T.J. Pignataro, The Buffalo News
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T.J. Pignataro

Editor - Buffalo, NY

Environment Reporter for The Buffalo News since 2013. News Staff Reporter since 1998. Previous beat assignments included suburban coverage in WNY and the News' bureau at Buffalo Police HQ. Former staff reporter at the Altoona Mirror (1997-98) and Dunkirk Observer (1995-97), and assistant news director at WBTA-1490, Batavia (1994-95).

Northerly winds will generate increased waves over Lake Ontario Friday and Friday night and could result in more shoreline flooding, the National Weather Service said. The weather service posted another lakeshore flood watch from 7 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday for shoreline communities in Niagara, Orleans, Monroe and Wayne counties. Wave heights are expected to…

Fido might love taking a dip or a sip from ponds, lakes or streams. But, if they're tainted with hazardous blue-green algae, it could be deadly. That's why New York Sea Grant and the State Parks system collaborated to issue a fact sheet and a brochure to help dog owners educate themselves about the dangers of harmful algal blooms. "Dogs can be particularly susce…

Almost 23 Olympic-sized swimming pools of contaminated soil are being excavated and hauled away for disposal from a remediation project in the shadow of the Father Baker Bridge. A few weeks ago, work on the $7.4 million project started on the 20-acre parcel at the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, which motorists on Route 5 see on the north side of the Union Ship Canal. …

The largest number of wild turkey flocks in 15 years was counted across New York State by citizen volunteers last August. The state Department of Environmental Conservation hopes to build on that success when the 2017 Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey starts next Tuesday. Interested citizens are encouraged to record observations of wild turkey in August as a way to …

Hazardous blue-green algae appeared this week for the first time this summer in western Lake Erie, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An agency bulletin published late Monday showed that the existing bloom extends from Maumee Bay near Toledo up the lake's western shore into Michigan and then past Cedar Point, Ohio. A second bloom in San…

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper will celebrate its accomplishments and chart its course for the future at its annual fundraising event next month aboard the USS Little Rock. The event is scheduled to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 31. "With over two dozen remediation projects completed or active this year, nearly 20 tons of litter removed, and over 2,000 active volunteers…

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter beamed pictures back to Earth last month showing an image that looks a lot like the waterfalls in the Cataract City. But here's the difference: Instead of water, it's a flow of molten lava. NASA named the image the "Niagara Falls of Mars." The three-dimensional image taken from the orbiter's camera shows the rim of a crater abou…

Lake Ontario's southern shoreline is about to get swamped again. The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning for Niagara, Orleans, Monroe and Wayne counties from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday. "The combination of high lake levels and wave action may worsen flooding in low-lying areas along the Lake Ontario shoreline," the weather service statement said. …

It’s been a frustrating summer for those who want to swim at Woodlawn State Park. Erie County health officials banned swimming 38 out of 56 days because their forecast models predicted poor water quality. What’s more annoying? On at least 22 of those days, the water turned out better than forecast and was safe for swimming. “Something’s happening and all of u…

Labatt USA's decision to join with Buffalo Niagara River and adopt the cleanup of Buffalo River corridor as a voluntary corporate project is elemental. The first ingredient in Labatt Blue's pilsner is water. Labatt and Riverkeeper will join forces four times over the next four months on community cleanup and restoration events in Buffalo, including Saturday at Seneca…

Crews have cleared invasive plants and dead trees along the Buffalo River shoreline near the Buffalo Motor & Generator Corp. on Ohio Street. The habitat restoration project seeks to restore about 240 feet of shoreline in the nearly one-quarter acre stretch along the river. "Over the last week, crews have cleared four dumpsters worth of invasive plant materials an…

It looks like toxic blue-green algae has returned to Red House Lake at Allegany State Park. A suspicious small localized algal bloom was spotted Friday, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The visual report has not yet been confirmed by a laboratory sample. The lake is one of seven lakes or other bodies of water across the state ad…

A Holland landowner used a gasoline storage tank to devise a makeshift culvert in a protected trout stream, the state's environmental conservation department reported. The discovery was made late last month by state Environmental Conservation Officer Mark Mazurkiewicz and members of the DEC's fisheries staff. Authorities found the landowner cut the ends off of a 2,00…

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey crews will take to the upper Niagara River, lower Buffalo River and Cattaraugus Creek later this month to estimate the numbers of invasive sea lamprey in those waters, the federal agency reported today. The survey will be done between July 25 and Aug. 3. "The information gathered will be used to determine the need for sea lamprey…