News2019-10-31T22:18:59+00:00

News

Why nitrogen management is key for climate change mitigation

UN Environment- October 22, 2019

The environmental interest in nitrogen (N2), an essential component of the air we breathe, focuses on the conversion of Ninto other chemically reactive forms. Some are vital for life itself and some cause costly and dangerous nitrogen pollution.

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Charlotte County has costly mandatory septic system switch

Wink News- October 21, 2019

Hundreds of home owners in Charlotte County have to switch from septic to the county sewer system, and they don’t have a choice. The switch could cost home owners as much as $11,000, but the county says these changes will help prevent another algae and water crisis.

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Officials say residents, businesses in Kings Park will reap benefits of $20M sewer project

Newsday- October 14, 2019

Sewer construction in downtown Kings Park is expected to start in 2021 and to finish in October 2023, work that Smithtown and Suffolk County officials said will disrupt life but pay immense dividends for residents and businesspeople when it is finished.

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Black Rock Harbor’s recovery begins with citizen scientists

CT Post- October 4, 2019

This group devoted many early mornings in spring and summer as citizen scientists taking water samples to test the quality. Like most residents of the Black Rock area, they’re tired of sewage overflows, smelly water and beaches closed to swimming.

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Pilot program to tackle dangerous algae blooms in Long Island

ABC News- October 3, 2019

Although an “algae bloom” may sound innocuous, it can be dangerous, claiming the lives of nine dogs across the country over the summer. It is now plaguing bodies of water on Long Island, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking emergency action to try to stop it.

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Climate change is going to make septic systems a problem for millions, UN warns

The Journal Times- September 27, 2019

More than 60 million people in the U.S. manage their sewage with septic systems, which are incredibly vulnerable to sea level rise and heavy rains. The climate crisis has brought both.

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Suffolk unveils plans for 1,200 new high-tech septic systems next year

Newsday- September 17, 2019

Suffolk County officials are ramping up a plan to reduce nitrogen pollution in waterways by installing 1,200 high-tech septic systems next year, County Executive Steve Bellone announced Tuesday.

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Massachusetts sewage spills no risk to Connecticut residents but could hurt Long Island Sound

Hartford Courant- September 13, 2019

In the past three weeks, problems in two different Massachusetts municipalities sent more than 374,000 gallons of raw sewage pouring down the Connecticut River and eventually into Long Island Sound.

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Falmouth Selectmen OK Aquaculture Licenses For Nitrogen Remediation Program

Falmouth Enterprise- September 10, 2019

The board of selectmen this unanimously granted three aquaculture permits to Falmouth shellfishermen to grow oysters in Eel River near Washburn Island.

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Here’s the climate’s role in toxic blue-green algae and algae blooms

WUSA- August 18, 2019

They are hard to get rid of, they can be toxic, and sometimes, quite frankly they stink. We’re talking about harmful algal blooms or HABs. Some weather and environmental factors that tend to promote algal blooms include light winds, slow moving or relatively still water and nutrient pollution.

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Study: Algae blooms threaten drinking water, recreation

Adirondack Daily Enterprise- August 8, 2019

The Environmental Working Group released a report Wednesday that found hundreds of lakes across the U.S. — including some in the Adirondacks — have levels of toxic algae that far exceed drinking water standards.

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No swimming at Saugatuck River, Westport beaches, Sherwood Island after sewage leak

CT Post- August 3, 2019

Multiple local and state agencies handled a sewage leak, caused by an aging pipe that was in the process of being replaced, in town on Saturday that forced officials to advise residents not to swim in the Saugatuck River or any Westport beaches.

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Weekly LI water report: Quality of waterways is mixed bag

Newsday- July 26, 2019

As of this week’s sampling, 12 out of 29 shore locations were rated good, meaning clear water, adequate oxygen levels and no or low levels of algae and/or bacteria from human or animal waste, making for hospitable conditions for fish and shellfish. Eleven sites were rated fair, and six, poor.

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New London hires firm to undertake watershed management plan

The Day- July 6, 2019

The city has enlisted a Massachusetts consulting firm to develop a watershed management plan — a step toward mapping out the city’s environmental resources and identifying sources of water pollution.

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Brewing a better fertilizer?

University of Minnesota- July 2, 2019

Combine Minnesota’s rich agricultural industry with dozens of breweries opening in rural and urban farming communities, and a unique collaboration opportunity arises. Naxo Riera Vila set out to combine Minnesota’s love of beer and agriculture in an unlikely way—through wastewater.

