Feb 21, 2011

Public Meeting - Remedy for Quanta Resources Site (2802-2810 Lodi Street, Syracuse)

Location: NYSDEC Region 7 Office, 615 Erie Boulevard West, 2nd Floor, Syracuse, New York
Thursday, March 03, 2011 6:00 PM

The public is invited to the meeting to learn about and offer comments on the cleanup remedy being proposed by NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for the Quanta Resources Site, under New York's State Superfund Program.

To learn more about the Quanta Resources Site (2802-2810 Lodi Street, Syracuse, 13208), visit the NYSDEC's Environmental Site Remediation Database and search for the site's code, 734013, or the site's name, "Quanta Resources."

"Re-imagining the Future of Onondaga Lake"

Join us for “Re-imagining the Future of Onondaga Lake,” an introduction to the historical ecology of Onondaga Lake and its watershed, major sources of damage to the lake environment, some of the current remediation and restoration efforts, and the Onondaga Nation’s vision for the future of the lake. The Onondaga Nation, Onondaga Environmental Institute, and Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation are sharing this presentation with local community groups. Come see the presentation and join the community conversation at one of these upcoming public meetings:
  • Meeting of the Community Participation Working Group: Tuesday, March 8th, 4:00-6:00 PM. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 615 Erie Blvd., West Syracuse, NY 13204, Conference Room
  • F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse Core Group meeting: Friday, March 18th, 7:30–8:45AM. City Hall Commons, 1st floor, Sustainability Showcase Atrium, 201 East Washington Street, Syracuse
  • SUNY-ESF Earth Week:  Wednesday, April 20, 4:00-5:00 PM. Nifkin Lounge, Marshall Hall, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse

Upcoming Public Meeting: Save the Rain Update, Wed., Feb 23

This Wednesday, February 23rd, the Atlantic States Legal Foundation will be presenting to the community the latest news from Save the Rain, the County program to use green infrastructure to keep water out of the sewers and avoid building another sewage treatment plant. The meeting will be held at 7:30 PM at University United Methodist Church,1085 E. Genesee St.  Join the conversation and learn what you can do to help protect the watershed!

Information:  492-2725

Feb 11, 2011

Eagles at Onondaga Lake

Once again, eagles have returned to Onondaga Lake this winter. They are simultaneously a cause for hope, and for concern.

Eagles are a native to the area. We know this because the oral history of the Haudenosaunee describes an eagle at the top of the Great Tree of Peace.

Widespread use of the pesticide DDT decimated the population of eagles in the United States in the mid-20th century. Eagles were declared an endangered species in 1967, in a law that preceded the Endangered Species Act. Fewer than 25 breeding pairs remaining in New York State in 1995, according to Mike Allen, a retired state wildlife technician who spent his career helping to restore the eagle population.

Now there are 25 eagles at Onondaga Lake.

Ironically, it is the outflow of the sewage treatment plant for the city of Syracuse that creates the open water at the south end of Onondaga Lake, which attracts the eagles when all other lakes are frozen over. Less worrisome than the sewage effluent, treatment of which has been upgraded significantly in the last decade, are the fish that the eagles are eating out of Onondaga Lake.

While Onondaga County has cleaned up its act, removal of the toxic sediments of Onondaga Lake by Honeywell will not begin until 2012 at the earliest. The Onondaga Nation has expressed concern that the planned removal will not do enough to remove contamination from the lake. Mercury in Onondaga Lake bioaccumulates up the food chain, into the fish, and into the eagles that eat the fish. A 2008 study of songbirds at Onondaga Lake identified mercury concentrations high enough to cause reproductive concern.

Sean Kirst, a reporter for the Post-Standard, has been following the story of the eagles. Check out his interview today with Guy Baldassarre, a wildlife biolgist with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, as well as his interview with Henry Lickers (Seneca), former Co-chair of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force and now a consultant to the Onondaga Nation.

According to Henry, the eagles have "come to you for a very specific purpose: They want you to be ever vigilant in a quest for a good environment and a good place to live." At the very least, they are drawing our attention back to the lake and its contamination.