Sustainability Program - Wed. Feb 19 at 6:30 PM - We will continue our Sustainability Series this spring with “How To Reduce Food Waste and Increase Composting.” New City Law requires food waste recycling. Presenters: Dep. Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen, Elizabeth Balkan of the Mayor’s Office, Professor Brett Branco, Brooklyn College, and Vokashi composters. Our full spring series and location information is here.
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* Destroying Wetlands. The NYC Group and the Atlantic Chapter are fighting
a dangerous policy – “compensatory mitigation banking” (see here) – that would
allow existing, naturally-occurring Hudson and East River and other NYC
coastal and wetland habitats to be destroyed by development projects that would
be “paid for” by “rehabilitated” wetlands or coastal lands elsewhere. The NYC
Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is asking the U.S. Army Corps of
engineers to approve the first-ever “compensatory mitigation bank” for NYC. The
Atlantic Chapter sent a letter to the Corps (read here) opposing this "shell game" that
would facilitate illegal, environmentally destructive in-water development in
irreplaceable waterways and wetlands. You can help by writing to Mayor Bill
deBlasio, City Hall, NY. NY 10007 and urge him to stop subsidizing development
in the Hudson River and other waters, and to cancel EDC plans to use fraudulent
"mitigation banking" schemes to make end-runs around the
environmental laws that protect aquatic resources, in order to facilitate
costly development in the wrong places.
* January – a month for rallies. January
was cold, but we were out three times. First, NYC Sierrans joined a
rally January 4th calling on Rep. Charles Rangel
to oppose a fast track vote on the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) treaty that has been negotiated in secret and that threatens
environmental, health and safety, labor, and other laws in the United States,
so debate is essential.
Jan 8, we joined a rally at Cuomo’s State of the State Address in
Albany. It pulled 2,000 opponents to fracking. Buses and cars of
anti-fracking protestors came from across the state, including Sierra Club
members and others from New York City. The demonstrators (see picture at right) began chanting in the morning as
they gathered and kept it up until about 2:00pm (see here).
Finally, on January
26, 2014, New Yorkers turned out again in an unprecedented
network of advocacy
organizations, including the Sierra Club and the AFL-CIO to
oppose Fast Track legislation on the TPP. Click here
to see a YouTube video of the demonstration.
* Sierra Club Water Withdrawals Task Force Monitoring
State Applications for Water Use - Looking for volunteers. New York’s water supply is finite, and the demands
on NY's water supply are many. It is important to monitor how many water
withdrawal permits are issued by NY State and for how much water. Large water
users include mining operations (including fracking), farming, industries and
energy companies. The Sierra Club is monitoring the implementation of a new
State Law that requires large water users to apply for water withdrawal permits
from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). To find out what
the Sierra Club is doing click here.
And read the Club report: How
Power Plants Kill Fish and Damage Our Waterways. And to get invovled, contact Irene Van Slyke.
* Group Election Results. 662
ballots were cast – more than in any previous election in recent memory – 519
paper and 143 electronic. There were 5 winners of 9 candidates – see below. First, the
Group owes great gratitude to Alan Gerson, John Kolp, Suzanne Mattei, and Don
Young for their time and patience. Also, thanks to Judy Francis for her
helpfulness throughout the process and to Jonathan Rubin, Manny Russ and Carl
Arnold for volunteering at the painstaking count. We also thank and acknowledge
our Chair, Ken Baer. Congratulations to all the nine candidates and thanks for
the positive campaigns they ran.
Irene Van Slyke - 446
Frank Eadie - 419
Ken Baer - 399
Jim Lane - 372
Thelma Fellows - 315
|Tom Wysmuller - 314
Julia Willebrand - 305
Edgar Freud - 285
David Veliz - 262
* January Film Showing. About 40 people joined us for the showing of More
than Honey on January
15th. We planned to start with a brief interview with a beekeeper, but because
she was ill, we read her written answers to an attentive audience. The audience
fully enjoyed More
than Honey, which had spectacular footage of bees in their hives, in
flight, and pollinating flowers as well as provocative commentary on the
importance of bees in agriculture and the life-and-death problems that bees are
* Check out recent posts on our Blog, House
Passes Bill to Gut the Superfund Law
and “Mitigation Banking” —
a Threat to NYC’s Remaining Wetlands. And
don’t forget to check our
calendar for events of interest to environmentalists in and around New York
To make a donation to our conservation efforts in New York: