Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eagle trips email send to BBC website

Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen
Memorial Field Trip Series

Search for Eagles
in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River

Join John (Jack) Padalino, President Emeritus of the Paul F-Brandwein Institute, partner with the National Park Service Delaware Water Gap NRA by caravan to search for eagles.

Meet 10:00 a.m. at the Historic Callahan House, 101 Route 209 South @ mile marker 21, Milford, PA –
Dress warmly, bring binoculars, field guides, and a lunch.

The search for eagles will conclude along the Lackawaxen River approximately 4:00 p.m.

PHONE: 570.296.6752


Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Eagle observation data that we collect will be shared with the
Eagle Institute and Hawk Migration Association of North America HMANA.
An Eagle identification field guide and a “Search for Eagles” activities hand- out will be provided by the Paul F-Brandwein Institute.

Join us to Search For Eagles, the symbol of our nation.

12/8 NY Times arrticle on Hydro fracturing

Dark Side of a Natural Gas Boom
Some environmentalists are concerned that a technology
called hydraulic fracturing used to produce natural gas
could be leading to pollution.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 pieces of news info Re Conservation issues; Internship

1) Staten Island rally this Saturday to save Pouch Camp (Greenbelt)


*Pouch Camp rally
Supporters looking to preserve the William H. Pouch Scout Camp in Sea View have organized a public rally.

Dec. 12, 5 to 6:30 p.m.


Meet in front of Susan Wagner High School, 1200 Manor Rd., Sea View.


The group will march down the street to the camp, then proceed to its Memorial Garden, where the annual holiday lighting will take place.

*Of note
As of last night, more 400 Facebook members had confirmed their attendance and the camp’s head ranger, Gil Schweiger, confirmed that another 1,000 to 1,200 individuals had made verbal commitments.


From Jonathan Wells from Prospect Park Audubon Center; searching for a graduate internship

Hello all,

Hope all is well. I am looking for a graduate student for an internship program I’m running here at the center this spring. If you know of anyone who might be appropriate please let them or myself know. See below a brief description and an attached flyer.

Thanks so much for any assistance,


Jonathan P. Wells

Manager of Education Programs

Prospect Park Audubon Center

(718) 287-3400 x114

To be successful in our conservation efforts, we need your help! Sign up for Audubon Alerts and the Advisory at

To whom it may concern;

This spring the Prospect Park Audubon Center will be offering a graduate level internship to students interested in entering into environmental education, or an environmental administration field. The Internship will give students entry-level experience at the Audubon Center, while receiving internship credits from their respective schools. Please see below a brief internship description, the same information attached as a document, and a flyer for advertising at your organization. Please have any potential candidates submit the below requirements to For additional internal information please contact me at the email address below. Feel free to pass this email along to any interested parties.

Thank you for your assistance,

Jonathan Wells

Jonathan P. Wells

Manager of Education Programs / Internship Coordinator

Prospect Park Audubon Center

(718) 287-3400 x114

To be successful in our conservation efforts, we need your help! Sign up for Audubon Alerts and the Advisory at


The Prospect Park Alliance, working in partnership with City of New York and the community, restores, develops, and operates Prospect Park for the enjoyment of all by caring for the natural environment, preserving historic design, and serving the public through facilities and programs. Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s 585-acre historic flagship park, designed by the famed Olmsted and Vaux. It is the home of Brooklyn’s only lake and forest, with nature trails, numerous recreational activities, public and school-based educational programs, volunteer opportunities, and the first urban Audubon Center.

The mission of the Prospect Park Audubon Center is to inspire the people of Brooklyn to appreciate, learn about and protect the birds, other wildlife and their habitats in Prospect Park and beyond.


The Prospect Park Audubon Center seeks a graduate student intern. The internship provides school credit and work experience for students interested in the fields of environmental education or environmental institution administration. The internship is designed to prepare graduate students entering into the field through training, education, and work experience in four core career components:

1. Non-formal Teaching Experience

2. Environmental Philosophy, Education, and the Inquiry-based Teaching Method

3. Environmental Institution Administration

4. Special Events Management or Staff Development

Interns will obtain the four components by, but not limited to, the teaching of non-formal education programs, assisting in the development of curriculum, participate in the dynamics of a non-profit environmental organization, gaining customer service experience, interpretation of exhibits, learning the nuances of teaching about the natural world in an urban environment, assistance in the execution of special events, and the completion of one of two projects; running a special event at the center, or a staff development session.

The ultimate goal of the semester long internship is to fill the growing need for environmental educators and administrators in urban settings, while simultaneously alleviating the staffing need of this non-profit institution, and training students to become employees grounded in the communities they serve, while solidifying interns as strong candidates for future job opportunities at the Prospect Park Audubon Center.

Internship Duration & Requirements:

· Students must be registered in a graduate level program in environmental education, environmental science, biology, or a related program.

· Internship participants are required to participate during the spring 2010 semester of their respective schools program.

· This is an unpaid Internship.

· Students must receive credit hour approval from their respective school.

· Internship hours committed is based upon respective graduate program requirements, though students must complete a minimum of twelve hours per week in addition to a minimum of eighteen hours of work during weekend public hours.

