Man-made nesting boxes help local wood ducks thrive in northern California

Colorful wood ducks have come back from the brink of extinction thanks to our help photo by Dawn Beattie, flickr

Colorful wood ducks have come back from the brink of extinction thanks to our help. photo by Dawn Beattie, flickr

Throughout the local waterways of northern California – from the ACID canal to the Sacramento River – you’ll see ducks. North American Wood Ducks to be exact.

The only North American waterfowl that breed twice in the same season. over the years these colorful birds have faced hard times. With over hunting and loss of habitat, they came close to extinction in the early 20th century. An act of Congress – the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which ended unregulated hunting – and a 1937 program by the U.S. Biological Survey (now the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) to build artificial nesting structures have helped spur them to a dramatic recovery.

To learn more about these fascinating and colorful birds – with unique habits in the bird world – see http://bit.ly/ObeKd5..

Gorgeous wilderness area – first to be designated by Congress in five years

Photo by xray10, flickr

Photo by xray10, flickr

Who knew there were sand dunes in Michigan?  And such beautiful wilderness!

This week Congress passed and sent to President Obama for his signature the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act, which permanently protects 32,557 acres along the mainland shore of Lake Michigan. This newest addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System will be known as “Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness,” which includes portions of two islands, forests, miles of beach and spectacular sand dunes rising hundreds of feet above Lake Michigan.

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Blackfish – a distressing indictment of SeaWorld’s inhumane treatment of whales

Blackfish film logoJust finished viewing Blackfish, the sobering documentary revealing the inhumane treatment of killer whales by the powers that be of SeaWorld and similar venues.

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The hidden cost of seafood includes the deaths of thousands of marine mammals

Foreign overfishingThe popularity of wild-caught seafood continues to grow. But so too does the devastating cost to marine life.

According to The Killing of Marine Mammals in Foreign Fisheries, a report issued today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than 650,000 marine mammals are killed or seriously injured every year in foreign fisheries after being hooked, entangled or trapped in fishing gear.  Enforcement of a U.S. law to protect marine mammals could help prevent tens of thousands of these deaths.

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What happens if Yellowstone’s volcano erupts? Yikes!

Scientists have learned that the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2.5 times larger than they thought

Scientists have learned that the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2.5 times larger than they thought

It’s well known that Yellowstone National Park.sits on top of a large volcano. After all, the geysers are a testament to that immense force of Nature. What not been known or fully understood until recently is just HOW large that volcano really is.

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New website lets you help protect and preserve rainforests

The beauty of the Costa Rican rainforest, photo by Debra Atlas

The beauty of the Costa Rican rainforest, photo by Debra Atlas

A new website launched by Virgin Rainforest Rescue offers people a chance to help preserve and protect some of the wildest and most vulnerable virgin rainforests in Costa Rica. It’s so simple to do – just purchase one square meter of rainforest at a time.

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Green your online search this holiday season

Ecosia logoIt’s Black Friday, in case you’ve somehow forgotten or missed the massive pr. With the intense focus on shopping, I thought I’d pass along a way to help do something you can do that’s good for the environment while you are doing your holiday shopping this year.

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Are we losing important biodiversity in our food?

Urban garden 1I’ve been a backyard organic gardener for the better part of fifteen years. Each year I learn and grow more while experimenting with a wider variety of types of veggies. It’s a lot of fun and definitely helps keep my food budget down.

I came across an interesting article called 15 Indigenous Vegetables that are Nutritious and Delicious and was surprised at how many of these I’d never heard of before. I’m always looking to find new things to grow in my garden and the idea of trying something both incredibly nutritious and different definitely captures my imagination.

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New book shows Humans and Nature are interdependent

What Has Nature Ever Done for Us coverHumans need Nature to survive and thrive. Too often we treat Nature as a commodity, exploiting, polluting and destroying it in our unfailing drive towards “progress”.

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Britain to restore lost waterways

 Medlock River, a "lost river", will be reclaimed

The Medlock River culvert – one of England’s “lost rivers” – will be reclaimed

The industrial Age brought many benefits to our society. But they came at great cost, particularly as we’re seeing now with our environment. One of these not so apparent costs was the covering over of natural rivers and waterways throughout Europe to make room for expansion. Now, to comply with the European Union Water Framework Directive which aims to breathe life back into natural waterways across the continent by 2027, hundreds of these will be brought back to life, many of them in Britain.

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