Doctor’s Orders: Join Call to Action for Health Impact Assessment on Fracking on Wednesday, May 30

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Doctor's Orders image - Giles Ashford/Jay Simpson
Credits (left to right): Giles Ashford, Jay Simpson


The legislative session in Albany is drawing to a close and New York’s State Senators have failed to pass a single piece of legislation to protect the public from irresponsible gas fracking.  This Wednesday, May 30, join us by rallying and/or making phone calls demanding that the Senate Republican Majority pass legislation to require the state to conduct a heath impact assessment and determine the effects that fracking might have on ourselves and our children.

Why is a health impact assessment needed?

The state refused to conduct an assessment of potential health impacts associated with fracking as part of its review process to determine whether it will allow high-volume fracking in NY, despite the growing body of evidence that gas extraction operations are making people sick. The medical community has taken several actions this year to warn the state not to allow fracking in New York without understanding its health impacts, and now it’s your turn. Notably, in October 2011, 250 doctors wrote the state to demand a health impact assessment on fracking, and in December 2011, 19 cancer-based advocacy organizations followed suit.  

What are we advocating for?

S.6772, sponsored by Sen. Avella, would require NY to conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment on fracking and require the state to implement the assessment’s recommendations. For this legislation to move in the Senate, it needs the support of the Senate Republican Majority, the members of which who have thus far done nothing to protect the public from fracking.

Where is the rally?

Several locations throughout the state, including:

Outside Office of Majority Leader Dean Skelos
55 Front Street State Office Building
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Senator John Bonacic
201 Dolson Avenue
Middletown, NY 10940

More locations available (PDF).


All actions take place on Wednesday, May 30 from 12pm-1pm.

Want to do more or can’t attend a rally?  Call Republican Senators who have not yet supported health impact assessment and demand support!

  • Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (516) 766-8383 
  • Senator John Bonacic (845) 344-3311 
  • Senator James Alesi (585) 223-1800 
  • Senator John DeFrancisco (315) 428-7632 
  • Senator Tom Libous (877) 854-2687 
  • Senator Michael Nozzolio (315) 568-9816 
  • Senator James Seward (607) 432-5524

Thank you for taking action!


The Riverkeeper Top 3 – May 24, 2012


Hundreds of Volunteers Expected for First-Annual Riverkeeper Sweep and Party
On Saturday, June 2, hundreds of volunteers are expected to join more than 30 cleanups and other projects riverwide in the first-annual Riverkeeper Sweep. Our day of service for the Hudson River culminates in the Sweep Party on the waterfront in Ossining, open to all for a $10 suggested donation, featuring live blues and roots music, seining, fly fishing demonstrations, Clean Water Champion awards, a speech by Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay, a chance to talk to Riverkeeper patrol boat Capt. John Lipscomb – plus food and beer for purchase, and sailing with the Ossining Community Boat Club and kayaking with Hudson River Recreation for Riverkeeper members at the Advocate ($40) level.
•    Do Your Part: Visit to register for a cleanup near you.
•    Join Us:  Check out the details about the Sweep Party, and purchase a ticket for a sunset sail or paddle. A limited number of tickets are available, so don’t miss your chance!


Paul Gallay speaks at NRC meeting. Video Highlights.

Hundreds Rally to Criticize Safety of Indian Point
Riverkeeper, our partners, and hundreds of citizens rallied at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s annual safety review for Indian Point. Many called the public process a sham for ignoring longstanding and well-documented public concerns about earthquake and terrorism risks, fire fighting capabilities and other fundamental safety concerns. Neither Entergy nor the NRC has taken seriously the lessons of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown more than a year ago, and we sent a strong message: Don’t Let it  Happen Here!
•    Do Your Part: While Riverkeeper continues to argue in state hearings that radioactive leaks and massive ongoing fish kills mean Indian Point cannot be granted a needed water permit, we are preparing for upcoming NRC hearings, when we will argue to Close Indian Point, not relicense it for another 20 years. Riverkeeper is your voice in these key legal proceedings. Please donate today to aid our Close Indian Point campaign.

Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act Nears Vote
With a growing coalition of supporters, Riverkeeper is pushing for swift passage this summer of the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, which would require public notification when public wastewater treatment plants discharge untreated sewage to the Hudson River and other waterways throughout the state. More than 20 percent of Riverkeeper’s samples of the Hudson River failed to meet the Environmental Protection Agency benchmark for safe swimming – an unacceptable rate of failure that far exceeds the average of public beaches nationwide. Public awareness is the first step toward fixing the problems that too often make the Hudson and its tributaries unsafe.
•    Do Your Part: Your representative needs to hear from you! Check Riverkeeper’s online Action Center for the latest action you can take to aid in our effort.
•    Donate: Please contribute to our Water Quality Program. The material alone for a single water quality test costs $15, and Riverkeeper processes more than 175 tests per month.
Riverkeeper in the Press
5.22.12:: WCBS TV
CBS 2 Invades Dirty World Of Illegal Dumping
New York City, Organizations Doing Their Part To End Disgraceful Practice
Riverkeeper staff attorney and Chief Investigator Josh Verleun tells CBS, “It’s hard to know who’s dumping sometimes. In the case of tires it might be an auto body shop. In the case of appliances it might be somebody who is hauling waste.” Riverkeeper’s team helps to track down these illegal dumpers and then clean up their mess.
4.16.12:: Associated Press
AP IMPACT: Evacs and drills pared near nuke plants 

