Blue-Green Algae That Can Kill Dogs Has Just Been Found in New York City Parks

BY JOSIAH BATES

AUGUST 26, 2019

A toxic blue-green algae that is potentially lethal to dogs has been found in three New York City park ponds––the latest place it’s cropped up after leaving a trail of sick and dead pets across North Carolina, Texas and Georgia.

According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the blue-green algae was found in two Central Park ponds and another pond in Prospect Park.

Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, is a microorganism that is caused by high nutrients, stagnant water, high temperatures and low oxygen, according to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Algae is a natural occurrence that blooms heavily in warm weather and sunlight. Most urban ponds have water high in nutrients like phosphorus, which encourage algae growth,” a statement said. “Most algae are harmless and are important parts of aquatic ecosystems, but blooms that produce blue-green algae (BGA) can be toxic.”

Read more here: https://time.com/5662203/blue-green-algae-kill-dogs-new-york/

petition: Demand BlackRock stop financing Amazon destruction!

BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm, has more money invested in the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries – the biggest drivers of climate change – than any other company in the world. That means that BlackRock’s portfolio constitutes a huge liability for putting the planet on a path towards runaway climate change — in fact, BlackRock contributes more to climate change than almost any other company on Earth.

The Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants are under acute threat from BlackRock, taking advantage of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s removal of environmental barriers to economic activities in the Amazon.

And now they will have even more access to deforestation and destruction.

Bolsonaro has advocated for the opening of new areas of the Amazon rainforest to agriculture and industry. As a result, BlackRock announced plans to expand its operations in Brazil after Bolsonaro was elected. Moves like this signal strong support for Bolsonaro, whose toxic rhetoric is inspiring violence against indigenous communities in the Amazon and beyond.

As one of the largest investors in Brazil’s agribusiness industry, BlackRock could use its financial clout to curb, not encourage, further forest destruction. It must divest from companies that continue these horrendous practices.

Join us in this fight to protect the Amazon and curb climate change!

Sign the petition: Demand that BlackRock divest and stop financing Amazon destruction

Petition by Rainforest Action Network

HOW TO KILL & CONTROL SPOTTED LANTERNFLY

What is spotted lanternfly?
The spotted lanternfly resembles a moth when it jumps or flies, but in reality, it is neither a fly nor a moth. It is a type of planthopper that belongs to the Order Hemiptera (cicadas, leafhoppers, and aphids). The adults prefer to feed primarily on the non-native host plant “tree of heaven” (Allianthus altissima) while the immature stages (or nymphs) will feed on a wide range of trees, fruits, and even grape vines. Spotted lanternfly egg masses (or clusters of eggs) are brown, seed-like in appearance, and about 1-inch long. They are covered in a mud-like secretion that helps them stay glued to a surface in a mass. After they hatch, the nymphs go through 4 growth phases, or instars. Immature nymphs are black with white spots, and they gain red markings at they mature through the 4th instar. Late stage nymphs are about ½-inch in length. Adult spotted lanternflies are 1-inch long, have brownish forewings with black spots and hindwings that are red with black spots.

What trees do they damage?
Spotted lanternflies will feed on a variety of host plants from May through November, and their feeding preferences change as they mature. Nymphs will feed on a wide-range of host plants while the adults target only a few species. There are over 65 known species of plants that the SLF will feed on, including ornamental trees (like lilac and dogwood), fruit trees, vines (like grapes), small fruits (such as blueberries), hops, and several vegetables.

Preferred plant species for SLF nymphs:
Tree of heaven
Willow
Maple
Poplar
Prunus spp. (plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots)
Apple
Pine
Grape vines
Preferred tree species for SLF adults:
Tree of heaven
Willow

In addition to this information many of the East Coast farmers and businesses rely on these trees for financial stability. More over, this makes up approximately, 65 percent of the East Coasts economy.

How to control spotted lanternfly

There are 5 steps that need to be taken to help control and prevent the spread of spotted lanternfly.

