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Water

Report from the World Ocean Summit

Last week, I flew to Half Moon Bay for the World Ocean Summit, hosted by The Economist and National Geographic. It brought together world leaders, nonprofit and industry executives, foundations, resource economists, and scientists to discuss the most pressing problems facing the ocean, and brainstorm solutions. The conference began with…

7 steps to mapping your story for impact with TileMill and MapBox

"I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and I find it hard to believe." --Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island I really do love a good map, which is why I am thrilled that producing good maps showing your own data is easier than…

5 keys to hosting a successful Twitter party

This month, the little-known concept of marine protected areas (MPAs) and a new hashtag #MPAsWork attracted 1000 tweets in one hour, causing the discussion to trend on Twitter. This was thanks to a Twitter party hosted by Sarah Sikich of Heal the Bay and Samantha Murray of Ocean Conservancy (via…

Protecting the crown jewels of the ocean

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently announced that about three percent of the world’s oceans—an area slightly larger than the continent of Europe—now lies within marine protected areas.  This is up from 1.2% in 2010, but still well below the target of 10% by 2020. Despite…

Putting the Dead Zone’s evil twin on the map

How do you win national media coverage on an unreported issue?  It’s a challenge faced by many nonprofits and watchdog groups. And it’s one Resource Media faced when we knew we wanted to tell the story about the spread of cyanobacteria – aka toxic algae - across US lakes and…

A garden that works – for homeowners and clean water

The traditional water pollution prevention story goes something like this: industrial operator, either nefariously or ignorantly, dumps nasty stuff into the water. Someone cries foul – often an intrepid group of scrappy environmentalists – and regulators step in. The polluter gets a big fine, agrees to change their ways and…

Putting a human face on it

The California-based Community Water Center has spent years trying to shine a spotlight on agriculture runoff and groundwater contamination that has made water undrinkable in the state’s most productive agricultural regions. Yet in a nation where most people believe agriculture is good for the environment, raising awareness of the nuances…

California’s experiment to boost fisheries shows early signs of success

In the last ten years, the state of California launched a big experiment by creating marine protected areas up and down the coast that give ocean creatures a chance to feed, breed and thrive.  Like national parks on land, these so-called “underwater parks” are meant to give marine life a…

Arctic natives could lose their say in oil and gas development

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and energy companies are pushing to take away Alaskans’ voice in how oil and gas drilling, mining, road building and other development is balanced with protection for clean water, fish and wildlife. Several bills now being debated in the Alaska Legislature would strip public input and…

Seven cool things in 2012

As communications consultants working with nonprofits, foundations, mission-minded businesses and community groups on behalf of the environment and public health, we come across a lot of really good ideas and cool tactics. What follows are seven especially cool things that came across our collective desks in 2012. Some we were…