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.
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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.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility petitioned NOAA to reverse its no-advocacy policy, saying it's inconsistent with the agency's official scientific integrity policy and the Obama administration's much-vaunted advocacy of more openness in federal government.SEJ Publication Types:
EPA has updated its Enforcement and Compliance History Online database so that federal standards violations through 2009 can be quickly identified. For example, pick a county and quickly get a customized listing of systems that fall into categories such as serial violators, or occasional violators of things such as health-based standards or monitoring requirements.
"Nonpoint" sources of water pollution worry officials. When rain falls or snow melts, the runoff can pick up fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural fields, sediments from construction sites, engine oil from city parking lots, germ-laden dog poop from curbside, etc.