Gregg Rivara, Aquaculture Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension. (Courtesy of Friends of Bellport Bay)

Not Always as Happy as a Clam: The Cultural Clashes Underpinning Long Island’s Shellfishing Industry

The year is 1686. King James II looks on anxiously from his plushy throne in England as his New York colonial subjects become increasingly unruly. To tighten his grip on the settlers and quell whispers of rebellion, he appoints Thomas Dongan, a Royalist military officer, to govern the New York territory and issue decrees known as Dongan Patents for the creation of trustee-run towns across the royal province. One of these towns was Long Island’s Town of Brookhaven. A key proclamation in the Dongan Patent states that the town and its residents would have collective jurisdiction over the natural resources of the area, including “the tracts and necks of lands, gardens, pastures, woods, trees and marshes,” as well as swamps, beaches, harbors and importantly, the seafloor.

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BERNSTEIN | During (and After) the pandemic, Greek Life Needs to be More Environmentally Sustainable

Greek Life, already, is unsustainable environmentally. Overuse of plastics and metal cans combined with poor recycling practices is disastrous for sustainability. And COVID-19 isn’t making these problems any easier to solve. Did you know that Solo Cups aren’t recyclable? They’re made of polystyrene, which is a number 6 type plastic that also appears in styrofoam products.

Karsten Moran / The New York Times

Food Ethics | Ethiopian Avocados

During my six-month sojourn in Ethiopia, I had the joy of working with an nongovernmental organization (NGO) by the name of the Ethiopian Education Foundation and living in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Every morning at 7 a.m., the managers and I maneuvered around the hostel making sure our students were prepared for class; breakfast, consisting of bread and bananas, was eaten and the usual suspects attempting to play hooky were dealt with. After a chaotic morning of fifty students eating, clamoring and readying themselves for class, I was free. The students left by 7:40 a.m. and I was out the door by 7:41. I twisted and twirled down the unpaved streets of the residential neighborhood surrounding our hostel.

Plastic carryout bags are now banned from distribution in New York State.

How helpful is New York’s Plastic Bag Ban?

New York State put into effect a new plastic bag ban on March 1 that aims to reduce high levels of plastic consumption and mitigate environmental hazards, such as water and air pollution from plastic disposal. The new ban prohibits any distribution of plastic bags by any establishment that collects New York State tax unless it is an exempt bag — bags used for pharmacy prescriptions or produce bags used for fruits and vegetables. Although many states like New York have policies in place to limit the overuse of single-use plastics, the production of plastic still continues to be a looming issue. It is projected that by 2028, the mass production of plastics will increase by more than 40 percent. “Until we are talking about limiting plastic production, we still are going to be pushing the problem around into different places without really addressing what’s going on here,” said Ph.D. student Bethany Jorgensen, department of natural resources.

Coffee beans at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort in Alajuela, Costa Rica on Oct. 23, 2019. (Toh Gouttenoire/The New York Times)

Caffeine Dependents Take Heed: Bring Your Own Mug

I never leave home without my phone, wallet, keys, water bottle and coffee mug. Those last two items have become essentials on campus. Before I left for college, I was gifted a fourteen-ounce stainless steel carafe by my mom, who supported my coffee consumption. As soon as I set foot on campus a year and a half ago, I began drinking coffee almost daily. According to an article in The New York Times, coffee in moderation is associated with lowered risk of mortality and was included in the 2015 dietary guidelines as part of a healthy diet.

Pg-6-Science-via-NYTimes

The Carbon Footprint of Your February Break Travels

Every year, Cornellians travel around the country and world to get away from the cold of Ithaca for a couple days during February break. Unfortunately, by emitting greenhouse gases, traveling by car, plane or bus can contribute to climate change — with America’s transportation alone responsible for almost 30 percent of all global warming emissions in the US.

As students flock back to campus from various destinations, Prof. Danielle Eiseman, communication, weighed in on the most sustainable methods for traveling.

A cow, wearing a sensor that signals to robots when its time for milking, ambles towards a milking machine at the Kalm dairy farm in Ebetsu, on Hokkaido, Japan, Nov. 7, 2019. (Noriko Hayashi/The New York Times)

Food Ethics | The New Cash Cow: How Solar Can Save Dairy Farms

Borden Dairy Co., one of America’s oldest and largest dairy companies, on January 6, became the second major milk producer to file for bankruptcy in the last three months after Dean Foods, America’s largest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy in November. Borden Dairy says that tumbling milk consumption combined with the rising price of milk crippled them with debt. In addition to these two large bankruptcies in the dairy industry, more than 2,700 small-and-mid-size family dairy farms went out of business last year and 94,000 have stopped producing milk since 1992. Consumption has been dropping steadily, with overall sales falling by 13% in the last decade. It seems that many Americans are moving on from cow milk.