Special Report: Part Two
By DONALD BORENSTEIN
By DONALD BORENSTEIN
"NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. -- A crane swung a new roof truss into place above a house being built on this belt of sand last week, helping to expand development on what some experts say is one of the most dangerous islands to build on in the United States."
Flooding from Storm Sandy last year inspired urban designer Alexandros Washburn to devise new ways to protect his vulnerable home in Red Hook, Brooklyn -- and, he hopes, those of his neighbors.
Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens are at risk from potential dam disasters, yet state and federal agencies hold to a policy that amounts to "out of sight, out of mind." The biggest danger, apparently, is that the public might find out about the dangers, and criticize insufficient dam safety measures, inconvenience private dam owners, depress real estate values, or demand public spending that is politically painful for those in office.
This special issue of the WatchDog focuses on the transparency of safety information related to dams, levees, impoundments, and related water-control structures. For environmental journalists, these subjects offer a goldmine of great story possibilities. These are stories that have not been covered much in the past decade, and stories that fit well at the local, state, or regional level.
Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens are at risk from potential dam disasters, yet state and federal agencies hold to a policy that amounts to "out of sight, out of mind."
By KATE SHEPPARD
Americans — and humans in general — have long flocked to the coasts. Thirty-nine percent of the U.S. population, or about 123 million of us, live in coastal counties. But many in coastal areas are finding it increasingly less hospitable due to sea-level rise and extreme weather events linked to climate change. As communities figure out how to adapt to these changes, it is often environmental journalists who are being asked to cover these complex stories.
By CHRIS CLAYTON
If you’re looking to connect average Americans to climate change and to how they will have to adapt to it, why not report on the future of food and agriculture? After all, most Americans may not visit the polar ice caps, but everyone needs to eat.