Monday, September 25, 2017

Stroud Water Research Center: Prince Of Monaco: Watershed Should Bring Us Together

On September 17, Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County hosted more than 250 guests filled the Galleries Reception Atrium at Winterthur and listened as His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco began his speech:
“‘Water is the principal element of all things. All things are water,’ said Thales of Miletus many, many years ago. It is for this reason that water should bring us together — because water, after all, allows us to identify the majority of dysfunctions in our world, to understand them, to measure their impact, but also to remedy them.”
After his remarks, Stroud Water Research Center presented Prince Albert with the Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence.
The award honors individuals, institutions, or organizations whose work contributes broadly to the conservation and protection of freshwater resources and ecosystems, to improving the quantity and quality of fresh water on the planet, or to developing policies and practices which help perpetuate clean fresh water for future generations and wildlife.
Stroud Center President and Distinguished Scientist Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., said, “We are extremely pleased to tell you that tonight’s awardee, Prince Albert II of Monaco, has contributed to all three of these areas. … A sustainable supply of clean fresh water is absolutely fundamental to all of life in our watersheds as well as in our oceans. The three primary areas of interest of Prince Albert and his foundation are water, biodiversity, and climate change, and oh, by the way, they happen to overlap completely with the mission of Stroud Water Research Center.”
Since 1967, Stroud Water Research Center scientists and educators have been working to advance new knowledge about how healthy streams and rivers function, studying more than 2,000 rivers and streams around the world, teaching several thousand children and adults about freshwater science and stewardship each year, and working with landowners to restore healthy waterways in the Delaware River Basin and beyond.
Sweeney continued, “This award to Prince Albert really celebrates our common commitment to the environment — the Stroud Center being a fact-finding, non-advocacy organization, and His Serene Highness being an enlightened leader supporting exemplary environmental actions and policies in Monaco and around the world. We know that he has pushed for the development of very specific things like public transportation, ecological vehicles, renewable energies, high-quality environmental buildings, and so on and so forth. And we know that progress on all those fronts saves enormous quantities of fresh water and goes a long way in protecting the quality of freshwater resources.”
The award ceremony was held in conjunction, as it is every year, with the Stroud Center’s annual fundraising gala, The Water’s Edge. This year’s event was momentous, as it was the 15th annual gala, with Wilmington Trust as the presenting sponsor, and the 50th anniversary of Stroud Water Research Center.
(Photo: Bern Sweeney, PhD, Stroud Water Research Center President and Distinguished Scientists presented His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco with Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence.)
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Stroud Water Research Center website, Click Here to become a Friend Of Stroud Research,  Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, include them in your Circle on Google+ and visit their YouTube Channel.

7th Annual Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference Oct. 17 In Bethlehem

The 7th Annual Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference will be held at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Lehigh and Northampton counties on October 17.
The theme of the Conference is Confluence: Changing Communities and Changing Waters.
The Conference brings together professionals, citizens, watershed groups, municipal officials, professors and students by offering up-to-date engaging and timely information on a variety of water resource topics.
This year’s conference will feature two half-day workshops on invasive species (both plants and insects).
There will be a full-day of continuing education credits available for the professional landscaping community, and a MS4 stormwater pollution prevention track for municipal staff and consultants charged with implementing stormwater regulations.
The Conference’s keynote speaker will be Gary Walters, Assessment Section Chief of the DEP, presenting on the historical water quality data for the Lehigh River and how things have changed over the last century.
Click Here for a detailed agenda.
The Conference will be held in the Lehigh University STEPS Building, 1 W. Packer Avenue in Bethlehem from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more information and to register, visit the Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference event page.

Energy Coordinating Agency Fall Energy Conference Nov. 9 In Philadelphia

The nonprofit Energy Coordinating Agency's annual Fall Energy Conference will be held on November 9 at the Temple University Student Faculty Center, 3340 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
This multi-track gathering will enable attendees to learn about current trends in energy efficiency, including discussions surrounding health and energy, program updates from local utilities, and the latest in local, state, and federal energy policy.
The conference is meant to engage all interested actors with a diverse set of speakers across three tracks with three panels each. We look forward to the conversations, and actions, that come out of this.
Click Here for more information and to register.
For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Energy Coordinating Agency website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from ECA (bottom right of the page), follow ECA on Twitter, Like them on Facebook or visit ECA’s YouTube Channel.  Click Here to support ECA’s work.

House Environmental Committee Cancels Meeting TODAY To Consider Impact Fee/Severance Tax Bill

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has canceled a meeting TODAY (September 25) to again consider House Bill 113 (Harper-R-Montgomery) at a meeting on September 25.
Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by sending email to:  Rep. Mike Carroll serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to:
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Monday PA Environmental NewsClips - 87 Days Without A State Budget

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

30th Anniversary Of Militia Hill Hawk Watch Celebrated At Fort Washington State Park

