Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Farm At Doe Run Dedicates Proceeds From Mayfly Cheese To Stroud Water Research Center In Chester County

Cheese lovers have a new reason to celebrate this holiday season: The Farm at Doe Run-- which won Gold at the 2016 World Cheese Awards in San Sebastian, Spain, and second prize for best in show at the American Cheese Society’s 2016 and 2017 conferences-- has released a new cheese in support of clean fresh water around the world.
The Farm at Doe Run is donating 10 percent of proceeds from its Mayfly Cheese to the Stroud Water Research Center.
The Mayfly Cheese is named in honor of the delicate winged creatures that fly above healthy streams and rivers; they’re what Stroud Water Research Center scientists call the canary in the coal mine: when the mayflies disappear, it’s a good sign clean water has disappeared too.
The Stroud Center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is an independent, non-advocacy nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of fresh water through scientific research, environmental education, and watershed restoration-- worldwide.
Stroud Center Executive Director Dave Arscott said, “We have a long history of partnering with farmers and landowners to plant streamside forests and implement other practices on land that will benefit the water quality in streams and provide a healthier habitat for the fish and other organisms living in them. The Farm at Doe Run is one of those partners. The Mayfly Cheese, produced using sustainable farming practices, is the perfect way to celebrate and fund this work.”
The Farm at Doe Run is situated along Sharitz Run, a small tributary of Doe Run, which in turn feeds into Brandywine Creek-- Wilmington, Delaware’s drinking-water supply.
Although currently listed as an impaired stream by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, recent watershed restoration work guided by the Stroud Center at The Farm at Doe Run and other sites owned by cooperating landowners has greatly improved water quality.
The Stroud Center has also helped the effort by planting 6,000 trees in the watershed. The long-term goal is to restore a viable brook trout fishery to Sharitz Run.
Cheesemaker Samuel Kennedy said, “We love the idea that Stroud Water Research Center is located right here in our own backyard and has long been recognized nationally and internationally for their freshwater research, education, and watershed restoration programs that help affect water quality and availability around the world. Their dedication to our local water system is remarkable, providing necessary research and programs to ensure the future of clean healthy water, our ecosystem, and farming.”
Just a 10-minute drive from the farm, the Stroud Center provides educational programs about streamside reforestation, riparian forest buffers, and their Leaf Pack Network® for students and tour groups.
In a formal statement, the farm’s creamery team announced, “Clean healthy water is essential to healthy communities, and we are honored to be working to help repair streams in our area with the help of the highly skilled scientists at the Stroud Center. Our support for local environmental organizations is just one way in which we are committed to building a healthier landscape for us all.”
The Mayfly is a Camembert-style cheese with a bloomy rind and is inspired by The Farm at Doe Run’s Normandy milk from their grass-fed herd and the beauty of tradition. It is available at the following retailers:
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Stroud Water Research Center website, Click Here to subscribe to UpStream.  Click Here to subscribe to Stroud’s Educator newsletter.  Click Here to become a Friend Of Stroud Research,  Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, include them in your Circle on Google+ and visit their YouTube Channel.