· Average intern parameters typically constitute 3-4 credit hours and 160 hours in the internship.

· Typical shifts are based upon the centers normal business hours between 9am and 5pm Tuesday through Friday.

· Students are required to receive a background check.

To apply send a resume, cover letter, two references (one academic, one professional), your graduate program advisor’s contact information, and semester start and end date to . Items must be submitted no later than four weeks prior to the start of a spring semester.

No phone calls, please. Although we appreciate your interest, we will only contact applicants we are considering for interview. The Prospect Park Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.


Email memo sent by speaker of NY city council , Christine Quinn about Hydro Fracturing near the NYC water reservoirs

December 3, 2009

Dear New Yorker,

We want to alert you about a troubling development for New York City's water.

On September 30, 2009, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released a document proposing new permitting procedures and regulations for natural gas drilling in our state. In effect, this document has left an open path for an unconventional gas drilling technique, known as hydraulic fracturing, to proceed in the land areas that supply our City with its famously clean drinking water.

We are deeply troubled by this prospect. As much as 90 percent of our City's water comes from the Catskill/Delaware watershed. Natural gas drilling, a heavily industrial activity, risks introducing highly toxic chemicals into the City's drinking water. If the water were to become contaminated, the City would have to spend an estimated $10 billion to build a filtration plant and $100 million annually to operate it - further increasing water bills that have already seen double digit increases over the past three years.

If you care as deeply about the future of our City's water supply as we do, please call or write Governor Paterson and ask him and the State Legislature to explicitly ban drilling for natural gas in the City's watershed. We've gone ahead and drafted a letter that folks can easily sign on to and send to the Governor via our website. To access, click

Additionally, the State should extend the public comment period on the proposed regulations, which are found in a voluminous document called the "draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement. The public comment period should be extended through February 28, 2010.

Finally, please call or write your U.S. representative and U.S. senators and ask them to support the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009, which would help protect drinking water supplies throughout the country from the serious risks that hydrofracking poses. You can find your representative's contact information by clicking here and your senators' contact information by clicking here. You can also call the Capitol's main switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Thanks so much for helping us protect our City's water supply.


Christine C. Quinn


New York City Council

James Gennaro

Chair, Committee on Environmental Protection

New York City Council

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Plumb Beach erosion concerns

This article I picked up from the Brooklyn Papers of the Sheepshead Bay locale

Wednesday, December 2, Home

Residents: Plumb Beach needs more than a band-aid

By Joe Maniscalco
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 9:42 PM EST
Comment (No comments posted.) Email To a Friend

Congressman Weiner looks over a section of the bike path that was destroyed by the last storm surge. Photo by Steve Solomonson
Plumb Beach’s latest thrashing at the hands of Mother Nature has left area resdents demanding a long-term solution to what they see as a rapidly deteriorating situation.

The latest strorm track to batter Plumb Beach last month carried away huge amounts of sand and destroyed a 150-foot sectionof the Shore Parkway Greenway running along the Belt Parkway near the Plumb Beach parking lot.

Emergency stabilization efforts - including the introduction of sandbags and rock boulders - are now underway in an effort to limit the damage.

This week, Rep. Anthony Weiner toured the site and assessed the damage along with local residents and representatives from several governmental agencies.

Those all too familiar with Plumb Beach’s history of storm damage say that this time around the area needs more than a “Band-aid” approach.

“They put sandbags in a few years ago and there’s not even any evidence of them,” Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo said. “This weekend they’re predicting a storm. God forbid if the Belt Parkway is flooded, what will we do?”

The NYC Parks Department says its engineers are working with several other invovled agencies including the Department of Environmental Conservation, National Parks Service, Department of Transportation and Army Corps. of Engineers to “evaluate the long term methods of repairing the affected area.”

Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association President Kathy Flynn called on Weiner to “quarterback” the effort.

“We’ve been many years questioning this situation and it’s always the same thing - [governmental] agencies passing the buck,” she said.

For the last several years, activists like Flynn have also been calling for dredging the mouth of Sheepshead Bay.

ADVERTISEMENTThey maintain that storm surges like the one that occurred last month not only erode Plumb Beach and threaten the Belt Parkway, they also clog navigation lanes.

“There’s colateral damage,” Flynn said. “The whole north shore is eroding away and the south shore keeps building up.”

Money that could be earmarked for that effort has not been forthcoming.

Weiner has asked all interested parties to “go back to the drawing board” to find a solution to Plumb Beach’s problems.

“Something has got to be done,” Scavo said.

One option being suggested is the installation of some sort of off-shore barrier that could theoretically deflect storm surges.

“Yes, something has to be done,” Flynn cautioned. “In the long-term I’d like to see more of a natural type of barrier rather than a cement or steel bulkhead. This is a natural area and it should be preserved that way.”

