The estuaries that proliferate across the United States can be hard to define — and protect. But their role in a healthy environment makes them a crucial focus of good reporting. The latest Issue Backgrounder explores their importance, the many challenges they face, and how to track the agencies and programs meant to protect them.
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A running list of endangered rivers becomes an annual starting point for strong local coverage of critical water issues. This week’s TipSheet spotlights the latest additions to an inventory of trouble spots around the United States, plus key angles and issues for coverage, and a selection of top resources.
A journalism teaching project planned to cover local energy inequities. That was before Hurricane Irma swept Florida. In the end, inspired student reporters moved community leaders to action with human-centered, data-driven stories focused on solutions. Journalist and educator Cynthia Barnett shares the lessons in our latest EJ Academy column.
They may not be the sexiest topics on the environmental agenda. But building codes and zoning can become a matter of life and death when natural disasters strike. This week’s TipSheet runs down the reporting challenge when floods, earthquakes and wildfires threaten your coverage area.
"Avery Island, a dome of salt fringed by marshes where Tabasco sauce has been made for the past 150 years, has been an outpost of stubborn consistency near the Louisiana coast. But the state is losing land to the seas at such a gallop that even its seemingly impregnable landmarks are now threatened."
"Over the course of 14 months, 37 chemical releases were reported to the Coast Guard's National Response Center by facilities or individuals in St. James Parish [Louisiana], according to an analysis by environmental advocacy groups. The list of releases ranged from reports of chemical smells to a large quantity of a known carcinogen emitted from a plastics manufacturer."
"A federal court of appeals on Thursday (March 15) put construction of the controversial Bayou Bridge oil pipeline back on track."
"The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians of southern Louisiana have been called America’s first climate refugees. But two years after receiving federal funding to move to higher ground, the tribe is stuck in limbo, waiting for new homes as the water inches closer to their doors."
"For more than a dozen years, the vast majority of sea turtles born on Florida beaches have been female, says Jeanette Wyneken, a biological sciences professor at Florida Atlantic University."
"HARLAN COUNTY, KY — In the mountains of eastern Kentucky a creek is often steps away from the front porch or back door. Here in Loyall, several dozen homes rim a bend close to the Cumberland River. Amid the brambles on the bank at least one white PVC pipe, a couple inches in diameter, pokes out of the ground and points toward the water."