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NYC's Queensborough Community College Gets Grant to Make Parking Area More Eco-Friendly

Queensborough Community College has been selected to receive up to $1 million in funding through New York State’s Green Innovation Grant Program to reconstruct its largest parking lot on campus, replacing hard asphalt with porous asphalt and creating two planted areas (called bioswales) to retain rain water and filter pollutants.  

Queensborough Community College. Photo courtesy of top-schools.tk.

The bioswales will also give the campus a beautiful green appearance by creating a new tree-lined pedestrian entrance – linking the main gate and the main quadrangle.

The grant program’s purpose is to develop green infrastructure with the goal of managing rainwater where it falls, reducing runoff, and treating it.

If left unmanaged, researchers with the grant program says that, “Stormwater runoff can overwhelm sewer systems and other clean-water infrastructures, leading to pollution of our waterways,” adding that, “Working in parallel with traditional grey, clean-water infrastructure, green infrastructure is a cost-effective and efficient tool for meeting the goals of the Clean Water Act.”

Queensborough College says its new bioswales are expected cause a reduction of up to 4 million gallons of storm water runoff per year, which currently flows through the storm sewer directly into the Alley Creek wetlands and Little Neck Bay – part of Long Island Sound.

Before this new grant, the college also received one from Coulomb Technologies, Inc. that was used to install two electric charging stations on campus that now power the campus’ fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles.

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Green Festival 2012’s After-Party To Happen at New York City’s EcoTrendy Greenhouse Lounge

The Green Festival is going to hold its after-party at the eco-trendy lounge Greenhouse in SoHo on April 21. The party will feature the band Brown Rice Family, Squala Orphan, MC SA-ROC, DJ Butta L, and a special Greenhouse DJ that’s to-be-announced.

Greenhouse Lounge. Photo courtesy of singleandthecity.com.

The party will start at 7 p.m. and run until 11 p.m. Tickets can be gotten online now, or at the festival’s front booth, or at booth #438. Fifty percent of the ticket proceeds will go to benefit Green Festivals.

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No More Boating Pollution Allowed in NYC’s Jamaica Bay With New Environmental Law

In an effort to improve the water quality around New York City’s Jamaica Bay, a multi-agency decision has designated the majority of the bay as a “no discharge zone,” which bans boats from discharging sewage into the bay.

No Discharge Zone Map - Jamaica Bay, NY. Image courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The new agreement between the city, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency bans all boats from discharging sewage into area of 20,000 acres of open water.

The area has an expanse of facilities for boats to pump out their sewage, and boaters must now dispose of their sewage at specially-designated pump-out stations. The Clean Vessel Assistance Program (CVAP) has provided both a map of all the CVAP-funded pump-out locations, as well as a spreadsheet list of operational pump-out facilities by county.

Specifically, the no discharge zone encompasses 17,177 acres of open water, and 2,695 acres of upland islands and salt marshes in Brooklyn and Queens.

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Best Green School Innovators For 2011 Ranked by the U.S. Green Buildings Council

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools has released its first ever Best of Green Schools 2011 list, recognizing school administrators and government leaders in 10 categories for their efforts to create sustainable learning environments.

The cafeteria in Lake Mills Middle School. Photo from miron-constructionnews.com.

Recipient schools and regions from across America – from the elementary to the university level – were recognized for a variety of sustainable, cost-cutting measures, including energy conservation, record numbers of LEED certified buildings, and collaborative platforms and policies to green U.S. school infrastructures.

Lake Mills Middle School (Lake Mills, Wis.) was recognized for the “School” category for being the first public school in the nation to achieve a LEED Platinum certification.

The middle school features a geothermal heating and cooling system, which contributes to the school saving $85,000 annually in energy costs, said the Green Building Council.

The school’s use of a geothermal system benefits the city as well. By using a geothermal system, the school has shifted its energy usage from gas to electric, and because the city owns its own electric company, the energy dollars stay within the city.

Moving up to the category of “Higher Ed Innovator,” the University of Texas at Dallas received recognition for its new LEED Platinum student services building.

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U.S. Cities Increasing Use of Clean Energy Technologies Despite Lagging Economy

Despite current difficulties in the national economy, most cities surveyed in a new report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said that they have been expanding their clean energy technologies and would continue to grow them over the next five years.

Image courtesy of Earth Infrastructure Ltd.

Cities in the Northeast and South are expecting some of the fastest growth, but nearly all of the 396 cities that participated in the survey are expecting to be “deploying more clean technology in five years than they do currently,” said the report.

The top three most promising choices for energy saving clean technologies by mayors were:

  • LED/efficient lighting technologies. The substantial majority of cities (85 percent) already deploy LED lighting, with plans to increase their use in the future.
  • Approximately 68 percent of cities reported using energy saving building technologies, such as solar technologies; energy-efficient appliances; and pumps.
  • Hybrid vehicles were found by about 40 percent of the cities surveyed as a favorable way of saving energy and carbon emissions.

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