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Early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day in 2012, a father and two sons ventured out for an elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park. Trekking softly through the woods around 7:25 a.m., the trio encountered a 534-pound grizzly bear, which may have been feeding on a nearby elk carcass. During the ensuing confrontation, the hunters raised their rifles and fired at the grizzly, killing it.


Time and time again, we’ve seen big industrial polluters emit toxic pollution that poisons the people and ecosystems nearby. And time and time again, we’ve seen these polluters walk away from the bill, leaving taxpayers to fund the cleanup and communities to live with the contamination.

That’s not right.

Margo Pellegrino recently made a solo journey from New York City to Chicago by canoe. She navigated through three of the five Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, above.

Since 2007, Margo Pellegrino has paddled her outrigger canoe from Miami to Maine, Seattle to San Diego and Cape May to Montauk in order to educate the public about the threats facing rivers, lakes and oceans. Her tireless, one-woman quest to keep our waterways clean is motivated by her young son and daughter.

“I’m more than a little concerned about what we’re leaving behind for them,” Pellegrino says.

Chris Wilke, executive director of Puget Soundkeeper, is on a mission to protect Puget Sound from dangerous agricultural and stormwater runoff.

Growing up, Chris Wilke was a self-described “water rat.” He spent endless hours swimming, digging for clams, fishing, boating and, when he was old enough, scuba diving in Puget Sound, the breathtaking water wilderness that defines his hometown of Seattle.

Wilke frequently spots marine creatures that most people only read about: gray and humpback whales, orcas, seals, porpoises and sea lions. He fishes for salmon, trout and lingcod, and sails regularly, setting out pots to catch Dungeness and red rock crabs.

grazing cattle

The Supreme Court's unexplained stay of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan was "one of the most environmentally harmful judicial actions of all time," writes Michael Gerrard of Columbia Law School in this excellent blog post. But rather than vent outrage, Gerrard quickly moves on to explain that the Clean Power Plan isn’t the only way to cut carbon pollution.

By restoring their land and collaborating with scientists, Dean and Catherine Rebuffoni have created a natural haven for wild trout in Hay Creek.

Seven miles from his family’s cabin in southeastern Minnesota, Dean Rebuffoni can see where the creek that courses through his land begins its life. At that particular site, clear groundwater runs from a spring through a mossy glen. Hay Creek—renowned among people fishing for wild trout—originates from that spring.

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

The new dietary guidelines issued early this year by the federal government highlight the great paradox of food in America. We’re advised to eat less sugar and more fruits and vegetables in order to stay healthy. But at the same time, our government supports a food system that churns out the polar opposite meal plan—one that’s designed to mass produce the foods we’re not supposed to eat, while also generating pollution that harms air quality, water quality and climate. 


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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.