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Water

Communicating the value of ocean protection

President Obama made headlines around the world recently when he announced plans to create the world’s largest marine preserve in the Pacific Ocean. When you are talking about two million square kilometers of pristine coral reefs, it’s easy to grasp the significance of a marine protected area.  The smaller protected…

Water wins

Here’s the scenario: Washington State, like many states, uses something called fish-consumption rates to set water quality standards. The idea is to start with the average amount of fish people eat, and then figure out how clean the water needs to be in order for someone to eat that amount…

Ready for Toxic Algae Season

Toxic algae – sometimes called harmful algal blooms – is a particular threat in the warm summer months, when polluted runoff from farms, feedlots, lawns and septic fields meets warm waters that allow dangerous algae growth to explode. For the second year in a row, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s…

Summer dreams don’t include toxic algae

Spring has sprung, and May brings more than flowers (from the April showers). It’s time to start dreaming about first splashes at local spots where families will be swimming, anglers will be fishing, and paddlers will be – well, you know, dipping oars. Summer days are just around the corner,…

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…