Each week, we share some of our staff’s recommended local, national, and international stories. Check these articles out for news and context related to sustainability, human health, climate, environmental justice, and the economy.
New Pennsylvania State Parks
Pennsylvania’s 2022-23 budget has allocated $700 million for conservation, outdoor recreation, clean water, and land preservation. Within that amount, $56 million will be used to create three new Pennsylvania state parks, the first ones since 2005. While they will most likely be located in the eastern half of the state, the parks will be different from many other state parks. One of the new parks will be dedicated to off-road vehicles, motor bikes, and other forms of motorized recreation. All of the state parks will be renovated with climate change in mind by using anti-erosion techniques and upgrading failing water and sewer systems.
Water Strategy in the West
In the Southwestern United States, individuals are highly dependent on water from the Colorado River and its reservoirs: Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Water use is quickly rising to unsustainable levels and may soon reach a “dead pool” where no water will flow out of the dams. In order to combat this issue, states across the Colorado River Basin will need to reduce water use by 2-4 million acre-feet in 2022. While households consume large amounts of water, nearby farmers use around 80% of the water in the basin. Farmers need to build more efficient watering systems in order to ensure that people throughout the US and Mexico have access to clean, safe water throughout the summer months.
Sustainable Building Meets Inclusive Communities
A new housing complex located in California was built with sustainability and inclusivity in mind. The complex, built by Alta Housing, includes 71 affordable units and 15 units designed for individuals with disabilities. It was created to provide housing for the growing homeless population in the nearby area. They used a variety of green building techniques in order to minimize construction costs and lower the building’s carbon footprint!
The Mesoamerican Reef, located from Mexico to Honduras, is an important route for marine species and is a very healthy, productive ecosystem providing food and shelter. Due to commercial overfishing and illegal fishing practices, the species within the reef are in danger, but local fishermen are learning about the importance of marine species, especially sharks! MarAlliance, the nearby fishing company that employs around 60 fishers, started educating their employees about sustainable fishing practices that protect important marine species, and have subsequently seen a ten-fold increase in shark populations. Check out the article for a more in-depth video and photographs of sharks found in the Mesoamerican Reef!