The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

Photo: Site of the Brian Head wildfire in Utah still showing clear impacts more than a year after the fire Image Credit: arbyreed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Article: Maina, F. Z., & Siirila‐Woodburn, E. R. (2020). Watersheds dynamics following wildfires: Nonlinear feedbacks and implications on hydrologic responses. Hydrological Processes , 34 (1), 33-50. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13568

For people in the western United States, images of devastating wildfires have become a terrifyingly familiar … [more…]

What’s being done to restore wetlands?

What’s being done to restore wetlands?

Photo: As part of wetland restoration in New Jersey, teams intentionally added sediment. These additions to a degraded coastal marsh improved conditions for plant growth. Credit: Tim Welp/Christine VanZomeren

Wetlands are fun places to get muddy, enjoy the outdoors, and listen for birdsongs. They provide important habitat for wildlife, and for recreation. You’ve likely seen wetlands on the fringes of lakes, on river floodplains, along the coast, and anywhere else … [more…]

When dams cause more problems than they solve, removing them can pay off for people and nature

When dams cause more problems than they solve, removing them can pay off for people and nature

Photo: Maine’s Penobscot River flows freely where the Veazie Dam once stood. Dam removals have reopened the river to 12 native fish species. Credit: Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Across the United States, dams generate hydroelectric power, store water for drinking and irrigation, control flooding and create recreational opportunities such as slack-water boating and waterskiing.

But dams can also threaten public safety, especially if they are old … [more…]

California now requires storm water permits for certain business licenses

California now requires storm water permits for certain business licenses: Here's what you need to know

Photo: Swimmers make their way up the Russian River in the Barb’s Tri, a triathlon for women at the Healdsburg Memorial Beach on Saturday. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Here’s what you need to know

In the 1990s the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified storm water runoff from industrial land use properties as a source of pollution in surface water, including rivers, creeks, and lakes.

In most urban settings, storm … [more…]

Trump Eases Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands

Trump Eases Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands

Photo: Farmland abutting prairie potholes, a type of ephemeral wetland, in North Dakota.Jim Brandenburg/Minden Pictures

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday will finalize a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and other water bodies, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules had shackled them with onerous and unnecessary burdens.

From Day 1 of his administration, President … [more…]