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Category Archives:

Sustainability

Tiny Eels, Big $$ & Native Rights on Long Island

Native Americans of the Shinnecock tribe have been living in eastern Long Island since long before European settlers arrived in the 17th century. And while you might not expect a reservation to be located near now-trendy Southampton village, that’s exactly where David Taobi Silva lives and fishes, and he claims he has aboriginal rights to do so, even if it is against Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.

At issue are tiny glass eels that are illegal to harvest in New York, a regulation state officials call vital in protecting a depleted population. But Mr. Silva told the officers that he was free to gather the eels, citing an aboriginal right to fish locally that is based on Shinnecock tradition and ancient treaties that predate and supersede government laws.

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Hands-On Trainings to Improve Your Building with the NYC Retrofit Accelerator

Books for Kids that Teach About the Environment

“Reading is fundamental” is a phrase most people are familiar with, and instilling a love of books and reading in their children is some thing that many, if not most, parents strive for. Some books carry messages even more profound, though. Stories are such a compelling way of passing on information that human cultures have stories that have survived thousands of years.

When it comes to environmentalism, stories can play an important role in teaching kids to take care of the animals, plants and other features of a healthy natural environment.

Here are five suggestions from Earth911.com that are sure to please budding environmentalists and eco-parents:

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Teaching Teachers to Teach Climate Science

This letter, by Solar One BFF Joy Garland, appeared in the December 28, 2017 Letters to the Editor in Town & Village newspaper.

Have you ever wondered how schools are preparing our students from kindergarten through high school to understand climate, how it affects us and what we can do about it? One solution that has been suggested is to reach out to the teacher training colleges who prepare the adult students to be teachers before they enter the children’s classrooms. Here in New York City, Teachers College, Columbia University and New York University are both participating with the New York CityDepartment Of Education (DOE) Office of Sustainability, to increase environmental and sustainability education for teachers and students. There is also an initiative from NYC DOE to strengthen the sustainability coordinator position in each public school.

We were delighted that State Senator Brian Kavanaugh was able to speak at the recent meeting of the Environmental Education Advisory Council (EEAC) dealing with the aforementioned issues. The senator spoke about initiatives on the environment that he sponsored when he served in the State Assembly before he won a spot in the State Senate recently. He also offered suggestions for helping to improve environmental and sustainability education in the schools.

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Life After Coal

Coal- it’s the original fossil fuel. Its concentrated energy powered the Industrial Revolution, and raised humankind’s standard of living to heights that had never been possible.

But now that coal has been thoroughly supplanted by natural gas, which may soon itself be replaced by renewables, how can we restore mining communities, provide stable, high-paying jobs and an identity for former coal communities that they can be proud of? The answer may come from Germany, a country with a lot of former coal mines and ambitious renewable energy goals.

In the northwest region of the country, two professors at the University of Essen-Duisberg began to brainstorm possible uses for the old mines- the last of which will cease operations next year- and have come up with an intriguing concept: repurpose the old mines as battery storage for the wind turbines that are quickly replacing the mines in German coal country.

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New Report Shows NYC Waterways Are Cleanest They’ve Been in 100 Years

Being that Solar One is physically close to the water, the condition of that water is anything but an abstract notion to us. Water quality testing is one of our Education team’s most popular field trip offerings, we have a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) pipe running diagonally under the blacktop, and we host some of the Billion Oyster Project‘s little bivalve charges. Students who come to Stuy Cove can find out exactly what’s in our water on any given day.

And while most days, we generally do find at least a little bit of bacteria, a new report from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that remarkable improvements have been made in recent decades.

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