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FIFTEEN WAYS TO FIGHT FRACKING: Yes, things that you can actually do that will make a big difference!

Tell everyone about the dangers of fracking. Educate your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers. Explain the many ways in which fracking is devastating to humans, water, air, forests, agriculture, livestock and wildlife. Explain why the DEC’s guidelines don’t go far enough, and why we need a complete ban on fracking in NY State.

Let Governor Cuomo know your opinions on fracking. Call him every Monday at 212-681-4580 or 518-474-8390. Send him letters, emails and faxes. And encourage others to do the same.

Contact other elected officials. For example, President Obama, senators, congressional representatives, state senators, assemblypersons, city council members. The League of Women Voters can provide all necessary contact info. Encourage others to do the same.

Write letters to editors. Express yourself in major newspapers, local newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Even better, write your own newsletter article. Encourage others to do this also.

Blog On. Respond to articles or posts about fracking, wherever you see them on the internet. Better still, start your own blog. Get your friends to do this, too.

Make a Visual Statement. Wear anti-fracking buttons and t-shirts as conversation starters. Put a sign in your window or on your front porch or lawn. And yep, encourage others (you get the idea by now).

Blanket the Neighborhood. Post literature on bulletin boards and leave materials in health food stores, supermarkets, banks. One good source of materials is Food and Water Watch.

Get Petitions Signed. Right in your own neighborhood, you can set up a table, or just speak to people with a clipboard. Or just give out informational fliers. We’ll help you get started.

Activate Your Networks. Everybody belongs to groups of one kind or another, and you’re the best person to start getting your group involved. Give out material, and make everyone aware of the issues. Better still, we can arrange a PowerPoint presentation, or a screening of Josh Fox’s anti-fracking movie Gaslands for your group. Or, you could have a Gaslands party in your home.

Become an Expert. Learn as much as you can about fracking, so that you can educate other folks. One good place to start is with the resource materials found at unitedforaction.org.

Become a “Bird Dog.” Attend events where public figures are speaking, and ask them tough questions about fracking. The media will love this.

Create a Happening. Got creativity? Get some friends and do some street theater to increase public awareness, or organize a flash mob. The possibilities are endless.

Comment on the draft supplemental EIS. This is very important. The formal comment period on the DEC guidelines should begin August 1st. It’s essential that as many people as possible submit lengthy and detailed comments explaining why the guidelines are totally inadequate to protect New York from this dangerous drilling process.

Show Up at the Rallies. There will be some truly major anti-fracking rallies happening in the late summer and fall. It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that as many people as possible show up. So make sure that you will be there, and bring as many friends as possible. There will be other protest demos going on all summer, too. (Gee, you could even organize one of your own.)

Work with Other Groups. There are lots of great activist groups already working in a coalition against fracking. Contact United For Action, Food and Water Watch, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, NYH2O, and many others. Join with us, and let’s work together to STOP FRACKING NOW!

GOP senators stonewall growing opposition to fracking

The last week of legislative session in Albany is usually an intense time of late-night negotiations and fierce public advocacy as state government tries to make up for months of inaction in just a few days.

This has been exceptionally busy year, with major issues (same sex marriage, rent control, property taxes, SUNY tuition hikes and power plant siting) dominating the back room sessions and flooding the halls with protesters.

Noticeably absent from the end-of-session calendar is hydrofracking, the controversial natural gas extraction technique that in previous months dominated headlines and captured the attention of lawmakers.

In April and May, the Sierra Club helped bring thousands of activists to Albany in a relentless string of protests, marches, lobby days and hearings to call for bans, closure of drilling loopholes, and the strengthening of environmental laws. And while the noise in Albany intensified, events were unfolding elsewhere that only increased the urgency to stop this mad march toward expanded drilling:

• The New York Times presented a scathing, three-part series revealing that the EPA had suppressed reports concluding that New York and Pennsylvania’s sewage treatment facilities are incapable of treating drilling wastes --– including levels of radioactivity 100 to 1000 times higher than drinking water safety standards.

• Attorney General Schneiderman sued the Delaware River Basin Commission for failing to conduct an environmental impact statement on hydraulic fracturing permits before going forward with an ill-conceived rule-making process.

• The Assembly held hearings on the public health impacts of hydrofracking and the testimony of a dozen medical professionals, endocrinologists and public heath experts revealed how little we know about the human pathology of drilling –-- and what we do know indicates there could be widespread issues.

• Dozens of municipalities and townships amended zoning regulations to prohibit fracking within their borders.