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Staten Island Greenbelt habitat in jeopardy


For a visual of the property on a trail map, look at Boy Scout Pouch Camp to the right of "Bloodroot Valley". The private camp lies in the heart of the Greenbelt

Conjuring environmental battles of decades past, a Scout camp's proposed sale imperils a key piece of the Staten Island Greenbelt

By Karen O'Shea

November 25, 2009,

The Boy Scouts of America is looking to sell Pouch Camp.STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --

It's the worst time to ask the city and state to pony up $30 million to buy Pouch Camp in the Greenbelt -- a unique Staten Island wilderness that has been used by thousands of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for nearly 60 years -- but that's precisely what the Greater New York Councils Boy Scouts of America is doing now. And if the Boy Scouts don't get government to pay for a conservation easement to preserve the campgrounds, the nonprofit will sell the 120-acre William H. Pouch Scout Camp and 20-acre Ohrbach Lake to private developers. Boy Scout executives said yesterday that the Island camp is one of only two key assets that can be leveraged to raise funds for the cash-strapped organization. "It's certainly not a threat. It's absolutely very real," William Kelly, a Boy Scouts spokesman, said of the announcement that the organization would begin marketing the wooded property off Manor Road for sale. "We don't want the outcome to be a sale of the property. We want the outcome to be a conservation easement that preserves the land for children in perpetuity, but if that doesn't happen we have to look at other options and the other options are a full or partial sale," he added. Yesterday's press release, a copy of which was obtained by the Advance hours before it was released by the Greater New York Councils, did not set a price for a potential sale, but several people said a conservation easement would cost government roughly $30 million, or half the $60 million appraised value. An easement would allow the Boy Scouts to continue to operate the camp in exchange for giving up the right to develop the property, which is zoned for housing. Kelly said the Boy Scouts executive committee voted last week to pursue a sale, and the organization is in the final stages of selecting a real estate firm to market the property. The site represents the largest and one of the only privately owned parcels in the Greenbelt, which bisects the Island and includes parks, a golf course and other city and state land. "We are not going to put a for sale sign up outside, but we are just going to quietly market it to people who might be in a position to work with us," Kelly said.


The timing of the announcement surprised some public officials, who spent yesterday morning working the phones, trying to drum up dollars for a purchase at a time when the state and city are facing unprecedented budget holes. But those same officials also said they had been talking to Boy Scout executives for some time about a conservation easement. "What this announcement does is it shows the urgency that we need to make sure we preserve this land," said Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island). Cusick and other Island politicians met with Boy Scout executives last spring, and talks about an easement date to least three years ago. In 1992, the camp was added to the state's open space plan, a land acquisition wish list that makes it possible to purchase and preserve private lands with public money. Charlie Greinsky, vice president of relationships and intergovernmental affairs for the Staten Island Council of the Boy Scouts of America, said he was "blindsided" by yesterday's announcement. The native Islander, an Eagle Scout who earned badges at Pouch Camp and worked there as well, said he had a discussion with Kelly just Saturday -- and the subject of a possible sale never came up. "The lack of camp improvements under legislative grants was discussed and I wanted to know what were the delays," Greinsky said. "I was to have gotten a call on Monday. But I never got one." State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) said he had an agreement in early 2008 to secure $15 million toward a Pouch Camp easement. But elections in November last year resulted in Republicans losing the majority in the Senate and Lanza's losing the money, he added. A devastating financial collapse on Wall Street was happening at the same time. "I'm not surprised; I am disappointed," Lanza said of the potential sale of Pouch Camp to private developers. "The time has come for us to figure out how to do this. I think it is a good use of taxpayer dollars, even in tough times," he said of an easement. But squeezing any extra dollars from state and city administrations won't be easy. The city must close a $4.1 billion budget gap and the state is facing a $3.2 billion deficit. "These are the tightest financial times we've had in years and years," said Borough President James Molinaro. "But under no conditions can we lose this. It would not be good for the Boy Scouts or for Staten Island."


The Boy Scouts, meanwhile, slashed their own budget from $15 million to $10 million but still lost $5 million in charitable donations over the last 18 months. The organization purchased the first piece of Pouch Camp in 1949 from the estate of Ernest Flagg, the Island architect who famously designed the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The second parcel was acquired from the city in 1956. The total cost to assemble the camp, which was named for a Scout and benefactor, was $113,300. Over the years, thousands of Scouts have used the summer day camp and weekend camping facilities, where they have learned to fish, build campfires, tie knots and practice other survival skills. The Boy Scouts also pay for low-income campers to attend Pouch, and the YMCA uses the camp. Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R-South Shore), an Eagle Scout who earned several merit badges at Pouch Camp, was reaching out yesterday to the mayor's office, various state agencies and the Trust for Public Land, which helped broker the $25 million sale of Mount Loretto to the state. '


A staffer in Tobacco's office said Pouch Camp could become "another Todt Hill" if sold to a private developer. The site has the same restrictive residential zoning that permits only large, single-family detached houses on 10,000-square-foot lots. That notion doesn't sit well with Kathleen Vorwick, president of the Greenbelt Conservancy, which partners with the Parks Department to care for and raise funds for the Greenbelt. "The heart and soul and lungs of the Greenbelt would be destroyed," she said of a private sale of Pouch Camp. The Boy Scouts also said yesterday that they are considering "cash-producing" options at the 12,000-acre Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in upstate
© 2009 All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Scenic Hudson urgent request to protest cuts to land conservation

