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Posted on June 6, 2018 - 1:28pm, by abrown

By Spencer Showalter

Mark your calendars for 2020—it could be the beginning of the largest dam removal project in American history. While dams in California have been used for generations to stabilize long-term water availability to settlers, their inherent role of restricting flow affects humans and ecosystems downstream. Because of these impacts, four dams in the Klamath River Basin are slated to be removed in a $450 million project that would re-open 500 miles of spawning grounds to coho and Chinook salmon. The gains from the removal could be huge. Reopening spawning grounds would help rebuild depleted salmon fisheries, and higher flow would mean cleaner water with fewer viral infections and toxic algae blooms. Because the future costs of upkeep of the dams represent a net loss to their owner, PacifiCorp, removal would be economically positive in a corporate sense. Additionally, the water and salmon fisheries were historically used by native tribes of the Klamath Basin, including the Yurok and Karuk Tribes, who stand to regain clean water and increased harvests if the dams are removed.

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Posted on June 6, 2018 - 1:27pm, by abrown

By Samantha Farquhar

Take a breath….and thank the trees.

Now take another breath…..but this time thank the ocean.

Yes, the ocean. It has been estimated that 50% of the global oxygen supply comes from the ocean.

How does the ocean do this? By providing a home to plant-like organisms called phytoplankton.

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Posted on May 28, 2018 - 2:58pm, by abrown

By Danielle Edelman

A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting behind a table covered in bottles of sea water, pH-test kits, and posters with pictures of pitted and dissolving snail shells. I had a coffee in one hand and a bowl of steamed clams and mussels in the other. As I looked around at the booths next to mine, I spotted a family with two kids. I smiled and asked “would you like to do a science experiment?” The two kids glanced at my booth, then looked away and walked with their parents toward the ice cream stand.

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Posted on May 28, 2018 - 2:54pm, by abrown

By Katie Keil

On April 26, 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an application for a genetically engineered (GE) salmon facility in Indiana, paving the way for “frankenfish” to be commercially produced on US soil for the first time. These “frankenfish”, containing genetic information from three different species, were first demonstrated in 1989 but have had difficulty garnering consumer support.

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Posted on May 28, 2018 - 2:52pm, by abrown

By Stephanie Wolek

We’ve all heard about the issues with our planet’s coral reefs—they’re being damaged by pollution, climate change, habitat loss, and a seemingly endless list of other human-driven factors. It’s easy to become discouraged when hearing about the latest coral losses and some articles have gone so far as to (mistakenly!) declare reefs dead. There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is our coral reefs are in sharp decline but the good news is that they’re not dead and can still be saved!

When articles mention coral declines, they’re usually talking about “coral bleaching” and “massive bleaching events” accompanied by scary images of ghostly reefs that lack even a semblance of life. The coral are white or gray and appear dead. Luckily, this isn’t necessarily true. We’ll take a look at what coral bleaching really means and how it affects coral.

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Posted on May 3, 2018 - 10:30am, by abrown

By Nyssa Baechler

You have probably seen the many different iterations of the same signs: some ask, some tell, and some threaten by using pleasantries, profanity, or puns to get you to pick up your dog’s poop. Whether the signs make you giggle or gasp, the message is clear —Be responsible and scoop the poop! However, the entire reasoning behind the signs might not be so clear.

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