Stop the spread. If you live in or visit areas of the U.S. where SLF has been found, check any outdoor items for egg masses before moving them. This includes vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, picnic tables, boats, and children’s toys.

Remove the eggs. From late September through May, be on the lookout for egg masses. The egg masses can be scraped off surfaces using a knife or a thin plastic card. The egg masses should be sealed in a plastic bag or placed directly into hand sanitizer or alcohol to kill them before they are disposed of.

Control the nymphs. From late April through early November, tree banding using a product like Tree Tanglefoot® Insect Barrier, can be done to high risk host trees to capture the nymphs as the climb the trunk to feed. The tree bands should be routinely removed and replaced every 1 to 2 weeks through July. Nymphs can also be controlled by spraying them with Ortho® Home Defense® Insect Killer for Lawn & Landscape Concentrate and Ready-To-Spray or Ortho® Bug B Gon® Insect Killer for Lawns & Gardens Concentrate and Ready-To-Spray following label directions.

Remove tree of heaven. From mid-summer through early-fall, cut down high-risk host plants for the adult SLF, like tree of heaven. To prevent the SLF from damaging other plants on your property, only remove about 90% of the host trees and use the remaining 10% as “trap trees” so you can control the adult SLFs. Cut down the trees and then treat the stumps with a tough brush killer, like Ortho® MAX® Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer Concentrate, following label directions. Note: Tree of heaven is difficult to control and may require several applications to fully kill the root system. Remember, if you live in a quarantined county in PA, the wood cannot be removed from the quarantined area.

Control the adults. When the adults emerge from June-August, control them with an insecticide application. Ortho® Home Defense® Insect Killer for Lawn & Landscape Concentrate and Ready-To-Spray or Ortho® Bug B Gon® Insect Killer for Lawns & Gardens Concentrate and Ready-To-Spray will kill spotted lanternfly on contact when applied following label directions.

Please remember that all sightings of spotted lanternfly adults, nymphs, and egg masses should be reported to your local university extension or state plant regulatory official, as well as the PA Department of agriculture.

Quarantined States:
Pennsylvania
Delaware
New Jersey
New York
Virginia
Washington D.C.
Maryland

We’re still gathering information on more quarantined states.

The Spotted Lanternfly Invasion

The Spotted Lanternfly has invaded the East Coast of the United States. This type of insect has no natural predators here and is an invasive species. The CDC and the Department Of Agriculture are urging residents throughout the East Coast to kill singles on sight and report infestations. The LanternFly, if not eradicated can destroy plant life, such as crops, trees and other resources we need to sustain livability.

In a Facebook post early Friday morning, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture warned that spotted lanternfly nymphs are beginning to change colors and are becoming more destructive.

“They’re growing! And…changing? #SpottedLanternfly nymphs are beginning to turn red,” the post warned. If you see a #BadBug that looks like this, kill singles and report infestations!!!

The egg masses from spotted lanternflies can generally be seen on various species of trees through the month of May, before the lanternfly begins to hatch.

Nymphs first appear black with white spots and are wingless, but ultimately develops red patches and white spots as they mature. At this point, the Department of Agriculture says:

Nymphs are now over a half-inch inch long
Jump readily when approached or touched
Adult spotted lanternflies begin appearing in July. At rest, they are large bugs sporting grayish wings with black spots, and the tips are black and gray.

When flying or startled, the insect will display vibrant red hind wings
Adults are around 1 inch long and a half inch wide with wings folded
Adults can jump several feet when startled or approached
Officials are urging anyone who sees this invasive bug to kill if possible and to report infestations online at https://extension.psu.edu/.

The state continues to fight the spread of the spotted lanternfly. In April, the Department of Agriculture began requiring businesses to have a permit to move goods and vehicles within and out of the lanternfly quarantine zone, which includes Lehigh and Northampton counties and most of eastern Pennsylvania. Inspectors continue to be on the lookout for businesses to make sure they have a permit that indicates the company has completed training on the quarantine rules.