Trouble viewing this e-mail? You can read it on-line.To ensure receipt of our e-mails, please add our address ( to your address book.
Dear Peter,
We need your help. The word from Albany is that Gov. Paterson and NY State lawmakers are proposing placing a moratorium on all state funding for land protection and acquisition. The portion of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) dedicated to direct land protection already is less than 1/1,000th of the overall state budget -- and now they're proposing bringing it all the way down to ZERO.
We understand that NY is facing a budget crisis, but eliminating all state land preservation would be a dreadful mistake. Here are three reasons why:
1. Developers are gearing up for a post-recession wave of buildingBuilders are using their current downtime to plan and seek approvals for the next wave of residential construction. The latest estimates suggest that 100,000 new housing units have already been proposed for the Hudson Valley, many of which will eliminate farmland and mar the iconic views that have made the valley a world-famous attraction.
2. Depressed real estate prices are creating great conservation opportunitiesGiven a choice, many property owners would prefer to see their land conserved than sell it to a developer-especially in this economy, when buyers of any kind are scarce. By placing a moratorium on land purchases now, New York is turning away from some unprecedented land protection bargains.
3. State land protection programs are a proven winnerUnlike many aspects of state government, the program that makes EPF funds available for land protection projects is highly efficient. This small part of the state budget brings big benefits to New Yorkers with very little waste. Let's not mess it up!
As most of you know, the governor and lawmakers have already robbed the EPF of half a billion dollars -- this year's EPF has been reduced by nearly 25 percent from funding levels passed into law in 2007. Don't let our lawmakers cut it further by enacting this wrong-headed moratorium. Please visit this page to send them a letter today.
Ned Sullivan President
P.S. I know this is a busy time of year, but sending this letter is really important. Thanks for all that you do.

This message was sent to To stop ALL email from Scenic Hudson, click to remove yourself from our lists.Click here to unsubscribe

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hydrofracking dangers to NYC water reservoirs

Governor Paterson, DEC Commissioner Peter Grannis, State Senate, State Assembly, DEC dSGEIS Comments

Don't Frack New York. Geological experts claim that shale beds in New York, particularly the Utica and Marcellus Shale, contain significant amounts of natural gas. Numerous energy and gas drilling companies are now vying with one another to tap these deposits using a method known as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking). The recent release of the fatally flawed draft supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on horizontal drilling and hydrofracking by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now bringing this issue to the forefront.

Hydrofracking, a gas extraction process developed by Halliburton, pumps millions of gallons of water and 'fracking fluids' containing mixtures of up to 250 toxic chemicals under high pressure to break apart the rock, forcing the gas to the surface. With operations in 32 states, the gas industry has provided ample evidence that extracting gas from low permeable rock is environmentally unsafe. It is unlikely that this method of drilling could ever be made completely safe, regardless of regulations, and natural gas drilling in New York State has the capacity to jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of millions of New York residents. As global corporations turn our state into a sacrifice zone, reap massive short-term profits, and significantly add to greenhouse gas emissions, the true costs of drilling in terms of environmental impacts, quality of life, and long-term cleanup costs will be passed on to state residents.

Due to the inherent danger of un-natural gas drilling and the potentially massive impact on our local rural communities, we are calling for a complete ban on drilling in low permeable stone deposits in New York State. Join us by adding your signature to the petition!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

NYTimes essay on connecting kids to nature

August 2, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist
How to Lick a Slug

Saturday, August 1, 2009

State of our birds

The following is a link to the website dictating the state of our birds. IT is a must read,
necessary for every birder to be informed. It should require our attention.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Proposed new Brooklyn Botanic Garden visitors center:A potential window collision bird deathtrap?

I got this email thru my subscription Brooklyn Papers.One of the links which i am attaching here, is about the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's proposed new visitor's's all glass from the sketch i see ( they said the design won a green award...wondering if birds were thought of as one of the criteria) .I cant tell how high the building will be or whatever but its going to be 22,000 square feet ( so it says).

That's not good for a birding spot that potentially could see bird collisions.

if you can't open the link, go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's website which i think is ( or google it)I will be sending an inquiry to them asking for more details on the glass structure and composite of that glass.For more information about the dangers of reflective glass upon birds, see Project Safe flight or American Bird Conservancy


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birdwatchers No Featherweights in Contributions to Economy

“This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study further reinforces the importance of bird conservation,” said Darin Schroeder, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President for Conservation Advocacy. “The State of the Birds report released earlier this year found that one-third of all bird species in the U.S. are in decline or facing serious threats. This report confirms that losing these species could have significant economic consequences.”

Contact: Joshua Winchell


Birdwatchers No Featherweights in Contributions to Economy

A new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows one

of every five Americans watches birds, and in doing so, birdwatchers

contributed $36 billion to the U.S. economy in 2006, the most recent year

for which economic data are available. The report – Birding in the United

States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis –shows that total participation

in birdwatching is strong at 48 million, and remaining at a steady 20

percent of the U.S. population since 1996.

