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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
A flooded corn field along the Yazoo River during the Mississippi River near Redwood, Mississippi in May of 2011.
T. C. Knight / Getty Images

By Chaoqun Lu

Some effects of extreme weather are visible – like half a million acres of flattened corn in Iowa left behind after a derecho that hit the Midwestern United States on Aug. 10.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Buffalo River suffers from a freshwater HAB outbreak. National Park Service

By Arohi Sharma

Quarantining and sheltering in place from COVID-19 has a lot of us going stir-crazy — myself included. With summer in full swing, more of us are itching to get outside safely. Unfortunately, we're also right in the middle of peak harmful algal bloom (HAB) season. While state agencies are understandably redirecting resources to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the resources normally used to test recreational freshwater bodies for HAB events — including the dangerous toxins that are harmful to humans and pets — are on hold. This concerns me because, as NRDC's updated What's Lurking in Your Lake assessment shows, state agencies are already under-resourced to address HABs. Furthermore, our updated scorecards and mapping efforts show there is not enough comprehensive freshwater HAB data collection. With state budgets being redirected, it's unclear whether proactive freshwater HAB data collection will get necessary funding in coming years.

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Xsandra / Getty Images

Looking for ways to cut down on single-use plastic while grocery shopping? You may already have eco-friendly shopping bags, but bringing your own reusable produce bags is another easy swap.

According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).

The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.

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A man walks on pink snow at the Presena glacier near Pellizzano, Italy on July 4, 2020. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP via Getty Images

In a troubling sign for the future of the Italian Alps, the snow and ice in a glacier is turning pink due to the growth of snow-melting algae, according to scientists studying the pink ice phenomenon, as CNN reported.

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The Australian brewery Young Henrys is working to fight climate change with algae. Young Henrys

By Josh Bonifield

The Australian brewery Young Henrys is working to fight climate change with an unusual ingredient—algae.

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Harmful algal blooms, seen here at Ferril Lake in Denver, Colorado on June 30, 2016, are increasing in lakes and rivers across the U.S. Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post / Getty Images

During summer in central New York, residents often enjoy a refreshing dip in the region's peaceful lakes.

But sometimes swimming is off-limits because of algae blooms that can make people sick.

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Coastal Antarctica has seen has a curious phenomenon over the last few years. The green snow that hugs parts of its shores has started to spread farther inland. And it's all caused by the climate crisis.

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A surfer rides on a bioluminescent wave at the San Clemente pier on April 30, 2020 in San Diego, California. Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

Beachgoers in California are enjoying a dazzling display of crashing bioluminescent waves in Southern California. The waves light up at night as they crash and froth in the shallow water, The Guardian reported.

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A. Battenburg / Technical University of Munich

Algae in a pond may look flimsy. But scientists are using algae to develop industrial-strength material that's as hard as steel but only a fraction of the weight.



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A dog named Sheba runs out of a duck pond in Prospect Park Sept. 2, 2007 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Daniel Barry / Getty Images

The toxic algae blooms that have killed dogs in Texas, North Carolina and Georgia have been detected in three New York City parks. Parents and pet owners are being warned to keep their kids and dogs away from the infected water, which can be fatal when dogs lap it up, swallow it while swimming, or lick it off their own fur, as the New York Times reported.

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jurgita.photography / Moment / Getty Images

By Grace Francese

Outbreaks of potentially toxic algae are fouling lakes, rivers and other bodies of water across the U.S. Nationally, news reports of algae outbreaks have been on the rise since 2010.

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Mint Images - Norah Levine / Getty Images

Pet owners around the country are seeing their beloved canines perish after letting them cool off in waters harboring toxic algae.

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CBS New York / Screenshot

Less than a week after the official start of summer, New Jersey's largest lake was shut down by state officials due to a harmful algae bloom. Now, well into the heart of summer, Lake Hopatcong remains closed. And, several other lakes that have seen their waters turn green due to a rise in cyanobacteria have also been shut down, including Budd Lake and parts of Greenwood Lake.

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