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A Market-Based Strategy for Sustainable Water Management

By Brian Richter, Chief Scientist, Water, The Nature Conservancy Australia is one of the driest inhabited places on Earth. Yet nearly two-thirds of the country’s land area is devoted to agriculture, generating 93 percent of the domestic food supply. The country is only able to sustain this level of food production through irrigation and an…

This Decade’s Most Important Climate Solution

By Justin Adams, Global Managing Director for Lands at The Nature Conservancy “A geo-engineering solution, but without any of the risk.” That’s how Jeff Seabright, Unilever’s Chief Sustainability Officer, described nature’s role in carbon mitigation at the Business & Climate Summit 2016 in London. We all know meeting the world’s new commitment to limit global…

It’s Catching, If You’re a Clam: Infectious Cancer Spreading in Soft-Shell Clams, Other Mollusks

It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: Malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.” Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated populations of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) along the east coast of…

Lessons on Fish Migration Crucial for Protecting Communities, Livelihoods and Food

By Giulio Boccaletti, Global Managing Director for Water at The Nature Conservancy and Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy One day in 2014 a female eel set off from Nova Scotia on a long and hazardous journey to her spawning grounds. This was no ordinary eel.  Scientists had released her with…

Fish Run Through It: The Importance of Maintaining and Reconnecting Free-Flowing Rivers

By Jeff Opperman, Director and Lead Scientist, Great Rivers Program, The Nature Conservancy Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.  – Norman Maclean This sparse sentence by Norman Maclean comprises some of the most beautiful words written about rivers in the English language. It captures how rivers serve as living…

The Stunning Ways Driftwood Builds Landscapes

Rivers and lakes were constructing with lumber long, long before people (or beavers) ever had the idea.

Additional Reading About Driftwood

By Natalie Kramer Anderson   This list of additional articles about driftwood and its role in the environment accompanies my recent blog post “The Stunning Ways Driftwood Builds Landscapes“. Driftwood Research Articles Kramer, Natalie, and Ellen Wohl. “Driftcretions: The legacy impacts of driftwood on shoreline morphology.” Geophysical Research Letters (2015). Wohl Ellen. “Of wood and rivers: bridging the perception…

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…

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.

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.

A Day to Celebrate the Diversity of Life

Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity, a day to celebrate the amazing richness of life that shares this planet with us. Though we rarely think about it, it’s the behind-the-scenes work of bugs and birds, fish and frogs, flowers and trees, and micro-organisms of every stripe that keep earth humming and the landscape…

America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2015

Rivers are the veins and arteries of our communities. They give us clean drinking water and are the lifeblood of the ecosystems that sustain us all. But our rivers face many threats, and that is why every year American Rivers reports on America’s Most Endangered Rivers®. The list sounds the alarm about rivers facing urgent…

What the River Knows: Kamo River, Japan

In Japanese I am called Kamo-gawa, (kanji compound 鴨川).

Translated from the kanji my name means “wild duck,” and “gawa” is river. Not only ducks, but also a large variety of birds wade in my shallow waters in search of their next meal. Herons and egrets wait patiently as they stalk their food.

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.