The natural beauty of Loblolly Woods Nature Park provides a welcome reprieve from the city traffic. In the park, visitors can find a variety of wildlife, including woodpeckers, turtles, and even the occasional hawk among many others.
The park is located at the confluence of Possum Creek and Hogtown Creek. As the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership official website states, the meeting of these two creeks is significant since, "Possum Creek is the largest tributary to Hogtown Creek, which discharges to the Floridan Aquifer via Haile Sink."
The main trail, which stretches from one end of the park to the other, branches off into several smaller trails that allow visitors to explore the area and get closer to the combined waters of the two creeks which cut through the woods and continue to flow southwest.
The clear, fast-flowing creek may appear inviting (especially on a hot Florida afternoon), and many visitors may even be tempted to wade in its waters, but looks can be deceiving.
Laminated signs posted along the trail warn visitors not to enter the creek due to the high concentration of fecal bacteria in the water. The QR codes on the signs provide links to the Alachua County website. However, the page containing specific information about the levels of bacteria in the creek is nowhere to be found.
Regardless, more pollutants seep into the water as it travels further into the city, and Loblolly Park is a perfect example. Oil from cars, discarded trash, and animal waste from the roads, businesses, and apartments surrounding the park are swept up in the surface runoff. The runoff flows into the creek and contaminates the water.
The contrast between the poor water quality of the creek and Loblolly Park's natural beauty serves as a direct reminder of the potential negative impact that water pollution can have on the city if it is left unchecked. The wildlife that calls the park home would not be the only ones affected, however. The creek will continue to flow into the Floridan Aquifer, which Gainesville relies on for its drinking water, and it will bring the fecal bacteria and other contaminants along with it.
For more information about how to keep Gainesville's waterways clean, visit the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership website to find ways to get involved.
A Roseate Spoonbill flew over our heads as our group of about 20 assembled in the parking lot of the High Island Bird Sanctuary in Texas. We caught our breath. Welcome to SEJ 2022, the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference.
Ocean plastics that don’t end up asphyxiating an albatross or entangling an elephant seal eventually break down into microplastics, which penetrate every branch of the food web and are nearly impossible to remove from the environment.One thing everyone agrees on is that we need to stop the flow of plastic into the ocean.
“Proven solutions that will reduce US plastic waste and pollution already exist and can be swiftly enacted. The success of single-use plastic bans, water refilling stations, and reusable food and dish ware can be extended nationwide.”
The world’s birds, described as the planet’s “canaries in the coalmine”, are disappearing in large numbers as the colossal impact of humanity on the Earth grows, a global review has found.
Rather than addressing the root cause of America's litter problem – the fact that there was much more disposable packaging after World War Two – their advertising campaigns focused on the bad behaviour of some consumers, he says. "Images and feelings were being manipulated by corporations to put the onus on the individual."
The research focused on microbial meat as it had been produced at industrial scale for 20 years and was already available, said Dr Isabelle Weindl, also at PIK. “Even accounting for the sugar as feedstock, microbial protein requires much less agricultural land compared [with] ruminant meat.” Previous studies have shown the protein quality of microbial meat is equivalent to beef but it requires 90% less land and water and produces 80% less greenhouse gas emissions.
We stopped commercially hunting whales, and the mass slaughter of bison. We no longer clearcut old-growth redwoods, or use explosives on prairie dog towns, or build massive dams on wild salmon rivers. We no longer kill egrets and herons to adorn women’s hats with their feathers. So why shoot and trap wolves, God’s dog, the forebear of all our beloved domestic dogs?
Outlawing grass is perhaps the most dramatic effort yet to conserve water in the Southwest, where decades of growth and 20 years of drought made worse by a warming climate have led to dwindling supplies from the Colorado River, which serves Nevada and six other states, Native American tribes and Mexico.
This is a worldwide public health threat. It’s very frustrating when you step back and you look at the science that has gotten even clearer over the years about how dangerous these chemicals are and how widespread their use is. The companies knew that if they put these chemicals out into the world they were going to get into our water, into our soil, into the wildlife, into us, yet they did it anyway. And now, after making billions of dollars for decades, those same companies are fighting any responsibility and trying to shift the cost of cleaning this mess up on to all of us.
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