Environment

California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water

Thousands of Chinook salmon are struggling to survive in the Klamath River, where waters are running dangerously low and warm. Cold reservoir water is instead going to farms in the Central Valley.

All Things Considered

EPA Wades Into Water Fight With Farmers

The EPA wants to "clarify" the scope of its oversight of water under the Clean Water Act. Big farm groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation call this a power grab that would place every ditch and mud puddle under federal regulation, forcing farmers to get permits for small trenches around the farm.

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Long summer days in Alaska help cabbages, turnips and other vegetables grow to gargantuan sizes. These "giants" are celebrated at the annual state fair, which kicks off on Thursday.

All Things Considered

Often On The Move, Restless Elephants Are Tough To Count — And Keep Safe

A recent study tried to pin down just how many elephants have been killed by poachers. It's a lot — enough to eventually eliminate the species — but pinning down an exact death toll is difficult. The reason elephants are so hard to protect is the same that makes them so hard to count: They roam — exceptionally far.

All Things Considered

Oklahoma Wind Power Companies Run Into Headwinds

The state produces a lot of energy, but environmentalists and the oil industry are joining to combat wind power companies as they try to expand.

Morning Edition

Elephant Slaughter, African Slavery And America's Pianos

Two New England towns dominated the world's ivory market from 1840 to 1940 — transforming imported tusks from African elephants into piano keys and combs. Today's residents grapple with a dark past.

Weekend Edition Sunday

Cold Winter Depleted Some Coastal Fish Populations

The extreme cold weather on the East Coast last winter has meant that some fishermen have smaller catches this summer. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to fishing forecaster Mitchell Roffer in Florida.

Weekend Edition Sunday

Fighting (Tasty) Invasive Fish With Forks And Knives

Invasive fish like snakeheads and Asian carp are threatening to wipe out aquatic ecosystems across the U.S. So chefs and environmental agencies are encouraging their communities to eat them up.

Morning Edition

Comment Period For Offshore Drilling Ends Friday

The federal government is developing its offshore oil and gas leasing plan for a 5-year period that begins in 2017. Right now most of the activity is in the Gulf of Mexico.

All Things Considered

Iowa's Corn Farmers Learn To Adapt To Weather Extremes

Studies warn that climate change will threaten corn production in coming decades. Meanwhile, farmers are experimenting with new planting methods in hopes of slowing soil erosion from torrential rains.

North Carolina Lawmakers Approve Plan For Coal Ash

August 21, 2014
Didi Fung, a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency, collects water samples from the Dan River, Feb. 5, 2014, as state and federal environmental officials continued their investigations of a spill of coal ash into the Dan River in Eden, N.C. Documents and interviews collected by The Associated Press show how Duke’s lobbyists prodded Republican legislators to tuck a 330-word provision in a regulatory reform bill running nearly 60 single-spaced pages. Though the bill never once mentions coal ash, the change allowed Duke to avoid any costly cleanup of contaminated groundwater leaching from its unlined dumps toward rivers, lakes and the drinking wells of nearby homeowners. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Six months after a coal ash spill, state lawmakers have approved a plan to regulate the ashes left over from burning coal.

Bumper U.S. Corn Yield Could Top Records

August 20, 2014
Shoulder-high stalks are seen in a corn field July 5, 2006 in Prairie View, Illinois. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Bryce Knorr of Farm Futures magazine says consumers can expect to see prices drop at the gas pump, but not at the grocery store.

Modern-Day Dust Bowl Isn’t Easy, But It Beats The 1930s

August 20, 2014
Farmer John Schweiser, 80, has had to take shelter from recent dust storms. He also lived through the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

It’s been drier on the American prairie than it was during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, but many farmers are surviving.

Why You Should Worry About The Butterflies

August 20, 2014
In this Oct. 21, 2013 file photo, a monarch butterfly lands on a confetti lantana plant in San Antonio. A half-century ago Monarch butterflies, tired, hungry and bursting to lay eggs, found plenty of nourishment flying across Texas. Native white-flowering balls of antelope milkweed covered grasslands, growing alongside nectar-filled wildflowers. But now, these orange-and-black winged butterflies find mostly buildings, manicured lawns and toxic, pesticide-filled plants. (AP)

This year’s monarch butterfly migration is the smallest ever recorded. We’ll ask why. It’s a big story. Plus: how climate change is creating new hybridized species.

