Protests continued today at the Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility where 10 Schuyler County residents were arrested for trespassing. Today's protest is part of a sustained, ongoing, non-violent civil disobedience campaign against the storage of fracked gas along the shores of Seneca Lake, a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. There have been 83 arrests so far during the "We Are Seneca Lake" civil disobedience campaign, now entering its sixth week.
Today's action "is an attempt to dispel the myth that this movement is an ‘outside' movement, filled with 'professional protesters.' However, we welcome all comers, as we must when dealing with a watershed for over 100,000 people and air that we all breathe," said Phil Davis and Scott Signori, business owners in Schuyler County who were arrested today. "It will take people from all over to protect the environment and to stand up to Crestwood, the true outsider in this threat.”
A press conference and rally is planned for Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. outside of the Town of Reading court, when the arraignment for 20 protesters, arrested in previous weeks, is scheduled.
Also this morning, seven people were arrested during continued opposition to the construction of Dominion Resources’ Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal. Protesters were blockading the construction site of a temporary pier that will be used to bring large pieces of equipment in to build the gas export terminal in the Cove Point community in southern Maryland.
Despite ongoing opposition from area residents, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission approved the $3.8 billion project late September allowing the conversion of the Dominion Cove Point LNG facility from an import to an export facility. Opponents say this decision will allow Dominion to pipe fracked gas from across the region to the facility, liquify it and to ship the LNG overseas to China and India.
“This is where I live. There’s no other place I can go. I can’t afford to,” said Lusby resident and retired social worker Mark Giuffrida. “A large number of working poor people live in Lusby. Dominion is trying to exploit that. They view Calvert County as an easy take, and our commissioners seem to agree with them. We’re going to do all we can to prove that wrong.”
Nancy Ball, who lives in Lusby and works as a veterinarian in Solomons, agrees. “Not only did they fail to answer crucial questions, but what little information they have given us keeps changing,” said “The Calvert County commissioners and Dominion made all the decisions outside the public eye. We Are Cove Point will work to bring these issues to light. Corporations need to be aware that when they insist on harming our air, water quality, and safety, they will be opposed.”
Today's protest marks the first public action by the new coalition "We Are Cove Point."
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Naomi Larsson
For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.