Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices and consumer choices.
Upper Valley Land Trust
The Upper Valley Land Trust helps people conserve land. We engage people in the vision and process of land conservation and in the stewardship of conserved lands.
U.S. Composting Council
The U.S. Composting Council advances composting and promotes compost use to enhance soils and provide economic and environmental benefits for our members and society.
U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.
U.S. Green Building Council – Central Plains Chapter
To lead the regional transformation of the built environment by promoting ecologically responsible, cost effective, productive and healthy places to live, learn and work.
U.S. Green Building Council – Minnesota Chapter
To transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects our health, encourages a fair, sustainable economy and fosters responsive, democratic government.
Utah Moms for Clean Air
Utah Moms for Clean Air uses the power of moms to clean up Utah’s dirty air. In doing so, we are uncompromising defender’s of our children’s health.
Utah Rivers Council
Founded in 1995, the Utah Rivers Council is a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation & stewardship of Utah’s rivers, sustainable clean water sources & natural ecosystems for both Utah’s people & wildlife.
Valley Conservation Council
Promoting land use that sustains the farms, forests, open spaces and cultural heritage of the Shenandoah Valley region.
Vermont Natural Resources Council
For over forty years, VNRC has been Vermont’s leader in protecting and restoring our natural resources.
Vermont Public Interest Research Group
The mission of Vermont Public Interest Research Group is to promote and protect the health of Vermont’s people, environment and locally-based economy by informing and mobilizing citizens statewide.
Vermont River Conservancy
The Vermont River Conservancy works to permanently conserve and protect special lands along the waters of Vermont.
Virginia Bicycling Federation
The Virginia Bicycling Federation is a statewide organization working to change public policy and community attitudes, to improve the safety, convenience, and acceptance of bicycling.
Virginia Conservation Network
VCN is a coalition of nonprofit and community groups that work together for a cleaner, healthier environment.
Virginia Outdoors Foundation
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation is established to promote the preservation of open-space lands and to encourage private gifts of money, securities, land or other property to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, scientific, open-space and recreational areas of the Commonwealth.
Virginia Wilderness Committee
The Virginia Wilderness Committee is a non-profit citizens’ group dedicated to the preservation of Virginia’s natural heritage.
Vote Solar’s mission is to bring solar energy into the mainstream.
Washington Clean Technology Alliance
To secure the state’s position as a leader in clean technologies by supporting businesses to take full advantage of industry opportunities emerging in the region and around the world.
Washington Toxics Coalition
Washington Toxics Coalition protects public health and the environment by eliminating toxic pollution. Washington Toxics Coalition promotes alternatives, advocates policies, empowers communities, and educates people to create a healthy environment.
Washington Trails Association
Washington Trails Association’s mission is to preserve, enhance and promote hiking opportunities in Washington state through collaboration, education, advocacy and volunteer trail maintenance.
Washington Wilderness Coalition
Washington Wilderness Coalition protects and restores wild lands and waters in Washington State through advocacy, education and civic engagement.
Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is a non-profit citizens group dedicated to promoting public funds for parks, habitat and working farms across the state.
Water.org is challenging the traditional approach to assisting people in developing countries. Our goals are to draw attention to the world’s number one health problem, unsafe and inadequate water supplies, and to raise funds to help fight this immense problem – one community at a time.
Water for People
Water For People works to build a world where all people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and where no one suffers or dies from a water- or sanitation-related disease.
Waterkeeper Alliance provides a way for communities to stand up for their right to clean water and for the wise and equitable use of water resources, both locally and globally. The vision of the Waterkeeper movement is for fishable, swimmable and drinkable waterways worldwide.
Waukesha County Environmental Action League
To represent the Waukesha County community for the protection of Waukesha County’s natural resources through dedicated grass-roots participation and action.
Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation
The Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation is a local public not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the Wawasee area watershed for present and future generations.
Western Environmental Law Center
The Western Environmental Law Center is a non-profit public interest law firm that works to protect and restore western wildlands and advocates for healthy environments on behalf of communities throughout the West.
Western Legacy Alliance
Western Legacy Alliance strives to preserve the working landscapes and lifestyles of the American West. We do this by supporting and promoting sustainable land-use solutions to ensure social and economic benefits for local communities and the nation.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy protects and restores exceptional places to provide our region with clean waters and healthy forests, wildlife and natural areas for the benefit of present and future generations. The Conservancy creates green spaces and gardens, contributing to the vitality of our cities and towns, and preserves Fallingwater, a symbol of people living in harmony with nature.
Western Watersheds Project
The mission of Western Watersheds Project is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society International
Established back in 1987, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), is the leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of all whales and dolphins.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society UK
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), is the leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of all whales and dolphins.
WI Voices, Inc.
WI Voices, Inc. provides a stage for regular people to tell their stories about how they are affected by public policy choices.
Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest
Wild Fish Conservancy seeks to improve conditions for all of the Northwest’s wild fish by conducting important research on wild-fish populations and habitats; advocating for better land-use, harvest, and hatchery management; and developing model restoration projects.
Wild Wilderness believes that America’s public recreation lands are a national treasure that must be financially supported by the American people and held in public ownership as a legacy for present and future generations.
WildEarth Guardians protects and restores wildlife, wild rivers, and wild places in the American West.
The Wilderness Society's mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places.
Widlands Network represents a vast and growing network of ranchers, hunters, anglers, nature lovers, conservation partners and new allies, spanning North America. Together, we are working to protect enough wild places in North America to sustain wildlife and people through the 21st Century.
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts are the largest UK voluntary organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places everywhere – at land and sea.
Windustrypromotes progressive renewable energy solutions and empowers communities to develop and own wind energy as an environmentally sustainable asset. Through member supported outreach, education and advocacy we work to remove the barriers to broad community ownership of wind energy.
Wisconsin Resources Protection Council
The Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (WRPC) was founded in 1982 to help counter the lack of information about the effects of large-scale metallic sulfide mining on our state’s precious water supplies, on the tourism and dairy industries, and upon the many Native American communities that are located near potential mine sites.
Wiser.org helps the global movement of people and organizations working toward social justice, indigenous rights, and environmental stewardship to connect, collaborate, share knowledge, and build alliances.
Women’s Voices for the Earth
Women’s Voices for the Earth is a national organization that works to eliminate toxic chemicals that impact women’s health by changing consumer behaviors, corporate practices and government policies.
Worcester Energy Barnraisers
Their mission is:
•To engage in grassroots energy efficiency projects
•To create inclusive community solutions to climate change
•To inspire diverse groups of people to take energy conservation into their own hands
•To promote environmental and social justice by making these opportunities accessible to everyone
World Resources Institute
Their mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.
World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund’s mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.
World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada)
WWF Canada's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
World Wildlife Fund Global (WWF Global)
WWF Global’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
Worldwatch Institute delivers the insights and ideas that empower decision makers to create an environmentally sustainable society that meets human needs.
Wyoming Outdoor Council
The mission of the Wyoming Outdoor Council is to protect Wyoming’s environment and quality of life for future generations.
Wyoming Wildlife Federation
The Wyoming Wildlife Federation works for hunters, anglers, and other wildlife enthusiasts to protect and enhance habitat, to perpetuate quality hunting and fishing, to protect citizens’ right to use public lands and waters, and to promote ethical hunting and fishing.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In Major Win for Indigenous Rights, Supreme Court Rules Much of Eastern Oklahoma Is Still a Reservation
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
- Federal Judge Orders Trump Admin to Give Native Americans Their ... ›
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By Tiffany Means
Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.
The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.
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- Is the New Coronavirus Airborne? A Study From China Finds Evidence ›
By Angela Nicoletti
The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.
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- Frogs Are on the Verge of Mass Extinction, Scientists Say - EcoWatch ›
A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.
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By Julia Vergin
It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.
Where Does the Deficiency Begin?<p>Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. The question of when a deficiency starts is correspondingly controversial. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular.Not only is the pseudo-scientific literature on the "sun vitamin" experiencing an upswing, but the number of published studies has also increased enormously in recent years. For example, in 2019 <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/40/4/1109/5126915" target="_blank">a study found that</a> Vitamin D is responsible for keeping the skeleton functional and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. <br></p>
An All-Rounder<p>Vitamin D levels in the body rise and fall according to sun exposure. If sufficient UV rays reach the skin, the body is able to produce the vitamin itself. However, the human body only derives an estimated 10 to 20 percent of its daily requirement from food.</p><p>The vitamin D that we synthesize from sunlight or food is not biologically active at first. Before the kidneys can produce the biologically active form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, and release it into the blood, some metabolic processes must take place beforehand.</p><p>In addition, many organs have receptors to which the precursor of calcitriol binds. Further, this substance is also present in blood.</p><p>From this precursor, the organs then produce calcitriol themselves, which the body then uses for countless other processes in the body. This form of vitamin D thus regulates insulin secretion, inhibits tumor growth, and promotes the formation of red blood cells as well as the survival and activity of macrophages, which are important for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/7/2502/htm" target="_blank">immune system.</a></p>
Low Vitamin D, Severe COVID-19 Disease?<p>A research study carried out <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">at the University of Hohenheim</a> has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.</p><p>According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."</p><p>"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.</p><p>Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.</p><p>Fassnacht says, "If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far."</p>
Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
- 8 Ways to Tell if You Are Vitamin D Deficient - EcoWatch ›
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- 7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common ›
Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.
EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.
Climate models are predicting faster warming of the North Atlantic Ocean, which will shift the Gulf Stream. NASA
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