Category: Climate Change

TONIGHT! August 14th @630p.Join Ossining Documentary & Discussion Series for the screening of GARBAGE WARRIOR

garbage warrior film poster A home with no utility bills?   US architect, Michael Reynolds, has been making this a reality for 35 years in transforming “garbage” into eco-friendly homes you know as “EARTHSHIPS”, with energy use at net zero. Our Panel this month includes:

* A home being built on the shores of the Hudson in Cold Spring anticipated to run about $320 year in costs related to space conditioning?  Come meet Architect James Hartford of River Architects to learn about Passive House design.

* A home that’s a dome?  Made by a teacher, with his kids up in Tuxedo, now serving as demonstration project in sustainable design & learning. Brian Cullen is thrilled to share his experience.

* Bringing it all home?  Leading figure with Energize NY, Tom Bregman, is eager to help every homeowner realize what they can do to turn the energy use in their home around. For more info:  http://OssiningDocumentaries.Org &


Greater Ossining Earth Day Festival 2014 (Sat 4/19)

Visit the Event on FacebookGreater Ossining Earth Day Festival
April 19, 2014, 11 am- 4 pm, Louis Engel Waterfront Park

A Riverfront Day of Free Family Events and Live Music Honoring Our Planet and Commemorating the Legacy of Pete Seeger

Download forms for the 2014 Festival:
Vendor Registration Form
Sponsorship Form

At the 5th Annual Earth Day event, we will pay special tribute to Pete Seeger by dedicating the day to his memory, tying his teachings to the celebrations throughout the day. Aside from community and environmental organizations, we will have artisans, food, demos and great music- get ready for a wonderful day at the Ossining waterfront, enjoying the Hudson River that Pete loved so very much.

Also, in the spirit of conservation and practicing what we preach, we are aiming to make this year’s Earth Day a “Zero-Waste” event! Details are provided on the vendor form.

Please encourage anyone who want to help us organize and “pull off” this celebration to come to meetings, email us with concepts and ideas and tell us how they want to help on April 19th.

Looking for a fun and educational family day out that can also help you live a more sustainable life? Come out with your family and friends to Ossining’s Earth Day event at the beautiful Louis B. Engel Waterfront Park on April 19 from 11am -4pm.

Performers and Activities:

10:45-11AM – Yoga (off stage) 
11:00AM Opening Ceremony 
11:15-11:45AM Blake Rowe 
11:45-12:30PM Adam 
12:30-1:15PM Jilly Puppets 
1:15-2PM: Riskos 
2-2:30PM Children’s Sing Along with Riskos and Anna Canoni 
2:30-3PM Drum Circle 
3-3:45PM Elisa & Jon 
3:45-4PM Community Jam

Click to continue reading “Greater Ossining Earth Day Festival 2014 (Sat 4/19)”

Gasland Part II Screening with Riverkeeper Staff


When: July 25, 2013: 6:30PM to 9:00PM

Where: 20 Secor Road, Ossining, NY map

Join Riverkeeper staff for a screening and discussion of Gasland Part II, the new documentary by Josh Fox.

The Oscar-nominated Gasland has been highly influential in the debate on fracking. With Gasland Part II, Fox widens the scope of his insightful look at the dangers of fracking.

A suggested donation of $5 will also make you a member!

- See more at:

Back The Future: Hydro-Power For Today’s Ossining

Back The Future: Hydro-Power For Today’s Ossining

by Miguel Hernandez

Double Arch and Water WheelFor much of the second half of the 19th century, a water wheel that stood alongside the Kill Brook in downtown Ossining supplied power for a steel file  manufacturing company.

Another one at the now abandoned Brandreth Pill Factory on North Water Street,

provided power for the machinery at that company. However with the advent of cheaper and more efficient power supplied by the precursors of Con Edison these water wheels fell into disuse and are long-gone. However, generation of electricity from essentially free renewable energy sources like solar, wind and water are becoming increasingly popular ways for cash strapped local governments try to reduce their dependence on polluting fossil fuels and reduce the money they spend on utilities.

Even a small stream like the Kill Brook can generate consistent, clean, free, and renewable electricity at a price per watt lower than solar or wind. Community scale hydro projects, especially “streaming,” or “run of the river”  hydropower (which allows rivers to run their natural course is a feasible and practical solution for  reducing the Ossining Village budget. It  only takes a small amount of flow (as little as two gallons per minute) or a drop as low as two feet to generate electricity with micro hydro. Electricity can be delivered as far as a mile away to the location where it is being used. Streaming hydro power is clean, reduces  efficiency losses incurred during transmission across long-distance power lines is safer and costs far less than conventionally powered energy. According to a 2005 study conducted by the U.S. DOE, energy can account for as much as 10 percent of a local government’s annual operating budget, a proportion that is likely to grow as energy prices rise. Hydro produces a continuous supply of electrical energy in comparison to other small-scale renewable technologies. The peak energy season is during the winter months when large quantities of electricity are required.

Water WheelI urge Ossining Village officials to seriously investigate the possibility of installing a “run of the river” micro-hydro turbine generator” at the Kill Brook to provide enough electric power for the Joseph Caputo Community Center. Another option would be to have one at the Indian Brook Reservoir’s dam to power the Village’s Water Filtration plant.  In addition to energy savings, a water-powered generator there would always assure the continual operation of the plant instead of relying on conventional electric power that could fail during a storm. It is my understanding that this plant was in imminent danger of failing during Hurricane Sandy but that the sudden arrival of an emergency diesel gasoline powered generator saved the day.

There is funding for the community-scale hydro-power projects discussed above under the auspices of the U.S. EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program.

