New York DEC Reaches Accord With Invasive Species Institute

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by the Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance.ALBANY — In an effort to combat the influx of invasive species in New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation has reached an agreement to work with the New York Invasive Species Institute and Cornell University.The new partnerships with the New York Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI) and Cornell University to develop and support projects and research to help limit the spread of invasive species.“New York State recognizes the challenges we face preventing the spread of invasive species, particularly in light of our changing climate, changing habitats, and changing ecosystems,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “With sustained support and investments through the Environmental Protection Fund, DEC’s invasive species program continues to be a national leader, and the work of Cornell and the New York Invasive Species Institute bolster and complement New York’s efforts to effectively manage invasive species.”Cornell University is the current host for the Invasive Species Research Institute. Nearly 50 scientific investigations about invasive species have been/are being conducted. Today’s announcement sustains the State’s ongoing collaboration with NYISRI to coordinate invasive species research and develop outreach efforts to conserve New York’s hemlock resources in the face of multiple threats, particularly the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect. Supported by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund with $3.5 million, the NYISRI five-year term agreement includes $2.5 million for invasive species projects; the agreement with Cornell University includes a two-year term with $1 million to support the New York Hemlock Initiative.The five-year project memorandum of understanding (MOU) will support key positions and services at NYISRI for focused work on identifying invasive species, education, outreach, and targeted control efforts. NYISRI performs many critical and innovative tasks in the field of invasive species research, including biological control of water chestnut (Trapa natans), swallow-wort (Cynanchum spp.), and japanese knotweed (Reynoutria spp.), as well as measuring success and associated metric development and coordinating invasive species research needs in New York State.New York is home to vast stands of eastern hemlock trees (Tsuga canadensis). These trees are threatened by the introduction of the invasive insect HWA and other environmental stressors. HWA is now a serious threat to the survival of hemlock in eastern forests. Funded through the MOU, Cornell’s New York Hemlock Initiative provides a critical service by developing methods to conserve hemlock, including the growth and release of several biological control agents and other fundamental survey, research, and trend analyses.The Hemlock Initiative includes collaboration with professional land managers, state and federal agencies, government officials, and concerned citizens to understand the issues and strategies for minimizing the impact of forest insect pests and non-native invasive insects, such as HWA. Research is now underway on the forest stand dynamics of invasive non-native forest pest impacts and implementation of biological control strategies for HWA. This initiative involves the completion of a statewide prioritization of hemlock stands, establishment and maintenance of hemlock nursery stock to host biocontrol agents, and the rearing, release, and monitoring of non-native predatory insects into the environment to reduce the severity and extent of HWA infestations in New York State and reduce or prevent hemlock mortality.Cornell University also houses the Sarkaria Arthropod Research Laboratory, a quarantine facility that provides research capacity for arthropods and experimentation on their biology and control. The facility houses exotic pest species and non-indigenous arthropods with the potential to serve as biological control agents of pests.The outcomes of these projects inform activities undertaken by DEC, NYISRI, New York’s eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs) and other partners.Additional areas of focus include:Water Chestnut Biological Control: Water chestnut, an aquatic invasive species, has had significant negative ecological and economic consequences. Conventional mechanical control of water chestnut is labor intensive and must be maintained in perpetuity. However, development of a biological control program offers hope for a cost-effective and ecologically sound alternative. Cornell University evaluated a potential biocontrol agent between 2002 and 2005. This contract will allow for the continuation of work initiated at Cornell University to test and implement a biocontrol program for water chestnut.Swallow-wort Biological Control: Swallow-wort is an aggressive invasive perennial plant that forms dense patches in a variety of habitats and which may have negative impacts on monarch butterfly populations. Current practices to control invasive swallow-worts include the application of herbicides and mechanical removal. These practices can have negative side effects. The pilot biological control project was initiated in New York State 2018. Maintaining the established Swallow-wort Biocontrol Research Collaborative supports rearing and releases of an approved biocontrol agent for swallow-worts.Japanese Knotweed Biological Control: Japanese knotweed is a perennial herb with shrub-like form grows 3-9′ and threatens riparian corridors, fens, springs, ravines, forests, and streamsides. This five-year agreement will renew efforts to locate and test additional biocontrol agents for Japanese knotweed using demographic and phylogenetic approaches.Dr. Bernd Blossey, Professor, Department of Natural Resources for NYISRI/Cornell University, said, “With the significant long-term funding provided by the DEC, we are enabled to continue important fundamental and applied work to help protect and restore New York’s biodiversity and ecosystems in collaboration with other scientists and land managers across the state.”Entomologist Mark Whitmore of Cornell University said, “State support for the New York State Hemlock Initiative has been crucial for our ability to develop a network of cooperators and management strategies, including biological controls, in response to the threat to our hemlocks posed by HWA. The rapid and coordinated response by DEC and private conservation organizations with the recent discovery of HWA in the Lake George area is a prime example of how education and planning can help save the magnificent hemlock forests of New York.”last_img read more

