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How Smarter Irrigation Might Save Rare Mussels and Ease a Water War

Casey Cox, who hails from a family with five generations of farming history along the Flint River in the southeastern U.S. state of Georgia, never expected to come back home. She’d graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a natural resources degree. A big thinker, Cox could have taken her desire to make…

In Canada’s Boreal Forest, ‘The Land That Gives Life’ Inspires a Push for Protection

A couple works to win UNESCO recognition to help save the vast wilderness of Pimachiowin Aki and preserve a culture’s link to the Earth  For millennia, the Anishinaabe people of the Poplar River First Nation, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, have called the boreal forest that surrounds and sustains them Pimachiowin Aki: The Land…

Seeps to Swimming Pools: Water In Nevada’s Desert

“All my friends told me not to film with you. But whatever,” Hank grumbles. Hank Vogler, a Nevada sheep rancher, is in the fight of his life to protect his water rights from being snatched up by a distant city, laying waste to all he has created. Hank has spent over 40 years here in…

Conservation of Ancient Fishes: Reintroducing the Alligator Gar; and What About Those Carp?

Posted by Dr. Solomon David, research associate at Shedd Aquarium. Gars and bowfin have been around since the dinosaurs; in fact, they’ve outlasted them. More recently, however, a modern creature has threatened these ancient fishes: humans. Misunderstood and much-maligned, these fishes were targets of eradication efforts for more than a century (1). Now, perceptions of these…

Earth Overshoot Day Arrives Earlier Than Ever

Earth Overshoot Day 2016: August 8

As of today, we humans have used as much from nature in 2016 as our planet can renew in a whole year. Nothing will seem to change for many of us between today and tomorrow, but collectively we are draining Earth’s capacity to provide. Overshoot Day is a red light warning of trouble ahead — and it is flashing five days earlier than it did last year (Aug. 13); eleven days earlier than the year before (Aug.19).

Working Together: Research and Water Governance on Mount Kenya

By Kate Weiss, The National Socio–Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) Environmental social scientist Jampel Dell’Angelo and filmmaker Matteo Dell’Angelo recently co-directed a documentary film of Elinor Ostrom’s last research project. Working Together documents the challenges and successes of interdisciplinary research on smallholder climate adaptation and community water governance in semi-arid areas. The study found that involvement…

What the River Knows: Nisqually River, Washington State

Photographs by Basia Irland 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…

Urgent Global Action Needed to Stop Extinction of Earth’s Last Megafauna

A swift and global conservation response is needed to prevent the world’s gorillas, lions, tigers, rhinos, and other iconic terrestrial megafauna from being lost forever, an influential group of international scientists reported today in the journal BioScience.

Their analysis, entitled Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna, covers the precipitous loss of large animal populations around the globe. The report included a 13-point declaration by 43 scientists and conservationists calling for acknowledgement that a “business as usual” mentality will result in massive species extinction. Read the declaration and study the maps showing the global decline of big land animals.

Palmetto Pipeline: An Eminent Problem

I hop off the boat into a horde of red-white-and-blue-clad 4th of July revelers. Looking back at the mighty Savannah River, I see a half dozen children playing in the water, with two sets of alligator eyeballs cresting the water thirty feet or so beyond. “What’s going on here,” I ask Tonya, my guide and…

Two Arizona Vineyards Give Back to a River through a Voluntary Water Exchange

In an effort to stem the depletion of groundwater and keep Arizona’s prized Verde River flowing, two vineyards are buying water credits through a new exchange designed to balance the basin’s water use for the good of the river and the local economy. Launched last week by the not-for-profit Friends of Verde River Greenway, the…

Water, Wildlife and Hope: Rejuvenating a Kogi Sacred Site

After years of planning, designing, acquiring materials, developing infrastructure, laying and burying 1,200 meters of pipe, and testing water quality and functionality, the seemingly impossible was achieved: for Colombia’s Kogi people, and their related tribes who rely on Jaba Tañiwashkaka, a historically sacred site, an aqueduct that provides access to water for crop irrigation and potable water for consumption is now in place. And thanks to a determined site restoration effort, alligators, nutria, and capybara are only a few of the animals now seen in a wetland previously largely devoid of wildlife.

Duplin County: Life Under the Waste Sprayer

Duplin County, North Carolina is the epicenter for industrial swine production in the United States. Housing an estimated 2.2 million hogs, this dot on the map shoulders more than its fair share of the world’s swine production load. I showed up last summer to film the stories of those trying to protect the water, land,…

What the River Knows: Portneuf River, Pocatello, Idaho

Photographs by Basia Irland (unless otherwise noted) I flood. That is what I — and all my cousins — do from time to time. It is part of our rhythm. In their hubris, humans build cities and towns right on our banks, then get upset with us when our waters rise and destroy some of…

Kayakers Explore Alaska’s Newly Revealed Class V Gorge

Imagine being dropped off by a tiny bush plane into a remote wilderness, knowing you are about to brave the biggest challenge you have ever faced. Todd Wells did just that when he led an exploratory kayaking expedition into the heart of the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska. He and his team members were only able…

Securing Good Drinking Water: Footing the Bill to Fix Nature

By Daniel Moss

When a relentless sun parches the landscape and dries water sources to a dangerous and unhealthy trickle, who’s supposed to pay the repair bill?