Environment

When Hurricane Irma hit Florida, it blasted an estimated 3 to 10 feet of storm surge into the Everglades. Combined with the drenching rain, the storm may change the vegetation patterns of the enormous wetland and perhaps prod the people of South Florida to rethink how it lives with its water.

The hurricanes that recently smashed islands in the Caribbean set records for size, strength and endurance — records that experts predict will be broken sooner rather than later, as global warming continues to heat the oceans and intensify precipitation cycles.

Dessima Williams, former Grenada UN ambassador, says the Caribbean people remain resilient and self-reliant, but they have limited financial capacity to recover and rebuild.

At Climate Week 2017, a mix of optimism and urgency

Oct 7, 2017

When the world’s leaders gathered in New York for the annual fall meeting of the UN General Assembly, another series of meetings took place, called Climate Week NYC, where government, business and NGO leaders discussed global climate solutions. 

The mood at Climate Week this year was “a strange confluence of optimism and urgency,” says Alden Meyer, a climate diplomacy expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists, who came to New York City for the meetings.

H
Richard Carson/Reuters 

In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the US needs to rethink its flood insurance programs, experts say.

For some, it would seem that a scholar in Romance Languages or a PhD in Literature would have little to add to the climate change conversation. The organizers of the 2017 Buffalo Humanities Festival were quick to disabuse that notion. Their assertion that the Humanities may be best-equipped to tackle the subject is at the heart of this weekend's festival.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WXXI News & AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is launching an effort to improve the New York State Canal System by holding a competition that will award up to $2.5 million to entrants who come up with the best ideas.

The Democrat made the announcement Monday as the World Canals Conference got underway in Syracuse. 

Elizabeth Licata

Country drives may be a little duller this fall. The recent return of summer-like weather may put a damper on colorful autumn foliage across the region.

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.

A
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.

Pages