Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Starts 2018 Autumn Lecture Series On Sept. 8

The Hawk Mountain 2018 Autumn Lecture Series will kick off on September 8 with a free lecture by Director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, Dr. Nina Schoch.
Lectures take place most Saturday evenings through the end of October in the Hawk Mountain Visitor Center Gallery in Berks County.
The theme for the 2018 series is "Year of the Bird," a celebration campaign initiated by National Geographic.
This year's impressive line-up features conservationists from around the world, who focus their life work on saving birds and educating the public regionally and globally.
The schedule is as follows:
-- September 8: Conservation Through the Lives of Adirondack Loons, 5:30. Presented by Dr. Nina Schoch, Director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation.  Dr. Nina Scoch, will utilize captivating photos and videos to provide an intriguing overview of common loon natural history. Her interactive multimedia presentation also discusses the fascinating loon research and conservation efforts of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation.
-- September 15: Thirty Years of Raptor Education, 5:30. Presented by Kate Davis. Author, long-time raptor educator, and founder of the Raptors of the Rockies non-profit organization Kate Davis will present a colorful presentation with highlights from her life with raptors and education programming. It will include over 100 inspirational photos of children and birds, as well as a discussion of Raptor Versus Rapture.
-- September 22: Raptors of the Strait of Gibraltar, 5:00. Presented by Sergio Seipke. Drawing from his world-wide raptor explorations, former Hawk Mountain international Conservation Science and Leadership Trainee Sergio Seipke takes us on a journey to one of the world's prime hawkwatching destinations: the Strait of Gibraltar. He will share with us insights into raptor migration and abundance, plumage variation, and conservation challenges faced by this charismatic group of birds in the Strait region.
-- October 6: A Wing and a Care: Building a Future for Birds, 5:30. Presented by Shawn Carey. Snowy owls, Atlantic puffins, and American kestrels are connected by more than simply a resemblance of form or function; a crucial thread ties them together. Each one has an advocate committed to protecting it and educating others about its plight. Shawn Carey of Migration Productions will present their latest video, "A Wing and a Care," which opens a window into the lives of these three birds and introduces you to the men dedicated to their preservation and survival.
-- October 27: Seeking the Gray Ghosts, 5:30. Presented by Chelsea DeMarco. Join Chelsea DeMarco, the lead graduate student from Penn State working on the Pennsylvania Goshawk Project, to find out what the team has discovered after two seasons of studying goshawks in PA, including general information about the project and future plans.
After a Saturday of hawkwatching, hiking, and taking in scenic views, visitors are encouraged to stay for an entertaining and informative talk by Hawk Mountain staff or other wildlife experts. More information can be found online.
Visit the Hawk Mountain Events page for other fall events.
The 2,500-acre Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and is open to the public year-round by trail-fee or membership, which in turn supports the non-profit organization’s raptor conservation mission and local-to-global research, training, and education programs.
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.  Click Here to support Hawk Mountain.

Bucknell University’s Susquehanna River Symposium Now Accepting Presentation Proposals

