Friday, April 28, 2017

Stroud Water Research Center: Volunteers Plant 1,140 Trees Along Read Clay Creek

Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County celebrated National Volunteer Week Thursday by restoring 3.8 acres (approximately 165,528 square feet) along two first-order, headwater tributaries of Red Clay Creek in Chester County, which is a major tributary of Brandywine Creek and then the Christina River.
Volunteers from Exelon Generation, one of the monetary supporters of the planting, were joined by volunteers from BB&T, Cheshire Hunt Conservancy, Colonial Pipeline, Dansko, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, and local community members to plant 1,140 trees and shelters along this forested buffer.
“Exelon supports and encourages our employees to support the organizations that they care about through volunteer service — we want to improve quality of life in the communities where we live, work, and serve. This year, we are extremely proud to support Stroud Water Research Center with not only funding but also the opportunity to make an impactful difference through conservation measures that protect our freshwater resources,” said Vicky Will, Exelon Power’s vice president of operations support and environmental services.
Restoration projects to create forested buffers are used to protect streams by filtering out contaminants from agriculture and other land uses before they can enter streams.
A forest buffer provides a first line of defense (keeping sediment and nutrients out) as well as a secondary line of defense (keeping sediment and nutrients from moving downstream) for maintaining clean water in our streams and rivers.
Scientists at the Stroud Center have been studying the important effects of forested buffers over the past 50 years, and each tree planting is another opportunity to learn more about the relationship between trees and clean fresh water for all.
“Trees are the foundation of watershed health,” said Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., distinguished scientist and president of Stroud Water Research Center. “We are so grateful to have the support of the wonderful companies in our community to help us restore our streams through riparian plantings. This one was our largest volunteer-only tree planting to date.”
Funding for this project was provided by Exelon Generation and TreeVitalize.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Stroud Water Research Center website, Click Here to sign up for regular updates from Stroud, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, include them in your Circle on Google+ and visit their YouTube Channel.

DEP: May 3 Meeting On Waste Transfer Station Permit In Erie

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday invited interested members of the public to a public information meeting on May 3 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at McKinley Elementary School (gym/cafeteria) located at 933 East 22nd Street, Erie, PA 16503.
The meeting is to inform the public about a municipal waste transfer station permit application submitted by Pro Waste Services, Inc.
The purpose of the meeting is for the applicant to answer questions about their project and permit application, for the department to explain the permit application review process, and for both the department and the applicant to hear and understand concerns or questions from the public.
Copies of the application are available for review at the Department of Environmental Protection, Northwest Regional Office, 230 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA 16335 and at the Raymond M. Blasco Memorial Library, 160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 16507 at the reference desk.
Questions should be directed to Melanie Williams, DEP Meadville Office, 814-332-6615.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

17 DEP Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants Awarded To Schools, Businesses, Municipalities

Department of Environmental Protection Thursday awarded grants to 17 alternative fuel projects that will save an estimated 650 million gallons of fuel in Pennsylvania.
These Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants will be used to develop and promote the use of alternative fuels and develop supporting infrastructure, improving air quality through alternative fuel use.
“The AFIG program has made tremendous strides in reducing air pollution, improving the quality of the air we breathe, and paying economic dividends through a reduction in the use of gasoline,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “These grants are awarded to a wide range of projects, both large and small. From purchasing two alternative fuel vehicles to converting entire fleets, these projects show a commitment to make changes that will benefit all Pennsylvanians.”
Nearly $2 million in grants were awarded across the two categories. The awards for vehicles will save approximately 650 thousand gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel annually.
This is the final awarding of AFIG funding for applications submitted in 2016. Nearly $5.5 million was awarded to 43 projects for the calendar year. DEP expects to reopen the AFIG program with next the application submission date due early this summer.
“Places like Lycoming County and the River Valley Transit system will save money on fuel costs and cut down on air pollution, and the Philadelphia Airport will be able to serve customers with electric vehicles with new charging stations,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
The primary goals of the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program are to improve Pennsylvania’s air quality and reduce consumption of imported oil through the use of alternative fuels that will help the Commonwealth's economy and environment.
DEP accepts applications for innovative, advanced fuel and vehicle technology projects resulting in a cleaner and greener transportation sector within the Commonwealth.
The AFIG Fund was established under Act 166 of 1992 and is administered by the DEP through the Office of Policy.
Click Here for a list of grants awarded.
Cleaner Vehicle Grants Open
There are three other cleaner vehicle grant programs now accepting applications with these deadlines--
For more information on this program, visit DEP’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants webpage.

