Water & Oceans

Septic Systems Often Hide Neglected Local Stories

Millions of Americans rely on their own onsite wastewater treatment, commonly known as septic systems. And many of those systems are connected to private wells. But unless they are properly sited, designed, built and maintained, they can contaminate drinking water, bringing dangerous waterborne illnesses. The latest TipSheet explains how to turn this often ignored issue into a local story.

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There Are a Lot More Than 10 Endangered Rivers. Is One Near You?

An annual list of endangered rivers is out, but with it the journalism just begins, since there are numerous troubled river systems, most likely including one near you. The latest TipSheet details how the endangered river list can serve as a template for local reporting and provides story ideas, questions to ask and resources to tap for your coverage.

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‘The Green Years’ — When the Environment Eclipsed Politics

There was a moment within living memory when Democrats and Republicans came together — in a time of extraordinary political turmoil — to pass landmark legislation to clean U.S. waters, limit toxic substances and pesticides, and empower the government to protect the environment. BookShelf’s Nano Riley reviews a new book that explores that time, and which speculates on why things have changed.

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Grantee Wades Into Surprising Blue-Green Algae Problem

A chance encounter with a social media post from a retired government official led environmental journalist Sharon Oosthoek on a virtual, pandemic-era journey deep into the waters of Lake Superior to chase down an algal bloom. In her contribution to FEJ StoryLog, Oosthoek shares how she leveraged the tip into a grant that allowed her and her TV channel partner to produce a multi-part text, video, engagement and teaching project.

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Houston and Other Disasters at #SEJ2022

If it often feels like the world of environmental journalism is all dour worry over our collective futures, resident humorist David Helvarg is here to remind you that our present is just as scary — if for different, and funnier, reasons. In his latest lampoon of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference, Helvarg shares his trademark jests from Houston. Plus, (straighter) reportage from the gathering at the conference coverage page.

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A Castoff Bumper Leads to a Literary ‘Autobiography’ of Plastic

Environmental writer Allison Cobb, in “Plastic: An Autobiography,” tells the story of the ubiquitous material through a series of interwoven narratives that range from her own experiences with it (including a discarded plastic car bumper), to the corporate origins of its spread and the way it’s now dangerously carpeting nature and damaging human communities. Contributor Nano Riley has a review in our new BookShelf.

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Parks and Complications — Planning Stories Around Our Nation’s Green Spaces

As more Americans make their way to the nation’s parks (and every other variety of outdoor locales), big budget bumps may not be enough to tackle a variety of ongoing worries, from overcrowding and climate change impacts to maintenance backlogs and political backlash. The latest Issue Backgrounder looks over the state of our nation’s parks.

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Great Barrier Reef Hit By Bleaching As UNESCO Weighs "In Danger" Listing

"The Great Barrier Reef has been hit by bleaching due to heat stress, the Australian agency that manages the reef said on Friday, ahead of a visit by United Nations officials reviewing whether the reef should be listed as being "in danger"."

Source: Reuters, 03/18/2022

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