Environment America Research and Policy Center Latest Blog Posts

We all want our teeth to be clean after brushing, and our bodies to be clean after showering, but did you know the products used in these everyday activities could be harming wildlife? Hundreds of commonly-used household products contain tiny plastic microbeads, which can be a big problem for our environment. 

Halloween is the annual time to celebrate all the creepy things that go bump in the night, but what's really fightening are the many very real threats to our waterways and drinking water. Nothing is more important to life than clean water, yet few things are taken more for granted. We turn on our taps or swim in a local lake without fear because we believe the systems are working to keep our water clean. The fact is, those systems don’t always work, and in many cases, are failing to keep water safe. 

For Margo Pellegrino — who recently completed a 1,700 mile journey from New York to Chicago in an outrigger canoe — advocating for clean water can be like “paddling against the wind on a windy day.” Now that she’s back home in Medford Lakes, N.J., she’s not slowed down any in her quest to protect our waterways and ensure clean water for all Americans. 

Last year at this time, the toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie caused nearly half a million people in and around Toledo, Ohio, to be without safe drinking water. Clean water from our taps is something that many of us take for granted, but if we don’t protect our water sources — like the residents of Toledo discovered — we won’t be able to take it for granted anymore.

On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced a commitment to nearly triple wind power, solar power, and other non-hydro renewable sources in the U.S., so that they make up 20 percent of our energy use by 2030. 

This Father’s Day we’re celebrating the many fathers who instilled an appreciation for the great outdoors — specifically a respect for clean water — in their children by taking them hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, or just swimming in the local watering hole. The more children connect with the outdoors and local waterways, the more likely they are to respect and value wild places — creating the next generation of environmental stewards. 

Margo Pellegrino, a solo-paddler currently in the midst of an epic journey in her outrigger canoe, is inspiration personified. Pellegrino is a paddler with a purpose. She’s raising awareness of watershed issues that impact our drinking water health, and way of life. Instead of doom and gloom, Margo’s message is one of hope — that the problems our waterways face can be fixed. 

Without wetlands, ducks would be, well, sitting ducks. All of North America’s duck and goose species depend on wetland habitats for breeding, rearing, and/or for resting and foraging along their migratory flyways.  Despite the many important reasons for protecting our remaining wetlands, in the last decade, wetlands have actually lost protection.