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A variety of seabream fish swimming in the Mediterranean.

Another World Oceans Day is behind us, but despite growing awareness about the dangers of climate change and warming seas, water temperatures continue to creep up. Marine species are expected to shift toward the poles to cope with rising temperatures near the equator, according to a study published last week in Science.

Senator Cardin (D-MD) speaks in front of the White House.

Some members of Congress have lost sight of the fact that access to clean water is a basic right that everyone should enjoy. Over the years, loopholes have been created  in such key environmental laws as the Clean Water Act have allowed the oil and gas industry to develop unchecked, putting the health of the American people and the environment at risk.

A breaching gray whale off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico.

This is a guest post contributed by Haydée Rodríguez. Haydée is an environmental law attorney with a master’s in environmental science and public policy from Columbia University, New York. Based in San José, Costa Rica, Haydée has been working for AIDA on marine protection, freshwater and mining issues since 2013. 

Lake Siskiyou beneath Mount Shasta in Siskiyou county, Calif.

Last week, the California Court of Appeal overturned a superior court ruling from Siskiyou County in northern California in a decision that supports a concept so simple and straightforward that the court was able to sum it up with one wry quote from the Dr. Seuss book Horton Hatches the Egg.

“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant,” concluded the court, echoing the words of Horton, an elephant in the story who is determined to keep his word to sit on an egg while the mother bird is away.

Capitol Hill in the spring

We’re rushing to the Dirksen Senate building. We’re running late. It’s my second day on the job interning for the Earthjustice policy and legislation team in D.C., and I’m guiding clean energy advocates from across the country to meet with their legislative representatives. Only I don’t know where the office is, and I want to make sure they have the opportunity to speak to their elected officials. Miraculously, I find the way and we make it to our meeting.

Streams and the bodies of water they flow to will be better protected with the new Clean Water Rule.

The Clean Water Act was enacted in the 1970s—more than a decade before I was born. A lot has changed since then, and like many things, the devastation that precipitated this historic and significant environmental law is a distant memory for most. There was a time in this nation when water quality was so bad, waterways so polluted that they literally caught on fire.


About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.