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CCNY’s Maria Tzortziou leads vital Long Island Sound ecological study

The City College of New York- July 2, 2019

Helping protect and improve the management of this precious body of water with an asset value exceeding $700 billion is the new assignment for oceanic and atmospheric scientist Maria Tzortziou of The City College of New York’s Division of Science.

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WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT OUR WATER?

Gulfshore Life- July 1, 2019

Southwest Florida is a hot spot for “nutrient pollution,” a situation in which excess substances, namely nitrogen and phosphorous, infiltrate bodies of water such as rivers, canals, the Gulf—and this neighborhood stormwater pond. See how Sanibel is progressing in the fight against nutrient pollution.

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Man-made wetland designed to treat wastewater completed at Uplands Farm Sanctuary

Newsday- June 24, 2019

The Uplands Farm Sanctuary on Monday celebrated the installation of a nitrogen-reducing wastewater-wetland, only the second system of its kind in Suffolk County. The wetland relies on native plants and the soil’s natural microbial processes to remove nitrogen pollution and other contaminants from wastewater.

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Massive 8,000-mile ‘dead zone’ could be one of the gulf’s largest

National Geographic- June 10, 2019

Record-breaking Midwest rainfall washed tons of fertilizer and sewage water out to sea, contributing to a devastatingly large patch of polluted water, scientists say.

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Failed septic systems polluting Meriden reservoir

Record Journal- June 6, 2019

Kenmere Reservoir, a city water supply located two miles north of the city’s boundary in Berlin, has been contaminated by nutrients seeping out of failed septic systems of two vacant residential homes located next to the reservoir. The city of Meriden is considering purchasing the two homes.

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Special Report: Septic tanks leak nitrogen into Florida’s springs

The Daytona Beach News-Journal- June 6, 2019

Long-time Floridians mourn for the springs of their youth, with crystal clear water, abundant eel grass, fish and crustaceans swimming in the springs. Today, the springs are often clouded, plants are sparse or covered with green slimy algae, and there are fewer fish and other marine life.

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Fast tracking recovery: how oyster aquaculture can make the Chesapeake Bay cleaner, faster

The Fish Site- June 5, 2019

The Nature Conservancy and our partners have engaged in some of the world’s largest oyster reef restoration in the bay for the past decade. While we are pleased to see the great strides already made, we also recognise the need to identify new cost-effective tools to help accelerate bay recovery efforts.

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Harris, Murphy Reintroduce Legislation to Help Communities Protect Their Coasts

Office of Sen. Kamala D. Harris- June 4, 2019

U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Tuesday reintroduced the Living Shorelines Act, legislation that would create a new grant program for nature-based shoreline protection projects known as living shorelines.

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Old Saybrook Faces Tough Choices on Septic

CT Examiner- May 30, 2019

More than 60 percent of the nitrogen load flowing from the Oyster River into Indian Harbor off of Old Saybrook is from septic systems, according to a study by Marine Scientist Jamie Vaudrey from the University of Connecticut.

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New nitrogen fertilizer texture may reduce nitrate levels, make water safer

Phys.org- May 16, 2019

Since the mid-1920s, the deposits of nitrogen into land has more than doubled, leading to higher levels of nitrate in water resources. Researchers say new nitrogen fertilizer texture may reduce nitrate levels, make water safer.

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Isotopes Help Trace the Origin of Urban Water Pollution in Mauritius

Africa News- May 15, 2019

In Mauritius, an island off the southeast coast of Africa, scientists are using isotopes to track down sources of pollution contributing to toxic algal blooms and fish kills to improve policies and practices for healthier water.

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Experience The Sound to Feature 40+ Groups, Free Raw Bar, Family-Friendly Activities

Greenwich Free Press- May 7, 2019

Greenwich organizations to highlight LIS – including information about pollution sources, community well-being and partnerships to “preserve the health and beauty of Long Island Sound.”

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Meet the ‘Oyster Wench’—a single mom fighting pollution with the power of clams and kelp

Popular Science- May 14, 2019

Puckett, 36, known locally as “Oyster Wench,” a single mother with two young children, lives on Block Island, about a dozen miles off the Rhode Island coast. She represents a new generation of ocean farmers, one whose singular connection to the water is coupled with a passion for the environment.

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Quinnipiac River Fund awards $138 K in grants

New Haven Register- May 3, 2019

Highlight – $17,300 to University of New Haven for sampling cyanobacterial communities in the Quinnipiac River.

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Bittersweet nature of nitrogen calls for better management practices

UN Environment- May 3, 2019

Nitrogen management is vital to meeting air quality, water quality, climate, stratospheric ozone, and biodiversity goals. Strategies linked to the circular economy offer a huge economic opportunity to reduce the $200 billion of reactive nitrogen that is wasted every year.

