ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 14, No. 11 – November 2, 2020

Whats included in this months bulletin:

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Webinar
  • Get the Kids Out: A’Tree Part’ Series
  • DOAS: Climate Action Webinar
  • Heat Smart Mohawk Valley
  • DOAS: Costa Rica’s Biodiversity webinar
  • Clothing Donation and Textile Recycling
  • America’s Conservation Enhancement Act
  • Online Garage Sale Donations Needed

-Amy and the rest of the OCCA Team

Aquatic Invasive Species: A Hands On Approach 

Wednesday, November 4, 9:30-10:00am 

 Since 2006, Otsego County Conservation Association has taken a hands-on approach when dealing with the problem of aquatic invasive species in several waterbodies. OCCA program director, Jeff O’Handley will review 15 years of AIS control projects in Otsego County and will discuss the pros and cons of OCCA’s experience – is the hands-on approach right for you? This program is part of the “Watershed Wednesdays” series, a joint program of OCCA and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition.

 Join this free Zoom program here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87453133125. Other programs in the series this month include Jeff Parker, Steuben County Soil & Water Conservation District to discuss fish passage projects on Thursday, November 12, and Best Management Practices on a watershed scale with Alex Hua, SUNY ESF and Cassandra Davis, NYS DEC on Wednesday, November 18. All programs in this series are free and accessed through the Zoom link above. Previous presentations in the series can be viewed at OCCA’s YouTube channel: HERE

Get the Kids Out: A ‘Tree Part’ Series 

Part 1: Wednesday, November 11

Trees play a vital role in our world, whether we’re sitting beneath them on a hot summer day, appreciating their beauty, or reaping any of their many environmental benefits. In this ‘tree part’ series melding fun and science, kids will learn about the part trees play in mitigating climate change. 

Space is limited, if you are interested please RSVP with Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org

Climate Action: The Dire Need for Net Zero and What You Can Do 

November 12, 6:30-7:30pm 

Are you not sure where or how to start taking action on climate change? View this pre-recorded webinar by Dr. Chandu Visweswariah, CEO of Utopus Insights and founding Board member of CURE100, a community-based not for profit aimed at achieving net zero greenhouse gases in our community by 2040. Dr. Visweswariah’s presentation focuses on climate science, concrete pathways that can be taken to limit global warming, and local and personal ways to address the climate crisis. This webinar was originally presented by the Audubon Council of New York and is being re-presented by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. For more information or to register for this free program, visit https://doas.us/event/climate-action-the-dire-need-for-net-zero-and-what-you-can-do/.  

Have you seen the new site yet? 

As you may know Heat Smart Otsego has officially expanding! A collaborative project between OCCA and the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD), Heat Smart Mohawk Valley is a new combined community-based clean heating and cooling initiative to help residents and business owners in the Mohawk Valley lower their energy bills, improve comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This grassroots program is designed to educate building owners about clean heating and cooling options, connect them with free and low-cost energy audit programs for their homes and businesses as well as no-cost community solar opportunities to both save money on their electric bill and procure clean, renewable energy.  We will be bringing all the great information of Heatsmart Otsego to the entire region!  Check out the new site and check back often for new digital events: https://www.heatsmartmv.org/

Costa Rica’s Biodiversity: What Can You Really Expect to See? 

Friday, November 20, 7:30-8:30pm 

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society hosts Dr. Peter Fauth, who will describe some of the fascinating natural history of Costa Rica and share with you some of the biodiversity he has observed during several visits there. Costa Rica is known for its ecotourism and its tremendous amount of plant and animal life. To register for this free Zoom program, visit https://doas.us/event/costa-ricas-biodiversity/

Clothing Donations and Textile Recycling 

In addition to everything else disrupted by the pandemic, COVID-19 has caused the shutdown of many drop boxes used for donating old clothes and textile recycling. Recently, members of the OCCA Recycling Committee checked around and found some options! The Susquehanna SPCA animal shelter will accept items to be used as bedding for the animals, including blankets, moving blankets, comforters (not down), sheets, pillowcases and towels. In addition, their New Leash on Life Thrift Shop is accepting good condition items, including clothing, for donation. Contact the shelter at 547-8111 or the Thrift Shop at 547-9462 to find out how to donate. Finally, the Oneonta High School Alumni Association is collection new and gently-used footwear at four locations in Oneonta. The shoes will be distributed to people in need in developing nations around the world. Visit http://www.oneontahighalumni.org/locals-raise-funds/ for details.  

In the News:

The America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE) was signed into law this last week. This legislation includes:

  • Chesapeake WILD – Authorizes a new fish and wildlife habitat restoration program under the auspices of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • EPA Chesapeake Bay Program – Reauthorizes the Bay Program for five years and increases funding up to $92 million
  • Nat’l Park Service Chesapeake Gateways and Water trails Program – Reauthorizes the Gateways Program for five years.

For more information on the enactment of this historic legislation, visit: https://www.choosecleanwater.org/news/2020/10/30/enactment-of-historic-legislation-is-major-victory-for-chesapeake-bay

In Case You Missed It 

While we haven’t been able to meet or provide programs the way we prefer to, face-to-face, OCCA has been busy! For web-based programs on Invasive Species, Heat Smart Otsego, and the SEQR process, visit our YouTube Channel. We’ll be adding more content, as well. Subscribe to get notifications of new postings. 

Visit OCCA’s YouTube Channel

OCCA Online Garage Sale Ongoing 

If you’re in the midst of spring cleaning and you find yourself with good condition items that you no longer need, why not get them into the hands of someone who could use them? Donate them to the OCCA online garage sale and help support our efforts to protect Otsego County’s environment! Items should have a minimum value of $10. Please send photos and a description and dimension of the item(s) to occagaragesale@gmail.com. If you’re looking to buy, visit http://occainfo.org/2018-garage-sale-items/ to see what we currently have! 

If you haven’t done so already—-VOTE!

COVID19 Policy 

The staff and board of directors of Otsego County Conservation Association offer our heartfelt condolences to the members of our Otsego County family who have lost loved ones to or suffered from COVID-19. Though our region has been fortunate to see a small number of cases relative to other parts of the world, we take this disease seriously. The safety and health of our staff and all of our program participants is our top priority. Therefore, as we move forward with in-person programs in the coming weeks, we will adhere to current guidelines put forth by New York State. As of this publication, these are: 

*Program size will be limited based on current state guidelines, staff included; 
*All participants must wear a mask during the program; 
*Participants must follow social distancing guidelines at all times; should a program be expected to require close contact among participants, this will be made clear in the program description 
*Participants must pre-register in order to attend; 
*All participants must provide OCCA with contact information (name, phone number, email) in order to participate.  
*For programs that take place on the water, you may bring your own watercraft (canoe, kayak, paddleboard) and personal flotation device. If OCCA canoes are available, you must pre-register with a member of your household in order to share a canoe. 

We apologize for any inconvenience these rules may cause; please understand this is in the interests of protecting all of us. Please note these guidelines will change as the situation here changes. We will post these guidelines at occainfo.org and update them regularly. Thank you for respecting each other, and for being part of the OCCA family.  

How You Can Help Protect Our Local Environment

Donations provide the foundation for our work throughout Otsego County. By becoming a supporter of OCCA, you become a part of a unique countywide environmental organization whose mission is to protect local natural resources for the benefit of all. 

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7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
(607) 547-4488