T.J. Pignataro, The Buffalo News
print logo

T.J. Pignataro - 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).


The state Department of Environmental Conservation is casting about for ways to improve trout fishing across the Buffalo Niagara region and hopes for insights from local anglers. DEC fisheries officials will ask anglers for feedback about the state's management of the trout fishery. The DEC will provide an overview about how the state manages its trout streams and re…

If you’re looking for more wildlife at Ellicott Creek Park, a restored shoreline will soon be the spot to head for. Turtles, mink, frogs, ducks, birds and fish are finding their way to a 442-foot stretch of Ellicott Creek where Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s latest shoreline project has started to come together. “Life thrives where the water meets the land,” s…

Five times this century, the mercury has soared to 80 degrees in Buffalo on game day. The sixth is forecast this Sunday when the second-place Buffalo Bills host the Denver Broncos at 1 p.m. at New Era Field in Orchard Park. The National Weather Service calls for sunny skies and a high of 85 degrees. The weather service forecast shows a kickoff temperature of 8…

Fall begins in Buffalo at 4:02 p.m. Friday. But this week will feel a lot more like July. Daytime temperatures in the 80s are expected every day through next Sunday, except for a high of 78 degrees on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service forecast. AccuWeather, which projects forecasts out even further, calls for temperatures to stay in the 70s …

Ospreys don't have a gavel or enforcement power like a federal judge, but they can build a nest. Even at Tonawanda Coke. That's just what state environmental officials said happened on an abandoned crane at this industrial site, a spot that become synonymous with pollution after a judge fined Tonawanda Coke $24 million for a 2014 conviction for environmental crimes. …

A scavenger hunt, demonstrations from a K-9 "detector dog" and Smokey Bear will be at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Cheektowaga Saturday for its 17th annual Fall Festival. In all, 25 different organizations will be on hand with interactive exhibits with outdoor adventure themes, including the Penn Dixie Fossil Park, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Buffa…

Amherst residents who think the former site of Westwood Country Club should stay green can state their case Monday to the Amherst Town Board. A public hearing on a draft environmental impact statement is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Amherst Town Hall, 5583 Main St., Williamsville. Mensch Capital's proposed $250 million project, which requires rezoning more than 141 acres …

Not long ago, bald eagles in Buffalo only appeared on postage stamps, and the blue heron was just a popular music festival. Then came restoration work along the Niagara River. Now, eagles and herons are commonly seen in a short stretch of the river from Strawberry Island to Grand Island. So, too, are egrets, osprey, cormorants, kingfishers, terns, turtles, mink, r…

A cartooned crab from a late 1980s Walt Disney musical sang about happy fish “under the sea." As it turns out, some fish in the Niagara River may be happy because of anti-depressants, according to new research by scientists from the University at Buffalo and SUNY Buffalo State. The study showed common bass and walleye in the Niagara River were found to be laced wit…

Reviving alewife numbers in Lake Ontario was the aim of a 20 percent reduction in chinook salmon and lake trout stocking by the U.S. and Canada this year. A recent survey revealed populations of the alewife, which is the primary food for chinook salmon, showed "a strong first step toward recovery," according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC …

The Greenland ice sheet is melting and about four dozen of the world’s leading scientists came to Buffalo this week to figure out its stability. Climatologists, geologists, glaciologists and other Greenland experts sequestered themselves on the second-floor of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site for a two-day workshop held by the University at Buffalo and the Nation…

For the 32nd year, volunteers on Saturday will collect trash and debris from the beaches of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario during the annual Great Lakes Beach Sweep. Those who can spare two hours between 10 a.m. and noon will help clean up the shoreline of plastic bottles, balloons and other items. More help is needed, according to Sharen Trembath, the Lake Erie coordinator…

A project aimed to beautify, capture stormwater and keep beaches open more often during the summer is underway at Evans Town Park. The project establish  new bioswayles and rain gardens with native plants at the town park on the shores of Lake Erie. Heavy equipment was on site this week moving earth as construction began. Town officials said the green infrast…

Doritex Corp., an Alden-based uniform supplier, expects to pay an estimated $1 million over the next 30 years to clean up a contaminated Genesee Street dry cleaning site where the company owner’s father got his start in 1955, Doritex announced Wednesday. The former Doro’s Dry Cleaners site in the 3400 block of Genesee Street, near a Union Road shopping plaza and a …

It's open season on Canada geese in upstate New York. The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced that this year's goose hunting season will run through Sept. 25. It began Friday. "New York is home to more than 200,000 resident Canada geese, and the September seasons are designed to allow recreational hunters the most opportunity allowed by federal h…