Participation rates vary, but are generally greater in the northern half of

the country. The five top states with the greatest birding participation

rates include Montana (40 percent), Maine (39 percent), Vermont (38

percent), Minnesota (33 percent) and Iowa (33 percent).

The report identifies who birders are, where they live, how avid they are,

and what kinds of birds they watch. In addition to demographic information,

this report also provides an estimate of how much birders spend on their

hobby and the economic impact of these expenditures.

The report is an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting,

and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The 2006 survey is the eleventh in a

series of surveys conducted about every 5 years that began in 1955. The

survey, conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with

state wildlife agencies and national conservation organizations, has become

the reference for participation and expenditure information on fish and

wildlife recreation in the United States. The survey helps quantify how

enjoyment of the outdoors and wildlife contributes to society and promotes

a healthy economy – and further strengthens the Service’s commitment to

conserve the nation’s wildlife for the enjoyment and benefit of the

American people.

A copy of the Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic

Analysis can be downloaded here:

In conjunction with the release of the birding report, the Service also

issued another similar addendum to the 2006 Survey entitled, Wildlife

Watching Trends: 1991–2006 A Reference Report. This report shows similar

trends in wildlife-watching, a broader category that includes large and

small-mammal viewing.

An overview of the Survey, and a wealth of other information, can be found

online at:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to

conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for

the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and

trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific

excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated

professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our

work and the people who make it happen, visit

Steve Holmer

Director of Public Relations

American Bird Conservancy

202/234-7181 ext. 216 or

202/744-6459 (cell)

American Bird Conservancy operates the Bird News Network, which distributes the latest information about birds and bird conservation through videos, press releases, and news stories.
Video releases are available at Bird News Network Videos or view the latest news stories and subscribe to the network's RSS feed at

House Passes Bill to Protect Migratory Birds


Contact: Steve Holmer, American Bird Conservancy, 202-234-7181, ext. 216,,

House Passes Bill to Protect Migratory Birds

Joint Ventures Play Important Role in Restoring Chesapeake Bay

(Washington, D.C., July 14, 2009) Earlier today the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 2188, the Joint Ventures for Bird Habitat Conservation Act of 2009, which was introduced by Rep. Frank Kratovil, the freshman Democrat representing the 1st district of Maryland. The bill would formally authorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Joint Ventures Program, which has been effectively carrying out bird conservation planning and projects since 1987.

“American Bird Conservancy appreciates the effective leadership of Rep. Kratovil to get this bill passed. Joint Ventures are a proven success and have made a huge difference for bird conservation,” said Darin Schroeder, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President for Conservation Advocacy. “By applying science and bringing people together, Joint Ventures across the U.S. have created a model for solving wildlife management problems and restoring habitats critical to conserving declining species.”

Joint ventures are regional partnerships involving federal, state, and local government agencies, corporations, tribes, individuals, and conservation organizations which advance conservation efforts and help identify local land use priorities. There are currently 21 JVs in the United States that provide coordination for conservation planning, and implementing projects to benefit birds and other species. JVs develop science-based goals and strategies, and a non-regulatory approach for achieving conservation.

Maryland is primarily part of the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture (ACJV) which is focused on the conservation of habitat for native birds in the Atlantic Flyway of the United States from Maine south to Puerto Rico. The ACJV partnership has protected 158,000 acres in Maryland, and restored another 98,000 acres. The ACJV helps direct funding for the restoration of Chesapeake Bay such as land acquisition and supports projects to plant aquatic vegetation in the Bay benefitting birds and other wildlife.

The western end of Maryland is part of the recently-created Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture which is working to conserve species such as the Kentucky, Worm-eating, Prairie, and Golden-winged Warblers, Wood Thrush, American Woodcock, and American Black Duck. Nationally, Joint Ventures have directed $4.5 billion in conservation spending from Federal grants and programs, state conservation dollars, and private donations and have protected, restored, or enhanced more than 13 million acres of important habitat for migratory bird species.


American Bird Conservancy (ABC) conserves native wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts to safeguard the rarest bird species, restore habitats, and reduce threats, while building capacity in the conservation movement. ABC is the voice for birds, ensuring that they are adequately protected; that sufficient funding is available for bird conservation; and that land is protected and properly managed to maintain viable habitat. ABC is a 501(c)(3) membership organization that is consistently awarded a top, four-star rating by the independent group, Charity Navigator.

Steve Holmer

Director of Public Relations

American Bird Conservancy

202/234-7181 ext. 216 or

202/744-6459 (cell)

American Bird Conservancy operates the Bird News Network, which distributes the latest information about birds and bird conservation through videos, press releases, and news stories.
Video releases are available at Bird News Network Videos or view the latest news stories and subscribe to the network's RSS feed at

Monday, June 1, 2009

A new Staten Island greenspace

A notice appeared from the Channel thirteen website , an email about "The City Concealed" which profiles Fresh Kills Landfill being converted into a park preserve.

see the video on this link

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The benefit of Owls over pesticides

