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North Dakota crude oil spilled into wetlands near Aliceville Alabama from a train derailment. Photo: <a href=" ">John Walthen, Public Herald</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
North Dakota crude oil spilled into wetlands near Aliceville Alabama from a train derailment. Photo: John Walthen, Public Herald, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY asks feds to update oil spill response plans

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to update a contingency plan for dealing with oil spills, in light of the rapid expansion of rail shipments of crude oil from North Dakota.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens sent a letter Monday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. He said under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, EPA is responsible for creating Inland Area Contingency Plans to improve preparedness for oil spills.  Go to full article
Seed packet for a disease-resistant variety of cucumber. Photo: <a href="">Cris</a>, Creative Commons, somew rights reserved

Disease resistant seeds? What's that?

It's a detail you don't want to miss, because planting "disease resistant" varieties of flower, fruits and vegetables could save a lot of heartache during the gardening season.

But, Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says, "being disease resistant doesn't mean it's disease proof." That said, planting, say, squash that resists powdery mildew can be a real advantage. It isn't a cure, but it's a preventive step that can help produce a squash harvest rather than a squash failure.  Go to full article
Be on the lookout for the Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) Photo: <a href="">Heather Paul</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cornell seeks volunteer bird's nest watchers

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) As birds wing their way north from their wintering grounds, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is recruiting volunteers for its annual NestWatch citizen science project.

Participants map any nest or birdhouse location on the NestWatch website ( Then they report the species of nesting bird, when eggs are laid, how many hatch, and how many fledglings leave the nest.  Go to full article
The Robinson Bay breaks Seaway ice back in 2001. NCPR file photo: Lisa Lazenby

Seaway ice breakers coming, season opens March 31

In a press release yesterday, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Authority announced ice-breaking will soon be underway in advance of the opening of the shipping season...  Go to full article
Fishing the Salmon River, one of the Lake Ontario tributaries stocked by the DEC. Photo: David Chanatry, New York Reporting Project

Lake Ontario sport fishery is a $110M business

A successful stocking program has led Lake Ontario to be one of the premier fishing destinations in the Great Lakes.

The Department of Environmental Conservation...  Go to full article
Photo: David Sommerstein

Finally, a sign of spring: Maple Weekend is here

Looking for that real sign of spring? Don't look out the window. New York's first crop of 2014 is coming in. The sugar shanties will be going full bore this weekend for the...  Go to full article
An algae bloom in Burlington, VT. Photo: <a href="">Don Shall</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How Vermont's trying to help Lake Champlain with new transportation regulations

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont lawmakers will be examining the effects of new environmental regulations on transportation in the state.

State and the U.S....  Go to full article
A Spokane, WA, veteran gets his ears checked. Photo: <a href="">Ken Harper</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NYS audit faults referrals for veterans' benefits

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York auditors say poor coordination of health benefits for military veterans by local social services departments and the state health department has...  Go to full article
A train in Casselton, North Dakota carrying crude oil derailed and exploded on Dec. 30, 2013. Photo: Ken Pawluk / Associated Press /, via NTSB press release

Schumer presses oil companies on dangerous train tankers

While in Watertown Wednesday, Senator Chuck Schumer said the federal government is not moving fast enough to make trains carrying crude oil safer.

Schumer said...  Go to full article
Dr. Stephen Ledoux. Photo via <a href="">SUNY Canton</a>

What's behaviorology and how can it help solve global problems?

SUNY Canton's Sustainability Lecture Series continues tonight with a talk about using behaviorology, the study of natural science explanations of behavior, to face global...  Go to full article

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