Environment

Governor Cuomo stopped in shoreline communities in Greece and Sodus Point to unveil some new technology designed to save homes and businesses from further damage from high water levels on Lake Ontario. 

Damage he says is due in part to a late response from the board that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, the International Joint Commission.

Cuomo says the state is testing two "Aqua Dams," water filled synthetic device that, when it works, acts like a portable dam.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The future of public transportation could be on its way to Buffalo. The Sierra Club Niagara Group is asking the NFTA to purchase 10 Zero Emission Buses.

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Nicholas A. Tonelli/Flickr

As the planet warms, many tree species in the eastern US are migrating.

Pines and spruce are heading north, while oaks and maples are heading west of their historical ranges, according to a recent study. In all, the newly published research confirms, 86 tree species in the eastern US are moving into new areas.

Trees don't just pick up and move, of course. Their seeds tend to spread in one direction or another, depending on local conditions, and saplings will have more success in places best suited to their natural traits.

A team of Belgian researchers has developed a device that will remove pollutants from the air and convert them into simple hydrogen — using sunlight, nanoparticles and a photoelectric chemical membrane.

Polluted air is bad not only for your physical health but also for your mental health and sense of well-being.

That is according to researchers at the University of York in the UK, who recently reported that, as nitrogen dioxide pollution increases, life satisfaction and personal happiness decline.

Solar jobs now outnumber coal jobs in the US

Jun 7, 2017

While coal still produces much more energy in the US than solar, solar jobs now outnumber those in coal by more than 2-to-1, according to the Department of Energy.

A team of US and Mexican researchers examining the 1979 Ixtoc oil spill off the Mexican coastline has been given an exciting new tool: rediscovered satellite data from the 1970s.

The team of US and Mexican researchers is revisiting Ixtoc to find out how the environment nearby has recovered and to learn how the area around the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill might look in the future. The "digital archaeology" done by two researchers has become an invaluable tool.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Canada's Prime Minister was in Southern Ontario Monday, making two stops along the border. While in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Justin Trudeau told an audience his nation remains "all in" in its commitment to combating adverse climate change.


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Peg Hunter/Flickr 

North American oil and gas producers are rushing to build new pipelines as part of a bid to gain more power in the international oil and gas markets, but they are running into fierce opposition at home.

Governor Cuomo says he’ll sign an executive order committing the state to meet the Paris accord standards, calling President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible."​


governor.ny.gov

President Trump's announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord drew swift and strong criticism from environmental advocates from across New York State. And while they praise Governor Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to stay the course on environmental reforms, one organization is warning his efforts, too, could be in jeopardy.


Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced that the U.S. will be withdrawing from the Paris accord — the historic global agreement reached by 195 countries in 2015 to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the rise in average global temperatures.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Village of Williamville is marking completion of a three-year project that converted a frequently-visited nook into a more environmentally friendly space.


Kathleen Thomas

New York State is making $7 million available to help homeowners recover from flooding along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines.

A revered 87-year-old ecologist has created a bold new proposal to stem global species loss.

Distinguished Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson has won two Pulitzer Prizes, including one for a book on ants, and has been studying the challenge of species loss for years, focusing on unique habitats that should be conserved to protect the diverse ecological webs within them.

The Keystone XL pipeline fight continues

May 27, 2017

President Donald Trump has given TransCanada a permit to continue construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, but a coalition of citizens, farmers, ranchers, Native American tribes and environmental groups have united to oppose the pipeline’s route through Nebraska’s Sandhills area.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Environmental advocates joined the push to remove the Grand Island Bridge toll barriers. While previous efforts focused on the excessive financial burdens cast upon residents and commuters, new concerns are being raised over the damage done to area air quality.


For serious gardeners, striking a balance between beautifying their green space and maintaining biodiversity can be a challenge. Buffalo Spree Editor Elizabeth Licata, a WBFO contributor, spoke with an expert on the subject who has some advice for local growers.


WBFO file photo/Angelica Morrison

New York State is putting forth millions of dollars to assist municipalities affected by rising water levels along the Lake Ontario shoreline. If a bill passes the State Senate this week, private property owners may see some relief, too.


Scientists have discovered about 200 new mineral compounds, created accidentally as a result of human activity.

The new minerals were identified by research scientist Robert Hazen and a team from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC. Their study is published in the journal American Mineralogist.

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide rallied for the People’s Climate March on April 29, but the mood was bleaker than the First People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014.

In September 2014, nearly half a million people crammed the avenues of New York for the first march to urge nations of the world to take bold action on global warming. It was the eve of the UN Climate Summit and PRI’s Living on Earth team was there. At the intersection of 46th Street and Sixth Avenue the atmosphere was joyful, almost like a carnival parade.

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Gage Skidmore/Flickr 

Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, is already under fire from both sides of the aisle, especially regarding carbon pollution and climate change.

Progressives and environmental groups are horrified that Pruitt has denied the human link to climate change, and conservatives are already saying that Pruitt hasn’t done enough to undo the EPA’s “regulatory overreach.”

WNED-TV

A local state senator wants New York's constitution amended to guarantee the rights of residents to hunt and fish, joining 21 other states to enshrine those outdoor rights in their state charters.

WRVO's Payne Horning

As water levels on Lake Ontario continue to rise, state lawmakers are working on financial assistance to homeowners still assessing flood damage.

Environment New York Research & Policy Center

A new study finds there is still plenty of dirty air around Western New York.


The Goldman Environmental Prize, given out annually, honors an activist from each of the six inhabited continents. The North American Goldman Prize this year has been awarded to 32-year-old mark! Lopez, who helped end decades of environmental abuses by Exide, a company that operated a lead-acid battery smelter in East Los Angeles.

Lopez says he was reminded about the environmental problems Exide had inflicted upon his community after he graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz and went to visit his grandmother.

EPA budget cuts threaten programs to reduce kids' exposure to lead paint

May 9, 2017

Childhood lead poisoning remains a great threat to young children in the US. Nevertheless, the Trump administration proposes to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead programs and leave lead-reduction initiatives to the states.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than a fifth of American homes contain enough lead-based paint to create a hazard to young children, whose developing brains can be harmed by even low levels of the toxic heavy metal.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

For the fishing and tourism Village of Olcott on the Lake Ontario shore, Sunday was an opportunity to recover from the terrible weather of recent weeks.

The death and life of the Great Lakes

May 7, 2017

When the St. Lawrence Seaway opened on April 24, 1959, it created a link from the Great Lakes to the sea along the US-Canadian border — the fulfillment of a dream for the heartland of the continent. It also created an ecological nightmare no one anticipated.

Environmental journalist Dan Egan details the history of the Seaway and the modern problems it created in his new book, "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes."

The present partisan divide in America seems more bitter than at any time in recent memory. To try to better understand it, liberal sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild spent five years conducting what she calls an “empathic study” of her political opposites in Louisiana.

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