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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.

This week the EPA finalized a Clean Water Rule that will better protect our nation's waterways, but polluting industries are looking to Congress to block this rule.

Growing up in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, the streams and rivers were not only our source of clean drinking water, they were our playgrounds. As a kid, I roamed the forests and spent a lot of time in the creeks, especially where I could slide down slick rocks into cold pools.

Drought conditions are threatening Emigrant Lake in Ashland, Oregon.

Thirsty Thursdays is a biweekly blog series exploring the historic drought in the western United States. In the ongoing series, we’ll share expert opinions, breaking news, compelling articles and the work Earthjustice is doing to protect water resources in a time of extreme water scarcity. Today, we’ll take a look at recent news and some of our favorite articles and videos from around the web.  

Crescent Lake, Maine

In the coming month, many kids around the country will excitedly prepare to spend their summers at camps that rest on the shores of scenic lakes and ponds. I used to be one of those lucky kids when I spent my coming of age summers at a camp on Crescent Lake.  

Sure, I have never been a particularly strong swimmer and I did spend most of my childhood afraid of water, but I could not help but appreciate the beauty and enjoyment of Crescent Lake. I swam, fished and paddled kayaks and rowboats in that lake.

Today the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized a Clean Water Rule that will better protect local streams that feed lakes, rivers and oceans.

The only problem with a pastime like fishing in the middle of the Arizona desert was the absence of a real lake, but that didn’t stop my grandpa Jimmy.

A WWII paratrooper from South Carolina, Jimmy had settled down in Tucson, Arizona after the war. By the time I met him, he had long retired his wild side for quieter hobbies like watching Jeopardy, writing poetry and fishing.


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.