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A Wet 2018 Saw Sharp Rise in NYC Sewage Dumping: 1 in 3 Days

NRDC- April 12, 2019

With climate change driving increased precipitation in the northeast, 2018 brought not only one of the wettest years on record in New York City, but also a sharp increase in sewage overflows. For local waterways, and an antiquated sewer system, it showed.

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Global Warming Presents A Growing Threat To Water Quality, But Some Efforts Showing Results

The Southampton Press- April 9, 2019

From increasingly widespread and denser blooms of algae that can kill fish and other marine organisms by the millions overnight, to atmospheric changes that are expanding the conditions that the blooms thrive in, the challenges in protecting local waters from degradation, or reversing the impacts of the past, are mounting.

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Water Pollution Control Authority plans to increase rates

The Hour- April 8, 2019

A small increase for ratepayers will take place as a part of the Water Pollution Control Authority’s budget for 2019-2020.

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Septic Financial Assistance Info Sessions Offered In East Hampton, Southampton

The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press- April 8, 2019

Two informational sessions will be offered on the South Fork this month to educate homeowners about county and town financial assistance programs and grants available to install new septic systems that reduce nitrogen levels in ground and surface waters.

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Coral study traces excess nitrogen to Maui wastewater treatment facility

UC Santa Cruz- April 3, 2019

A new method for reconstructing changes in nitrogen sources over time has enabled scientists to connect excess nutrients in the coastal waters of West Maui, Hawaii, to a sewage treatment facility that injects treated wastewater into the ground.

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Citizen science shows that climate change is rapidly reshaping Long Island Sound

The Conversation- April 1, 2019

Our study, published on March 21, shows how rapidly temperatures in eastern Long Island Sound have increased over the past four decades. At 0.45 degrees Celsius per decade, the sound is warming four times faster than the global ocean.

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Is your kitchen-sink disposal environmentally friendly?

ABC News- March 20, 2019

“Keep in mind that when food is added to the wastewater system, it must be further treated,” says Maggie Sauerhage, a spokeswoman for the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. She suggests learning about your local water infrastructure first.

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Long Island Sound conference showcases diverse research

Connecticut Sea Grant- March 19, 2019

…That was the metaphor Penny Vlahos, associate professor of marine sciences at UConn, used to describe her research into quantifying the inputs and reservoirs of nitrogen in Long Island Sound to an audience of fellow researchers, students and environmental scientists on March 15.

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Jacksonville taking action on underground septic tanks causing pollution

Action News Jax- March 18, 2019

There are 65,000 septic tanks in Jacksonville. Some of them have leaked and polluted local waterways. Three years ago, the city launched a program to address the problem. Now, the first construction work is about to dig in.

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Controlled-release nitrogen potatoes perform well in trials

Farm Progress- March 15, 2019

For Long Island potato grower Allan Zilnicki, using controlled-release nitrogen (CRN) fertilizer on 20 acres of his Riverhead, N.Y., farm represents an intangible benefit well worth the cost.

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Stopping lawn fertilizer use among ways to protect Sound

New Canaan Advertiser- March 12, 2019

The director of watershed and Connecticut outreach programs for The Nature Conservancy, Holly Drinkuth, recently spoke to members of the New Canaan Garden Club about the Conservancy’s efforts and strategies to continue to restore and protect clean water and healthy habitats in and along Long Island Sound.

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Senator Murphy leads discussion on health of Long Island Sound

Milford Mirror- March 11, 2019

Representatives from area environmental organizations, and environmentally-minded residents, gathered at the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center in Milford Sunday, March 10, with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy to talk about the health of Long Island Sound and other issues.

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Massachusetts city agrees to clean up pollution it’s been sending into Connecticut River and Long Island Sound

Hartford Courant- February 21, 2019

Raw sewage released by the City of Holyoke, Mass., has been flowing down the Connecticut River and into Long Island Sound for decades, but that kind of pollution will now be halted under a federal consent decree agreed to by the city.

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Press Release: Crucial LI Sound Research Receives Funding

Stony Brook- February 11, 2019

More than $1.5 million in funding has been awarded for four research projects looking into ecological issues in the Long Island Sound (LIS) and its watershed. The funding will be administered by New York Sea Grant (NYSG) at Stony Brook University.

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Research casts doubt on EPA drinking water standard

Grist- January 29, 2019

More than 5 million Americans get their drinking water from public water systems that could contain hazardous levels of a chemical called nitrate, which is linked to public health risks — including cancer and birth defects. And the concentrations found in the vast majority of that drinking water would be deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a study published this month in the journal Environmental Health.