The Susquehanna River Symposium at Bucknell University in the Elaine Langone Center in Lewisburg, Union County on October 26-27 is now accepting abstracts for presentations.  The deadline for submissions is September 30.
This year’s Symposium theme is Science, Conservation and Heritage.
Abstracts for both oral and poster presentations are being sought from all interested parties, including faculty, students, professionals, state and federal environmental agencies, conservancies, watershed groups, and regulators.  
Example topics include, but are not limited to:
-- Cultural heritage and land use history; legacy alterations to the watershed
-- Indigenous wisdom and native approaches to sustainable watershed management
-- The hydrology, ecology, and natural history of lakes, marshes, and bogs
-- Headwater regions, small stream habitats, tributary-mainstem connections; spatial and temporal variability within and across watersheds
-- Hydroclimatology of extreme events;  climate change in the mid-Atlantic region
aquatic ecology, river or stream metabolism, and ecosystem process and function
-- Hydrogeology, karst, and groundwater resources and remediation
-- Terrestrial ecosystems, forests, meadows, and the riparian corridor
-- Urban hydrology and new approaches stormwater management
-- Economic and water policy factors to consider sustainable watershed management
-- Water quality, river chemistry and pollution; and emerging contaminants
-- Fluvial geomorphology and processes; stream restoration and river engineering
-- Oil and natural gas development
-- River-bay-estuary-ocean connections; deltaic and brackish environments; coastal flooding and/or erosion issues
-- River towns and communities
-- Ecosystem services and assessing the economic value of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
-- Watershed planning and sustainability; community awareness and education
Click Here to submit an abstract.  Questions should be directed to Benjamin Hayes by sending email to: or call 570-577-1830, or Sean Reese by sending email to: or call 570-577-3699.
For more information, visit the Susquehanna River Symposium webpage.

DEP: West Nile Virus Mosquito Spraying Set For Adams, York Counties On Aug. 16

The Department of Environmental Protection’s West Nile Virus Program announced it will conduct a mosquito control operation to reduce high populations of mosquitoes on Thursday, August 16 in parts of East Berlin, Adams County and Paradise Township, York County.
Truck-mounted, Ultra Low Volume (ULV) spray equipment will be utilized to spray Duet at a rate of 1.0 oz/acre. This product is designed to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations. The spraying will begin late in the evening.
Weather conditions and other unexpected events could delay or cancel this spray operation. The rain date for this event will be Monday, August 20, 2018.
Other upcoming spraying events are listed on the West Nile Virus Program homepage (lower right) or Click Here to check on spraying in other parts of the state.
Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Department of Health, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.
Individuals can take a number of precautionary measures around their homes to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:
-- Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar containers that hold water.
-- Properly dispose of discarded tires that can collect water. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
-- Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
-- Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year as the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug drains.
-- Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
-- Turn over wheelbarrows and don't let water stagnate in birdbaths.
-- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
-- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use and remove any water that may collect on pool covers.
If a resident has stagnant pools of water on their property, they can buy Bti (short for Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis) products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacterium kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.
Additionally, these simple precautions can prevent mosquito bites, particularly for people who are most at risk:
-- Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
-- Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.
-- When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.
-- Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picardin, or lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician for questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
For more information about West Nile virus and the state's surveillance and control program, please visit the West Nile Virus website.

3 People Test Positive For West Nile Virus In Franklin, York Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection’s West Nile Virus Program Wednesday reported three more people have tested positive for West Nile Virus-- 2 in Franklin County and 1 in York County.
This brings to 4 the total number of human cases reported so far this season.  On July 31 the program reported one person in Allegheny County had tested positive.
Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Department of Health, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.
DEP reported West Nile Virus was found in one new county this week so far-- Clarion.
The other counties with positive mosquito or bird samples include-- Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Union, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming and York.
Upcoming mosquito spraying events are listed on the West Nile Virus Program homepage (lower right) or Click Here to check on spraying in other parts of the state.
To learn about precautions you can take and for more on the state's surveillance and control program, please visit the West Nile Virus website.

Allegheny County Health Dept. Accepting Proposals For Air Pollution Education Projects

The Allegheny County Health Department is accepting proposals from groups to support education activities to be funded by the County Clean Air Fund.  The deadline for proposals is August 29.
Projects costing between $10,000 and $75,000 which have an implementation timeline of 2 years or less will be considered.
A similar request for proposals will be available in the upcoming weeks related to emission reduction projects.
Click Here for all the details.

