Many migratory birds, like these sandhill cranes, rely on wetlands for feeding, resting and shelter.
A 2006 Supreme Court ruling created widespread confusion about which wetlands and other waters are federally protected. The Trump administration's latest action isn't likely to clear things up.
As the emergency develops, our understanding of what is reasonable and lawful will inevitably change.
AAP Image/James Ross
Climate activists are using the 'extraordinary emergency' of climate change as a legal defence to justify law breaking.
A protestor dresses as Jair Bolsonaro on Amazon Day in Rio de Janeiro, September 5 2019.
Destroying the Amazon rainforest will accelerate climate change, harming millions. Can those responsible be prosecuted?
Mountains above Munnar, a hill town in Kerala, India.
Santhosh Varghese / shutterstock
The Western Ghats are a global biodiversity hotspot, but urgently need better legal protection.
A severe blue-green algae bloom spreads across western Lake Erie on July 30, 2019.
NASA Earth Observatory
Should lakes, rivers and other resources have legal rights? New Zealand, Ecuador and other countries have taken this step. Now Toledo, Ohio is a US test case.
Sludge cakes the landscape in the aftermath of a burst mining dam in Brazil.
Contemporary mining disasters echo the devastation caused by Victoria's gold fields. Victorians campaigned for some of the world's first laws against industrial pollution.
Steller sea lions in the eastern Pacific are an Endangered Species Act success story.
David B. Ledig/USFWS
The Trump administration is changing implementation of the Endangered Species Act in ways that conservationists say would reduce protection for some of America's most threatened wildlife.
Tarcisio Schnaider / shutterstock
Brazil's deforestation rate is back up. The UN Security Council has three main options.
The Christmas Island pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi) became extinct in 2009.
Current environment laws are manifestly failing Australian animals.
A polar bear crosses ice In Alaska’s Chukchi Sea area, where a recent court ruling bars the Trump administration from greenlighting offshore drilling.
NOAA/OER/Hidden Ocean 2016:The Chukchi Borderlands
Can presidents undo decisions by their predecessors to protect federal lands from development? A recent court ruling on offshore drilling says no, and could also affect contested lands in Utah.
The WA Environmental Defenders Office was a crucial part of the legal fight against the James Price Point gas hub proposal.
For more than 30 years, Environmental Defenders Offices around the country have worked to help people take legal action on environmental issues. They've notched some big wins along the way.
A worker marks timber logs at a concession area in Sarawak, Malaysia. Rainforest logging in Asia feeds much of the world’s thirst for timber.
AP Photo/Vincent Thian
In a global economy, passing laws to conserve forests, fisheries or other natural resources can simply shift demand for those goods to other countries or regions where they aren't as well protected.
A favourite argument of coal proponents is the idea that if their mine is knocked back, someone else will simply dig up coal elsewhere.
Mister Mackenzie/Wikimedia Commons
A NSW court's decision to rule out a coalmine on the basis of climate change could signal a turning of the tide in an arena where environmental litigants have previously struggled to gain traction.
Savo Ilic / shutterstock
Much like the government’s attempt to deliver Brexit itself, the Bill reveals it is difficult to please everyone.
Oil refiners are fined for exceeding air pollution limits when rules are enforced.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Data gathered from EPA reports, staffers and retirees show the Trump administration has brought fewer environmental enforcement actions to conclusion and deferred more to states.
At least 30 tourism developments have been proposed for Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness.
Newly revealed documents show the Commonwealth government approved a controversial tourism plan for Tasmania's World Heritage wilderness without assessing it against federal conservation legislation.
How can we hold governments accountable to their climate commitments? A recent case might hold the answer.
Female voices in the boardroom seem to help safeguard against environmental breaches.
What drives companies to be green? Women, it turns out, are the key. New research shows that firms with a more balanced mix of women and men in the boardroom receive fewer environmental lawsuits.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., speaks about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest on April 25, 2018, in Washington.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
After two years of turmoil at the EPA in the 1980s, President Reagan hit the reset button, choosing a Republican who supported environmental protection to head the agency.
Smog alert in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 1973.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to change the grounds for setting US air pollution targets. An environmental lawyer explains why Pruitt's approach misreads the law and could roll back decades of gains.