This program assists state, local, and tribal governments in meeting their climate change and clean energy efforts by providing technical assistance, analytical tools, and outreach support.

NWEAC – Energy Solutions Road Map

The Mid-Hudson Regional Energy Solutions Road Map

Why is energy such an important driver in economic development?
The Mid-Hudson region’s households spend $2.4 billion on utilities per year ($3,000 for space heating and appliances per household per year). If just 5% savings were achieved through common energy upgrades, the residential sector alone would save $119 million annually.*

Every business sector in the Mid-Hudson Region needs energy and incurs energy-related expenses. Operational or mechanical inefficiencies exist in every sector of commerce. Therefore, each sector has significant energy savings opportunities. Energy solutions have powerful cross-cutting benefits for economic development and can often be funded out of net savings realized–making available operating capital for staff and business reinvestment. In a typical community, the business sector’s aggregate utility expenses are about two-thirds that of the aggregate residential sector. On that basis, the Mid-Hudson region’s businesses may spend as much as $1.6 billion on utilities per year, yielding $80 million in easily achievable savings to reinvest.  In short, energy efficiency alone could make available $220 million per year or more in private capital for job retention and creation in our seven counties.
Read the Summary: EnergySolutions_Mid-Hudson_RoadMap_2011_10_26_Summary.

This road map presents five interlocking and mutually reinforcing energy solution paths–the first of which is energy efficiency–with deep potential for the Mid-Hudson’s seven counties. The high level overview in this road map invites more detailed examinations of each of these four solution paths in the future.

  • Solution paths 1, 2, and 3 address the demand side of the energy ledger, respectively: energy efficiency, demand response,  and microgrid.
  • Solution paths 4 and 5 address the supply side of the energy ledger, respectively: distributed generation (including renewables) and energy storage.

It is important to note that a fuller examination will point out significant resource efficiencies and self-financing upgrades are achievable in water consumption and waste stream management as well.

* See Table 1 in the complete Road Map here:




This article originally printed on website…

What is Nature Worth?

See video “What is Nature Worth?” :

“Our natural resources continue to be degraded because decision makers do not have a reliable way to assess the true value of the services that ecosystems provide. The Natural Capital Project, [ ] a partnership among WWF, The Nature Conservancy, University of Minnesota and Stanford University, is working to align economic forces with conservation by mainstreaming natural capital into decisions. Learn more  []“

Natural Capital Project

Aligning Economic Forces with Conservation

Capital has often been thought of narrowly as physical capital – the machines, tools, and equipment used in the production of other goods, but our wealth and well being also relies on natural capital.  If we forget this, we risk degrading the services that natural ecosystems provide, which support our economies and sustain our lives.  These services include purifying our water, regulating our climate, reducing flood risk, and pollinating our crops.

One reason why our natural resources continue to be degraded is that decision makers do not have a reliable way to assess the true value of the services that ecosystems provide.  The Natural Capital Project, a partnership among WWF, The Nature Conservancy, University of Minnesota and Stanford University, is working to align economic forces with conservation by mainstreaming natural capital into decisions.

Developing tools that make it easy to incorporate natural capital into decisions

An essential element of the Natural Capital Project is developing tools that help decision makers protect biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Demonstrating the power of these tools in important, contrasting places

InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) is a unique software tool that models and maps the delivery, distribution, and economic value of ecosystem services and biodiversity.  InVEST helps decision-makers visualize the impacts of potential decisions and identify tradeoffs and compatibilities between environmental, economic, and social benefits.

InVEST is being used to integrate ecosystem services into decision-making in a variety of places around the world through the WWF network and partners:

Sumatra, Indonesia
In Sumatra, commercial logging and conversion to agriculture are risking the home of thousands of rare species, including tigers, orangutans, and rhinos.  With support from the Natural Capital Project, WWF Indonesia is working with regional government authorities to map the distribution and economic value of ecosystem services in priority watersheds under current and proposed land use plans.  The results will provide input to land-use planning.

Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania
Agricultural development, logging, and fires have reduced the forests of the Eastern Arc Mountains by 70% over the past decades, threatening thousands of rare species, people’s livelihoods, and water and power resources. The Natural Capital Project is currently working with over 40 collaborators in Tanzania, the UK, and South Africa to map and value the mountains’ many ecosystem services. WWF will use the maps to steer decisions and resources toward forest conservation and watershed management.

Albertine Rift (Uganda, Rwanda, & Democratic Republic of the Congo)
The Albertine Rift is a transboundary, biogeographic region containing rich forest ecosystems and a system of lakes and rivers that are critical for water provision and community livelihoods.  Encroachment, illegal logging, pollution, and mining threaten biodiversity and livelihoods in this region.  The Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) hopes to use InVEST outputs to gain government and stakeholder support for biodiversity conservation and to disseminate lessons learned across the countries of this region.  The phases for the project include: quantifying and valuing ecosystem services, assessing how amounts and values of services will change under future climate change and development scenarios, and creating incentives for conservation.

Colombian Amazon
The Amazon Piedmont of Colombia is one of the most biologically outstanding areas of the Northern Andes, and also a landscape of great cultural significance as the ancestral home to several indigenous groups. This region is under threat from climate change and infrastructure development. Starting in 2010, the Natural Capital Project will collaborate with WWF Colombia to map the distribution and economic value of ecosystem services in the Mocoa Forest Reserve in the Amazon Piedmont. This project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, will provide critical information for developing environmentally sensitive infrastructure projects, and for maintaining ecosystem resilience in the face of climate change.

The Natural Capital Project’s tools are also being used in a variety of other locations, including:

  • Sierra Nevada Region, California, USA
  • Upper Yangtze River Basin, China
  • Hawaiian Islands, USA
  • Northern Andes and Southern Central America