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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.

What the River Knows: Amstel River at Amsterdam, Netherlands

Photographs by Basia Irland My name, Amstel, is derived from the old Dutch, Aeme-stelle, which means “water area.” In the 13th Century, a small fishing village, Amstelredam, was constructed near my mouth beside a dam. Today we know that town as Amsterdam. As early as the 11th Century, farmers began building dikes to try and…

DOD Tests Environmentally Friendly Motor Oil

By Sarah Martin and Annie Reisewitz The Department of Defense is taking action to be an environmental leader at defense facilities across the U.S. Currently, the DOD, headed by the Defense Logistics Agency, is testing the use of biosynthetic motor oils on their non-tactical vehicle fleets. Several environmentally friendly lubricants companies have supplied bio-based motor oil…

The New Generation of Dory Guides – Idaho’s Wild Rivers

“They’re the pinnacle, they’re what everyone wants to row out here,” Trevor tells me as he loads up his first dory. We’re on the Salmon River in central Idaho, packing up for a six-day float through the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. I cut my teeth guiding on this river, and I couldn’t…

Industrial Chemicals Accumulating in America’s Alligators and Africa’s Crocodiles

The latest warning light from the environment: Long-lived industrial and household chemical compounds associated with liver toxicity and reduced fertility have been found at detectable levels in the blood of both American alligators and South African crocodiles populating waterways a third of the globe apart. Two studies are first-of-their-kind examinations of PFAA levels in these “sentinel” reptile species, which the researchers say are especially useful for investigating the impacts of long-lived chemicals in the environment. PFAAs (perfluorinated alkyl acids) have been used in products that include water-repellent clothes, stain repellents, waxes, nonstick pans and fire-suppressing foams.