Wildlands Conservancy Highlights May Education Programs

The Wildlands Conservancy Thursday highlighted its upcoming educational programs in May featuring--
-- Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Conservancy
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Wildlands Conservancy website, Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter and Join on Instagram.

May 22 Environmental Issues Forum Features Presentation On Pollinators

The May 22 Environmental Issues Forum hosted by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will feature a presentation on the decline of pollinator populations in Pennsylvania.
The presenters include Dr. Harland Patch, a research scientist at Penn State’s Department of Entomology, and Mr. Charles Vorisek, past president of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association and member of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
Pollinators play a significant role in the production of fruit and vegetables. For example, 90 percent of our nation’s apple crop relies on bee-induced pollination.
Over the last decade, however, there has been a staggering decline in the Western honeybee population, attributed to several causes, including colony collapse disorder. This has alarmed scientists and farmers alike, as it poses a significant risk to the world’s agriculture and food supply.
The Forum will be held in Room 8E-A East Wing of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg starting at Noon.
Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) serves as Chair of the Joint Conservation Committee.
For more information, visit the Joint Conservation Committee website, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.
Helpful Links:
Ernst Seeds: Pollinator Habitat, Problems, Solutions

KPB Affiliates In Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry Counties Receive Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award

The Tire War, hosted annually by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful affiliates Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful, Keep Juniata County Beautiful, PA CleanWays of Mifflin County and Keep Perry County Beautiful, received a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Harrisburg at a special dinner hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection and the PA Environmental Council Tuesday.
“The Environmental Excellence Awards show just how many Pennsylvanians, from fourth-grade students to factory owners, care deeply about the air, land, and water in their communities,” said Gov. Wolf. “We all benefit, as their commitment to tackling important environmental challenges improves our quality of life statewide.”
The “Tire War” program began in 2006 when the affiliates decided to turn the otherwise unglamorous tire collections into a friendly competition to see who could collect the most tires from their county’s residents.
At the end of each event, the county that collected the most tires that year proudly took home the “Gold Rim Award,” an actual gold painted tire rim to proudly display, and the bragging rights for the next year.  
The tires that are collected are shipped to a processor where they are turned into useful products like rubber mulch, play and athletic turf, and even crumb rubber for road surfaces.
The collections have gathered and recycled over 35,000 tires from local County residents since 2006. These tires are prevented from ending up over the hill or in waterways where they would pose serious environmental impacts.
Tires do not biodegrade, but decompose and leach toxic chemicals that contaminate soil and water. Tires also provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes, increasing the risk of West Nile Virus and Zika Virus.
“Our local affiliates share our mission of empowering Pennsylvanians to keep our communities clean and beautiful. By coordinating annual tire collections, our affiliates consistently provide their residents with a convenient, low cost option for tire disposal, keeping them off our public lands where they become an environmental hazard and are costly to remove,” stated Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Since the Tire War program’s inception, affiliates have reported finding less tires during illegal dump cleanups. We congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”
The Tire Wars are sponsored in part by the Department of Environmental Protection’s HHW/Small Business Hazardous Waste Collection Program.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.
Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s new Electronics Waste website.
Sign up now for the 2017 Great American Cleanup of PA and set up your own cleanup and beautification event through May 31.
(Photo: Brent Leach, Keep Juniata County Beautiful; Shannon Reiter, Keep PA Beautiful; Pam Sechrist and Mindy Williams, PA CleanWays of Mifflin County; Sally Tengeres and Kristie Smith, Keep Perry County Beautiful; Stacia-Fe Gillen, Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful.)

