Planning & Growth

Is Your Community Stranded on an Urban Heat Island?

Urban heat is a serious environmental killer, with numerous culprits making it worse each year for many cities. But there are ways to lessen the impacts too, ranging from more trees to greener roofs. This week’s TipSheet has info on how to report on the problem of urban heat, as well as on its solutions.

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For Coming Drought Season, Flood of Info

Drought is an urgent environmental story, both as it emerges in its seasonal form and as part of larger related issues of allocation and climate change. As the drought season gets underway, this week’s TipSheet offers story angles and more than a dozen key resources for your coverage.

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Often Misunderstood Estuaries Underpin Environment’s Health

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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Great Lakes Offer Great Stories to Reporters in the Know

The Great Lakes are not only the largest fresh water system in the world, supplying drinking water to tens of millions. They also face a range of environmental woes that make them ready fodder for reporters. This week’s TipSheet runs down some ongoing developments, plus key resources to cover them.

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When Disaster Strikes, Building Codes May Make Things Worse

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.

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Drinking Water a Little-Noticed Environmental Justice Problem

Health risks from unsafe drinking water afflict many, not only around the world, but in the United States too, especially the poor, ethnic minorities and those in remote rural areas. The latest Issue Backgrounder looks at this undercovered environmental justice story, and offers ideas and resources for how reporters can cover it.

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"Storm-Prone States Ease Up On Building Codes Despite Growing Risks"

"A report being released on Monday shows Florida isn’t alone in easing up on building regulations even as the effects of global warming escalate. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety examined building policies in 18 Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and found that despite the increasing severity of natural disasters, many of those states have relaxed their approach to codes - or have yet to impose any whatsoever."

Source: Bloomberg, 03/20/2018

Are Combined Sewer Overflows Causing Pollution in Your Local Waters?

Decades after the nation’s capital began its historic cleanup, sanitary sewage still occasionally swamps the Potomac River. Are sewage systems also dumping human waste and other pollutants into waterways near you? This week’s TipSheet has the background on the problem of combined sewage overflow, as well as resources for finding out what’s happening near you.

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Searching for Environment Themes at Sundance 2018

While environmental themes were less prominent at the Sundance Film Festival this year, our correspondent JoAnn Valenti unearthed ecological messages from documentaries that explore the emergence of climate change refugees in the face of sea level rise, the escape from modernity into wilderness and the confrontation of environmental threats by young innovators.

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“The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea”

A new book on the Gulf of Mexico earns kudos for the balance and passion of its tone, as well as for its historical storytelling about this important ecosystem and the overfishing, oil spills, hurricanes, explosive growth and poor land-use decisions it faces. BookShelf reviews Jack Davis’ “The Gulf.”

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