Environment, Technology

New York’s Use of Drones To Help the Environment

Supported by Ara Chackerian

New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (the DEC) has employed the use of drones to help officials keep an eye on what’s going on in the environment. Recently, the DEC utilized their drone force to help with hurricane recovery efforts in both Texas as well as Puerto Rico. The DEC expects the use of drones in their field will make it easier to address oil spills (like the one that occured in a wetland in Staten Island), locate forest fires, determine geo-mapping related to groundwater quality, monitor traffic, survey coastal erosion and manage wildlife habitation, like helping officials find well-hidden bat hibernation colonies, for instance. The specific drone that was used to identify underground bat colonies in New York state had a thermal sensor attached, as hibernation sites “emit relatively warm air”.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, 22 drones are currently monitoring the entire state of New York. They have been instrumental in helping environmentalists preserve our natural surroundings.