Shrivastava Named Penn State’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Head Of Sustainability Institute

Paul Shrivastava, recently the executive director of Future Earth, a global environmental change research program, as well as a prominent researcher in the fields of sustainability, risk and crisis management, has been named Penn State University’s chief sustainability officer and director of the Penn State Sustainability Institute.
Shrivastava’s appointment is effective July 1, 2017.
“Penn State’s commitment to sustainability touches every area of our University, and involves hundreds of students, faculty and staff. As chief sustainability officer, Paul will have a lead role in guiding us to an even greater impact,” said Penn State President Eric Barron.   
As the director of Future Earth, Shrivastava helped establish five global hubs and four regional centers, as well as transdisciplinary “Knowledge Action Networks” to extend the impact of the organization’s research projects and its network of 50,000 scientists.
Shrivastava said, “I am very excited about Penn State’s wide disciplinary base, its interdisciplinary research and deep engagement with communities across its 23 campuses.  With the University’s traditional strengths in agriculture, engineering, healthcare, arts and humanities, we are uniquely positioned to lead the Commonwealth and the country in implementing sustainable development goals and the global Agenda 2030 agreement that the United States signed in 2015.”
Prior to his work with Future Earth, Shrivastava served as the David O’Brien Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, and the director of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal.
He has served as the Howard I. Scott Chair and professor of management at Bucknell University, where he was also the senior advisor on sustainability.
Shrivastava received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, and he was a tenured associate professor of management at the New York University Stern School of Business.
Shrivastava’s academic service has included the development of online learning communities, courses and entire platforms, as well as workshops and courses to train faculty on successfully utilizing online learning systems.
Shrivastava also leads the International Research Chair on Art and Sustainable Enterprise at the ICN Business School, Nancy, France.
“This project is based on the assumption that science alone cannot solve all problems of sustainability. At least part of our current environmental crisis is rooted in a deficit of emotional connection between humans and nature. Art as a repository and vehicle of human emotions needs to be integrated with the science of sustainability to achieve compelling solutions,” Shrivastava said.
The Penn State Sustainability Institute provides many university-wide programs at Penn State, including Green Teams, Green Paws and the Reinvention Fund, which has awarded more than $875,000 for sustainability-related projects.
Public-facing programs include the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, which focuses on developing University partnerships around community-identified projects.
“Through our strengths in interdisciplinary research, Penn State is already making an impact with research on topics that are crucial to sustainability,” said Neil Sharkey, vice president for Research. “Paul’s experience in not only teaching and research, but in management and global environmental consulting, will help continue to strengthen Penn State’s position as a thought-leader on issues of campus, local and global sustainability.”
Shrivastava will succeed Denice Wardrop, senior scientist and professor of geography and ecology at Penn State, who served as the director since its inception as a standalone institute.
Thomas Richard, director of Penn State’s Institute of Energy and Environment, will oversee the university’s sustainability efforts until Shrivastava assumes leadership.
“We thank Denice for her tireless efforts to help grow the Sustainability Institute into the organization that it is today,” Sharkey said. “She has worked to build and provide direction to an outstanding team that is well-positioned to carry the mission of the institute far into the future. We also thank Dr. Richard for his willingness to fill the void over the next few months."

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Hosts Lecture May 13 By Birds Of Prey Author Pete Dunne

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will host author Pete Dunne on May 13 at 2 p.m. as he presents a look into his new book, Birds of Prey: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Vultures. His lecture will be immediately followed by an exclusive book signing.
The presentation and signing will take place in the Sanctuary's Visitor Center Gallery and are free to the public.
During the presentation, Dunne will offer a look behind the writer's slate with this insightful and anecdotal overview of his new book, which is a definitive guide to raptors with hundreds of stunning color photographs showing raptors up close, in flight, and in action.
These gorgeous photographs enhance the comprehensive, authoritative text, which goes beyond identification to cover raptor ecology, behavior, conservation, and more. The program will be followed by a book signing where attendees have the opportunity to purchase his book.
Pete Dunne is an American author, known for his writings on nature and birding, often with focus on raptors, including Hawks in Flight, Hawk Watch: A Guide for Beginners, The Art of Pishing, and many more.
He is also the founder of the World Series of Birding, as well as Birding Ambassador for the New Jersey Audubon Society and the former director of the Cape May Bird Observatory.
In 2001, Dunne received the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association for lifetime achievement in promoting the cause of birding.
On May 13 Hawk Mountain will also host the International Migratory Bird Day celebration, with kid-friendly activities and information available from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Visitor Center.
This event highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds in North America, Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Weekend programs will also be available throughout the day, all free with a trail pass.
Click Here for more information on these and other upcoming events.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website or call 610-756-6961.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Sanctuary, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit them on Flickr, be part of their Google+ Circle and visit their YouTube Channel.

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