Owls replace pesticides in Israel
Owls and kestrels are being employed as agricultural pest controllers in the Middle East.
Many farmers are installing nest boxes to encourage the birds, which hunt the crop-damaging rodents.
In Israel, where there is a drive to reduce the use of toxic chemical pesticides, this has been turned into a government-funded national programme.
Jordanian and Palestinian scientists and conservation charities have joined the scheme.
According to the charity BirdLife International, hundreds of birds of prey - including many endangered species - have been killed in the region through eating rodents containing poisonous "rodenticides" sprayed on to crop fields.
But scientists in Israel are now working with farmers to combat this problem - deploying the birds as natural pest controllers.
"There is a real need to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture here," said Motti Charter, a researcher from Tel Aviv University and team leader of the Global Owl Project in Israel.
No boundaries
"Many farmers think that chemicals are their only option. They use very large amounts of them - spraying them on to their fields from planes," said Mr Charter.
"We have been reaching out to the farmers, to encourage them to reduce their use of rodenticides and install nest boxes instead."
The scheme started in 1983, when a few nesting boxes were erected near a kibbutz, or farming village, in the Bet-She'an Valley, south of the Sea of Galilee.
The project has gradually been expanded to include boxes for nesting kestrels.
"Kestrels hunt during the day and barn owls at night," said Mr Charter.
"This constant 24-hour threat of predation has caused changes in the pests' behaviour, resulting in less crop damage."
According to the World Owl Trust, who have funded some of Mr Charter's research, there are currently about 1,000 barn owl nest boxes in various locations around Israel.
The trust has even installed a webcam in one of those boxes.
Because the sub-species of barn owl in Israel is less territorial than those in Europe, and because the population of rodents is stable throughout the year, the nest boxes can be placed relatively close together.
"Jordan recently came on board to take part in the scheme," said Tony Warburton, honourary president of the World Owl Trust. "So the project is really bringing people together."
Mr Charter added: "The birds will nest wherever there is food and a suitable habitat. They don't know the national boundaries."
Story from BBC NEWS: 2009/05/20 09:36:13 GMT© BBC MMIX
Print Sponsor

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bird tower kills Audubon Alert

Acting Commissioner Michael Copps
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW, Room: 8-B115
Washington, DC 20554

Dear Acting Commissioner Copps:

As one of the millions of Americans who cherish our nation's
native wild birds, I support the petition for expedited
rulemaking and other relief filed by American Bird Conservancy,
Defenders of Wildlife and National Audubon Society on April 14,
2009. I urge the FCC to take action to prevent the needless
killing of millions of migratory birds at communications towers.
These bird deaths can be prevented without affecting the
development and operation of telecommunication services and
without compromising on aviation safety.

Scientists have shown that -- especially during bad weather
conditions -- migrating birds become disoriented and trapped by
the halo of light surrounding towers using steady-burning
illumination, circling endlessly until they either collide with
the structure, collide with each other, or fall dead from

Given the overwhelming scientific evidence that communications
towers kill birds, and the existence of science-based guidelines
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on siting and operation
of these towers, it is appalling that the FCC is failing to
conduct any meaningful environmental review of tower
applications, and continues in its refusal to adopt any
meaningful regulatory changes or mitigation measures to avoid or
minimize the killing of America's birds.

The FCC should act now to take meaningful action and grant the
petition filed on April 14 to significantly reduce the millions
of bird deaths caused by communications towers. Thank you in
advance for your attention to this matter.

Peter Dorosh
President ,Brooklyn Bird Club

Friday, March 6, 2009

From American Birds Conservancy Enews

To: The Bird Conservation Alliance
From: Steve Holmer, American Bird Conservancy
Date: March 4, 2009

To ensure that habitat conservation is enhanced by the legislation, American Bird Conservancy has been working with the Forest Climate Working Group, a coalition of 30 forest conservation organizations, forest landowners, and timber companies, to develop consensus on the need to include measures supporting forest conservation and sustainable management. The coalition is seeking to include private forests in the global warming bill by creating incentives for projects that sequester carbon, and providing adaptation funding to mitigate impacts to forests caused by rapidly shifting climate zones. Below is a ClimateWire article that has been reprinted in the NY Times Online edition.

