• Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act Takes Effect on September 29, 2010

    On August 31, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed into law the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, which is intended to address sprawl by requiring certain state agencies to approve, undertake and fund infrastructure projects in a manner that is consistent with smart growth principles. The new legislation will affect a variety of projects throughout the state. The Act is codified as new Article 6 of the Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") and will become effective on September 29, 2010. >> Read the Full Article
  • How to Save the Wild Tiger

    Tigers, like most big cats of the world, are in retreat. In the past, tigers were found all throughout Asia, from the Caspian Sea to Siberia and Indonesia. Now they occupy only six percent of their former range. In the last decade alone, tiger-occupied area has decreased by 41 percent. Despite decades of conservation initiatives, the number of tigers in the wild is at an all-time low. According to a new study from an international team of researchers, efforts should be concentrated on a few key sites in order to save the species from extinction. >> Read the Full Article
  • Turtles in trouble

    More than a third of the world's 280 freshwater turtle species are threatened with extinction, according to a new analysis by Conservation International (CI). CI's latest assessment, undertaken as part of World Water Week, explains that the catastrophic decline of the world's freshwater turtles is primarily being caused by the unsustainable harvesting of turtles and their eggs for food, and for the lucrative pet trade. >> Read the Full Article
  • Indigenous tribes, ranchers team to battle Amazon fires

    Facing the worst outbreak of forest fires in three years, cattle ranchers and indigenous tribesmen in the southern Amazon have teamed up to extinguish nearly two dozen blazes over the past three months, offering hope that new alliances between long-time adversaries could help keep deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon on a downward trajectory. The voluntary fire brigades, which have now spent more than 400 hours battling fires, are the product of partnership between Aliança da Terra, a Brazilian nonprofit working to improve land stewardship by cattle ranchers in the heart of the Amazon; Kayapó and Xavante Indians; local authorities; and the U.S. Forest Service. >> Read the Full Article
  • Could Eucalyptus Trees be the Kudzu of the 2010s?

    There was a time in the South when planting kudzu was not viewed as botanical vandalism, but as a community-spirited gesture. The vine, imported from Asia, was intended to control erosion and provide forage for livestock. Some things just don't work out. >> Read the Full Article
  • Largest North American Amphibian Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection

    COLUMBIA, Mo.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed listing the Ozark hellbender as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The Ozark hellbender is a rare salamander only found in rivers and streams in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. This salamander is strictly aquatic and can grow to nearly two feet long. >> Read the Full Article
  • Potomac River Vegetation Showing Strong Signs of Recovery

    The Potomac, which runs through the heart of the United States Capital, has suffered centuries of environmental degradation. Water quality has declined steadily as more humans have populated its watershed. However, according to new research, the river is beginning to benefit from restoration efforts that have improved water clarity and reduced nutrient overload. The result has been a ten-fold increase in native submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). This SAV consists of plant life below the water surface which is an important habitat for fish and other marine life. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ecuador's tallest waterfall to be destroyed by Chinese dam

    San Rafael Falls, Ecuador's tallest waterfall, is threatened by a Chinese-funded hydroelectric project, reports Save America's Forests, an environmental group. The 1,500 megawatt Coca-Codo Sinclair Hydroelectric Project will divert water flow away from the 480-foot San Rafael Falls, leaving it "high and dry." Worse, the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2016, will put pressure on the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, an area renowned for its biodiversity... >> Read the Full Article
  • How to save the reefs

    The world should safeguard coral reefs with networks of small no-fishing zones to confront threats such as climate change, and shift from favoring single, big protected areas, a U.N. study showed. "People have been creating marine protected areas for decades. Most of them are totally ineffective," Peter Sale, a leader of the study at the U.N. University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health, told Reuters. "You need a network of protected areas that functions well," he said. "It's important to get away from single protected areas which has been the common approach." Fish and larvae of marine creatures can swim or be carried large distances, even from large protected areas. >> Read the Full Article
  • Top Climate Skeptic Reverses Course, Now Urges Bold Action

    Bjørn Lomborg may not be a household name around here, but that's through no fault of his. In November 2001, this Danish environmental author and economics professor was selected "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. Controversy may as well have been his middle name, especially after his book The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World came out in 2001. However, Lomborg has a new book entitled Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits in which he proposes an aggressive $100 billion annual fund specifically targeting global warming solutions... >> Read the Full Article