• 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
  • France to Have 3,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2015

    According to Agence France Presse (AFP), the French government will launch next month a tender for contracts of 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion) to build 3,000 MW of offshore wind capacity. 600 wind turbines will be implemented within five to ten sites in Normandy, Brittany and the regions of Pays de la Loire and Languedoc. They are scheduled to start producing electricity by 2015. >> Read the Full Article
  • NOAA Reopens More than 4,000 Square Miles of Closed Gulf Fishing Area

    Today NOAA reopened 4,281 square miles of Gulf waters off western Louisiana to commercial and recreational fishing. The reopening was announced after consultation with FDA and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states. On July 18, NOAA data showed no oil in the area. Light sheen was observed on July 29, but none since. Trajectory models show the area is at a low risk for future exposure to oil, and fish caught in the area and tested by NOAA experts have shown no signs of contamination. >> Read the Full Article