Energy & Environment
Search Business
Timber companies and environmental groups agree on the outlines of a climate plan
By JESSICA LEBER, ClimateWireClimateWire
The issue has been a knotty one: Cutting down domestic forests, which every year soak up 10 percent of U.S. fossil fuel emissions, could mean disaster for both climate and wildlife. The flip side of the coin is that managing them well would mean major greenhouse gas benefits.
"We need new markets to make that happen," said Robert Bonnie, vice president for land conservation and wildlife at the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the Forest-Climate Working Group members.
Almost two-thirds of U.S. forest land is owned by about 10 million private owners. The platform discusses how to maximize their climate benefits by allowing forest owners to get paid for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions within future federal cap-and-trade climate legislation, which would require major fossil-fuel burners to either reduce their own emissions or purchase carbon credits.
The 30-member coalition, which also includes timber giant Plum Creek and Defenders of Wildlife, has been discussing its platform with key Senate committees that will have a hand in shaping legislation this year.
"In the end, it was too important not to agree on core principles," said Drue DeBerry, senior vice president of conservation for the American Forest Foundation, who a year ago began working to make the groups come together.
With the forestry industry focused on project economics and conservation groups angling for environmental integrity, "it was definitely a struggle," said DeBerry.
Keeping forests at work
Planting new forests, reforestation and forest management programs could all be fodder for sequestering carbon dioxide and creating carbon offsets, the platform says. But offsets are also a complicated accounting project -- making sure the savings are real and not just a figment of paperwork can be a controversial challenge.
The coalition agreed that forest carbon offsets needed to be established from quantifiable baselines, to make sure they are "additional" and not actions the forest owner would have taken anyway.
Projects would also need to remove or sequester carbon from the atmosphere for 100 years, the platform says. If a tree is planted and then harvested for paper pulp or burned in a wildfire 10 years later, for example, those carbon savings could be lost.
Lastly, the offsets need to be quantifiable, verifiable by third parties, sustainable and have mechanisms to account for carbon "leakage."
"A marketplace wants to have good information," said Dave Tenny, president of the National Alliance of Forest Owners. "Everyone knows what a bushel of corn is. It's important for everybody to know what a unit of carbon is."
With all of these requirements, the transaction and compliance costs could be high.
"There's a dynamic tension between the environmental integrity and being able to go to scale with these projects," said DeBerry, warning against establishing so many burdens that no one participates.
The forestry and landowner community, for its part, wanted to make sure that offset projects would be flexible. A utility could, for example, sign a 10-, 20- or 30-year contract with a landowner to sequester a certain amount of carbon. Once the term is up, the utility would either have to renew it or replace those carbon credits elsewhere.
The platform also advocates for key climate change adaptation funding and incentives outside of the carbon market that would allow small owners to help reduce climate warming without the burdens of an offset project.
The devil will be in the details
The challenge, said Tenny, will be fleshing out the specifics of their proposal.. Defining how much carbon is stored in a forest, and when it is there, is a difficult prospect.
A wooden chair, for example, still stores carbon, even though it's been logged. And when forests are producing solid wood products, the trees are allowed to grow longer and soak up more carbon than they would if they were grown for paper. But, still, at some point, the chair probably goes to the landfill to decay and release its carbon. The offset amount lies somewhere between the seed and the landfill.
Another proposal to award offsets simply for not cutting down forests, or "avoided deforestation," presents other challenges. "We want to structure rules to reward landowners that are going to keep those forests as forests, but you can't just be handing out offsets to all forest landowners," said Bonnie.
Jim Wyerman, vice president for communications at the American Forest Foundation, said that family forest owners are struggling to hold onto their forests as the price of timber drops and competition rises, along with the owners' average age of 59.
The fear among many in the environmental community is that unless something is done to provide incentives to private landowners, many of those acres -- habitat, carbon stores and all -- could be lost unless they continue to be productively managed. "Those of us who are passionate within the conservation community feel like we have to get this right," said DeBerry.
Copyright 2009 E&E Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Steve Holmer
Director of Public Relations
American Bird Conservancy
202/234-7181 ext. 216 or
202/744-6459 (cell)

American Bird Conservancy operates the Bird News Network, which distributes the latest information about birds and bird conservation through videos, press releases, and news stories. Video releases are available at Bird News Network Videos or view the latest news stories and subscribe to the network's RSS feed at

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The deadly dangers of glass to birds

