Environment

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

The international board that helps manage water levels on the Great Lakes announced it is reducing outflows. This means the International Joint Commission's International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board will be letting less water from Lake Ontario through the Moses-Saunders Power Dam into the upper St. Lawrence River.

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Firm, greasy-looking smears. Dark spots with fuzzy white spores. 

 

Farmers should be on the lookout for these warning signs after late blight — the plant disease best known for causing the Irish Potato Famine — was detected on crops in Cattaraugus, Allegany and Genesee counties over the last week. 

 

RTC / TrailLink

A $6.4 million grant from the foundation set up after the death of longtime Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson will benefit trails in Western New York.

A Flash Flood Warning brought 2"-3" of rain to Erie County within a 60-90 minute period Wednesday morning, with Kenmore, North Buffalo and Amherst getting the worst of it, according to the National Weather Service.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Lake Ontario is on the decline, but that doesn’t mean the worst is over. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it doesn't expect the water in the Great Lakes to go down too much, too soon.

Soondi Tech / University at Buffalo

Think about cooling a building with air conditioning that requires no electricity. A team from the University at Buffalo has a patent on a system using a unique plastic on a roof that allows heat to pass through into the sky.

On July 9, 2019, a facility operated by mining company Grupo Mexico spilled thousands of liters of sulfuric acid into the Sea of Cortez, raising environmental concerns and doubts about the Mexican government's willingness to hold extraction companies accountable when they pollute.

File Photo / WBFO News

There is no plan for wind generators off-shore from southern Erie County, but opponents are organizing just in case. A firm called Diamond Wind is expected to file for at least 50 generators in the lake next month, when as a window for wind farm applications opens.

Buffalo Riverkeeper

A new report says cleaning up some of the most heavily polluted areas in the Great Lakes region has led to billions of dollars' worth of economic development.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

An Ontario climate expert is joining those who say climate change is one of the main reasons behind record water levels in the Great Lakes. The opinion runs contrary to those which have placed the blame on the work of an international commission.


Summer camp is a long-standing tradition in the United States. It’s a way for kids to take a break from academics and connect with nature. And in today’s digital world, summer camp offers kids a respite from the virtual reality that dominates their lives.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

A celebration of Indigenous Peoples and Nuclear-Free Future Day returns Friday to the Buffalo History Museum. Ahead of the event, local Native Americans and environmental activists explained how the issues of indigenous peoples and nuclear power are intertwined.


Raising monarch butterflies, arguably the most familiar North American butterfly species, in your home or backyard is an enjoyable, educational activity and can help sustain the monarch's population — but, according to a new study, there are a few things you must do right if you truly want to help. 

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News File Photo

More than a century of sitting on the edge of Lake Erie in Buffalo Harbor has worn down the South Breakwater to the point it is getting a year-long $6 million rehab.

Fracking has revolutionized the extraction of oil and gas in just a few years, but this highly efficient method comes with environmental and health risks. Now, a new metastudy details its adverse effects on the local environment, the climate and human health.

According to ancient Greek myth, Hades, ruler of the underworld, kidnaps the goddess Persephone, who represents nature and renewal, which brings about the first winter on Earth. For composer and writer Anaïs Mitchell, that sudden change in climate was the perfect backdrop for her new hit Broadway musical “Hadestown.”

More than half the world’s coral reefs have died in the last few decades and scientists predict that as many as 90% could die off this century as the ocean chemistry changes and temperatures rise. But some coral populations are actually thriving in warmer waters and scientists are working to speed up natural selection by propagating these resilient corals.

Joanie Kleypas, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and founder of the nonprofit Raising Coral Costa Rica, says results so far have been encouraging.

Southern Tier Wegmans stores eliminate plastic bags

Jul 29, 2019

Starting today, plastic bags aren’t an option when you check out at Wegmans stores in Ithaca and Corning. Wegmans set their goal to eliminate plastic bags by the end of this year although New York’s ban on the bags doesnt take effect until March 2020.


New Yorkers have only about six months left to get single use plastic bags at the supermarket before a ban goes into effect March 1 and former EPA Administrator Judith Enck says that’s good thing. Enck now runs the Beyond Plastics center at Bennington College, VT and she spoke during a recent conference there. She told WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt that more needs to be done.


A new HBO documentary, “Ice on Fire,” produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, issues a dire warning about the consequences of climate disruption, but also seeks to inspire people to follow proven, safe, sustainable pathways available right now that can reverse the process.

Citizen Science Community Resources

Now that Tonawanda Coke has been shut down, local residents want to know about the possible toxins left behind.

A #MeToo scandal engulfs The Nature Conservancy

Jul 25, 2019

The Nature Conservancy, which since its founding in 1951 has protected some 120 million acres of land around the world, is being rocked by a vast scandal that includes allegations of workplace misconduct, sexual harassment and discriminatory treatment of female employees. 

Several senior executives, including the CEO, have resigned and trust in the organization has been shaken. 

While disruption of the climate seems to be advancing quickly, climate protection negotiators in Bonn, Germany, recently struggled to flesh out the mechanisms of the Paris climate agreement. And at the G20 meeting in Japan, the US blocked any consensus on climate action.

“It was a very intense discussion,” said Alden Meyer, of the G20 meeting. Meyer is director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Scientists working on the US-Mexico border face unique challenges when trying to study borderlands ecosystems, from outright harassment by Border Patrol officers to tight restrictions on travel and what natural materials can cross the border. It’s all gotten worse under the Trump administration.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed into law a bill that could greatly reduce greenhouse gases in New York. He was joined by former Vice President Al Gore, a longtime activist against climate change.

IJC to add new members to lake management board

Jul 18, 2019
Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Since the flooding of 2017, the International Joint Commission has been criticized for mismanagement of Lake Ontario. Now, in response to some of those criticisms, the IJC is adding two new seats to the board that regulates the outflows of Lake Ontario.

Bob Clark / Olean Times Herald

Officials cut the ribbon on a new 4-megawatt solar electricity farm Wednesday morning, the third developed for the City of Olean.

Photo courtesy of Lamar Bliss

Flooding on Lake Ontario broke records this year. A lot of shoreline residents say they’ve never seen water levels anywhere near this year's, but in fact Lake Ontario has flooded many times before.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its research partners are forecasting that western Lake Erie will experience a significant harmful algal bloom (HAB) this summer. Most of the rest of the lake will not be affected.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO News File Photo

Water levels in two of the Great Lakes are the highest ever recorded. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday that Lakes Erie and Ontario last month reached their highest points since record-keeping began in 1918.

Pages