Businesses face deadline to get spotted lanternfly permit
Officials are reminding any business without a permit to obtain one and learn the basics of spotting the spotted lanternfly.

Origin and distribution
Spotted lanternfly is native to China and is present in Southeast Asia. It was first reported in South Korea in 2006 and rapidly spread to different parts of the country.

Host range
Spotted lanternfly feeds on a variety of host plants including fruit trees, ornamental trees, woody trees, and vines. Apples, birch, cherry, dogwood, grapes, Korean Evodia, lilac, maple, poplar, stone fruits, and tree-of-heaven are among more than 70 species of hosts attacked by this pest. Tree-of-heaven, which contains high concentrations of cytotoxic alkaloids, is one of the favorite hosts. This is probably why spotted lanternfly is considered poisonous and used in traditional Chinese medicine. Other preferred hosts such as Korean Evodia (Bebe tree) are also used in oriental medicine suggesting that spotted lanternfly has a high preference for hosts that contain toxic secondary metabolites. Observations in South Korea also indicate that spotted lanternfly appears to have a wider host range early in life as young nymphs and a narrow range as they grow older, especially before egg laying. Choosing plants with toxic metabolites for egg laying is thought to be a mechanism of defense to protect from natural enemies. Although grape vine does not have toxic metabolites like these other hosts, spotted lanternfly showed a strong preference in studies conducted in South Korea. Sugar content of the host plant also appears to play a role in their choice with a preference for hosts containing high sucrose and fructose content.

Damage
Adults and nymphs feed on phloem tissues of foliage and young stems with their piercing and sucking mouth-parts and excrete large quantities of liquid. Due to the sugar content of the liquid, plant parts covered with spotted lanternfly excretion harbor mold growth, which could hinder plant growth or even cause death.

Scientists/biologists are working on a way to cull the lanternflies numbers. Right now they believe a fungus and a local wasp species are able to decrease the lanternflies numbers. When we receive more information pertaining to the certainty we will update.

West Nile Found In Mosquitoes In Abington And Whitemarsh

ABINGTON, PA — West Nile Virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes in Abington and Whitemarsh townships, the state announced on Tuesday. The discovery marks the first cases of West Nile in Montgomery County in 2019. One positive sample was found in each township, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The specific locations were not disclosed. A total of eight positives were found around the state in the most recent round of testing done by the state’s West Nile Control Program.

Officials with the DEP and the Montgomery County Department of Health are responding to the samples “as needed.” No chemical spraying has yet been announced. West Nile virus appeared for the first time in Pennsylvania in birds, mosquitoes and a horse in 2000.

It is most commonly spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. It can cause febrile illness, encephalitis, or meningitis, according to the CDC.

The best way to control mosquitoes is still to get rid of standing water on your property.

The following guidelines have been offered to help residents minimize their risk:

• Limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk during warmer months since most types of mosquitoes bite most frequently during these times. Be aware though that some types of mosquitoes bite most frequently during the daytime.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and socks. Choose clothing that is light colored and made of tightly woven material.

• Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

• Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside.

• Cover or empty containers such as trash cans, wading pools, wheelbarrows, and pots.

• Turn containers upside down when not in use so they don’t collect water.

• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers.

• Get rid of old tires.

• Change the water in bird baths every three to five days.

• Check storm drains, window wells, and underneath leaky faucets for standing water.

Source: https://patch.com/pennsylvania/abington/west-nile-found-mosquitoes-abington-whitemarsh

Delaware Governor John Carney signs bill banning plastic bags

Monday, July 29, 2019 5:02PM

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) — Single-use plastic bags are soon to be a thing of the past in Delaware.

Governor John Carney signed House Bill 130 into law on Monday.

The measure bans stores in the First State from using plastic bags at check out for any reason. The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

The governor also signed an act Monday imposing new penalties for the dumping of trash on public and private property.