Michele Pawk to Star in 17 Orchard Point Off-Broadway

first_imgA daughter fueled by faith, a mother driven by delusion, and a family secret that sounds the bell between them. Tony winner Michele Pawk is to star in the world premiere of 17 Orchard Point, directed by Stella Powell-Jones. Also starring and written by Stephanie DiMaggio and co-written by Anton Dudley (Substitution, Getting Home), the dark comedy will have a limited off-Broadway run April 25 through May 24. Opening night is set for May 4 at The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row. Scenic Design is by John McDermott, costume design is by Tilly Grimes, lighting design is by Daisy Long and sound design is by Elisheba Ittoop. Related Shows 17 Orchard Point Pawk received a Tony award for Hollywood Arms. Other Broadway credits include: Hairspray, Losing Louie, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Seussical, Cabaret, Triumph Of Love, Crazy For You and Mail. DiMaggio appeared on Broadway in A Free Man Of Color, along with numerous off-Broadway credits.center_img The new play follows two generations of women battling to claim their home and history. Lydia (Pawk) lives by her motto, “leave your baggage at the door, or it will end up on your face.” A decade after fleeing Cleveland for one long night out in Vegas, leaving the family’s apartment building under the management of her daughter Vera (DiMaggio), Lydia returns to find a lifetime of “baggage” waiting for her inside. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on May 24, 2014last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Michele Pawk Revisits Hollywood Arms & More

first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Daly, Pawk & Fun Home Duo Set for Hollywood ArmsMichele Pawk will reprise her Tony-winning turn in a one-night-only benefit reading of Carol Burnett and Carrie Hamilton’s Hollywood Arms. The event will take place on September 21 at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall. Joining her will be Tony winner Tyne Daly (currently on Broadway in It Shoulda Been You) and Fun Home Tony nominees Sydney Lucas and Emily Skeggs. The play, based on Burnett’s memoir One More Time, played Broadway in 2002 and also starred Linda Lavin.Laurence Fishburne to Lead Roots RemakeTony and Emmy winner Laurence Fishburne will star in a remake of Roots for A+E Networks next year. According to Variety, he’ll take on the role of Alex Haley, author of the original novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Fishburne, who can be seen on the small screen now in Hannibal and Black-ish, won a Tony for Two Trains Running and also appeared on Broadway in The Lion in Winter and Thurgood. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald (yes, Audra’s sis) and Charles Murray will pen the event series.Anthony Mackie Will Play MLK in All the WayBroadway alum Anthony Mackie has been tapped to take on the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the HBO adaptation of All the Way, reports Deadline. He joins the previously reported Bryan Cranston, who will reprise his Tony-winning performance as Lyndon B. Johnson. Brandon J. Dirden created the role on stage in the Broadway production, which took home the 2014 Tony Award for Best Play. Mackie most recently appeared on Broadway in the 2010 production of A Behanding in Spokane opposite Christopher Walken. Steven Spielberg is executive producing the project, which is scheduled to begin shooting this September.MacKenzie Mauzy to Lead Manson Lifetime MovieBroadway alum MacKenzie Mauzy, who appeared in the Into the Woods film as Rapunzel, will star in a Lifetime original movie about the Manson Family murders. According to Deadline, the film, currently titled Manson’s Lost Girls, will focus on Linda Kasabian (Mauzy,) who, after the brutal murder spree led be Charles Manson, turned herself in and testified against Manson in the trial. The film will also star Jeff Ward, Eden Brolin, Greer Grammer and Christian Madsen.Autumn Reeser Returns to The O.C., This Time SingingAutumn Reeser, who played Taylor Townsend on the Fox series The O.C., has joined the cast of the teen drama’s musical adaptation. According to E! Online, Reeser will take on the role of Julie Cooper, joining a cast that includes Broadway alum Drew Seeley, Rick Cosnett and Christine Lakin. The musical extravaganza, which will feature a score of tunes from the early 2000s, is set for August 30 at Los Angeles’ Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal Bar. View Commentslast_img read more

