AN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS by Grace Bartow 5rd grade, Tamarac Elementary
WHAT IS RICHMOND COUNTY? Abstract In this program, I studied Richmond County, New York. The aim of my study is to inform you on the environmental standings of Richmond County. To do this study, I used newspaper articles, websites, and government sites. The results of my search were very successful. I learned a lot of interesting facts about Richmond County’s environmental standings. It is important to study counties because counties break down states or areas to make it easier to study them.
METHODS It is important to study counties because you can break down the sections of New York to make it easier to study. There are 62 counties in New York today. My county is a big city. There is much flatland in my county. To understand my county’s environmental health, you would want to ask questions like, “What is the population?” One of the challenges in researching counties is knowing what is true and what is not. Some things on the Internet are not true.
PARTS OF A COUNTY: HABITATS Staten Island (Richmond County) has many different habitats. There is the city area, the Greenbelt Preserve, which is mostly forests and green areas. Finally, there are the wetlands, also known as the Bluebelt area. One of these habitats is Shore Acres. It is a neighborhood in Staten Island. Shores Acres is located on the northeast coast of Richmond County (Staten Island). Challenges: - Garbage pile up - Air pollution - Flooding Solutions: - Waste-to-energy plant - Bluebelt
PARTS OF A COUNTY: WATER & SOIL The water sources in my county are the Arthur Kill, the Kill Van Kull, and the Hudson River. These are all very important rivers and water bodies. Challenges: - Water pollution - Fertilizers soaking into soil Solutions: - Don’t dump factory waste into water - Stop using fertilizers
PARTS OF A COUNTY: INDUSTRIES In Richmond County, three industries are popular: health care, retail trade, and accommodations and food services. Health care means doctors’ offices, dentists, orthodontists, hospitals, and urgent care. Retail means the sale of products. This means food, clothing, furniture, cars, and other products. Accommodations and food services mean hotels, motels, restaurants, and food courts. Challenges: - Machinery malfunctions - Shipping to Staten Island - Air and water pollution Solutions: - Reduce amount of garbage/recycle - Work together to reduce imports - Bluebelt
PARTS OF A COUNTY: ENERGY The energy mixture in Richmond County is not healthy. 57.4% of the energy comes from gas and 39.9% of the energy comes from nuclear energy. This is not renewable energy. The next 100, 1000, or 10,000 years will be even unhealthier (if they keep this energy mix up)! This causes a lot of carbon dioxide. These are non-renewable energy sources they run out eventually. Carbon dioxide is a gas produced by humans and animals when breathing out. Challenges: - Too many nonrenewable energy sources Solutions: - Use more renewable energy - Reduce gas usage
PARTS OF A COUNTY: WASTE In my county, there is one garbage disposal system called the Fresh Kills Landfill. It is located in the middle of Staten Island. It is one of the biggest landfills in the world! Challenges: - Lack of space Solutions: - Waste-to-energy plant
ENVIROINDICATORS: WATERSHED HEALTH WATERSHED HEALTH Watershed name: The Atlantic Ocean/Long Island Sound Watershed What percentage of rivers has poor water quality? What percentage of lakes has poor water quality? Overall percentage with poor water quality? 30%8%38% What percentage of rivers has good water quality? What percentage of lakes has good water quality? Overall percentage with good water quality? 17%1%18% Caption: My watershed has more poor water than good water. The major concerns in the watershed are: 1.) Long Island Sound hypoxia impacts on the aquatic system 2.) Various other nonpoint sources of nutrients and various other pollutants 3.) Shell fishing restriction due to elevated pathogen contamination
ENVIROINDICATORS: ENERGY ENERGY What region is your county located in? NPCC NYC/Westchester Type of Energy% of County Energy Composition Renewable1% Hydroelectric0% Nuclear39.9% Oil1.3% Gas57.4% Coal0%
OTHER ENVIROINDICATORS CLIMATE SMART COMMUNITIES Are there climate smart communities in your County?: No -What is a climate smart community? A “climate smart community” is a group of government officials who try to solve the community’s economic, social, and environmental problems. -Why wouldn’t a community work to become a climate smart community? Some communities are lazy. Some may have bad government officials. There are also some communities that may not have the right resources to become a climate smart community. -What steps could citizens take in order to persuade people in the county to work to become climate smart communities? If it were my job to persuade people in Kings County to work to become climate smart communities, I would tell them that it would help their community be more eco-friendly. ENVIROTHON COMPETITION Have any high schools in your county competed in the Envirothon competition? No. -What is the Envirothon competition? The Envirothon competition is a competition for high school students where they learn about environmental categories. -How do you think environmental education helps the environmental health of your county? I believe that environmental education helps my county because it educates the future of my county.
TIMELINE Around 21,000 Years Ago – The landmass of Long Island was formed Around 1600 AD – The Lenape Indians Arrive at Staten Island 1979 – Oil spill in the Kill van Kull from industrial plants and factories on Staten Island (and New Jersey) June 21, 2011 – last watershed report created for Richmond County
BACKGROUND Richmond County is located on the southern tip of New York City. The county is very flat and is basically a big city so there are no mountains or lakes there, except for the Greenbelt and the Bluebelt. The composition of my county is cities and towns. The population of Richmond County is 470,728 (as of 2012).
RECOMMENDATIONS The environmental health of my county is good for right now, but in the future they should be more eco-friendly. There are really no programs that are helping the environment in Richmond County. I think the most important thing for Richmond County to do in the future is to have a waste-to-energy plant. Staten Island already has a huge landfill and no energy plants. So it would make since for them to build a waste-to-energy plant. So to sum up, Richmond County has a pretty good environment right now, but could work on it in the future.
SOURCES New York DEC. (2014). Atlantic Ocean/Long Island Sound Watershed Map. Retrieved from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/53733.html Staten Island Waterfront. (2012). Stapleton. Retrieved from Staten Island Waterfront 2012: http://macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/siwaterfront12/history/stapleton/ Wikimedia. (2014). Staten Island Landfill. Retrieved from Wikimedia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/AT_STATEN _ISLAND_LANDFILL_STEAM_SHOVEL_LOADS_CARTS_WITH_GARBAGE_BR OUGHT_BY_BARGE_FROM_MANHATTAN._CARTS_WILL_HAUL..._- _NARA_-_549792.jpg/800px- AT_STATEN_ISLAND_LANDFILL_STEAM_SHOVEL_LOADS_CARTS_WITH_ Wikipedia. (2014). Staten Island. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staten_Island
ABOUT ECOED & MENTORS Rensselaer's EcoEd Research Group involves faculty and students in the development and delivery of creative, interdisciplinary environmental education to K-12 students. The goal is to extend the broad impact of humanities and social science research on environmental problems through translation into hands-on exercises through which young students develop capacity to deal effectively with environmental problems, and with complex problems in general - integrating many types of knowledge. In EcoEd’s Upper Elementary School Research Program, young students are assigned an RPI student mentor, and with them move through a nine-week exploration of a research topic, culminating in a substantial written report and formal oral presentation.