• Credit unions and lending agencies sounded the alarm that drilling is a liability to property values and they will not provide mortgages to leased land or the land immediately adjacent to drilling activity, potentially preventing millions of acres of New York real estate from being bought or sold.

• And a natural gas well in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, blew out, discharging thousands of gallons of water containing fracking chemicals into a nearby creek. Seven households were evacuated from the area as a result. Chesapeake Energy, the state’s largest drilling company, suspended all operations until it could determine what went so catastrophically wrong.

Article reprinted from http://newyork.sierraclub.org/index.html

Bernice Silver, 97 Years Young Goes Kayaking!

This is the first event of Pete's Vision, a new focus of NYCFC on recreational boating to have people fall in love with and appreciate the waterways.

Bernice Silver is going kayaking for the first time!   We hope you all come down and join us Saturday Aug 13th*, to enjoy a fun morning on the Hudson River either to kayak or just observing. Meet us at Downtown Boathouse Pier 96 at 56th Street and the Hudson River at 10:30 am.

Bernice Silver is a long time member of the NYC Friends of Clearwater, an environmentalist, a puppeteer and a songwriter. She will be showing us all that anyone and everyone can enjoy the river. At 97 years young Bernice is “game for anything” she says.

Pete Seeger, legendary folk singer and environmental activist, 40 plus years ago envisioned a Hudson River that was clean for his children and grandchildren to play in. Back then you couldn’t walk a few blocks away without smelling the stench of the water. The sails of the Sloop Clearwater went up and a symbol of a cleaner river was born.

Bernice has sailed on the Clearwater many times and now its time for a new adventure. Kayaking, rowing and paddle boarding are human powered recreation many enjoy on the Hudson these days. (We won’t be seeing Bernice on a paddle board :).

Part of Pete’s vision was to turn people onto the beauty of being on the river, loving the river and appreciating the need to protect it. Thousands of people have sailed on the Clearwater over the years and learned valuable lessons of the environment.

*Date change is due to the ecological crisis on the Hudson caused by the fire 7.22 at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant. The river has been off limits to kayaking and swimming for a few days. The plant is back online and the river is expected to be safe again soon. Westchester County just lifted its advisory, 7.27,  on recreational activities on the river and Manhattan will soon follow. We have been working closely with the Department of Environmental Protection, Dept of Health and Riverkeeper specifically about Bernice and the water quality.  Mother nature will assure that the water quality will as be excellent as Riverkeeper’s testing deemed it was on the day before the current crisis.

Click here for the NY Times article on the treatment plant fire.

Dangerous Gas Pipeline Proposed for Greenwich Village – explosive Fracking issue!

Sane Energy Project was formed in January of 2011 to fight Spectra Energy’s proposed gas pipeline. In a stunning display of community outreach, with only 2 weeks until the deadline, Sane Energy spurred almost 500 citizens to file as “intervenors” in the project. High-profile intervenors included City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn; Councilman James Gennaro, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; The Park Slope Food Co-op; Riverkeeper; Sierra Club; Josh Fox; Mark Ruffalo and many other individuals and groups in New York and New Jersey.

This proposed 30″-46″ high pressure gas pipeline is slated to run through Linden, Bayonne, Staten Island, and Jersey City, before crossing under the Hudson River at Hoboken and entering Manhattan at the West Village.

Pipelines are dangerous and polluting, releasing toxic emissions in the normal course of operation. The builder has a spotty safety record: Spectra Energy's subsidiary, Texas Eastern, was fined $15million for discharging PCBs at 89 sites along one pipeline.

The Spectra pipeline would have a more profound effect than most. It would enable the conversion of New York City’s buses, boilers and power plants to shale gas and, with its proximity to our port, create a natural drive to build LNG export terminals. This will increase the demand to frack in the Marcellus Shale and in the NYC and Delaware River Basin watersheds.

The proposed pipeline is now making its way through the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) review process. The EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) will be released shortly. Once the EIS is released,  it is crucial that as many people as possible participate in the brief, 45-day public comment period, and urge NYC officials to pass a resolution against the pipeline.


We met on South Street Seaport's Boardwalk by the Peking  (large boat near Pier 17 shops) and started our walk around the Battery. Great fun was had by all. Hope to see more of you next year. We even raised a few dollars.

We walked, we sang, we discussed the issues facing the river and our water supply today..... it's was good time!
Those who have collected pledges for the walk but did not attend can send to our post office box.
(you don't need to actually walk to collect pledges!)
This is the start of our outdoor events season. We always have a great time!

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