In signing the measures, he said they were all about cleaning up Delaware’s communities.

Story Credit: https://6abc.com/politics/delaware-governor-signs-bill-banning-plastic-bags/5426100/

She Came To Shore to Lay Her Eggs and These People Laughed as They Stoned Her to Death

• by: Care2 Team

• recipient: Police Department of Chalkida

By most accounts, the island of Evia in Greece is paradise, with sandy beaches, beautiful hikes and gorgeous sea views it’s no wonder why so many people flock to it every summer.

But for one visitor, the island paradise turned into a nightmare and a quick stop became her final resting place.

Beachgoers in the city of Chalkida were enjoying a swim when they were suddenly joined by a visitor. Amongst the swimmers, was an enormous blue swordfish that had come to shore to lay her eggs. At first, the locals were frightened, mistaking it for a shark, but once they realized it was a swordfish, a commonly eaten fish in the region. They began to harass and chase it.

Soon a whole group of people were trying everything possible to get their hands on it. They threw rocks and other objects at it while others tried to grab it directly. The obviously distressed fish had nowhere to turn for safety as it was surrounded by would-be captors.

The video shows the gruesome incident and unfortunately, it doesn´t have a happy ending. According to reports, the swordfish was killed meaning that its, anywhere between, 1 million and 30 million eggs a female swordfish can lay, probably never got a chance at life.

Netizens are outraged at the cruelty and ignorance of the people responsible for the fish´s death. They, like us, want justice for the animal that was just hoping to continue her species but was brutally killed along the way.

Some might say “It´s just a fish.” But it is also a living thing and deserves to be treated with respect. What the beachgoers did to the poor fish was unnecessary and unforgivable and since each and every one of the guilty parties was captured on film, Greek authorities should take action to punish them.

Please sign the petition and ask authorities in Chalkida to find the abusers and charge them with animal cruelty.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/542/298/800/she-came-to-shore-to-lay-her-eggs-and-these-people-laughed-as-they-stoned-her-to-death/

WHERE LIONS ONCE RULED, THEY ARE NOW QUIETLY DISAPPEARING

There are half as many African lions than there were 25 years ago. Conservation programs aim to protect the disappearing species by promoting human-lion cohabitation across the African savanna.

FOR EVERY LION in the wild, there are 14 African elephants, and there are 15 Western lowland gorillas. There are more rhinos than lions, too.

The iconic species has disappeared from 94 percent of its historic range, which once included almost the entire African continent but is now limited to less than 1.71 million square kilometres. With fewer than an estimated 25,000 in Africa, lions are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which determines the conservation status of species.

Read more: https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/where-lions-once-ruled-they-are-now-quietly-disappearing.aspx

Petition: Save Jax Beach Baby Sea Turtles from certain deaths because of Artifical Light

Petition by Casey Jones

The City of Jacksonville Beach and Beach Energy are refusing to protect endangered and threatened nesting mother sea turtles and baby sea turtle hatchlings by ignoring the effect of light pollution (artificial light) used along their beach shoreline.  Parking lots adjacent to beach accesses and right next to the sand dunes have 25-30 foot light poles with super bright light LED light bulbs, which is against Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Sea Turtle Protection Rules.  FWC rules state that only amber LED Sea Turtle Friendly lights are to be used that close to the beach.

Light Pollution (artificial light) is so bright on Jacksonville Beach that it is detering nesting mother sea turtles from coming ashore to lay their eggs, this is called a “False Crawl.”  When a mother sea turtle tries multiple times to nest and the beach is too bright, she will get stressed and deposit her eggs in the ocean, killing the baby sea turtles instantly.  It is a shame that the baby sea turtles do not have a fighting chance of survival. 

If the mother sea turtle does by small chance nest, research has proven that illegal lights along beaches will cause hatchlings to become disoriented and travel away from the ocean, towards artificial lights and sadly they lose their chance of survival. 

