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New Hope for the Salton Sea

By Michael Cohen, Senior Associate, Pacific Institute The Salton Sea, a vast saltwater lake in remote southeastern California providing crucial habitat for birds and wildlife, is quickly approaching a tipping point. Yet several recent actions give hope the lake could turn a corner in the near future. Just yesterday, California announced the appointment of Bruce…

A World Without Rivers

 I was looking at a river bed And the story it told of a river that flowed Made me sad to think it was dead (From the song “A Horse with No Name” by America) Some of my favorite photographic images are those of the Earth filmed from satellites in space. In those breathtakingly beautiful…

Sustainable Food Production Would End Lake Erie Dead Zones

By Suzy Friedman

Summer fun should include diving into refreshing, clear oceans and lakes. But for communities around the western side of Lake Erie, the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, this tradition is likely to yet again be disrupted by a severe algae bloom. Fortunately, there is good news, and a real change is underway. One of the most exciting solutions isn’t coming from the government, but from our food system itself.

New film captures beauty, mystery of Georgia’s Flint River

“I’m trying to reconnect to something that is older than what we know…It’s just like any wild thing, when you get close to it, it moves away — doesn’t want to be caught, doesn’t want to be dissected. There’s a certain amount of mystery that you need to leave intact.” So says Jimmy Miller in…

As the Gold King Spill Reminds Us, We All Live Downstream

Around this time last year, I was walking the banks of the Animas River in Durango, the southwestern Colorado town blindsided last week when the river turned a sickly yellow-orange from a colossal spill of toxic mine drainage upstream near Silverton. It’s hard to imagine a river more central to a town than the Animas…

What the River Knows: Bagmati River, Nepal

The Bagmati River at Pushupatinath Temple, Katmandu, Nepal

I am clogged with human ash and bits of bone. Garlands of marigolds float on my body as an old monkey watches. I have always borne the remains of the dead, who are taken to the Pashupatinath Temple on my banks near Kathmandu, Nepal, placed on pyres, ignited, and blessed in Hindu ceremonies. The cremated are swept into my murky waters to plod along toward the confluence with the great mother Ganga as I join other tributaries downstream.

Solar Desalination Could be a Game Changer for California Farms

Let’s be clear from the outset: I’m no fan of conventional desalination. The idea of using climate-altering fossil fuels to drive an energy-intensive de-salting process that threatens coastal environments in order to produce drinking water that, in most cases, could be secured more cheaply through conservation and efficiency improvements, simply fails to pass the bar…

How can you eat, eat, eat–and stay healthy? Ask a blind cavefish.

Barbecues and clambakes. Ice cream and berry pies. Summer is the season of food, food and more food. Is there a way to binge and still stay healthy? For answers, look far underground, say scientists, to the denizens of darkness: blind cavefish. Biologists studied blind cavefish, Astyanax mexicanus, living in freshwater pools in deep caves…

Water and Climate Change: Solutions on Washington’s Yakima River

Daily headlines are driving home the fact that climate change is hitting rivers and water supplies first and worst. But too often, the narrative devolves into a debate over the false choice of “fish vs farms,” highlighted in this recent NPR interview.  So where is the path forward?  How do we meet all of our…

With One-Third of Largest Aquifers Highly Stressed, It’s Time to Explore and Assess the Planet’s Groundwater

Imagine if your bank statement arrived each month and told you how much money you had withdrawn and deposited, but told you nothing about how much money you had at the beginning or end of the month. You’d know whether your balance had grown or shrunk, but you’d have no idea whether you could afford…

Ten Photos of Great White Sharks to Take Your Breath Away

Photographing and watching great white sharks for more than 20 years gives Chris and Monique Fallows front row seats on the amazing behavior, interactions, and secrets of these formidable predators that few people see. In this post they select ten of their favorite photos of great whites of the past two decades, describing the electric moment when each one was made, when all the conditions for a great picture came together as determined predator burst from the water in a violent chase of their agile prey.

What’s Lurking in Europe’s Freshwater?

An adventurer took water samples to test for microplastics while traveling through Slovenia and Italy—and the results are in.

What the River Knows: Virgin River, Utah

I flow out of a cave at 9,000 feet elevation near Navajo Lake at Cascade Falls, Utah, descend toward Lake Mead at 1,000 feet, and empty into the Colorado River. The length of the Virgin River is 180 miles, however I am only the 33-mile stretch of the North Fork.

Flood Carries River Monsters Onto the Land

The Texas floods provided an unusual reminder that our buildings and byways are a very recent arrival to this ancient landscape.

The “Sixth Extinction” Adds Urgency to Habitat and Climate Protection

It’s now unequivocal: the sixth great spasm of species extinctions has begun.   We – homo sapiens – are its cause. And only we can slow it down. Over the last century, the average rate of loss of vertebrate species — fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals – has been up to 100 times higher than…