Culturalist Challenge! What Shows Are You Most Looking Forward to in 2016?

first_imgThe staff is crazy for Culturalist, the website that lets you choose and create your own top 10 lists. Every week, we’re challenging you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank. Happy 2016! Now that you’ve joined a new gym, gone Paleo and organized your sock drawer using the KonMari method (all in a single morning!), it’s time to get excited about theater offerings in the New Year. Let’s look ahead to the shows that have been announced for 2016. It’s a terrific list that has us excited to fill up our shiny new datebooks calender apps. Get ready to list your choices on ranking site Site Producer Joanne Villani kicked off this new challenge with her top 10. Now it’s your turn!STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites and click the “continue” button.STEP 2—RANK: Reorder your 10 choices by dragging them into the correct spot on your list. Click the “continue” button.STEP 3—PREVIEW: You will now see your complete top 10 list. If you like it, click the “publish” button.Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list.Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results next week on! View Commentslast_img read more

Tix Now Available to See Michael Cumpsty in The Body of an American

first_img Tickets are now on sale to see Tony nominee Michael Cumpsty (End of the Rainbow) and Michael Crane (Gloria) in The Body of an American. Directed by Jo Bonney, the New York premiere by Dan O’Brien will play a limited engagement February 10 through March 20 at Primary Stages at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Opening night is set for February 23.Winner of the 2014 Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play and the Inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Award (shared with All The Way), The Body of an American tells the true story of an extraordinary friendship as two men, a war photojournalist and playwright, journey from some of the most dangerous places on earth to the depths of the human soul.The production will feature scenic design by Richard Hoover, costume design by Ilona Somogyi, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, sound design by Darron L West and projection design by Alex Basco Koch. Michael Cumpsty(Photo by Bruce Glikas) View Commentslast_img read more

Denise Gough Will Bring People, Places & Things to New York

first_imgJacqui Dubois, Denise Gough & Sally George in ‘People, Places and Things'(Photo: Johan Persson) U.K. stage favorite Denise Gough will bring her Olivier-winning performance in People, Places & Things to New York. The Duncan Macmillan play will kick off St. Ann’s Warehouse’s 2017-18 season beginning October 19. It is set to run at the Brooklyn venue through November 19.This marks the first collaboration of St. Ann’s Warehouse with the U.K.’s National Theatre and Headlong. The show, directed by Jeremy Herrin, follows an actress struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. As she navigates through rehab, her complicated story begins to blur the lines between truth and lies. Gough, who will star in the National Theatre’s upcoming production of Angel in America, took home an Olivier for her performance as Emma in the show’s West End transfer.The season will continue with the New York premiere of 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, adapted by War hourse author Michael Morpurgo and directed by Emma Rice. Performances will run from March 16 through April 9. Beginning May 9, St. Ann’s Warehouse will present the American premiere of Enda Walsh’s Arlington; at that same time, Irish Arts Center will stage Walsh’s Rooms. Performances of both will run through May 28. View Commentslast_img read more

Still Dusty.