Jacksonville Beach Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance is not up to date with FWC guidelines and has been out of date for over a decade.  We are demanding that the city update their ordinance and make Beaches Energy change out the illegal lights in the parking lots and down First Street.

To prevent sea turtle deaths caused by light confusion we encourage Jacksonville Beach to update their Lighting Ordinance to FWC compliance just like in neighboring Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach.  Ordinances like these prevent thousands of sea turtle deaths each year. The ordinance is needed to protect the endangered and threatened sea turtles who use Jacksonville Beach to nest and hatch a vital new generation. 

Help me get the word out and give these mothers and little babies a fighting chance to nest and live – sign and share the petition today, please.

Petition: Save the Jax Beach Turtles

No More Killing Innocent Birds: Stop Pigeon Shoots: Petition

Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Pennsylvania is the only state left that allows this horrible practice.

Pigeon shoots have been banned in every part of the country except for the state of Pennsylvania, so call on the President of the Pennsylvania State Senate, Floor Leaders, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Pennsylvania State Governor to end the barbaric ‘tradition’ of pigeon shoots! It is inherent cruelty of shooting live, captured birds for sport, and this practice needs to end!

Today, Pennsylvania is the only remaining state that allows the practice to continue. In 2014, a bill to end pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania was allowed to expire after the NRA stepped in at the 11th hour with some heavy-handed lobbying [3] which put animal cruelty above that of animal rights.

Not only are 75% [4] of people in the state are in favor of a law that would ban the ‘sport,’ but 83% [4] of people said that it was an unnecessary form of animal cruelty, and not a tradition that should be preserved.

These shooting events consist of putting pigeons inside of a box, and then when a shooter calls out, the pigeon is either released, or launched from the box. The shooter then tries to hit the bird in the air to have it drop on a target on the ground. [1]

According to the Humane Society of the United States: “After each round of shots at the birds, participants — sometimes children — take to the field to collect wounded and dead animals. If the suffering pigeon is still alive, the collector will sometimes snap the animal’s head off or slam her against the ground before tossing the animal into a barrel full of dead and dying pigeons.” [2]

Many of these birds are not even from Pennsylvania. Recently discovered footage of people netting and stealing pigeons in New York City is believed to point to an illegal smuggling ring which transports the birds over state lines to provide the live targets for the merciless shoots. And while pigeons might not be New Yorkers’ favorite animal, the NYPD has stated that removing them from city streets is illegal. [5]

Shooting pigeons for sport used to be practiced world-wide. But as time went on, people realized how cruel it was to trap a pigeon in a box, and then release it for the sole purpose of shooting a moving target. And today, the leadership in the state of Pennsylvania and the NRA are the only ones who want it to continue.

WORKS CITED

[1] Pacelle, W. (2014, June 30). Live Pigeon Shoots: The Shame of Pennsylvania. Retrieved October 9, 2017, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-pacelle/live-pigeon-shoots-the-sh_b_5544712.html

[2] Humane Society of the United States. Pennsylvania’s Pigeon Shoots. Retrieved on October 9, 2017, from http://www.sharkonline.org/images/handouts/hsuspigeonhandout.pdf

[3] Worden, A. (2014, October 22). NRA claims 11th hour victory in battle over live pigeon shoots. Retrieved October 9, 2017, from http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/pets/House-battle-over-live-pigeon-shoots-goes-down-to-the-wire-NRA-prevails.html

[4] Mason Dixon-Polling & Research (2013, October 31). Pennsylvania Voters Show Statewide Support for Banning Live Pigeon Shoots. Retrieved October 9, 2017, from http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2013/10/voters-support-pigeon-shooting-ban-103113.html?credit=web_id85537319

[5] “Man Seen Netting Pigeons, Hauling Them Off From New York City Streets.” CBS New York, newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/02/17/brooklyn-pigeon-netting/

Sign Here : https://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clicktogive/trs/petition/pa-pigeon-shoots