DCNR Offers Hotline, Training Opportunities For Snowmobiling, ATV Enthusiasts

With the arrival of winter weather across the state, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn is reminding snowmobiling enthusiasts that updated trail conditions for snowmobile and ATV riding enthusiasts are available by calling the department.
“If you are a Bucks County resident thinking about trailering snowmobiles to Potter County, you want to know what you’ll find when you get there,” Dunn said. “Thanks to our ‘snowmobile hotlines,’ information on natural snow depth, trail conditions and other key details are just a phone call away. Also tailored to geographic areas, DCNR’s website offer riders another source of vital information.”
Following the December 9 close of Pennsylvania’s regular deer hunting season, snowmobiling began Monday and closes April 1, 2018, in state forests and parks where conditions permit.
This season, snowmobile riders in Pennsylvania’s state forests and parks have access to almost 3,000 miles of marked joint-use state forest roads, closed roads, and trails in 18 of the state’s 20 state forest districts and in 32 state parks.
Winter ATV trails stretching more than 170 miles in seven state forest districts also opened Monday.
DCNR is providing condition updates on its toll-free snowmobile hotlines, 1-877-SNOMBLE (1-877-766-6253); or 717-787-5651.
Recorded messages, providing reports on snow depths and trail conditions across the state, are updated midday every Tuesday and Thursday.
DCNR also provides weather and condition reports online for state parks and forests.
Snowmobile enthusiasts are reminded bureau snowmobile maps are updated to reflect changes linked to gas-drilling operations and possible storm damage.
Additionally, the Bureau of Forestry’s ATV/Snowmobile Safety instructors will soon begin offering training to both adult and young riders.
Effective January 1, 2018, the certified snowmobile and ATV instruction will be expanded beyond the former age limitation of under 16.
Snowmobile enthusiasts will find maps, conditions, and other detailed information on DCNR’s Outdoor Recreation webpage.
All snowmobiles and ATVs in Pennsylvania must be registered with DCNR’s snowmobile/ATV Unit. For more information on registration, call toll free (866) 545-2476 or visit DCNR’s website.
For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

AG Shapiro Calls On Army Corps Of Engineers To Protect Great Lakes From Asian Carp

Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the Attorneys General of Michigan and Minnesota Tuesday called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change plans for an expensive lock redesign and instead close a major lock now to keep the invasive Asian carp species from entering the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, potentially causing widespread harm to its ecosystem and economy.
In a bipartisan joint letter to the Army Corps, the three Attorneys General asked the Corps to rethink its Brandon Road Plan, which would retrofit the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois with technologies intended to deter the movement of Asian carp.
“Asian carp present a real danger to the ecological balance of the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “This invasive species consumes a large amount of plankton, which native species depend on as a food supply, and can severely damage the ecosystem if it continues to spread. My colleague Attorneys General and I are asking the Army Corps to change their plans and act now to the Great Lakes from being overtaken by Asian carp.”
In their letter to the Army Corps, the Attorneys General emphasize that the Corps’ own analysis showed closing the Brandon Road Lock is the most effective, reliable option to stopping the spread of Asian carp to the Great Lakes.
The Lock Closure Alternative supported by the Attorneys General is estimated to cost $5.9 million -- compared to $275.3 million to implement the carp-deterrence technologies favored by the Corps.
“We urge the Corps to select and implement what the draft report itself identifies as the most effective option – closing the Brandon Road Lock,” said the Attorneys General in the letter.
“As the chief legal officers of our respective states, we share a strong, common interest in protecting the unique resources of the Great Lakes and their connected waters from the continuing threat that Asian carp present in the Illinois Waterway will invade and become established in the Great Lakes, causing grave ecological and economic harm,” the Attorneys General wrote, explaining their legal basis for becoming involved in the Asian carp issue.
The Attorneys General letter challenged the Army Corps draft report’s conclusion that its estimated “lost transportation cost savings” should rule out the Lock Closure Alternative.
The letter pointed to a report prepared for the State of Michigan by transportation experts that concludes the Corps’ estimates are grossly overstated, and that increased transportation costs would be hundreds of millions less than the Corps’ report suggests.
The letter criticizes the draft report for failing to balance such increased transportation costs against the far greater ecological and economic harm the public will suffer if Asian carp invade the Great Lakes.
“If Asian carp reach the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, it will cause major ecological and economic harm,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Great Lakes sport fishing alone has an annual value in the billions of dollars. That is at risk if Asian carp invade and become established. For the benefit of the Great Lakes’ economy and environment, the Army Corps should reconsider its decision and implement the most effective, most affordable way to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was joined in signing the letter by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
More information on the Asian Carp is available on the Asian Carp Response In The Midwest webpage.
NewsClip:
AP: PA AG, 2 Other Attorneys General Want Great Lakes Walled Off To Stop Asian Carp

