Professor Hughes recalls his reaction to finding that 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral is bleached: “And then we wept.”

April 22 is a big day for climate action! This Earth Day marks the historical event when more than 150 countries will come together to sign the first-ever legally binding global climate deal -- The Paris Climate Agreement.

 | by
John Rumpler
Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney

Why do we need federal protection under the Clean Water Act if there are also state laws designed to protect our rivers and streams? The answer is that, all too often, state officials fail to enforce their own laws or side with politically-powerful polluters.

Rivers and streams are the arteries and veins of our land and communities, few things have impacted our rivers more than dams. The hydropower industry is right now making an unprecedented assault on our rivers and wildlife. If they’re successful, they’ll take the nation back more than half a century to the regrettable time when dams could destroy our rivers without consequence.

We all want our teeth to be clean after brushing, and our bodies to be clean after showering, but did you know the products used in these everyday activities could be harming wildlife? Hundreds of commonly-used household products contain tiny plastic microbeads, which can be a big problem for our environment. 

Halloween is the annual time to celebrate all the creepy things that go bump in the night, but what's really fightening are the many very real threats to our waterways and drinking water. Nothing is more important to life than clean water, yet few things are taken more for granted. We turn on our taps or swim in a local lake without fear because we believe the systems are working to keep our water clean. The fact is, those systems don’t always work, and in many cases, are failing to keep water safe. 

On November 30th, leaders from around the world will sit down and make an international agreement on how each country will work together to cut global warming pollution.

Mountains higher than the Appalachians, canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, miles of forest, and a rich diversity of wildlife: Would you believe that’s a description of the Atlantic Ocean? 

Last year at this time, the toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie caused nearly half a million people in and around Toledo, Ohio, to be without safe drinking water. Clean water from our taps is something that many of us take for granted, but if we don’t protect our water sources — like the residents of Toledo discovered — we won’t be able to take it for granted anymore.