Each week, we’ll share some of our staff’s recommended local, national, and international stories. Check out these articles out for news and context related to sustainability, human health, climate, environmental justice, and the economy!
The Oakland Plan
Over the next two years, Pittsburgh will be implementing the Oakland Plan, which focuses on community, development, mobility, and infrastructure. So what changes are being made? New residential developments have to make a percentage of units affordable to low- or moderate-income residents. The plan will support new job opportunities that are available to residents with any range of experience and education. It also works to further develop mobility systems for walkers, cyclists, and public transportation users.
Bipartisan Support for Home Assistance Program
Pennsylvania senator Nikil Saval supported a program that would help PA homeowners to make repairs to their homes. The budget for this new program is $125 million and will cover everything from minor home repairs to large-scale renovations. This program will prevent homeowners from being evicted from their home due to disrepair. Grants go up to $50,000 for individuals, but they are also offered to landlords.
Dead Zone Strategies around the US
Dead zones and algal blooms are found in waterways that have an increased level of phosphorous and other nutrients normally traced back to agricultural sources. Algae eat the nutrients, rapidly reproduce, and eventually die, taking all of the oxygen in the water with them. This creates areas without oxygen that are uninhabitable to marine life. Lake Erie approached this problem in the 1970’s, but with climate change making lake water warmer, algal blooms are increasing. The Chesapeake Bay is part of a legally binding commitment that requires the pollutant load to be under a certain percentage, but with their 2025 deadline approaching, their goals are far from being reached.
UN Report on Value of Nature
A new UN report finds that the world puts too much focus on “short-term profits and economic growth” which undervalues the importance of nature. Nature has predominantly been viewed as an economic opportunity, but as more studies come out, we are learning how important nature is to human health, air quality, and general standard of living for all living beings and ecosystems. The Earth will continue to lose much of its biodiversity if humans cannot make major changes to protect nature.