PPL Foundation Supports Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Education Programs

The PPL Foundation Tuesday announced the latest recipients of funds from its grant program, awarding nearly $600,000 to support 16 organizations working to empower the communities they serve.
Among the awards were grants to support Science, Technology, Engineering, Math education programs, including--
-- Bloomsburg University Foundation's Regional STEM Education Center received $30,000 to expand programming opportunities for students participating in the Center's Anchor program for youth in foster care, the Girls in STEM program and the STEM Adventure Camps.
-- Da Vinci Discovery Center of Science and Technology in Allentown received $25,000 to support a Science on the Move outreach vehicle, which will increase the number of students served through outreach programs in Northeast Pennsylvania.
-- Lancaster Science Center received $100,000 to support a new hands-on science exhibit and expansion of STEM programming.
-- Lehigh Carbon Community College Foundation received $30,000 to support expansion of LCCC's STEM initiative to all three campuses (Schnecksville, Allentown and Tamaqua), including the STEM Academy, Women in STEM GROW mentoring program and the Science Technology Talent Showcase to recognize student achievement in STEM programs.
-- Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences received $55,000 to provide students the opportunity to attend the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences' summer program at Carnegie Mellon University.
-- Pocono Environmental Education Center in Pike County received $25,000 to support the development of the organization's Sustainability Lodge, an education center for the community.
-- Pocono Services for Families and Children received $45,000 to support the development of an outdoor classroom for use by hundreds of children attending the on-site child care center.
-- Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency received $25,000 for a program that will bring STEM curriculum to Head Start students in a four-county area as part of an initiative to provide high quality early childhood education in Northeast Pennsylvania.
-- Valley Youth House in the Lehigh Valley received $25,000 to provide a free, week-long overnight STEM camp for disadvantaged youth.
-- Wildlands Conservancy in the Lehigh Valley received $25,000 to support the expansion of a sensory trail, accommodating more visitors and improving the safety and accessibility of the parking area.
"Whether enhancing educational opportunities for students in our communities or providing disadvantaged workers what they need to achieve economic stability, there are many nonprofit organizations that are working to better the lives of the people who call our region home," said Ryan Hill, president of the PPL Foundation. "The PPL Foundation is proud to support the efforts of the organizations that help make our communities safe, strong and sustainable."
For more information on this program, visit the PPL Foundation webpage.

Gov. Wolf Announces Industrial Sites Remediation, Assessment Grants In Northampton, York Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced two new grants through the DCED Industrial Sites Reuse Program that will clean up a former industrial site in York County and assess the environmental condition of a former Northampton County site to prepare them for occupation by businesses and residential properties.
“The process of fully remediating a site can often be difficult and costly, so this program is vital to help get these sites pad-ready,” Gov. Wolf said. “Having a collection of former brownfield sites ready for occupation helps attract companies to Pennsylvania and create jobs.”
The ISRP provides loans and grants for environmental assessments and remediation. The program is designed to foster the cleanup of environmental contamination at industrial sites, thereby bringing blighted land into productive reuse.
“It’s exciting to look at what the developers have planned for these sites,” DCED secretary Dennis Davin said. “These projects will help transform vacant brownfields into flourishing cornerstones for community and economic development like housing, a playground, and a medical clinic. This is great news for the cities of Easton and York.”
“Turning unused former industrial sites into places where people work, shop, and play is one of the Department of Environmental Protection’s longest-running success stories, and I am glad to see new chapters added for Easton and York,” said Department of Environmental Protection secretary Patrick McDonnell.
The two approved projects are as follows:
-- Northampton County: The city of Easton was approved for a $153,382 for a Phase II environmental assessment of the 3.9-acre Black Diamond Silk Mill industrial site in Northampton County.
Earlier this year, a Phase I environmental assessment was performed which identified areas of environmental concern that warranted further investigation. Phase II will consist of an initial assessment and the investigation necessary to complete the site characterization following demolition.  
ISRP funds will be used for site characterization including soil borings, geophysical survey for two suspected underground storage tanks, soil investigation, groundwater testing, Phase II reporting, and administration.
Once assessed and remediated, PIRHL Developers LLC plans to construct a 60-unit low income housing complex, complementary community center, and a playground. A second phase will be comprised of complementary mixed-uses, including a grocery store, retail and medical office/urgent care clinic.
-- York County: The Redevelopment Authority of the City of York (RDA) was approved for $1,000,000 for remediation of the former Danskin Factory clothing manufacturing facility located at 300 North State Street in the city of York.
ISRP funds will be used for removal of asbestos-containing materials, contamination debris, demolition debris, and other hazardous materials. Once the site is remediated, the RDA plans to construct 56 units of affordable housing for families.
For more information on this program, visit DCED’s Industrial Sites Reuse Program webpage.
Information on industrial site and brownfield reuse is available on DEP’s Land Recycling Program webpage.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Receives Grant From Tompkins VIST Bank

