Monday, January 19, 2009

Move the Geese. Do Not Slaughter Them

There is a bloodlust now for Canadian geese due to their culpability in the crash of the U.S. Airways Flight 1549. Pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is the hero of this miraculous saga, but the geese are clearly the bad guys. Now some are calling for slaughtering them all, including destroying their eggs and nests. The Center would like to see these magnificient birds captured and relocated. The Port Authority has a wildlife management program. We believe the accent should be on trapping the birds instead of shooting them. There is plenty of room out Long Island to transport and release the geese.

LaGuardia and JFK Airport, working with the Port Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection, could design and implement a model program for itself and other airports nationwide. There have been over 1,000 goose strikes over the past two decades. They are big birds. And if they can bring down an Airbus A320, they need to be adequately managed. But a massive slaughter of these wonderful birds is uncalled for. Maybe Mayor Bloomberg will step up to the plate and work with Governor Patterson to design a state-of-the-art geese management program. We surely do not want any more geese to bring down another aircraft. The stakes are simply too high. We almost needlessly lost 155 people last week. But we can keep the flying public safe while conserving the precisous lives of these magnificient birds.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Safe Harbor Energy Proposes Offshore LNG Island

Safe Harbor Energy (SHE) is a project being proposed by the Atlantic Sea Island Group LLC to construct an offshore island that will serve as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal. It would supply New York, Long Island and metropolitan are with the natural gas needed in this region. Safe Harbor Energy will be located in the federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), allowing LNG Carriers to use the adjacent inbound Hudson Canyon to Ambrose and the outbound Ambrose to Nantucket Traffic Lanes. This is approximately 13.5 miles south of the city of Long Beach, New York (on Long Island) and 23 miles from the entrance to NY Harbor.

The island will be constructed in an open area of the ocean between the Ambrose-to-Nantucket and Hudson Canyon-to-Ambrose international shipping lanes. This project location allows LNG tankers to use established shipping lanes to access the facility, while minimizing interference with commercial shipping and recreational users. The project location, at approximately 40° 23' 19" N and 73° 36' 35" W, is in water depth of approximately 60 to 70 feet. The island will be constructed of natural sand, gravel, and rock materials, surrounded by armored breakwaters, consisting of prefabricated caissons, prefabricated armor units and rock, and capable of withstanding a 200-year storm.

Following the notice of intent in the Federal Register, the U.S. Coast Guard will begin a public scoping process to solicit comments through scheduled public informational open houses, as well as written comments by mail or online at [type in 'Safe Harbor Energy'] as they prepare an environmental impact statement.