Friday, July 9, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, July 9, 2010

Lake Champlain algae blooms aren’t toxic, tests find | The Burlington Free Press
This week’s widespread blue-green algae blooms on Lake Champlain may be unpleasant, but they do not contain the toxins sometimes associated with blooms, tests by the University of Vermont found Thursday.

“Nothing is setting off large alarm bells,” said Mary Watzin, the UVM lake scientist who oversees the testing.

When blue-green algae collect in dense patches they sometimes — but not always — begin to produce dangerous toxins. Volunteer monitors and lakeshore residents have reported blooms from Burlington Bay south to Ferrisburgh this week, but testing showed no concentrations of poison.

Watzin said her general safety guideline remains, “If the water looks nasty, don’t go in.”
Ethanol-free gas on the way out | The Burlington Free Press
Operators of the few gas stations that continue to sell ethanol-free fuel in Vermont say they no longer will be able to do so within the coming weeks or months.

Most gasoline sold nationwide is 10 percent ethanol, a byproduct of corn or other crops. Acting under a 2007 federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated increasing levels of ethanol in gasoline, saying it will help reduce pollution and carbon emissions, which are implicated in global climate change. The mandates are making it almost impossible for distributors to find ethanol-free gasoline.
Vt. sets record for number of nesting eagles | Times Argus Online
Bald eagles continue to make their comeback in Vermont and this spring a record number of eagles were confirmed to be nesting in the state, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

The Fish and Wildlife Department announced Thursday that nine bald eagle nests were found in Vermont, seven pairs of eagles were confirmed to be nesting, and five young bald eagles are being raised by their parents. If all goes well, the young birds should be leaving their nests sometime in July.