The covert industry that is destroying the world’s rivers

The covert industry that is destroying the world’s rivers

Sediment is being removed from the rivers like the Mekong faster than it can be naturally replenished, increasing the risk of riverbank collapse. This photo was taken in Cái Bè, Vietnam. [Credit: Corryn Wetzel | CC BY-SA 4.0]

The global boom in sand mining threatens millions, a new study of the Mekong River suggests

Good sand is surprisingly hard to find, and some of the best — the kind used … [more…]

6 ways to protect your lake’s water quality

6 ways to protect your lake’s water quality

Want to improve water quality on your lake? Why not prevent overland flooding and erosion and help your forests at the same time? Here are 6 simple things you can do at the cottage to be a hero.

1. Never put soap in the lake.

Soaps add phosphorus to the water, which, along with fertilizers and poorly maintained septic systems, can lead to excessive plant growth, unhealthy blue-green algae build … [more…]

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…]