Environment

A catastrophic failure of a large aquaculture pen near Cypress Island recently freed thousands of nonnative Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound, near Seattle.

In the aftermath of this outbreak, the Wild Fish Conservancy has launched a lawsuit against Cooke Aquaculture, the international corporation responsible for the accident.

Erie County

Como Lake Park is a jewel of Erie County, with thousands of Cheektowaga and Lancaster residents living close by and walking, biking or driving to its facilities. Erie County is starting to resolve a large slug of mud in the middle of the park's lake.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A two-year project to improve the ecological quality of a lake in the heart of Niagara Falls, New York, is at its completion, participants said Wednesday.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The City of Buffalo and United States Army Corps of Engineers are partnering to restore a wetland habitat on Unity Island, using sediment removed from the Buffalo River to help build it. Project leaders see it as a means to bring environmental improvement to both sites.


Of global warming, plastic waste and velociraptors

Aug 26, 2017

What do these three things have in common: the Earth’s temperature, waste from plastic products and velociraptors?

Answer: not much. Except they were all recently in the news and all are really interesting, or disturbing, depending on your point of view.

First: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, declared the first six months of 2017 the second warmest on record, just behind 2016’s all-time record. Why is this news? Because climate scientists had expected temperatures to cool down, and they haven’t much.

WBFO File Photo

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos Friday announced that the Niagara Falls Water Board violated water quality standards as a result of an August 15 combined sewer overflow discharge that caused a substantial visible contrast to the natural conditions in the Niagara River. The state issued a Notice of Violation to the water board.

NF Water Board stops discharging sediment

Aug 24, 2017
Maid of the Mist

The Niagara Falls Water Board said it is making changes per the investigation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says it is investigating another potential discharge from the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Rising temperatures, partly driven by global warming and longer drought seasons, have turned western forests into easy kindling for raging megafires that could threaten millions of people in the US.

This new, alarming situation has several causes, and a new book lays them out. It’s called "Land On Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West," by nature writer Gary Ferguson.

As investigations continue into whether ExxonMobil misled investors by failing to report its own scientists’ predictions about global warming, the company and other fossil fuel titans are being challenged on another legal front.

Google Maps

Cattaraugus Creek flows through much of the Seneca Nation's Cattaraugus Territory, along the southern border of Erie County. It carries radiation from West Valley and the President of the Seneca Nation wants it removed.

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Mark Dixon/Flickr 

Residents who live in and around Clairton, Penn., about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, have filed a class-action suit against US Steel, claiming air pollution from the company’s Clairton Coke Works has lowered local property values.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

The Niagara County Legislature raised the stakes on the Niagara River black sludge spill by seeking criminal investigations on local, state and federal levels.

Allan Menkel

Researchers are trying to document the summer of high water on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. They are asking shoreline residents and local officials to complete an online survey.

Photo from Twitter/@MaidOfTheMist

The Niagara County Legislature will be holding a special meeting Thursday night to call for a criminal investigation into the black wastewater discharged into the Niagara River.  

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Preservation of the environment dominated Tuesday's celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day at the Buffalo History Museum. It was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Judith Enck twitter account

The former EPA regional administrator under President Barack Obama said scientists who leaked the report about further evidence of climate change to The New York Times should be commended as “whistleblowers.”


WRVO News

The government body that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario is reducing the outflows to the St. Lawrence River. The International Joint Commission says water levels have dropped rapidly, down 12 inches since the peak in late May. However, that is drawing some criticism from shoreline residents who say the move is premature.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Tonawanda Coke environmental impact study kicked of Friday.  Community leaders, representatives of University at Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia, citizen scientists, residents and elected leaders gathered at a playground near Tonawanda Coke. Soil sampling is underway. 

WBFO's Mike Desmond

The Niagara Falls Water Board is apologizing for the sewage dump into the Niagara River on Saturday. Water Board Chairman Dan O'Callaghan read a prepared statement and refused to take questions, during a quick appearance Thursday afternoon outside board headquarters.

It is now an international incident - and soon to be a possible criminal investigation. Canada and the Niagara County Legislature are calling for further investigation into the sewage dumped into the Niagara River over the weekend.

Associated Press

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed state regulators to investigate wastewater discharges that turned the water near the base of Niagara Falls black last weekend.

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

Time is of the essence for re-designing parts of Delaware Park. That is according to civic leader Kevin Gaughan, who is asking the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to meet and move forward his plan to have legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus improve the golf course.

Seven decades into the age of nuclear power, the United States has yet to solve the problem of waste. While the US argues and dawdles, however, Finland says it has found an answer — it plans to build one of the world’s first long-term nuclear waste storage facilities in a labyrinth of underground tunnels.

New research from Duke University finds that typical amounts of household dust spurred the growth of mouse fat cells in a lab dish.

While this news may have you running for the vacuum, Chris Kassotis, a postdoctoral fellow at Duke’s Nicholas School for the Environment who conducted the research, cautions against overreacting.

In a setback to the Trump administration’s push to roll back environmental regulations, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency can’t suspend rules meant to control leaks of methane and other pollutants from new oil and gas wells.

The oil and gas industry took advantage of having a friend in the Trump administration to press for a suspension of methane rules, says David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

A new book examines 'The Book that Changed America'

Jul 24, 2017

No single book influenced US history more than Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” according to a new book by Randall Fuller, professor of English at the University of Tulsa.

A new study estimates that southern areas of the US, many of which are already poor, could face a 20 percent decline in economic activity if carbon emissions continue unabated through the 21st century.

The study was issued by economists with the Climate Impact Lab, a consortium of experts from the Universities of California, Chicago and Rutgers and the Rhodium Group.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Led by Mayor Paul Dyster, City of Niagara Falls officials released 2,500 young Channel Catfish into Hyde park lake. While news of a restocked waterway will excite local fishing enthusiasts, the fish will also play a role in improving the lake's ecosystem.

Much of the Netherlands is below sea level and major floods have occurred every generation or so for hundreds of years. In a warming world with increased rainfall and sea level rise, the threat from floods is increasing worldwide, and the Dutch are leading the way in water management engineering.  

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