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November 2013

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HOLIDAY PARTY - Thursday, Dec. 5th at 6:30pm  Enjoy the company of fellow Sierrans and environmentalists as we celebrate our hard work in 2013 and consider how to succeed in 2014. Beer, wine and munchies will be served. Manhattan Borough President Elect Gale Brewer will be attending, and the party is on the schedules of Councilmembers Steve Levin and Daniel Garodnick, as well as State Senator Liz Krueger.  The requested donation is $15 per person (non-members are encouraged to attend). Please phone 718-638-3533, or send an E-Mail to to reserve your spot at the party.

NYC Picture1*NY Earth Day Event at NYU: Live Green Work Green - Sustainable Lives to Sustainable Careers. If you want a career and save the planet, make sure you have a background in science! That was the message heard by undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates at an NYU event titled, “Live Green Work Green - Sustainable Lives to Sustainable Careers.” Most panelists and speakers stressed that while they received on the job training, a background in science, statistics, chemistry and writing software were most helpful to them. They also stressed that young people should be open to as many different experiences as possible even non paid internships. Students took that to heart and many, along with adult participants, approached the Sierra Club table to find out how to get involved.  For more information, click here.

Do you have a bundle of money and want to give geothermal energy a try in your home? Well, not so fast. You’ll need ample space to start, explained Alan Posner at our November 20th Sustainability Event. He and two colleagues from the NYC Department of Design and Construction identifies several NYC institutions, including Queens Botanic Garden, the Bronx Zoo, Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor and two others, that fit the need for open space and the ability to do new construction. The engineers and contractors installed one of three different systems at each location, which they described in detail and they have written a book describing the process. For more information, click here.

The next Sustainability Program is on January 15 2014 with the screening of More Than Honey with samples of local honey. Check it out here.

TransCanada’s Ravenswood Generating Facility provides 21% on NYC’s peak energy demand and it is the first facility to apply to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to withdraw water for cooling under a new law governing such withdrawals. Ravenswood needs water to create steam, which spins turbines to generate electricity. The water is then returned directly to the East River via an antiquated “once through” system, with harmful effects on fish and the environment. The Sierra Club is calling for an environmental impact review and an upgrade to the best technology to reduce the huge number of fish killed annually. For more information, see our blog post here. If you are interested in working on this issue contact Irene Van Slyke at, or Arthur Kuipers at For more information see our blog post here.

* Where is the Gowanus Going Today?  Glad You Asked. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Record of Decision regarding the cleanup of the Gownaus Canal, which has been designated a superfund site. The ROD establishes the timetable and cleanup method by which the canal area will be decontaminated of toxic chemicals. A community advisory group of residents, including environmental activists, is working to make the canal as clean as possible, so that it might be swimmable and fishable. Read about the canal’s history and details about the cleanup. For more information, click here.

Recent posts on our Blog over the past month include Indian Point on its Way Out, in which a long-time activist in the movement to close Indian Point explains why he is hopeful, and Staten Island's Neglected North Shore, in which a movement activist writes about environmental injustice on the North Shore of Staten Island.

And don’t forget to check our calendar, for events of interest to environmentalists in and around New York City.

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