Welcome to our class!

We are an environmental science course at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ, taught by Mrs. T. We'll be blogging about environmental issues all term, so please stay tuned!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Read & Respond - Deer Cull

December 3, 2012 (Newark, NJ) – District 5 Freeholder Brendan W. Gill of Montclair, Chairman of the Freeholder Board’s Deer Population Control Committee, convened a meeting of his committee on Thursday, November 29, 2012, at the Hall of Records.  
Director Salvante gave an overview of pertinent statistics, including the fact that a total of 2,654 deer have been removed from county property since 2008 (818 culled, 545 unborn fetuses, 1,291 killed in vehicle accidents on county roads). He also pointed out that the success of the County’s deer management program (whether due to culling or to the effectiveness of roadside reflectors) was manifested in the reduction in the number of deer killed on county roads: 182 (2012), 233 (2011), 229 (2010), 283 (2009), 363 (2008) and 303 (2007).
Bernier discussed the various elements of the deer management program and emphasized that the hunting aspect “…is not in any way intended to provide recreational sport.” He added, “The hunt is intended strictly for the purpose of deer management, and has three goals: to preserve bio-diversity in the county’s woodland and fields (especially its parks) by allowing for forest re-generation to reverse the damage done by the over-browsing of deer; to provide aesthetic and financial relief to homeowners whose landscaping has been damaged by deer; and to reduce the threat to public safety caused by deer-related motor vehicle accidents.” He also discussed the extensive efforts to notify the public of hunts, the stringent rules in-force to make the hunt as safe as possible, as well as the effort to use skilled and experienced marksmen and to include as many Essex County resident marksmen as possible.
Bernier also responded to questions from Freeholder Gill, other freeholders and members of the public about alternative population control means besides hunting. Regarding “trap-and-transfer”, he pointed out that it was attempted years ago in Essex County and failed; that is very difficult to accomplish, logistically; and that it often results in the death of deer from trauma and injury anyway. He also discussed the current impediments to the use of fertility control/immunocontraceptive drugs such as PZP and GonaCon: legality – the State requires that deer first must be captured, the drug must be administered by veterinarians, and permission must be granted in writing from all property owners within 2,000 feet of the designated darting area if the deer are to tranquilized prior to inoculation; cost - recent analyses indicate the cost to be $1,000 per deer, and likely higher here in Essex County, due mostly to the mandated participation of veterinarians; and application, the most problematic of all - 90% of the female deer must be immunized, they must be captured, tagged and kept track of to know when they must be re-treated, and they must be treated at least every year, if not every year. He went on to add that even if all of these impediments were to be worked out, the use of these drugs will only “…allow you to maintain a population at or close to what it currently is; what it will not do is reduce the population.” “So, if you have too many deer already, fertility control agents are not going to bring that population down for at least ten years.”
Freeholder Gill emphasized the importance of moving forward with forest regeneration efforts and asked, “When are we going to reach the point where the number of deer is low enough that we won’t need to hunt anymore?” Bernier answered by saying that forest ecologists generally say a population of 20 deer per square mile will permit a healthy forest to survive, “…but, your forests are far from healthy and current research suggests you probably need to get the density down to about 5 per square mile in order for forest regeneration to really have the opportunity to succeed.” At the current rate, he indicated that the hunt in South Mountain Reservation would probably have to continue for another 2 or 3 years, that it would take longer at the Hilltop Reservation, and that at Eagle Rock, perhaps a hunt every other year for a while would suffice.

Source:  http://www.essex-countynj.org/freeholders/site/index.php?section=120312DeerCmteMtg

Sunday, January 27, 2013

James Lovelock

I did my presentation on the famous inventor James Lovelock; I learned a lot of new things about lovelock. The Gaia Theory was what made a name for Lovelock who created and developed many scientific instruments, some of which were designed for NASA in its program of planetary exploration. It was while working as a consultant for NASA that Lovelock developed the Gaia Hypothesis, for which he is most widely known. He also claims to have invented the microwave oven. The Gaia theory posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cuyahoga River

The Cuyahoga River is located in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cuyahoga River was once known as one of the most filthiest river in the United States. This river was being polluted so much during the early 1900's, because this was a time when the country was going threw the Industrial Revolution. The river was so dirty and filled with oil and other pollutants, that fires would brake out on the river, not one but multiple fires, on the river it self. Many of the fires were not payed attention to, but one in particular, during 1969, really sparked a change in people, to stop polluting these rivers. To prevent thing like thee river fires from happening, an act called, Clean Water Act did this just thing. It prevented people and factories from being able to put a too much pollutants into nearby bodies of water. Twenty years after, the rivers of the United States were twice as cleaner. I believe because of this bill, it shows how our country is becoming more aware of what they do the our Earth.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rachel Carson

In my presentation I talked about a women named Rachel Carson. I learned a lot about Rachel Carson and her great achievements. Rachel Carson was not only an amazing scientist, but also an amazing writer. Carson wrote many books about the ocean and the environment. Her most famous book was a book titled Silent Spring. Carson also raised a big issue when she spoke out publicly about the chemicals the United States were using in World War II. many people knew about the unhealthy chemicals, but Carson was the first one to go out and speak to the public about this issue. Unfortunately Rachel Carson died after a long battle with breast cancer. This presentation taught me a lot and I believe it is always interesting to learn about the people that played in the safety of our environment but do not always get the credit that they deserve.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Noise Control Act

The Noise Pollution and Abatement Act was established in 1972 in attempt to regulate noise coming from various vehicles and machinery. It also forced local governments to notice their responsibilities in land use planning to address noise migration. The act also authorized federal testing for various products distributed in trade. The effects of these loud noises would cause noise induced hearing loss which is the injury of the auditory hearing nerve.Congress ended funding of the federal noise control program in 1981, which curtailed development of further national regulations.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Deep water horizon

In 2010 the British Petroleum company (BP) shocked the world when their underwater oil pump burst into the gulf of Mexico. This burst was the cause of the companies negligence towards re-inforcing the pipe, just to save a couple of bucks. The spill ran for a period of 3 months, in those 3 months it is believed That approximately 53,000 barrels of oil spilled into the gulf a day. BP appearing very apologetic said that they would pay back the local fisher man for their lost season, but the damage was already done. The spill had killed about 3.5 million fish devastating the local marine life eco-system. In the end it was BP's 25 VP(vice presidents) that halted operations to fix the spill. In all BP lost 3 billion in compensation for the spill. To this day BP's disaster is the number 1 worst disasters to ever happen to the petroleum industry. The moral of this incident is simple, don't be cheap!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

U.S Radium Corporation

The U.S Radium Corporation was around in from 1917 till the middle of the 1900's. It was based out of Orange,NJ. Radium come from the Earth crust and is used to decorate watches. Radium was used for watches, because it is luminous paint that made the numbers glow in the dark.Many people that worked in factory got ill because they didn't know that radium was toxic.Currently the site is not contaminated because of it funding.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Homework 1/7/13

If I had a choice I would pay the fee to see if my product was safe for the environment before I use the product. I would choose this option for many reasons, but the main reason being that it is the smart choice. By choosing this method I would avoid the risk of being sued a lot of money if my product was indeed harmful. Also I would not want to harm anyone's health or the harm the environment. So overall I believe it is better to pay a little in the beginning rather then pay a lot in the end because you we're too cheap or lazy to test your product before using it.