All about the humble water shrew

Water shrew

Photo: Water shrew Erni Shutterstock

The water shrew is well adapted to an aquatic lifestyle: they have a dark brown (almost black), waterproof coat of short fur, and ears (visible as white tufts) that can close in the water. A fringe of stiff silvery hairs runs the length of the underside of the tail, which they use as a rudder, and their hind feet have similar fringes. They can dive … [more…]

Dirtiest week for water in EPA history

Photo: Dirtiest week for water in EPA history

Photo: © Getty Images

Before the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, our nation’s waters were in trouble. Lake Erie was virtually dead, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire, and the Androscoggin River in Maine was so polluted it peeled paint on nearby buildings. Many of America’s waters had become little more than lifeless, open sewers.

Nobody wants to return to the bad old days of polluted, dirty rivers. … [more…]

What is an ‘impaired’ waterway and why are so many in Pennsylvania?

What is an ‘impaired’ waterway and why are there so many of them in Pennsylvania?

Photo: Pennsylvania’s “Category 5” streams include the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers and many creeks, such as the Yellow Breeches in Cumberland County.

More than a third of Pennsylvania’s lakes and a fifth of its streams are impaired, meaning that pollution has (or should have, anyway) hindered their use for drinking water supplies, fishing, recreation or the aquatic life that call the waterways home.

Perhaps the best illustration of the scale … [more…]

Tulsa teen globally recognized for environmental innovations

photo: Tulsa teen Braden Milford simulates a dream for water purification tests

TULSA — A Tulsa teen making major strides in cleaning our rivers and streams is now getting global recognition for his advancements in environmental engineering.

"Seeing what will make an impact on the world really drives me forward," said Braden Milford, senior at Cascia Hall.

Braden created a water purification system right in his Cascia Hall classroom.

"My project associates environmentally extracted bacteria with algae in a jelly-like system that

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New rules limiting clean water protections ignore stream science

photo: the Little Colorado River. re: Clean Water Act

Photo: Sections of the Little Colorado River in northern Arizona are ephemeral, flowing most frequently during the spring to accommodate snowmelt runoff or during the summer monsoon season. In this view, the river is at flood stage, with water cascading over the falls. Dale Nations/Flickr CC

On Dec. 11, the Trump administration announced plans to cut back the number of wetlands and creeks protected under the Clean Water Act, which … [more…]