FirstEnergy Takes Next Step In Deactivation Of Its 3 Nuclear Power Plants

FirstEnergy Solutions Inc. Wednesday announced it has taken its latest step in the regulatory process leading to the deactivation of its three nuclear power plants beginning in 2020.
FES submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission its Certified Fuel Handler Training and Retraining Program, as required under the NRC's decommissioning process. The filing details the training program for professionals who will supervise the removal and on-site storage of fuel from the nuclear plants.
FES announced on March 28, 2018, that it would deactivate the plants on the following schedule:
-- Beaver Valley Power Station, Shippingport, Pennsylvania, Unit 1 May 2021 and Unit 2 October 2021
-- Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Oak Harbor, Ohio, May 2020;
-- Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Perry, Ohio, May 2021
"Today's NRC submission is a necessary milestone for us but not a welcome one," said Don Moul, FES President and Chief Nuclear Officer. "Our nuclear plants provide important environmental, economic and fuel-diversity benefits to our region, but we cannot continue to operate them without state-level policy relief in Ohio and Pennsylvania or immediate and significant market reforms that provide meaningful compensation for the unique attributes nuclear generation provides."
The total capacity of the nuclear plants to be deactivated is 4,048 megawatts (MW). In 2017, the nuclear units contributed approximately 65 percent of the electricity produced by the FES generating fleet.
The two Ohio plants represent 14 percent of Ohio's electric generation capacity and 90 percent of its carbon emissions-free capacity.
"We intend to work with Ohio and Pennsylvania officials towards a solution that will enable these plants to continue contributing to cleaner air and regional energy security," Moul said, adding, "In the meantime we will move forward with the required steps towards deactivation."
A solution must be reached by mid-2019, when FES must either purchase the fuel required for Davis-Besse's next refueling or proceed with the shutdown.
(Photo: Beaver Valley.)
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Another Green Infrastructure Project Reduces Flooding In Manheim, Lancaster County

Another round of significant stream flooding over the last few days again demonstrates the triple benefits of green infrastructure projects like Logan Park in Manheim Borough, Lancaster County.
Rife Run traverses a 20-acre area the Borough had developed previously into a park with athletic fields, but those fields were frequently out of use because of seasonal flooding and wet conditions due to legacy sediments that built up in the stream’s floodplain.
A floodplain restoration project completed in 2015 allowed the athletic fields to be re-established on the uplands created from excavated floodplain material.
The result is athletic fields that are higher, dryer, and more usable and a naturalized floodplain was established that adds beauty to the park and improves the function of the floodplain to mitigate stormwater runoff.
Wetlands were created and stormwater best management practices were introduced to improve water quality and meet regulatory mandates while providing an enhanced setting for trails and wildlife habitat.
During the rains this week, the restored floodplain and more natural realignment of the stream redirected stormwater and allowed it to spread out on the floodplain, not on the athletic fields or to damage nearby homes.
And once installed, green infrastructure like restored floodplains, forest buffers, infiltration areas and rain gardens become more effective because they are living things, growing practices, not cement and cinder block structures.
Click Here for more on the Logan Park Project.
The Future Is Green… Infrastructure
Communities and the state have started to rely more and more on green infrastructure for cheaper, more cost effective ways to deal with critical water pollution and flooding problems faced by the Commonwealth.
Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, as well as Lycoming, Monroe and York counties and groups of communities like in the Wyoming Valley have already turned to green infrastructure with its multiple benefits to meet water quality goals with a single investment.
Pennsylvania’s initiative to develop the state’s Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan covering half the state is focused on developing county by county list of green infrastructure policies and practices needed to fulfill the state’s Chesapeake Bay obligations.
To learn more about green infrastructure, read Meeting The Challenge Of Keeping Pennsylvania Clean, Green And Growing.
For more information on the Logan Park green infrastructure project and others, visit the LandStudies website or contact Laurel Etter Longenecker, 717-726-4440 or send email to:   Click Here to sign up for green infrastructure updates.  
LandStudies is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) based in Lititz, Lancaster County.  Follow LandStudies on Twitter, Like them on Facebook.
(Photo: The Logan Park green infrastructure project working as designed this week.)
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