In Louisiana, a diverse coalition of fishermen, chefs, restaurateurs, environmentalists and retailers have come together to add their voices to the polarized fight for shares in the natural resources of the Gulf Of Mexico. In Utah, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument has become an iconic symbol of the Antiquities Act that dates back to President Theodore Roosevelt who started a tradition of using it to protect vast American landscapes. In the Lower Mississippi Valley, a federal program funds the creation of wetland reserve easements to convert flooded farmlands back to the original wetland habitats that were unwisely cleared decades ago.
With Louisiana’s coastline sinking and washing away, projects to restore the Mississippi Delta aim to reverse decades of mismanagement that has blocked the depositing of sediment at the river’s mouth. Pollution in Lake Erie has focused attention on nutrient runoff from Ohio’s farms, and government advisors are assisting farmers to develop solutions. With nutrient runoff also a problem where farms use poultry litter to fertilize fields, researchers are finding ways to recycle litter into nitrogen and other useful chemicals.
Commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico are now using individual fishing quotas to manage their catches of red snapper, a fish population that has made a remarkable recovery after years of overfishing. With federal government support, landowners in Pennsylvania are managing their forests for diversity, providing better habitat for declining species of songbirds like the golden-winged warbler. In Georgia, a program on Lake Lanier for school kids teaches them the importance of water quality.
With new water rights and a major irrigation project under construction, the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona is gearing up for a revival of an agricultural heritage that sustained them for centuries before white settlers arrived. Public-private partnerships in national parks are saving taxpayers money while supporting critical services, maintenance and repairs. With individual fishing quotas for red snapper, charter boat captains on the Gulf Coast adopt new sustainable practices that provide them with more income and safety.
Protecting the Chenier Plain: On the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana, a wildlife-rich wetland and critically important industries are threatened by erosion and tidewater flooding. Cattle and bobwhite quail manage to coexist on grazing lands in south Texas – how does that work? Residents in Virginia have a plan to create protected wilderness and scenic areas in the George Washington National Forest, allowing a variety of recreational activities including mountain biking, hiking and fishing.
Local residents support a bill in Congress to designate new wilderness areas and wild & scenic rivers to ensure permanent protection of treasured public lands in the vast Los Padres National Forest. Farmers and ranchers in Louisiana add cover crops and rotational practices to improve soil health and keep their upstream runoff from contaminating the Gulf of Mexico. A small community in West Virginia was promised a recreational dream, but instead got a power plant’s coal ash dump that poisons their drinking water (co-produced with Earthjustice).