Visiting school groups at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will continue to enjoy guided field trips, thanks in part to support from Tompkins VIST Bank, which recently awarded $5,000 in Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) funding to the Sanctuary.
The gift helps to support educational programming at Hawk Mountain for public school groups.
"Hawk Mountain is thrilled to have Tompkins VIST Bank as a corporate partner and friend,” says Director of Development Mary Linkevich. “It’s great to know this community banking organization supports both the outdoors and public education," she adds.
Tompkins VIST Bank is dedicated to enhancing the vitality of our community through the support of more than 200 local economic, arts, education, and health-related organizations.
Above that, Tompkins VIST employees contribute countless hours of community service and fundraising activities for local non-profits.
Recognized as the first refuge for birds of prey, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the world’s oldest and largest, member-support raptor conservation organization.
Its scenic overlooks, mountaintop trails and Visitor Center are open to the public year-round, and Hawk Mountain is well-known as a prime observation point to watch than annual migration of hawks, eagles and falcons.
Trail fees, membership dues, gifts and grants support the Sanctuary's global raptor conservation mission, which includes scientific research, professional training, and conservation education programs.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website or call 610-756-6961.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Sanctuary, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit them on Flickr, be part of their Google+ Circle and visit their YouTube Channel.  Click Here to support Hawk Mountain.
(Photo: Wayne Lutsey, left, and Beth Heckart, right, of Tompkins VIST Bank, present to Senior Educator Rachel Spagnola.)

PA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Committee Meets Dec. 13 On Midpoint Assessment Of PA’s Progress

The Steering Committee for Phase 3 of PA’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Plan meets December 13 to discuss the Chesapeake Bay Program’s midpoint assessment of Pennsylvania’s progress.
In 2010 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load (TMDL) targets for nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment levels by 2025. The Chesapeake Bay Program has assessed Pennsylvania’s progress toward these targets at the halfway point and will issue revised TMDL targets later this month.
The meeting is open to the public, with comment opportunity at approximately 11:00 a.m.
The meeting will be held in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building starting at 9:00 a.m.  The meeting is also be available by webinar.  Click Here to register.
For more information, visit the Phase 3 Steering Committee Actions webpage.
Related Story:

CANCELED: Senate Environmental Committee To Consider E-Waste Recycling Overhaul Dec. 13

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee canceled its December 13 meeting to consider legislation overhauling the state’s electronics waste recycling program and a bill to update training requirements for deep mine safety medical personnel.  The bills include--
-- E-Waste Recycling: Senate Bill 800 (Alloway-R-Franklin) eliminating and replacing the existing state electronics waste recycling law with a more comprehensive program Click Here for more; and
-- Deep Mine Safety: House Bill 1341 (Pyle-R-Armstrong) expands the qualifications for emergency medical personnel who must be employed onsite at coal mines (House Fiscal Note and summary).
Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee and can be contacted by sending email to: gyaw@pasen.gov.   Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to: yudichak@pasenate.com.

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