first_imgU.S. Drought Monitor Most of Georgia has had a dry late summer. Hydrologic conditions across the state have not improved. Across much of the northern two-thirds of Georgia, agricultural drought has returned.Late summer’s dryness prevented recharge of the hydrologic systems across the state. Groundwater levels are near last year’s lows, with some places near record low levels. This is especially important in south and coastal Georgia, where groundwater is the major source of fresh water.Stream flows in the mountains, the piedmont, the northern coastal plain, and the southwest corner of the state are extremely low.Georgia rivers with very low levels include the Little River near Washington at 6 percent of normal flow, the Flint near Griffin at 16 percent, the Ohoopee near Reidsville at 18 percent, the Broad near Bell at 25 percent and the Oconee near Athens at 38 percent.Only southeast and south central Georgia have above normal stream flows. Above-normal flows are reported in the St. Marys-Satilla and the Suwanee-Ochlockonee River Basins. These basins had generous tropically induced rainfall during the past few weeks.Major reservoirs across north and central Georgia remain well below summer full pool. Reservoirs at least 5 feet low include Allatoona at 5 feet, Clarks Hill and Hartwell 7 feet and Lanier 10 feet.Agricultural Drought BackBecause of the dry conditions since Aug. 1, the northeastern coastal plain and the central and eastern piedmont have returned to agricultural drought conditions.Crops, pastures, lawns and landscapes are showing drought stress. Cities in the region include Athens, with 21 percent of normal rainfall, Atlanta (31 percent), Augusta (64 percent), Dublin (50 percent), Statesboro (25 percent) and Vidalia (50 percent).Most of north Georgia had below-normal rainfall during the past seven weeks. From Aug. 1 through Sept. 18, the percentage of normal rainfall received included 47 percent at Watkinsville, 59 percent at Rome, 61 percent at Calhoun, 62 percent at Dunwoody and 66 percent at Gainesville.Across middle Georgia, the percentage of normal rainfall over the past seven weeks include Griffin at 41 percent, Dearing at 44 percent and Eatonton at 55 percent.Soil Moisture LowMore important than the rainfall deficits is the actual loss of moisture from the soils. Soils lose moisture through evaporation and transpiration (plant water use).Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 18, soil-moisture losses in north Georgia include Watkinsville at 5.85 inches, Calhoun 4.13, Dunwoody 3.62, Duluth 3.52, Gainesville 3.40, Rome 3.31 and Dallas 2.60.In middle Georgia, soil-moisture losses include Midville at 6.61 inches, Griffin 5.85, Eatonton 4.73, Dearing 4.43 and Cordele 4.11.And in south Georgia soil-moisture losses include Statesboro at 6.39 inches, Tifton 4.72, and Vidalia 4.71, Savannah 2.68 and Plains 2.16.Peanut Farmers Need It DryWhile many Georgians would like some rain, many peanut farmers would prefer a few more weeks of dry weather. The peanut harvest is in high gear and will benefit from a dry period. The state’s wineries, too, will benefit from a dry August and September.There is little hope for long-term relief during the next three months. September through November is historically Georgia’s driest period.Without rainfall from tropical weather, there is little chance that the state will receive enough widespread beneficial rain to end both the hydrological drought and the agricultural drought.A wetter-than-normal winter is the best hope for Georgia to emerge from the long-term drought.last_img read more

Mulch Makers.

first_imgLarge-scale composting is a vital way of handling the solid-waste problems of communities and companies nowadays. It can produce valuable products for gardens and landscapes.But big-time composting isn’t so easy. It’s a complicated process, and it takes a scientific approach to make it work best.To help the people who run such facilities do it better, the University of Georgia has scheduled a Compost Facility Operators Training Workshop May 1-3 at the UGA Bioconversion Research and Demonstration Center in Athens, Ga.The workshop is for anyone who runs or would like to run one of the large-scale composting systems that handle the yard waste, biosolids and municipal streams of cities. It includes classroom lectures and lab demonstrations and exercises.Enrollment is limited to the first 25 who sign up. The $95 fee covers lunches, breaks, study materials and other costs. To learn more about the workshop or get a registration form, contact Cathy Felton at (706) 542-3086.last_img read more

What’s health?

