AN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS by Maddie Murphy 5th grade, Tamarac Elementary
Abstract The aim of my study is to learn about a county and its environmental issues and the different systems in it. Throughout the study of Oneida County. I used various websites at the local, state, and federal government level. In researching Oneida County one of the things I learned about was habitats. One of the major habitats is Oneida Lake.. I also learned about major industries. Some of the major industries are health care, social assistance and retail trade. Another topic I learned about is water and soil. Water and soil are important to the environment because people need water to drink and soil to plant food. The energy resources in Oneida County include hydro, wind, solar, coal and gas. There is 32.5% renewable energy, 28.2% is hydro, 28.9% is nuclear, and 15.3% is coal energy. Waste was another topic that I learned about in my research. I learned it can pollute the earth and many other problems. A way to fix this is to make a waste to energy facility.
Methods It is important to study counties so that people know about smaller sections than states but larger than cities. It is important because one county might focus on livestock whereas another county might produce energy. The counties can then share with each other since they produce different things. This is small example of how counties could work together. There are 62 counties in New York, and each has many parts that interact. There is the energy production. There is the government. Government helps the county because it helps solve problems. Some questions researcher can ask when studying a county are these: How much renewable energy is being used, and how much non-renewable? How much of the water I clean? Some of the challenges in researching counties is that there might be another another county name the same thing in a different state, or there may not be a lot of data on the topic you are looking for.
About EcoEd & Mentors Rensselaer's EcoEd Research Group involves faculty andstudents 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.
Background Oneida was formed in 1978. Oneida County is located in central New York. It has many lakes, forests, and, rivers. The Oneida Native Americans occupied this county and a few other counties in early 1600s. Today Utica is the largest city and holds the county seat. The population of Oneida County is 234,878 350 million years ago The Catskill Mountains located in my county were formed. 1600 The Oneida Tribe lived in my county around 1600. They were part of the original Iroquois Confederacy. Lacrosse was a very well-liked game in this tribe Timeline
Parts of a county: Habitats Oneida County is comprised of farmland, forested areas, and suburban communities. The principal habitat of the county is the Mohawk River Valley which bisects the county in an east-west direction. Oneida lake is also one of the major habitats in Oneida county. “Oneida Lake, situated in the center of New York State, was created over 12,000 years ago when the Ice Age ended, was originally a vast inland sea called Lake Iroquois covering much of Central New York. As the ice retreated, most of the lake drained away except for what remains now. Measuring 22 miles long and 5 miles at the widest point, Oneida Lake is a recreational paradise.”
Parts of a county: Habitats This is a list of some of the other lakes, reservoirs and swamps in the county. Lakes, reservoirs, and swamps: Kernan Pond (A), Long Lake (B), Lost Pond (C), Mack Pond (D), Mudhole Pond (E), Poplar Pond (F), Round Lake (G), Round Pond (H) Streams, rivers, and creeks: Turkey Creek (A), Silver Creek (B), Beaver Creek (C), Gridley Creek (D), Otter Lake Outlet (E), Graham Creek (F), Gorton Brook (G), Sixmile Creek (H), Gifford Creek (I)
Parts of a county: Water & Soil The water resources in Oneida County are 30% more poor than good water quality. One problem that Oneida County has in water is fertilizer. That is a problem because farmers put it on their crops and it rains. The fertilizer and polluted water go into a watershed. Then all of that water is polluted. It goes into a river, then to a lake, then to an ocean. All of those animals along the way get hurt in some way. This is a picture of the Oneida County Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP).
Parts of a county: Industries There is a growing nanotechnology industry in the Mohawk River Valley. Entrepreneurs have started businesses such as the DeClutter Coach and Efficiency Consulting. From the very beginning, agriculture has been a major industry in Oneida County. Because of the region’s fertile soil along rivers and streams, the residents have planted corn, wheat, oats, squash and barley in the valley. Dairy is also one of the major industries in the county.
Parts of a county: Energy Renewable energy, to me, means energy that will not run out and does not pollute. My county currently has a biofuel facility called Mascoma. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Oneida County has modest potential for wind, solar, cellulosic biomass, biogas and enhanced geothermal energy. I think either biogas or biomass will work best in Oneida County. The energy resources in my county include hydro, wind, solar, coal and gas. [see diagnosing a county above for numbers on mix, and other info] Oneida County uses more nuclear energy than anything else. Mining less coal would mean we would have less to burn and then we might use less and come up with more renewable energy.
Parts of a county: Waste In Oneida County there are transfer stations, landfills, and recycling centers. The transfer stations process the garbage before it goes in the dump. The recycling center takes all yard waste and table scraps that have not been eaten or won’t be used. The recycling center won’t take meat. A challenge in Oneida is that landfills take up too much room. We are eventually going to run out of space and need to find a better solution. One way to fix the landfill problem is to get a waste-to-energy facility. This would reduce the waste and increase the amount of energy. Two major regulated transfer stations in Oneida County are the Herkimer Western Transfer Station in Rome and the Herkimer Eastern Transfer Station in Utica. Two smaller stations are Augusta Transfer Station in Oriskany Falls and the Boonville CVI Academy Street Site. There are also active landfills in Oneida including Boonville and Herkimer Solid Waste. An incinerator burns waste and a waste-to-energy station turns the waste into energy. Oneida County accepts paper, bottles and cans in their recycling. It does not accept used diapers, items containing mercury, and medical sharps. The Oneida-Herkimer County Household Hazards Waste Collection Facility in Utica, NY, accepts calculators and latex paint, two materials that, like electronic waste, can be difficult to recycle and require special facilities. The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority, located in Utica, is a place where people in the community can bring their food scraps and yard waste to be composted. They do not accept meat. People in the region are working to conserve and protect the quality of the region’s air, water, land, and wildlife resources without compromising the ability to meet current and future resource dependent needs. The region aims to ensure that no net increase in consumption of water withdrawals happens through 2030. They could make waste management more sustainable by having more landfills, not dumps.
Parts of the County: Soil The soils of the Oneida county are greatly influenced by the former presence of glaciers. There are many soil types derived from sedimentary bedrock including sandstone, siltstone, shale and limestone. Poor drainage coupled with the difficulty of finding outlets are the chief limitations to the productive agriculture.
Recommendations -Water quality should be improved. -More renewable energy facilities should be established. -More attention to pollution
Environmental Health Indicators In the Oneida County Health Department’s 2005-2010 Community Health Assessment, “pollution” appears just once. Asthma rates have gone up between 2005-2011. http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/ny_asthma/data/a20_30.htm