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Tag archives for water quality

Winter Road Salt – the Next Acid Rain? – May Threaten Adirondack “Queen of American Lakes”

Tendrils of fog curl above the waters of the Queen of American Lakes, as Lake George in New York’s Adirondack Mountains is known.  Biting winds gusted out of the northwest yesterday, and an early snow is forecast for tomorrow.  But for this one afternoon in late fall, cold winds fetching across slate-gray waves have gone…

Stop that Cow: When Ecuadoran Cities Organize to Protect Water Supplies

Arturo Quevedo, the engineer responsible for the watershed protection program for Loja, Ecuador’s municipal water agency, has a kind demeanor. His slightly crooked front teeth are prominent beneath his moustache as he waxes ebullient about clean water percolating through forested slopes, coursing through pipes, and hydrating Loja’s children. But don’t let the gentle, nature-lover exterior fool you. As tender as he is with the landscape, he is equally fierce in sniffing out water-polluting scum.

Wetlands Do Triple Duty in a Changing Climate

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Restoration of natural infrastructure like freshwater wetlands should become a key piece of our national climate change adaptation strategy.

Fracking’s Threats to Drinking Water Call for a Precautionary Approach

At least one aspect of fracking’s risks to drinking water became a little clearer this week. A study led by Rob Jackson of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that drinking water wells located within 1 kilometer of a shale gas well…

Harmful Algae Blooms Plague Lake Erie Again

Seeing the photos from the record-breaking algal bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 was like déjà vu for me. I grew up in the Great Lakes region in the 1960s and 1970s and remember the days when Lake Erie was declared “dead.” I later learned that the green scum that plagued the lake during summer…

Newtown Creek: The Unseen Stream That Keeps New York City Flowing

Text and Photos by Gloria Dawson Riverkeeper’s patrol boat glides along Newtown Creek in New York City. Like a cruise ship captain leading a voyage through environmental hell, Phillip Musegaas points out oil slicks, the sewage treatment plant, and the huge pipes where raw sewage flows into the creek every time it rains. He notes…

Counting Water Bugs for Rocky Mountain BioBlitz

Tiny bugs called macro-invertebrates help make freshwater ecosystems tick, and as a team of volunteers found out at Lily Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, they’re diverse, abundant and just plain cool little creatures. Rachel Harrington, a freshwater ecologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, led the BioBlitz volunteers in identifying the water…

Leaf Packs Help Measure Water Quality

  We recently covered the expedition to Peru by the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER) to measure water quality along the new Transoceanic Highway, which will cross South America from east to west when finished. The ACEER team has been using stream surveys and leaf packs developed by the Stroud Water Research…