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaAs obesity closes in on tobacco as the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States, federal nutrition experts have made some changes to the dietary guidelines on the food pyramid.The food pyramid, introduced 12 years ago, is a guide to help people plan what they eat each day. The guidelines built around it offer expert advice to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.”These new dietary guidelines represent our best science-based advice to help Americans live healthier and longer lives,” said Tommy Thompson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the release report.”Dietary Guidelines for Americans” is published jointly every five years by HHS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Following the guidelines can reduce the risk of major chronic diseases.The 2005 guidelines put stronger emphasis on calorie control and physical activity.”Around 64 percent of adults in this country are overweight or obese,” said Connie Crawley, an extension nutrition expert with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences.”Of that number, 30 percent are obese,” she said. “And the number of severely obese people has increased even faster than those who have become just overweight and or mildly obese.”Between 1988 and 1992, only 56 percent of adults were overweight or obese and only 23 percent were obese, Crawley said. And the percentage of children and teens between 6 and 18 years old who are overweight has doubled in the past 20 years to 15 percent.”Genetics haven’t changed that quickly,” Crawley said. “Our eating and exercise habits have.”Not eating right or getting enough exercise can lead to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, certain cancers and other diseases.In simple terms, the HHS-USDA report says the biggest reason people gain weight is that they take in more calories than they use up. The key is to find the right balance of healthful foods and physical activity.But that’s not easy. “There’s a lot of research now trying to figure that out,” Crawley said. “Certainly, eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as recommended in the guidelines, looks to be very important.”These foods help you cut fats and add fiber to your diet, she said. And they help you feel full. Natural foods like these may have other ways to help control weight, too.The advertising and grocery-space ratio between these foods and unhealthy products needs to change, Crawley said, “so healthier foods are promoted more and more healthy, tasty foods are available to kids and adults.”The guidelines urge Americans to get moving. For adults, they recommend: 30 minutes of activity (moderate intensity) most days to reduce the risk of chronic disease. 60 minutes (moderate to vigorous) to help manage your weight. 60 to 90 minutes (moderate) to lose weight (if you stay on a proper diet).”Moderate” activities are those like gardening or yard work, vacuuming, washing the car or windows, badminton, cycling moderately fast, walking 3 miles per hour, water aerobics, ballroom dancing, volleyball and swimming moderately fast.”Vigorous” activities include fast dancing, cycling, jogging or swimming; playing racketball, handball or full-court basketball; walking 4 miles per hour; power lifting; and digging.The recommendation for weight loss is up from 30 minutes in previous guidelines. “That 30 minutes may be enough to help cardiovascular risk reduction,” Crawley said. “But true weight control does seem to require more, especially as we get older.”It’s OK to break up that time, Crawley said. “The key is sit less and move more. Standing is better than sitting, and moving is better than standing.”The guidelines stress eating more fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods and nonfat or low-fat milk or milk products.The complete guidelines are at Peppers is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Fall gardening

first_imgBy George Boyhanand TerryKelleyGeorgia Extension ServiceGardening through the fall and winter has some big advantages inGeorgia.For one thing, the weather will be much cooler. Insects aren’tnearly the problem they can be during the summer, especiallyafter a cold snap. And some vegetables taste better when you grow them in the cool of the year.Many cool-season crops will do just fine, including onions,carrots, cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, collards, cabbage),turnip greens and garden peas. Others you can try includeradishes, rutabagas, leeks, garlic and artichokes.You can grow Vidalia onions, too. You can buy transplants atlocal stores throughout the fall, usually in bundles of about 50plants. Plant them in November or December spaced 4 to 6 inchesin rows 14 to 18 inches apart.Onions are heavy feeders, so you’ll need a complete fertilizer,such as 10-10-10, that also contains sulfur. Apply about 1 poundper 100 square feet before transplanting and again the end ofJanuary. At the end of February, apply a half-pound of calciumnitrate (15-0-0). Your onions will be ready for your burgers inApril.Cole cropsCole crops like collards and cabbage have been a mainstay in theSouth. You can start these from seed or transplants.If you direct-seed, do it in late summer or early fall. You canset out transplants a little later. Space plants 12 to 18 inchesapart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.Keep an eye on caterpillars. Several can be troublesome on thesecrops. They’re really hard to control on broccoli or cauliflowerif they get into the developing flower.Bt products (Bacillus thuringiensis) are good at controllingthese problems. They make caterpillars sick and eventually killthem.Collards probably did as much as any food to keep hunger at bayfor many poor farmers in the South. Even today you’ll see collard plants 2 to 3 feet tall during the winter in the backyard of rural homes.The lower leaves are often snapped off as the plants grow,leaving a tall, bare stem and a cluster of leaves on top. Youdon’t have to harvest them this way. You can pull an entire plant once it gets 18 to 24 inches tall.Turnips, tooTurnips can be grown much like cole crops. The bonus is that thetops and roots are both edible. Prepare turnip greens much likecollards, but dice the roots and add them to the pot. Turnipsrequire about 70 days to mature.Garden peas probably won’t last through a hard freeze but willstand some light frost. Start them in September for peas in lateNovember. Plant 3 to 4 seeds per foot in rows 6 to 24 inchesapart.Use the close spacing to form a bed of peas and the wider spacing if you plan to trellis them. Check when you buy your seeds to see if they need trellising.Edible-pod peas are tasty, too. They often will have “Sugar” inthe name, such as “Sugar Pod,” “Sugar Snap” or “SugarAnn.”(George Boyhan and Terry Kelley are Cooperative Extensionhorticulturists with the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more