In this week's Newsletter: Five years after Sandy, Earthjustice wins battle to protect 50 million acres of trees, adopt a dog from Puerto Rico  and much more!
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5 Years After Sandy: How Resilient Is NYC?

This Sunday is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, one of the largest and most destructive Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, with winds spanning 1,100 miles and gusting up to 115 miles per hour. The storm took the lives of 233 people and caused about $75 billion in damage across 24 states.

This year, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands all suffered heavy damage in an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season. While none of the storms that caused damage in the US threatened the Northeast directly, the frequency and strength of those storms means we can expect stronger, deadlier storms to occur more frequently as ocean temperatures continue to rise.

Compared to many of America's coastal cities, NYC has been working harder on a variety of new strategies and plans to address future storm events. Along with the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, which will eventually redesign much of the Lower East Side, including Stuyvesant Cove Park, there are proposals to build a sea wall below the Verrazano Bridge and one in Long Island Sound. The City Council just voted to v-create a commission to study post-Sandy resiliency progress so far and make recommendations for improvements in the City's efforts. Other methods of resiliency being implemented are categorized by the city as projects in coastal defense, critical infrastructure, social and economic resiliency, and building upgrades. 

However, a study performed by researchers at several universities and published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicts about 5 inches to 11 inches (12.7 centimeters to 27.9 centimeters) of sea-level rise likely in New York City between 2000 and 2030. The study primarily blames the  change on global warming. 

You can read more about this on the NYLCV website here.

Earthjustice Wins 16 Year Fight to Protect 50 Million Acres of Forest

A decades-long fight over a landmark rule protecting wild forests nationwide took another successful–and possibly final–turn last week after a U.S. district court threw out a last-ditch attack by the state of Alaska against the Roadless Rule.

First adopted back at the end of the Clinton Administration, the Roadless Rule prohibits most logging and road construction in roadless areas of national forests. These lands, today equaling about 50 million acres or about the size of Nebraska, are some of the wildest places left in America.

Originally, the bill was broadly popular. with su[pport from environmental and conservation activists as well as lovers of the outdoors. The Forest Service was in favor as well- maintaining 400,000 miles of forest roads had created a multi-billion dollar backlog in maintenance projects.

There were some people who objected: Logging and timber interests. Over the next two decades, three main legal battles emerged over the Roadless Rule. One challenge came from the state of Idaho, which has the most roadless public forest lands of any of the lower 48. The second attack came from the state of Wyoming. Lastly, the state of Alaska challenged the rule.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state of Idaho in 2002, upholding the Roadless Rule. Then, in 2009, the Ninth Circuit struck down the Bush administration’s attempt to repeal the Roadless Rule. In 2011, the Tenth Circuit appeals court ruled against the state of Wyoming, upholding the rule. And in July 2015, after years of Earthjustice litigation, the Ninth Circuit court declared the Tongass exemption illegal.

Last week, the final challenge to the Roadless Rule was shot down, after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that each of the state of Alaska’s claims lacked merit. The state could appeal the decision, or President Trump could try to reverse it. However, because the rule is widely supported, provides immense economic and public benefit and has been upheld by multiple courts at many levels, anyone who tries to get rid of those protections will face an intense uphill legal and political battle.

You can read more on the Earthjustice blog here.

Dogs Rescued from Puerto Rico Are Up for Adoption in NYC

If you've been thinking about adopting a dog, make your good deed even better and adopt one of these super cute dogs who are also survivors of Hurricane Maria. 

A total of 28 dogs — some of which were abandoned during the natural disaster— are up for grabs at Animal Haven in Chinatown, said Tiffany Lacey, executive director of the shelter.

“These animals are in dire need. It’s life or death down there,” Lacey urged. “Come in and adopt because you’re gonna be helping.”

The furry survivors were rescued from the island by charter plane and brought to the no-kill shelter on Saturday night, according to Lacy.

You can read more in the NY Post here.

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Upcoming Events at Solar One

Community Volunteer Day in Stuyvesant Cove Park
Solar 1, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 10:00am-1pm, free

Other Events

Outside the Lines: Building Facades Redefine Urban Living
The Times Center, 242 West 41st Street bet 7th & 8th Aves, Manhattan, 1-7pm, $145 general admission/$45 students

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Little Neck
St. Anastasia Church, parking lot entrance on Alameda Avenue, 245th Street bet Alameda Ave & Northern Blvd, Queens, 10am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Morris Heights
Holy Spirit Church, 1940 University Avenue at W. Burnside Ave , Bronx, 10am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Upper West Side
Jewish Community Center, 334 Amsterdam Avenue bet W. 75th & W. 76th Sts,, Manhattan, 10am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Jackson Heights
37th Avenue bet 78th & 79th Sts, Queens, 10am-4pm, free

WEDG: Resilient, Accessible, Sustainable—designing for 2050+
The Center for Architecture, Edgar A. Tafel Hall, 536 LaGuardia Place bet Bleecker & W. 3rd Sts, Manhattan, 8:30-10:30am, free

Retrofit Accelerator Training: Heating & Air Sealing
Solar One Workforce Training Lab, 29-76 Northern Boulevard bet 41st Ave & Honeywell St, Queens, 9am-3pm, $50
Please note: Registrants must be property managers, superintendents or building maintainers ONLY. Due to limited class size, only 2 staff per building may register for each course.

Meet a Solar One Staff Member: Juan Parra, Community Solar Program Manager

Juan joined Solar One in 2017 to implement solar projects in low to moderate income communities. Originally from New Jersey, Juan attended Boston College where he discovered his interest in environmentalism through a senior year elective, Black and Green, which focused on how the movement has played out in underserved communities.

Upon graduating, Juan began working at EnerNOC, an “energy intelligence” company, specializing in energy efficiency software, demand response programs, and procurement. At the end of his five year tenure at EnerNOC, Juan worked on their Utility Operations team, creating and maintaining relationships with utility partners in North America.

Juan stayed in Boston for three years after graduating and then moved back “home” to the NYC area. Outside of work, Juan enjoys running, cooking, and reading about urban planning and architecture.
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