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Communities rely on clean drinking water and they rely on government to keep it clean. The tragedy in Flint, Michigan, violated that basic trust. And it has left other communities,—including those in upstate New York faced with drinking water pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs—concerned about their state’s ability to keep their drinking water safe. 

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily stayed the Clean Power Plan, but business leaders are already working on the transition to clean energy sources and have no plans to stop.

America’s contribution to global climate action is unfolding against the backdrop of a courtroom drama that threatens to obscure what should be center stage—the accelerating shift away from coal and toward clean energy that is already happening across the country. 

Flint Michigan

News of the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, has many people understandably worried about the safety of their own tap water. As in Flint, millions of people throughout the country drink water that passes through lead pipes. Lead is especially dangerous for children, fetuses and pregnant women. There are laws on the books designed to protect us from lead and other harmful contaminants in our water.

Hellbender

Earthjustice protects many animals that are under threat, and some of them are, shall we say, less visually appealing than others. This Valentine’s Day, we’re giving the spotlight to these often-overlooked creatures. From cat-sized salamanders to tiny fish, each one of these featured creatures plays a critical role in the larger ecosystem and deserves a spotlight. After all, we can’t all be eagles, but we all need love.

Hellbender Salamander

Wolverine Nazzu/Shutterstock

Once decimated by traps and poison, only a few hundred wolverines remained at the turn of this century when Tim Preso, the managing attorney of Earthjustice's Northern Rockies office, took up their cause against unsympathetic state governments and the George W. Bush administration. After many years and court battles, in February 2013 the federal government proposed to protect the wolverine as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Atlantic mackerel fishing net

The massive nets of an industrial midwater trawling fleet comb through the water above the ocean floor in search of Atlantic mackerel and herring, leaving little in their wake. Among the casualties are millions of river herring and shad, both forage fish that are a vital food source for mid-Atlantic predator fish, marine mammals and sea birds. As victims of “bycatch,” river herring and shad populations have dwindled to less than 5 percent of their historic levels.

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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.