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Let’s Change our Water Story

Our human story has always been a water story. The earliest civilizations developed and grew along rivers – from the Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East, to the Nile in Egypt, to the Yellow River in China. Rivers have been the lifelines for the growth and evolution of societies, providing the essentials of food,…

What the River Knows: Ping River

Maenam Ping, Chiang Mai, Thailand–On the night of the twelfth lunar month during the full moon at the end of the rainy season, communities gather along my banks to pay homage to me, and my water spirits. They thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha (พระแม่คงคา), which is the Thai form of Ganga, the Hindu goddess of the holy Ganges River, India. It is also a way to beg forgiveness for polluting and abusing me during the past year.

Our next Wild and Scenic Rivers

Seven rivers in five states are closer to permanent protection today, thanks to a package of bills that passed the House in the National Defense Authorization Act. From Delaware’s White Clay Creek (the site of a recent dam removal), to Oregon’s River Styx (the first underground river protected in the national Wild and Scenic Rivers…

Traditional Fishing With Poison Deployed for Science

By Emma Marris

A traditional fishing technique has been incorporated into a scientific study of the fish of the Amazon basin.

Rivers Need a Thorough Health Exam

Rivers are the blue arteries of the Earth. Their flows deliver sediment and nutrients to floodplains, deltas and coastal zones, some of the most biologically productive ecosystems on the planet.  They connect and sustain the web of life. So it might be surprising that globally we don’t systematically monitor their health.  Imagine damming and diverting…

September 21, 2014: Living At Sea for 3 Years, Uncovering The Largest Ever Carnivore and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they live on the world’s oceans for three years, create the largest marine protected area, road trip down a historical highway, protect power grids from hackers, eat our way through Rome, find the world’s meanest dinosaur ever, tear down dams, spy on cats, and teach our kids to be wild again.

What’s a Fishing Spider? Behind the Arachnid Trending on Facebook

Freshwater Species of the Week: Fishing Spider

When the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources posted on its Facebook page that giant fishing spiders had been spotted around the state the news was shared more than 10,000 times. More than 2,000 comments were received, including from people posting their own images of the arachnids. Many posters expressed concern and abhorrence. But these are amazing animals with super powers, able to walk or sail with the wind on water, and they can haul up aquatic animals five times their weight.

Sarufutsu River “Jumping” with Itou Salmon, Researchers Report

In the field of conservation, we are often faced with the question “Is a certain species or population secure?”  As I mentioned in my earlier blog this year, it is not an easy question to answer, particularly for river fishes that are elusive by nature.  However, I am happy to report we are making substantial…

White House Announces New Climate Change Initiatives

The White House on Wednesday announced executive actions to help states and communities build their resilience to more intense storms, high heat, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change. The actions, which involve several federal agencies, were among the recommendations by the president’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. “…Climate…

The Colorado River Flows to the Sea

This week, the Colorado River will be reunited with the sea – a destination it hasn’t seen in many years – thanks to the “pulse flow.” Scientists monitoring the flow expect the two waters to meet sometime tomorrow, during high tide, but it’s actually possible that the river reached the sea last week, as we…

Two New Snapping Turtle Species Named

The alligator snapping turtle, the biggest freshwater turtle in North America, is actually three species, a new study says.

Tracking the World’s Largest Salmon With Sonar

  Onishibetsu, Japan – I’ve learned to be patient.  A skill honed as an obsessed fly fisherman years ago. Lately, though, I don’t use a rod and reel to stalk fish.  The challenge of “catching” them with sonar I find much more gratifying.  Consider it the most benign form of “catch and release.” I’m in a…

Cleaning Up Maryland’s Little Falls Branch Creek

By Jo Dickison April 12th was a perfect day for a creek cleanup event. The morning air was crisp and the Little Falls Branch Creek in suburban Maryland was sparkling in the warm spring sun. The stream cleanup is an annual event hosted by the Westmoreland Hills Garden Club, Montgomery County Parks M-NCPPC (Maryland-National Capital Park…

Nature Responds to Colorado River Delta Pulse Flow

The Colorado River has been flowing in its delta for more than three weeks, thanks to a cooperative effort by the United States and Mexico to deliver a “pulse flow” of water. The pulse flow is meant to mimic – albeit at a small scale – the spring floods that historically inundated the delta and…

Update From Colorado River Delta: A Community Gets its River Back

For more than two weeks, the Colorado River has been flowing in its delta, through more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) of recently bone-dry river channel choked with desert scrub.  The flow is all too brief, lasting only eight weeks in all.  The United States and Mexico are demonstrating how a “pulse flow” of water…