Under the leadership of President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Trump administration has pursued reckless and relentless efforts to put energy extraction above the protection of our public lands — including national parks and monuments — at the behest of industry and corp
The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is now accepting applications from eligible high school seniors for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Yeaman Scholarship and the Vanessa Van Gorder Memorial Scholarship, both in the amount of $1,000.
The Yeaman Scholarship has been given annually since 2004 to a student planning to pursue a field in environmental studies in college, in honor of the Conservancy’s founder, Barbara Yeaman.
It is open to students in school districts bordering the Upper Delaware River in New York and Pennsylvania. These include Hancock Central, Deposit Central, Eldred, Monticello, and Sullivan West in NY, and Wallenpaupack Area, Honesdale, and Delaware Valley in PA.
In 2015, the Conservancy established a Memorial Scholarship in honor of Vanessa Joy Van Gorder, who tragically lost her life on December 26, 2014.
A recent graduate from West Chester University with a degree in education, Vanessa was passionate about the outdoors and loved exploring the lakes, rivers, and forests of the Upper Delaware River Region with her friends and family.
The Conservancy established this scholarship in Vanessa’s memory and to honor her dream of becoming an educator.
The scholarship is open to high school seniors pursuing a career in education or environmental stewardship, in school districts bordering the Upper Delaware River in Pennsylvania, including Wallenpaupack, Honesdale, or Delaware Valley.
For both scholarships, students at eligible districts should contact their guidance counselors for applications. Applications must be submitted through the school’s guidance counselor for transmittal to the Delaware Highlands Scholarship Committee by March 30. Recipients of the scholarship will be notified in May.
Three state senators have introduced legislation to bring Pennsylvania into line with the carbon emission goals of the Paris Agreement.
When President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the international climate accord he quipped that he represents “Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
In response, the legislators – led by Sen. Jay Costa of Pittsburgh – have introduced Senate Bill 15.
According to Tom Schuster, senior campaign representative with the Sierra Club, the legislation, if passed, would keep Pennsylvania in the fight against climate change.
“It would essentially commit Pennsylvania to achieve the goals that were laid out in the Paris climate agreement,” he states. “So, we’d be reducing our climate-disrupting carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2025.”
The Trump administration maintains emission reduction requirements hamper economic development, but environmentalists say investing in renewable energy creates jobs.
And Schuster says there is a variety of ways to meet those carbon reduction goals, including the ramping up investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, and increasing the use of electric vehicles and public transit.
“It can also involve steps taken by other sectors like the agricultural sector in terms of limiting the amount of carbon that is emitted through farming practices,” he adds.
The legislation would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to find the most efficient and cost effective ways to meet emission reduction goals.
While support for the bill among the State Senate’s Democratic leadership is significant, Republicans have not yet come on board. So Schuster stresses that voters need to make their voices heard.
“Ultimately, it’s up to Pennsylvanians to demand action from their legislators, because the longer we wait to tackle it, the harder it’s going to be to address the issue,” he states.
The bill has been referred to the Senate’s Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection
The state of Alaska has officially asked the Trump administration to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule, which could set a precedent of forest-by-forest or state-by-state exemptions that effectively dismantles the standard.
The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has submitted the 2016 Draft Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, listing the 19,900 miles of impaired waterways in Pennsylvania.
That number is down slightly from the 20,149 miles reported in July of last year in the first draft of this report.
The latest report lists the Lower Susquehanna River as impaired for recreation use, like the draft did, but does not list it as impaired for fisheries as requested by the Fish and Boat Commission, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA and numerous other groups. (page 34)
DEP says in the report it is continuing to conduct extensive sampling in the river and has developing a large river assessment protocol which it expects to complete in 2017. The new assessment method, it said, along with the sampling methodologies and techniques will be made available for public comment in advance of the next integrated Water Quality Report in 2018. (page 42)
“Pennsylvania is home to more than 86,000 miles of streams and rivers and more than 160,000 acres of lakes, so it is vital that we maintain and monitor these valuable resources,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This report serves to identify what waters are healthy and what waters need some extra attention.”
Read the full story from PA Environment Digest here.
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