Getting More Water from Less: The New Business Trend in a Hotter, Drier West

By Karen Yacos Director, Water Infrastructure, Ceres The Sonoran desert, where rainfall averages just nine inches per year, may seem like an unlikely place for a high tech company with big water demands to settle. But Chandler, Arizona is precisely where Intel Corporation has chosen to develop its second largest manufacturing facility in the United…

National Seafood Month: An Opportunity to Think About Sustainable Local Ways to Grow Fish

By Joe Hankins, director of the Freshwater Institute, The Conservation Fund October is National Seafood Month. What better time to examine the critical role seafood plays in our global food system? Given that over 90 percent  of U.S. seafood is currently imported, and that twice the current supply will be needed by 2050, there is an urgent…

It’s Time to Stop Pumping Our Poop Directly Into the Ocean

Most folks assume that when they flush their toilet, the local sewage treatment plant will take care of the rest. Unfortunately, during wet weather, this is rarely the case. It’s a plumbing problem: Rainfall rushes down streets into storm drains that empty into pipes shared by the sewage produced by homes and businesses. Within minutes of a downpour, the volume of combined liquid overwhelms sewage treatment plants and millions of gallons of untreated wastewater get vented directly into nearby waterways, contaminating the water with harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and forcing beach and shellfish bed closures in an effort to protect human health.

During my 130+ mile swim from Montauk to New York City, I am calling for a permanent end to the dumping of raw sewage into our waterways. My thinking goes like this: We live in the most technologically-advanced nation on Earth. If we can put people on the moon, split the atom, and build an iPhone, we can find a way to make our waterways safe for swimming every day.

Q&A: Extreme Drought in South Africa’s Kruger National Park: How is Wildlife Faring?

Bone-dry winds are blowing across South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP), uprooting savanna grasses and whirling them like tumbleweeds across a sere landscape. How is the park’s world-renowned wildlife faring in an extreme drought? To find out, I talked with Izak Smit, Science Manager for Systems Ecology at South African National Parks (SANParks), which oversees KNP.…

WHAT THE RIVER KNOWS: Nisqually River, Washington State

Birthed in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington from glacier melt on the southern slope of Mount Rainier, I flow seventy-eight miles into the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and on into Puget Sound, a fast and galloping ride from 14,000 feet down to sea level. I leave the glacier as melt water, with a milky cloudiness made from small particles of rock, minerals, and organic matter picked up and carried in my swift current.

Native Americans and Conservationists Collaborate to Return Vital Flow to the Rio Grande

The first time I saw the channel of the Rio Grande completely dry, I was stunned. Here was the second largest river in the Southwest, which flows through three U.S. states and Mexico, and instead of water between its banks there were tire tracks. And I wasn’t standing at the tail end of the river,…

Swimming 130 Miles to New York City to Prove Importance of Healthy Rivers

Clean Water Advocate and New York Native Christopher Swain has already swum the entire lengths of the Hudson River, the Gowanus Canal, and Newtown Creek. Now the 48-year-old father of two plans to swim more than 130 miles from the easternmost tip of Long Island, to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.  His route includes the entire lengths of…

Islanders Trying To Save Ancestors’ Eternal Resting Place

Residents of North Carolina’s slender, sandy Outer Banks have been wrestling with the sea for centuries. And they know that the sea–the Atlantic Ocean to the east and large sounds to the west–eventually gets its way. About the best they can usually hope for is figuring out a way to accommodate the inevitable. Sometimes, however,…

16 Voices From Standing Rock

“Our hearts pulled us this way, because the next battle after losing our land is truly the fight for water.”–Shirley Romero Otero quoted in the New York Times

U.S. Gov’t Pauses Dakota Access Pipeline Construction on Army Corps Land

While a federal judge earlier today denied the Standing Rock Sioux’s motion to stop work on the Dakota Access pipeline, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Interior, and the Army have put a halt on construction in the area, saying given the “important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations” the Army “will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe” until they have reviewed the issue.

30 Days, 30 Rivers: A Kayaker’s Quest for Adventure & Science

There is such vivid, exultant energy in the kayaking community; how can it be directed to tangible issues? Kayakers are driven to explore, travel, and experience new rivers, but what do we do to help conserve them?

From the Front Lines of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Thousands of Native Americans have gathered on the banks of the Missouri River to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Crossing the river right above their reservation, they fear a spill could ruin their water source and way of life. Young Explorer Corey Robinson went to North Dakota to document protesters occupying construction sites, peacefully preventing construction from continuing.

Catastrophic Declines in Earth’s Wilderness Areas Over the Last 20 Years, Study Finds

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology show catastrophic declines in wilderness areas around the world over the last 20 years, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said today.

“They demonstrate alarming losses comprising a tenth of global wilderness since the 1990s – an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon. The Amazon and Central Africa have been hardest hit,” the New York-based WCS added in a statement released at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.

Standing With Standing Rock and the Right to Clean Water

The Native Americans protesting pipeline construction under the Missouri River care—and shouldn’t we all.

‘Things Shouldn’t Be Like This’: Lingering Effects of Peru’s Jungle Oil Spills

On August 10, the fourth oil spill since the start of 2016 was reported in the Peruvian Amazon. More than 20 similar spills have crippled the region over the past five years.