Levees have huge environmental and human impacts, but are often neglected by news media until disaster strikes. The NLD should make reporting both routine and crisis stories a lot easier. The bad news is that after several years of work by the Corps, only a small fraction of all the levees in the US have been entered into the database.
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Wetland acreage in the US declined during 2004-2009, reversing a slightly positive trend of net wetland gains during 1998-2004, according to the latest assessment from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, released Oct. 6, 2011.
US EPA, under a court-ordered deadline of Oct. 31, 2011, is to release a final rule establishing a Pesticides General Permit process, which would establish ways to reduce certain pesticide applications on or near waterways for control of mosquitoes, other flying insects, weeds, algae, animals, and forest canopy pests.
Current fishing methods are rather destructive, with 17% of the fish caught commercially being unintended bycatch, according to NOAA's first national assessment of bycatch. That damages the environment, and costs those who fish time and money.
Use the data to report for communities directly affected by fishing or, at a larger scale, as a hook to report on several other related issues. Also, research another hot topic drawing attention — mislabeling of fish species.
Based on extensive sampling of drinking water wells around the country by USGS, 19% of all tested wells were contaminated with a substance such as arsenic, uranium, or radon at a concentration that poses a health risk, and about 10% of all wells have more than one such substance.Topics on the Beat:
The states, territories, and Washington, DC, will share $37.4 million doled out through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The grants, administered by the National Park Service, match funding provided by states and local entities, and are supposed to be used for local parks, recreation, and conservation projects.
While EPA oversees the Safe Drinking Water Act programs, much of the daily responsibility is delegated to state agencies. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office says the states are under-reporting violations and contamination to EPA. Moreover, EPA has fallen behind in setting standards for known contaminants that may cause health problems.SEJ Publication Types:
Wildfire, hurricanes, recreation, extreme heat, drought, electric brownouts, UV rays and sunscreen, insect-borne disease like West Nile virus, fishing, dead zones, and algal blooms — TipSheet can help you cover these local environmental stories.
Shark Week may once have been an effort to relive "Jaws" — but in more recent years Discovery has used the event as a chance to educate the public about sharks, build awareness of the threats they face, and explain the need to conserve them.