12 Stories

Farmer Faces $2.8M Fine for Plowing Field

John Duarte is accused of disturbing California wetlands

(Newser) - California farmer John Duarte could be facing a $2.8 million fine—and may be ordered to pay millions more in wetlands mitigation—for an offense he describes thusly: "Planting wheat in a wheat field," something he says had been done many times previously. Duarte has been fighting... More »

Iraq's 'Garden of Eden' Added to Prestigious List

Wetlands of southern Iraq are one of 12 new UNESCO world heritage sites

(Newser) - Fed by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, vast and remote wetlands along the border with Iran in southern Iraq that are considered to be the biblical "Garden of Eden" have just been named a UNESCO world heritage site, the United Nations reports. Among the 12 new sites added to... More »

How Louisiana Crippled a Vast Environmental Lawsuit

Historian John Barry is still fighting to restore state wetlands

(Newser) - A Louisiana historian wants oil and gas companies to help restore state wetlands that are vanishing by the day—but politicians are fighting him tooth and nail, the New York Times Magazine reports. John Barry, a gritty ex-weightlifter who writes US history books, watches in horror as Louisiana wetlands recede... More »

Scientists Revolt in Perry Climate Change Clash

Authors of Texas report want their names deleted

(Newser) - Officials appointed by Rick Perry have sparked a new firestorm in Texas over climate change science, the Guardian reports. Every scientist behind a recent 200-page environmental report is demanding to have his name stricken from the document after state officials deleted references to climate change. "This is simply antithetical... More »

Wolves Rescue Wetlands of Yellowstone Park

Their return sets off chain of events for ecosystem

(Newser) - After wolves were exterminated in Yellowstone National Park in the early 1900s, a domino of effects from their loss led to an almost complete collapse of the wetlands ecosystem. Now the wolves are back—after 66 were introduced between 1995-1996, the population has reached 200 packs with 1,700 members—... More »

Cajuns Wonder If Gulf Spill Is Last Straw

Many plan to stay till the bitter end, if need be

(Newser) - The sultry, salty soul of Louisiana's Cajun culture is inextricably bound to the rhythm of the waters of the Gulf: The sea provides plentiful food, work, and a lifestyle that has endured since the Cajuns settled there in the 1700s. But the sea has also been quick to punish, and... More »

Scientists: Flood the Mississippi to Save Coast

This 'gentle flushing' could protect wetlands from oil

(Newser) - In order to prevent the Gulf oil spill reaching Louisiana's wetlands, scientists propose a unique idea: flood the Mississippi River. This Popular Mechanics article explains how the Mississippi water flow acts as a natural counter-force against the current-driven oil plume's course toward land. More »

Should We Torch the Wetlands?

Controlled burn may be 'least bad' option

(Newser) - There are no good options for dealing with the oil soaking Louisiana wetlands but setting it on fire may be the best of the bad options available, scientists say. A controlled burn in a marsh area soaked in oil during Hurricane Katrina removed around 90% of the oil and allowed... More »

In Alaska, Melting Glaciers Cause Land to Rise

Glaciers receding 30 feet each year

(Newser) - Around Juneau, Alaska, climate change is causing an unexpected problem, the New York Times reports: As glaciers melt, the land is rising away from the sea. The change—10 feet in about 200 years—is enough to dry up local streams and wetland habitats, and is the result of land... More »

Ike Pounded Fragile Ecosystems

Coastal damage from development intensified storm's impact

(Newser) - Hurricane Ike caused massive damage to fragile coastal ecosystems already clobbered by development, the Dallas Morning News reports. Damage to wetlands vital to a vast range of life could take a generation to heal, scientists warn. As with Hurricane Katrina, human development had already destroyed marshes and other natural defenses,... More »

EPA's New Rules Allow Wetlands Trade-Offs

Developers can destroy if they create others elsewhere; environmentalists dismayed

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency today issued new wetlands-protection rules with a focus on “mitigation banking”— creating marshes elsewhere in compensation for those destroyed by development, the AP reports. The EPA argues that mitigation banking ensures the most overall wetlands protection because wetlands are often irrevocably damaged by construction,... More »

5 Last-Ditch Plans to Save Earth

Crank up your ingenuity and combat climate change the MacGyver way

(Newser) - If reducing emissions was Plan A to save the earth from global warming, these plans from Popular Science would be more like Plan ... Z:
  1. Make more Arctic ice—out of saltwater.
  2. Cool the oceans, which feed storms with warm water, by sucking up cold water from the ocean floor with
... More »

12 Stories