New report highlights mercury pollution impacts on ecosystems

Earlier this week, the Ecological Society of America, in partnership with the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), the Great Lakes Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute, cosponsored a Congressional briefing entitled: “Mercury and Air Pollution Impacts on Ecosystems: Policy-Relevant Highlights from New Scientific Studies.” The briefing sought to highlight the findings of a recent report from BRI highlighting mercury...

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Imagining a smarter water future in World’s Water 7

This post contributed by Liza Lester, ESA Communications Officer Unequal wealth. Worldmapper.org contorts the shapes of world territories to reflect the relative proportions of the world’s freshwater resources found within their bounds. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan).   How much water do humans use? And how much water do ecosystems need? At the heart of water management...

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Deregulation of protections against invasive species can have dire long-term economic consequences

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst The debate over the economic consequences of federal regulations intended to curb the prevalence of invasive species continues on Capitol Hill. During a Sept. 14 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Republican committee leaders released a report entitled “Broken Government: How the Administrative State has Broken President Obama’s Promise...

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‘Threatened’ no more: the Lake Erie watersnake’s road to recovery

This month, the Lake Erie watersnake (Nerodia sipedon insularum) was finally removed from the list of organisms protected under the Endangered Species Act. The achievement is a win for both the species and the ecosystem in which it plays a vital role. With one of the smallest geographic ranges of any vertebrate in the world, this subspecies of snake is only found on the islands of Lake Erie, located in east-central North America....

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Outlaw mussels invade the West

This post contributed by Adele Conover, a freelance science writer specializing in natural history. On Halloween night 2005, an anonymous trickster left a jar crammed with zebra mussels on the doorstep of the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge office in Lewiston, Montana. Dr. Eileen Ryce, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Aquatic Nuisance Coordinator, was stunned. “We assume that the anonymous someone knew what a threat zebra mussels...

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Addressing climate change may foster economic recovery

Several Congressional hearings have been held this year on climate science and potential policy actions such as  federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. There are those in Congress who argue that regardless of whether or not they are convinced that human activity is leading to changes in the atmosphere, the United States  cannot afford to address it amidst a soaring budget deficit and high unemployment. Given these economic...

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ESA Policy News: September 17

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by ESA’s Science Policy Analyst, Terence Houston. Read the full Policy News here. SENATE: SENIOR DEMS SEEK ACTION ON ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES While the Senate seems unlikely to approve an energy bill during the few weeks it reconvenes before the November elections, it may consider measures on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency climate rules, power plant pollution curbs and...

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Feds battle Asian carp invasion in the Great Lakes

Invasive Silver carp caught by the USFWS Credit: USFWS In another attempt to locate the potential threat of Asian carp in the Great Lakes, officials began dumping approximately 2,000 gallons of the organic fish poison Rotenone yesterday into a two-mile stretch of the Calumet-Sag Channel, about seven miles west of Lake Michigan. The aim is to kill and count any invasive carp potentially lurking in the waterway as proof that these fish...

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