The nation’s nuclear power regulators have overhauled community emergency planning for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away. “They’re saying, ‘If there’s no way to evacuate, then we won’t.'” — Phillip Musegaas, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director
5.15.12 :: The Poughkeepsie Journal
On the Hudson, trash collection is a group effort
College, waste hauler, residents team up for river-rubbish removal
Riverkeeper member and Port Ewen resident, Chad Gomes, has organized a collaborative “Adopt a Port” effort. Gomes, an active boater, often wrestles with the desire to pick up debris, and the knowledge that there might be no convenient way to get rid of it. “I thought to myself, there should be an easy way for people to do what’s right,” he said.

America’s Most Endangered Rivers For 2012

From flooding to natural gas drilling to pollution, the threats facing the 2012 list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® impact the quality and safety of our water.
Thousands of activists have already taken action to protect our rivers. But we need to send a clear message to policymakers reminding them that Americans want clean, healthy rivers. Will you take action for this year’s endangered rivers?

Protecting rivers is not just about aesthetics, but about every American’s right to clean water and all the benefits rivers provide. Most of our drinking water comes from rivers and streams, but many of our rivers are too polluted to use.
We cannot afford to turn back the clock on clean water safeguards.  Will you take action for this year’s endangered rivers?
Together, we can save each of this year’s most endangered rivers — and rivers nationwide for generations to come.
Thank you for your continued support for our rivers.

Handling Black Bears in Urban and Suburban Areas


Young black bears will climb trees if they feel threatened.
~Photo courtesy of USFWS


Bears turn up in urban and suburban areas throughout New York State every year. During spring and early summer, young males set out on their own and sometimes travel into cities and towns where bird feed, garbage and pet food are available. When this happens, DEC’s first response is to monitor the bear’s movements, collaborate with local police and ensure the bear can find its own way safely out of town. Yet, when a bear seeks refuge in a tree and crowds form, the situation becomes more difficult. If a safe escape route exists and the crowd leaves, the bear might wait until dark and then return to its natural habitat. If there is no escape route or curious onlookers remain, DEC may tranquilize and relocate the bear. However, the best scenario is for the bear to find its own way back out of town. Learn more about how to prevent conflicts with bears by visiting DEC’s Nuisance Black Bears ( webpage.

Take action! Urge mid-Atlantic fishery managers to protect
threatened river herring and shad from Ocean bycatch

shad and herring graphic 450

Although river herring and shad are small fish, they play an immensely important role in the health of our coastal ecosystems. As food for larger fish, they help sustain commercial and recreational fisheries on the East Coast while contributing to the economies of many coastal river towns. They are in critical condition, however, because their populations have declined by more than 97 percent. In New York the Hudson River’s historic shad fishery was closed as populations reached critical levels. River herring populations in New York have also reached unsustainable levels and fisheries closures and restrictions will be implemented soon to protect dwindling populations.

The populations of shad and river herring that spawn in New York’s rivers spend much of their lives in the ocean. This spring, you can help secure the first meaningful protections for these fish in the ocean. Millions are caught each year, mostly by industrial trawlers targeting Atlantic mackerel. These massive boats tow football-field-size nets and indiscriminately kill millions of pounds of unintended catch annually, including river herring, shad, bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, and striped bass, as well as whales, dolphins, and seabirds. 

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet in June to decide how to protect river herring and American shad at sea. This is your opportunity to help save these treasured species. Send a letter to the council today.
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Arlington National Cemetery

On May 13, 1864, Union soldiers buried the remains of 21-year-old Pvt. William Henry Christman of the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry, who had died two days earlier in a Washington, D.C., hospital from complications related to measles. The Civil War was entering its third year, and cemeteries in the capital were full. So Pvt. Christman was laid to rest in a new burial ground on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, on the edge of an estate once belonging to Confederate general Robert E. Lee—thus becoming the first soldier interred in what is now Arlington National Cemetery. One month later, the War Department officially designated Lee’s estate as a military cemetery. The action was instigated by Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs, who considered the Confederate general a traitor and wanted to make sure his family could never return to their home. Today Arlington National Cemetery covers 624 acres and contains more than 300,000 graves. It averages 28 funerals a day, Monday through Friday. Veterans of every conflict since the Revolutionary War are buried there. Until 1967 all honorably discharged veterans could be buried at Arlington. Since that time, to conserve space, the Army has restricted burials to those who meet certain requirements, such as members of the armed forces who die on active duty or who serve long enough to officially retire. Arlington National Cemetery is home to several famous monuments including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, President John F. Kennedy’s grave, and the Lee mansion, the latter maintained by the National Park Service as a memorial to Robert E. Lee. Most striking, however, are the miles of small, white stones marking the graves of those who served their country. They make the place one of the nation’s most revered grounds.