February 3, 2009, 3:45 pm — Updated: 7:44 am -->
When Birds Collide, With Buildings
By Jennifer 8. Lee
Marilynn K. Yee/The New York TimesFor birds, the Javits Convention Center is one of the deadliest buildings in New York.
The three deadliest buildings in New York for bird collisions in New York City are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Bellevue Hospital Center, according to the New York City Audubon Society, which keeps track of the deaths as part of Project Safe Flight in an online database.
“We collect thousands of dead birds every year, and we barely scratch the surface,” said Glenn Phillips, the society’s executive director.The Fish and Wildlife Service gave a grant to the Audubon Society to study bird collision mortality in New York City. The study, which will be released in March, examines landscape and architectural risk factors in bird deaths around the city as a model for other urban areas. Among the areas studied were the Met and the Javits Center.
“These are tragic areas that result in the death of countless areas of birds,” said Daniel Klem Jr., a ornithologist at Muhlenberg College who led the study.
Until 2007, the most lethal building by far used to be the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, a United States Postal Service site that spans from West 28th to West 30th Street between Ninth and 10th Avenues. The building’s 440 decorative reflective panels on the south side mirrored the trees in Chelsea Park, fooling the birds into believing it was a welcoming hospitable habitat.
In one 10-week period in the fall, the Audubon Society recorded 338 dead birds around the center. And it was generally not just pigeons that bonked themselves (perhaps they are too savvy). Instead, it was dark-eyed juncos, white-throated sparrows and ruby-crowned kinglets.
An architect recommended that black vinyl be placed over each of the panels at the center, and now things are immeasurably improved.
It has not been as easy a problem to remedy with the Met, the Javits Center and Bellevue, because of a combination of aesthetics and technology. Mr. Phillips said they are in discussions with the buildings to reduce bird collision mortality.
But arguably, bird glass hazards in New York City are getting worse, not better. Glass is “in” because it is a common feature of green architecture, which means that more avian-unfriendly structures are popping up. They are particularly a hazard when they are near parks or other areas with foliage.
Or, as Mr. Phillips put it, “Glass and landscape together — bad.”
For example, the new diaphanous glass condominium building designed by Richard Meier in Brookyn’s Grand Army Plaza has raised the concern of the Audubon Society, as The New York Post noted this week.
“We’ve been planning on monitoring that building starting in the spring,” Mr. Phillips said.
In addition, the Apple Cube at the GM Building has raised concerns.
Dr. Klem estimated in a 1991 study that between 100 million and a billion birds die each year in glass collisions — that’s a huge spread, we’d like to point out — which would make the single greatest human-caused reason for bird deaths in the United States [pdf]. He said that his research since then shows that the one billion figure is conservative.
And it’s not only the architecturally tall buildings that cause problems. Rather, the most hazardous areas of all buildings are the ground level and bottom few stories — in part because those reflect the surrounding tree canopies. So birds can hit even short, squat buildings.
“The smallest piece of glass and the biggest piece of glass is an equal killer,” Dr. Klem said. “The birds behave like it’s invisible to them.”
There are some experimental solutions, none of them satisfactory from both an aesthetic and safety standpoint, from the Audubon Society point of view.
CollidEscape is a thin film that is applied to the exterior of windows — somewhat akin to those advertisements seen on buses and now in subways, only without the advertisements. Ornilux, which is made in Germany, is a glass designed to be more visible to birds, but its effectiveness is not clear.
There are other technological approaches. “The big question is, can ultraviolet light can be used? Because we can’t see it but they do,” said Dr. Klem, who added that he had been experimenting with ultraviolet light. A problem with the light, he explained, is that birds can view it as a force of attraction, like for mating and food.
“Danger is on the opposite of electromagnetic spectrum,” he said, in the reds and yellows.
New York City Audubon has just published a collection of bird-safe building guidelines, in a 55-page manual for architects and engineers.
“Honestly, the easiest solution would be for people not to build all-glass buildings,” Mr. Phillips said.
But people really like glass. In Lower Manhattan, 7 World Trade Center’s sometimes transparent-like appearance is beautiful, but that beauty is a hazard for birds. Likewise, 4 World Trade Center is also known for bird collisions.
A number of the architecturally striking buildings that are in the works, especially near the Hudson River, are also soaring and transparent.
Can City Room readers name other buildings in New York City that are not-so-bird friendly?
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Good news for birds near airports?

From the NY Post 1/23/09 edition:


Geese, beware: The US Air Force is on the way. Air Force brass yesterday offered to give New York one of its cutting-edge bird-detecting radar systems in order to prevent another airline collision like the one that forced a US Airways jet to ditch in the Hudson River last week. EXCLUSIVE: Ace Of Grace Gary Andrews, general manager at radar manufacturer DeTect Inc., said he got a call from the Air Force yesterday telling him to take a radar system slated for Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska and send it instead to New York. "That system is sitting here and it's ready to go," said Andrews, adding that the Air Force has offered to ship the system to the Port Authority at no cost. "I'm convinced that if La Guardia Airport had one of these radar systems, it would have detected the geese and alerted the controllers and pilot in time to avoid the collision," Andrews said of last week's US Airways splash-landing. DeTect's radar is already slated for a test program at Kennedy Airport, where technicians arrived yesterday to begin installing it. With a test already set for Kennedy, an aviation source said it's likely the Air Force's equipment would go to La Guardia. Officials at the Port Authority, which runs La Guardia, JFK and Newark airports, said they were unaware of the Air Force offer late yesterday. "We'll work with them to do what we need to do to expedite the program," said PA spokesman Pasquale DiFulco. Earlier yesterday, PA officials said they had asked the Obama administration to expand the federally sponsored test of the bird-detecting radar from Kennedy to La Guardia and Newark. "The request certainly has merit and we will see if the test can be expanded to include the two other airports in New York," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters. New York's airports will be the first commercial airports in the nation to use the radar systems, designed to detect flying objects as small as birds and calculate potential collision courses with aircraft nearby. Radar now in use is designed only to track other aircraft. "The US is really moving slow on this," Andrews said of installing the bird-detecting radar that can cost from $500,000 up to $2 million for a large airport. He said airports in Germany, Canada and South Africa have already put the system in place. The bird-detecting radar has been used by the Air Force since 2003. NASA installed two DeTect systems after a vulture hit a space shuttle in 2005. Andrews said the radar has completely eliminated bird strikes at a North Carolina Air Force installation since it was installed in 2003. Before that, bird strikes averaged from four to seven each year. "We could have put this technology in place at every major airport for less than the cost of an airline crash like the one last week," he said. tom.topousis
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The urgency to reconnect children to nature.....

Our youth and children are losing touch with nature...with the rise of the Internet, TV, overexposed media, children have a variety of emotional and health problems affiliated with the lack of exposure to nature.Read this link about why we need to reconnect youth to nature.