Planning & Growth

Over 600 Now Missing, 63 Dead in California's Deadliest Blaze

"PARADISE, Calif. - A search for victims of a catastrophic blaze that reduced a northern California town to ashes intensified on Thursday, as authorities expanded to 630 the number of those reported missing in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history."

Source: Reuters, 11/16/2018

Wetlands Mitigation — Why Draining the Swamp Is a Local Story

As the Trump administration challenges wetlands preservation policy under the Clean Water Act, an important related practice has come into question. Mitigation banking — the creation or preservation of one wetland to offset the loss of another — has become a billion-dollar industry. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, the legal and regulatory tangle aside, wetlands permitting and mitigation continues, likely near you. Tracking the local story.

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Will Hackers Crash U.S. Energy, Environment Infrastructure?

The vulnerability of critical U.S. infrastructure to cyberattacks has been a growing worry for years, as electric utilities, drinking water systems, chemical plants, nuclear plants, pipelines and more are the target of a burgeoning cadre of hackers. But for environmental and other journalists focused on the story, another problem has emerged: The secrecy that has long been part of the U.S. cybersecurity policy. In this comprehensive Backgrounder, SEJournal takes a look at the risk, the response and the resources to let reporters go deep on cyber warfare as an energy and environment story.

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SEJ Weighs in on Khashoggi, Parks Canada; Plus, Zinke Calendar & Data Resources

The Society of Environmental Journalists has joined several dozen other journalism groups calling for the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and separately, urged Parks Canada to stop imposing reporting barriers for journalists. That, plus black holes in the calendar for Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, and new data resources for reporters. All in the latest WatchDog Tipsheet.

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As Climate Struggle Gets Real, Cities Stand on Front Line

When it comes to facing the risks of coming climate change, cities and states are leading the way for the United States. That means planning for future emissions reductions, as well as preparing for probable impacts. This week’s TipSheet has the story, with details on which local governments are acting and resources to find more, plus ten key questions to ask.

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SEJ's 29th Annual Conference, Fort Collins, CO, Oct. 2019

Environmental Journalism 2019 will take place in Fort Collins, Colorado, hosted by Colorado State University, in early October 2019. Colorado simultaneously boasts and suffers from a population explosion in Denver and other cities. This purple state is fertile ground for both clashes and collaborations among parties vying for rights to land, water and air, whether to preserve it for wildlife and human recreation or to exploit it for energy extraction. And it is fertile ground for stories!

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Dam Removal May Provide Environmental News Near You

Local dams are threatened with floods brought by Hurricane Florence. But already, many of these dams were being removed after decades of building them up, as part of a growing effort to limit harm to the environment and hazards to local communities. This week’s TipSheet explains the trend, highlights some examples and points the way to databases and other resources to find and report on dams in your area.

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Private Companies Pump Cash from Troubled Municipal Drinking Water Systems

Millions of Americans are served by private rather than public water systems. And while that may be helpful in the case of the tens of thousands of smaller systems that lack key resources, it also raises controversial questions about privatization, as well as about what’s best to insure drinking water safety in a post-Flint era. The latest Backgrounder explains this complex issue, considers the most critical issues and offers resources to report the story in your area.

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With Wildfire, When Is Climate Change the Spark?

Massive wildfires have been a huge news story this summer. But caught up in the conflagration is a big question: To what extent can climate change be blamed? This week’s TipSheet looks at the controversy, and helps journalists work their way through the challenge without getting burned.

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Coming to a Coastal Area Near You — Drowning Real Estate

​It’s a blockbuster — literally. Homes by the tens of thousands are at risk of being lost to coastal flooding in coming years, communities broken up thanks to climate change. This week’s TipSheet tells you how to find the data to tell the story and provides examples of model reporting.

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