature Center is a little oasis about an hour south of Rochester. With miles of quiet trails through swamplands and towering pine trees, it’s a great place to talk about citizen science.

So what exactly does that term mean?

Nathan Hayes, the director of the nature center, says its the “crowdsourcing of scientific information. Multiple people all over the place putting the puzzle pieces together to get the picture.”

There is so much information to collect, Hayes says, that scientists alone can’t do it all. That’s where the rest of us can help. He says people can get involved and collect valuable information wherever they may be.

“We can study -- we should study -- these woods, and not worry about the Amazon. I mean, worry about the Amazon, but you don’t have to go away to contribute to important scientific base of knowledge, you can do it in your backyard.”


Opponents Urge Cuomo to Say No to Pipeline Expansion

Sep 21, 2016
Karen DeWitt/file photo

Opponents of a pipeline expansion that would flow through vast portions of New York want the Cuomo administration to deny a key permit, an act that could halt the upgrade. 

The New Market Dominion pipeline is one of a dizzying array of fuel pipelines that flow through New York, in many cases taking natural gas from hydrofracking sites in other states to markets in New York and other places.

Mute Swans Spared

Nov 29, 2015
Mute Swan
NYS DEC

ALBANY (AP) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have blocked a plan to control the population of mute swans.

The legislation would have required the state's Department of Environmental Conservation to hold additional public meetings and focus on non-lethal means of controlling the population.

Cuomo said the legislation was unnecessary since the state has already backed off an earlier plan to kill the birds in the face of criticism.

Opening Day for Trout and Salmon Fishing

Apr 1, 2013
adventure.howstuffworks.com

The Department of Environmental Conservation plans to stock more than 2 million catchable-size trout in 307 lakes and ponds and 3,000 miles of streams statewide this spring.

About 2,000 of them are being released in Albany's Six Mile Waterworks Monday morning during a free fishing event.  Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens will be there to talk about other upcoming free fishing days.