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Food
Jaime Betancourt grows hydroponic vegetables in his Guaynabo, PR home for sale in local farmers markets. Preston Keres / USDA

A Local Food Revolution in Puerto Rico

A year has passed since Hurricane Maria first made landfall in Puerto Rico, destroying homes, roads and vehicles in its path—and taking thousands of lives. The island languished for months as an insufficient emergency response campaign attempted to restore basic services like water and power. After a recent independent study, the official death toll was raised from the initial 64 to 2,975; analysis done by The New York Times, citing malnutrition and other food-based ailments as possible culprits for surging mortality in the storm's aftermath, estimated that number could be more than 4,000.

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Screen shot of PLN live on EcoWatch, Sept. 27, 2018. Facebook.com/EcoWatch/videos/1834878866631950/

WATCH: Puerto Rico Planting 750,000 Trees to Defend Land From Natural Disasters

September 20 marked the one-year anniversary of the most devastating and deadly natural disasters in 100 years of U.S. history—Hurricane Maria. Today, Puerto Rico continues to face both challenges, such as Tropical Storm Kirk landing today, and opportunities.

Many wonder how Puerto Rico is doing so EcoWatch teamed up with the non-profit Para la Naturaleza (PLN) for an interactive Facebook live experience on Thursday. Watch the video below to learn how the community of Puerto Rico—the town of Comerío—came together to revitalize the natural ecosystems. PLN is working towards the ambitious goal of planting 750,000 native and endemic trees and establishing 33 percent of Puerto Rico's lands as protected by 2033.

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Residents stand in a long queue to fill water containers on May 27 in Shimla, India. Deepak Sansta / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

World Peace Requires Access to Safe Water

International Peace Day is Sept. 21. Mekela Panditharatne, attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, submitted the following op-ed to EcoWatch in commemoration.

In drought-ravaged East Africa, the cracks in the plains echo the fault lines splitting tribes.

Across the globe, the devastation of deadly brawls is being exacerbated by tensions over access to water. Water crises, often worsened by governance failures, can portend warning signs for instability and conflict. This year, the World Resources Institute cautioned that water stress is growing globally, "with 33 countries projected to face extremely high stress in 2040." The effects of such water stress span the gamut from civil unrest to open warfare.

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Climate
A child rides his bicycle in an area affected by the Hurricane Maria passing in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico on Oct. 5, 2017. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Maria's Legacy: One Year Later

As Puerto Rico marked one year since Hurricane Maria made landfall yesterday, the Miami Herald this week ran extensive reports in English and Spanish on the island's continuing recovery.

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Politics
A Puerto Rico militia member loads water onto a truck at a FEMA distribution center in Ponce on Oct. 26, 2017. Army National Guard / Sgt. Avery Cunningham

FEMA Left 20,000 Pallets of Water Bottles on Puerto Rico Runway for at Least Four Months

As the federal government prepares for Hurricane Florence this week, alarming photos are raising fresh questions about its response to Hurricane Maria last year.

The photos, first reported by CBS Wednesday after going viral on social media the day before, show potentially millions of water bottles sitting on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico nearly a year after the storm.

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Politics
Mario Tama / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Trump Called ‘An International Disgrace’ After Claiming ‘3,000 People Did Not Die’ in Puerto Rico

By Elizabeth Preza

In a stunning tweet on Thursday, Donald Trump refuted reports that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria in 2017.

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Health
A man walks past a house laying in flood water in Catano town, in Juana Matos, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 21, 2017. HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP / Getty Images

Official Hurricane Maria Death Toll Raised to Nearly 3,000

Puerto Rico will revise the official Hurricane Maria death toll from 64 to nearly 3,000 following the release of a report by the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW SPH) commissioned by the Puerto Rican government, CNN reported Tuesday.

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Puerto Rico Officials Claim Power Is Completely Restored to All Homes

Power has officially been restored to all homes in Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricane Maria, nearly eleven months after the storm hit, the island's utility announced Tuesday.

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Health
View of displayed shoes in memory of those killed by Hurricane Maria in front of the Puerto Rican Capitol, in San Juan, on June 1. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP / Getty Images

Another Study Finds Maria Death Toll Much Higher Than Official Numbers

As the 2018 hurricane season nears its height, another study has concluded that the official death toll from last year's devastating Hurricane Maria falls vastly short of reality.

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