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Articles on Water pollution

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Environmental DNA is a promising tool for tracking species in freshwater ecosystems like Oregon’s Elkhorn Creek. Greg Shine, BLM/Flickr

Scientists at work: We use environmental DNA to monitor how human activities affect life in rivers and streams

Rivers are among the most embattled ecosystems on Earth. Researchers are testing a new, inexpensive way to study river health by using eDNA to count the species that rivers harbor.
Organic vegetables at the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, Goleta, Calif. Citizen of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Organic food has become mainstream but still has room to grow

Four out of five Americans regularly buy some kind of organic food. An expert on the industry says more federal support could greatly expand organic farming and its environmental benefits.
Col de Port, in the French Pyrenees. Author provided

Mountains, a fragile source of life

We think of mountains as remote and little affected by human activity. Unfortunately, the negative impacts of what we do has important implications for nature, wildlife and human society.
Heat-damaged plastic pipes can continue to leach chemicals into water over time. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires – it’s a risk in urban fires, too

A new study shows how toxic chemicals like benzene are leaching into water systems after nearby fires. The pipes don’t have to burn – they just have to heat up.
President-elect Joe Biden opposes proposals to allow uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, which the Trump administration supports. Michael Quinn, NPS/Flickr

On environmental protection, Biden’s election will mean a 180-degree turn from Trump policies

The Trump administration has used executive orders, deregulation and delays to reduce environmental regulation. Biden administration officials will use many of the same tools to undo their work.
Eelgrasses covered with small snails, which keep the leaves clean by feeding on algae that live on them. Jonathan Lefcheck

Restoring seagrasses can bring coastal bays back to life

Healthy seagrasses form underwater meadows teeming with fish and shellfish. A successful large-scale restoration project in Virginia could become a model for reseeding damaged seagrass beds worldwide.

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