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Fionn Ferreira / YouTube screenshot

The climate crisis looms large for young people. We see teenagers like Greta Thunberg inspiring kids around the world to take part in political activism. Then, there are solution-seekers like Fionn Ferreira, an 18 year-old Irish wunderkind, who won the grand prize at the 2019 Google Science Fair for creating a method to remove microplastics from the ocean.

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A lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Brett Walton / Circle of Blue

By Brett Walton

When Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park. What caught his eye, though, were the plastics.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Millions of pounds of trash are transported to Santa Monica Bay via stormwater discharge. Image courtesy of Heal the Bay

By Corinne Bell

This November, voters in Los Angeles County will have the opportunity to help address the largest source of pollution to surface waters in our region: stormwater. Measure W would finally create a funding stream to pay for projects necessary to address stormwater pollution and flooding.

These projects would also increase local water supply, improve air quality and reduce the urban "heat island" effect, among other benefits. Measure W ensures that the communities that typically bear the burden of environmental harms will get their fair share of these beneficial projects, as the Measure seeks to provide Disadvantaged Community (DAC) benefits in proportion to the DAC population in the County.

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Oil well in North Dakota. Tim Evanson / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

A pipeline released 63,840 gallons (1,520 barrels) of produced water that contaminated rangeland in Dunn County, North Dakota, the Bismarck Tribune reported, citing officials with the North Dakota Department of Health.

Produced water is a byproduct of oil and gas extraction, and can contain drilling chemicals if fracking was used.

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A water impoundment at a drill pad in the Fayetteville Shale gas play of Arkansas. Bill Cunningham / USGS

By Emily Brodsky

Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. have increased dramatically in the last decade as a result of human activities. Enhanced oil recovery techniques, including dewatering and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have made accessible large quantities of oil and gas previously trapped underground, but often result in a glut of contaminated wastewater as a byproduct.

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Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Contact lenses may appear harmlessly soft and small, but a big chunk of American users are improperly disposing their used lenses and adding to the planet's microplastic problem, Arizona State University researchers found.

In a survey of 409 wearers, about 1 in 5 responded that they flushed their used lenses down the toilet or sink instead of throwing them in the trash, according to a new study presented at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting and Exposition.

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Fracking fluid and other drilling wastes are dumped into an unlined pit located right up against the Petroleum Highway in Kern County, California. Sarah Craig / Faces of Fracking

By Sharon Kelly

Between 2011 and 2016, fracked oil and gas wells in the U.S. pumped out record-breaking amounts of wastewater, which is laced with toxic and radioactive materials, a new Duke University study concludes. The amount of wastewater from fracking rose 1,440 percent during that period.

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By Adam Hammell & Dana Williams

The pungent, salty air that emerged over South Bay communities last February was not a familiar whiff of wrack decomposing on our favorite beaches. In fact, it was the estimated 143 million gallons of raw sewage that raced down the rugged canyons of Tijuana, funneling directly through the mouth of the Tijuana River into the Pacific Ocean. Beachgoers, visitors, and residents of San Diego County have suffered the devastating effects of these spills for decades—yet little has been done to remedy the origins.

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A pipeline running from the Chinese Golden Lead factory into the ocean. Stop Golden Lead Factory Exploiting The Gambia / Facebook

A dolphin was found dead on a beach in Gungur, a coastal town in The Gambia, aggravating local concerns over pollution being dumped into the ocean by a Chinese fish processing factory, Africa News reported Sunday.

Heartbreaking photos of the incident were tweeted out by Togo human rights advocate Farida Nabourema Saturday.

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Scott Pruitt at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Sharon Kelly

Back in 2008, residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas received a notice in the mail advising them to drink bottled water instead of tap water—a move that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) internal memos at the time described as "one of the largest failures in U.S. history to supply clean drinking water to the public."

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Aerial view of Corpus Christi, Texas. Simiprof / Wikimedia Commons

The Center for Biological Diversity and more than 1,100 Texas residents are demanding that Texas regulators reconsider issuing a wastewater permit to a project that would be the world's largest plastics plant.

The facility, funded by ExxonMobil and the Saudi Arabian government, would discharge more than 13 million gallons a day of toxic wastewater. It will exceed legal pollution standards, as the Center for Biological Diversity notes in a petition filed Wednesday with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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