MIT’s David Wilson On His Carbon Tax Proposal

August 19, 2014
An advocacy group in Massachusetts is proposing a revenue-neutral carbon tax that could potentially increase taxes on gas, but at the same time would reduce income and sales taxes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

MIT Professor Emeritus David Wilson is credited with coming up with one of the earliest prototypes for a carbon tax.

Conservationists Urge Action As African Elephants Reach Tipping Point

August 19, 2014
A new study finds more African elephants are being killed each year than are being born. Pictured are elephants in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, July 2014. (Karyn Miller-Medzon)

A study out this week says more African elephants are being killed each year than are being born.

Ospreys Have Fatal Attraction To Baling Twine, Fishing Line

August 18, 2014
This is how ospreys' unhealthy affinity for baling twine can kill. Idaho Fish and Game biologist Beth Waterbury rescued this osprey in the nick of time. (Beth Waterbury/Idaho Fish and Game)

Wildlife biologists in the northwestern U.S. are working with ranchers to keep the attractive nuisance out of the ospreys’ clutches.

West Africa's Ebola Epidemic Spreads

August 18, 2014
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014, a healthcare worker, right, wears protective gear against the Ebola virus before he enters the Ebola isolation ward at Kenema Government Hospital, in Kenema, the Eastern Province around 300km, (186 miles), from the capital city of Freetown in Sierra Leone. (AP)

Ebola: more than a thousand dead now. An unprecedented spread. We’ll look at what it will take to stop it.

Facing Backlash, SeaWorld Expands Killer Whale Habitats

August 15, 2014
In this April 10, 2014 photo, Sea World trainer Michelle Shoemaker hugs killer whale Kayla as she works on a routine before a show, in Orlando, Fla. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. has faced criticism over its treatment of its captive killer whales since the release of the highly-critical documentary, "Blackfish," last year. (John Raoux/AP)

SeaWorld has faced criticism over its treatment of captive killer whales since the release of the documentary, “Blackfish.”

Healthy Food, Fast

August 15, 2014
Employees at a branch of the salad green fast-casual restaurant SweetGreen prepare ingredients. (SweetGreen Restaurants)

Quinoa on the run. We test the claims and reality of the healthy fast food movement.

Former State Senator Forms New Group To Draw Beacon Hill’s Attention To Environmental Issues

August 15, 2014

Founder of a new political group aimed at putting pressure on Massachusetts legislators to address environmental issues discusses his group’s mission.

What Happens To Forecasting When America's Weather Satellites Die?

August 14, 2014
This Aug. 5, 2014 satellite image provided by NASA shows two tropical Pacific Ocean hurricanes - Iselle at center and Julio at right - bearing down on Hawaii, top left. (AP)

We look at what’s at stake for the future of weather forecasting when our aging weather satellites die.

‘Cape Cod Modern’ Tells The Story Of A Hidden Architectural Community

August 13, 2014
A porch view of the Hatch House, built for Robert and Ruth Hatch by self-taught architect Jack Hall in 1961. (WBUR/Amory Sivertson)

We speak to the co-authors of “Cape Cod Modern” about the community of American bohemians and Europeans who built modern houses in the woods of the Outer Cape in the mid-20th century.

Is ‘Unnovation’ The Key To Helping Financially Struggling Cities?

August 13, 2014
A man walks up Newbury Street in Lawrence, Mass. in 2010.  This historical mill town -- one of Boston's gateway cities -- is seeing economic declines as the workforce leaves traditional industries such as manufacturing and farming.

Rather than try to boost local economies with high-tech innovations, what about “unnovating” by focusing on farming, fishing and manufacturing?

Red Tide Approaches Florida

August 12, 2014
A red tide off the coast of La Jolla San Diego, California. (Mortadelo2005/Wikimedia Commons)

The massive algae bloom is the largest the state has seen in nearly 10 years. It’s 80 miles long and 50 miles wide.

Tropical Storm Iselle Makes Landfall On Hawaii

August 8, 2014
Anne Kllingshirn, of Kailua, Hawaii walks with her daughter Emma, 1, as storm clouds float overhead during the sunrise hours on Kailua Beach, in Kailua, Hawaii, Thursday morning Aug. 7, 2014. (Luci Pemoni/AP)

The eye of the storm swept onto shore with winds of 60 mph at 2:30 a.m. local time. No deaths or major injuries were reported.

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