The Mississippi River and its tributaries drain more than 40% of the continent, but most coverage of environmental stories within the Mississippi Basin is localized and siloed. The recently launched Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk hopes to help news outlets provide region-wide reporting that contextualizes issues like climate change-driven flooding and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
Great Lakes (IL IN MI MN OH WI)
"Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer abandoned a federal lawsuit Tuesday aimed at shutting down an oil pipeline that runs through part of the Great Lakes but said the state would continue pursuing a separate case with the same goal."
The history of environmental racism is a long one in the United States, far longer than the efforts to address the problem. But reporting on environmental justice continues to tick upwards, and an analysis in the latest Backgrounder points to promising progress, explaining why for journalists the year ahead may yield important stories, whether about future footholds or new missteps.
"CARMEL, Ind. — It’s getting harder and harder to run a stoplight here, because there are fewer and fewer of them around. Every year, at intersections throughout this thriving city, traffic lights and stop signs have disappeared, replaced with roundabouts. Lots and lots of roundabouts."
"For decades, chronic flooding and nuclear waste have encroached on the ancestral lands in southeastern Minnesota that the Prairie Island Indian Community calls home, whittling them to about a third of their original size."
"A group of Benton Harbor residents filed a federal class action lawsuit Wednesday against city and state officials, saying they didn’t do enough to protect them against lead in some of the city’s drinking water."
"A judge on Wednesday approved a $626 million deal to settle lawsuits filed by Flint residents who found their tap water contaminated by lead following disastrous decisions to switch the city’s water source and a failure to swiftly acknowledge the problem."
"Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon start testing the water in 300 homes in a Michigan city where there’s been a lead crisis to check certified filters given area residents by the state to remove lead from the drinking water."
"The White House said it’s waiting on a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before deciding whether to wade into a debate over the future of a controversial oil pipeline that carries Canadian oil across the Great Lakes into Michigan."