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A new way to curb nitrogen pollution: Regulate fertilizer producers, not just farmers

Green Biz- January 25, 2019

Nitrogen pollution is produced by a number of interlinked compounds, from ammonia to nitrous oxide. While they have both natural and human sources, the latter increased dramatically over the past century as farmers scaled up food production in response to population growth. Once these chemicals are released into the air and water, they contribute to problems that include climate change and “dead zones” in rivers, lakes and coastal areas.

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Green and Growing: Kelp farming keeps Fishers Island Sound alive in winter

The Day- January 23, 2019

It is winter, and all the plants are dormant. Maybe. Consider last year’s “60 Minutes” segment that featured a story about a Branford ocean farmer whose sea vegetables — long fronds of sugar kelp — need cold sea water to thrive. Some plants, it turns out, don’t go dormant in the cold.

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Researchers track hurricane’s effects on river pollution and beneficial bacteria

Princeton University- January 7, 2019

Sherman and Shuai, both members of Peter Jaffe’s research group in civil and environmental engineering, had come to investigate nutrient cycling and pollution along the Neuse River in the wake of Hurricane Florence, a September storm that drenched eastern North Carolina with more than 20 inches of rain and led to near-record flooding along the river.

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Shelter Island considers linking home sales to nitrogen-reducing septic system upgrades

Newsday – December 19, 2018

Shelter Island Town is considering requiring the installation of nitrogen-reducing septic systems for all real estate sales, a first-of-its-kind proposal by a Long Island town to improve water quality…

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C. Collier, TNC

Grant Supports Long Island Sound Nitrogen Reduction Planning

Environmental Protection Agency – December 4, 2018

With funding from a Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant, The Nature Conservancy and Stonington-based Clean Up Sound and Harbors (CUSH) will partner to develop a community-driven nitrogen reduction action plan in the coastal watershed communities of the Pawcatuck River, Mystic River and Stonington Harbor.

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Save the Sound

2018 Long Island Sound Report Card Shows Improvements in Some Areas

New Haven Register – September 24, 2018

Report includes 10 years of data and water quality trends. Research indicates investments in sewage treatment plant upgrades have helped improve water quality in the open waters of  Long Island Sound, but more nitrogen reduction is needed to improve the health of coastal waters. Click to view and download the 2018 Long Island Sound Report Card.

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© MassLive

New technology tracks Connecticut River nitrogen pollution in Massachusetts

MASSLIVE – June 20, 2018

Federal efforts to reduce nitrogen pollution in Long Island Sound depend upon what happens upstream, and states along the Connecticut River — including Massachusetts — must help solve the problem, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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© Chuck Fadely

Shellfishing ban in Huntington Harbor due to biotoxin, DEC says

Newsday- May 24, 2018

A temporary ban on harvesting shellfish and carnivorous gastropods — whelks, conchs, moon snails — in Huntington Harbor was put into effect Wednesday, after a marine biotoxin was detected, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Thursday in a news release…

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Connecticut River Mouth and Long Island Sound, April 2017 © Ryan Caron King, WNPR

Federal Spending Package Includes Significant Boosts To Long Island Sound Conservation

WNPR- March 30, 2018

A federal budget cycle akin to a wild roller coaster ride ended up boosting funding for some environmental work. With his signature last week, President Donald Trump signed into law a $1.3 trillion spending package that shores up funding for two conservation and research programs in Long Island Sound.

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Pollution regulations help Chesapeake Bay seagrass rebound

Science News – March 5, 2018

Underwater grasses are growing back in the Chesapeake Bay. The plants now carpet three times as much real estate as in 1984, thanks to more than 30 years of efforts to reduce nitrogen pollution.

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Rep. Tom Suozzi (speaking), Rep. Lee Zeldin and Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) at an event to promote protection of the Long Island Sound. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Officials recommit to cleaning Long Island Sound

February 9th, 2018

In July of 1997, then Glen Cove Mayor Tom Suozzi and Stamford, Conn., Mayor Dannel […]

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In New England, Gone Are The Days When Septic Can Be Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

February 9th, 2018

About half of New England’s households are on septic systems. That’s the highest proportion in the country. For […]

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A man collects snails amid a nitrogen-fueled algae bloom in China's eastern Jiangsu province. LIU JIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Can the World Find Solutions to the Nitrogen Pollution Crisis?

February 9th, 2018

More and more nitrogen keeps pouring into waterways, unleashing algal blooms and creating dead zones. […]

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