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Saturday joined birding enthusiasts and supporters of Fort Washington State Park in Montgomery County celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Militia Hill Hawk Watch.
"What a milestone for both Fort Washington State Park and the dedicated volunteers who staff the Militia Hill Hawk Watch," the secretary told celebration attendees gathered on the park grounds. "It is hard to believe we are just minutes from Philadelphia and yet hundreds of migrating raptors are heading south overhead. I commend you on your 30th year of documenting these flights and fueling public interest in them."
Since September 1, and through October 31, volunteers have been daily monitoring southern migrations at the Montgomery County park, where visitors utilizing two observation areas can glimpse all 16 species of raptors migrating along the Atlantic Coast.
"Public interest in observing raptors and other migrating bird species from two observation areas never has been stronger at Fort Washington State Park," Dunn noted. "This would never be possible without the dedication of the volunteers before me. You staff the observation decks; keep the all-important numbers; and infect future volunteers with your passion and commitment."  
Militia Hill Hawk Watch prides itself in counting migrating raptors as they move southward on their annual journey as far as Central and South America. Founded in 1988, it operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with dedicated volunteers providing valuable count data to the Hawk Migration Association of North America.
The group delights in introducing visitors to the beauty of the state park and the many birds, other animals and insects that can be seen during their visit.
"I'm so glad we are celebrating 30 seasons of an amazing annual gathering that started with a card table and a few chairs in 1988," said Militia Hill Hawk Watch site coordinator Rich Conroy. "The combination of hawk migration and sharing with people what is going on in the sky above us, and where these birds are headed, always leaves me feeling wonderfully connected to our world beyond Militia Hill."
Militia Hill is one of many count sites throughout Pennsylvania which provide invaluable avian migration information through concerted citizen-science effort.
The Militia Hill Hawk watch has had an impressive tabulation of raptor species and numbers since 1988. The average season count is 11,088 raptors with a total of 321,553 in its past 29 years.
All 16 species that migrate along the East Coast are observed on a regular basis. The hawk watch's most spectacular day occurred on Sept. 15, 2013, when 18,055 broad-winged hawks migrated over Militia Hill.
Organizers welcome and encourage volunteers in the effort. Volunteer compilers will be on duty every day --- for a total of 61 days.
With an elevation of only 330 feet, and no large, nearby body of water, Militia Hill has no strong geographic features of importance to migration, and yet all East Coast raptor species are seen above the park grounds.
Detailed records of raptor observation and weather conditions are reported daily to the Hawk Mountain Migration Association of North America.
(Photo: DCNR Secretary Dunn and PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards.)
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Fish Commission Confirms Virus Killed Carp In Pymatuning State Park Lake

The Fish and Boat Commission Saturday announced laboratory tests have confirmed the Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) is responsible for the deaths of thousands of carp in Crawford County’s Pymatuning Reservoir, located in Pymatuning State Park.
The virus does not affect humans, and should not be considered a risk to human health.
The deaths were first discovered late last month, primarily on the Ohio side of the reservoir.
No sick or dead carp were observed by PFBC staff in the eastern portion of the reservoir commonly referred to as the Pymatuning Sanctuary. The sanctuary is separated from the main waterbody by a narrow dam and small spillway.
Live carp were collected by PFBC staff on September 12 and shipped to the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center for testing. This marks the first time that the virus has been confirmed in Pennsylvania waters.
The lab confirmed on September 21 that the fish had tested positive for the Koi Herpesvirus. The virus is known to affect only carp and koi, and there is no known way to eliminate it.
The source of the virus is unknown. It could have been carried by infected fish or present in bilge water, or could have been in backyard pond or aquarium fish someone may have released into the lake.
The PFBC urges anglers and boaters to protect the Commonwealth’s waterways by not transporting live fish between waters and by always cleaning their gear.
“We want to remind anglers and boaters that it’s imperative to clean their gear after each fishing or boating trip, particularly if they are moving between waterways,” said Brian Niewinski, Chief of the PFBC’s Fish Production Services. “This is the best way to prevent the spread of viruses and aquatic invasive species.”
PFBC biologists believe the deaths have peaked, but they caution that there is evidence that fish which survive KHV may retain the virus for long periods of time, resulting in fish becoming carriers of the pathogen.
As such, it should be expected that the Pymatuning reservoir will experience similar periodic outbreaks over the next several years.
Visit the Fish and Boat Commission Clean Your Gear webpage to learn how to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Virus Causing Carp Deaths At Pymatuning Reservoir

Sunday PA Environmental NewsClips

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

No Movement Of Any Items On Fall Environmental Legislative Agenda In Last 2 Weeks

Over the last 2 weeks the Senate and House were in voting session one of those weeks each, but neither one took any action on other important environmental bills still unfinished in the General Assembly.  Those issues include--
-- $2/Ton Recycling Fee Extension
-- Storage Tank Cleanup Program Extension
-- PA One Call Natural Gas Pipeline Protection
-- Littering Penalty Increases
-- Lawn Fertilizer Regulation/Education
-- Electronics Waste Recycling Program Reform
And of course, last but not least, the bill to designate the Eastern Hellbender as Pennsylvania’s State Amphibian and a symbol of clean water for the state is still hung up-- Senate Bill 658.
Click Here for a complete rundown.
The House returns to session Monday for a 3-day week and the week of October 2, but then their schedule has them off until October 16.  They have 21 scheduled voting days left this year, after next week.
The Senate is officially on a 6-hour call, but is not scheduled to be back in voting session until October 16.  They have 15 scheduled voting days left this year.

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