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Otters to the Rescue, Glue-Spitting Death Worms, Best Hurricane Names Everrr
Our top picks: the best environmental news and #greenreads from around the web.

Blue marble madness: When we first started sending manned tin cans into the great unknown in the sixties and seventies, astronauts remarked at how pristine our planet appeared from above. Apart from a few spots, such as the smoggy haze of Los Angeles, you wouldn't have known back then that there are creatures busily building and destroying things down below. Today that view is very different. Receding ice, rampant wildfires, slash and burn agricultural practices, and thick layers of coal and fuel smoke are noticeable with the naked eye. But don’t take my word for it, you can see it for yourself. New York Times

Reigning in the methane: Today the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue the nation's first set of rules to reduce air pollution at fracking sites (see "In Space, Everyone Can See You Frack"). McClatchy

The ol’ college try: Ohio State University has the third largest stadium in college sports, and the sixth largest non-racing stadium in the world. And when that many spectators—ahem, drunken college kids—get together, it creates a huge heap of garbage. So it’s all the more impressive that the college also has “the most successful zero waste program at any college sports venue in the United States” (see "Grand Slam in Seattle"). The one thing the stadium doesn’t have is a trash can—compost and recycling bins are the only options. USA Today

Remembering J.-C.: Last month, OnEarth lost friend and colleague J.-C. Suarès. Throughout his career, Suarès was an inimitable presence in the design industry, working for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Fast Company, The New York Times and many other high-profile outlets. He also saw OnEarth through a decade of change, and his insight and vision are evident in the character of the magazine today. “He was a wizard of refinement,” our editor-in-chief Douglas Barasch writes. “He practiced alchemy: our magazine’s pages sparkled in ways they hadn’t moments before he arrived.” OnEarth

Little grouse on the prairie: The “Sea of Sage” near Gunnison, Colorado, is at risk of drying up thanks to climate change, and that means the clock is ticking for the soon-to-be-endangered Gunnison sage grouse. To combat this, a confederation of conservancy groups has been trying to return the ecosystem's natural ability to retain water by restoring channels that transport snowmelt throughout the land. It’s costly, labor intensive work, but it might be the only chance the grouse have got. High Country News

Just add otters: All over the world, seagrass meadows are in decline thanks to a boom of smothering algae fueled by fertilizer runoff from farms. But in one estuary in California's Monterey Bay, seagrass is growing like it’s never grown before. After some digging into historical records and few studies, scientists now believe the seagrass resurgence might coincide with the reintroduction of sea otters. The lovable water weasels eat up all the crabs, which eat certain algae-loving invertebrates like sea slugs. The slugs eat the algae, the sea grass soaks up the sun, and everybody sings Kumbaya. (Except the crabs, I guess. And the disgruntled fisherman, who want more crabs to catch.) Los Angeles Times

DAILY DISTRACTIONS

Hurricane Michele Bachmann: It's unfortunate for all those innocent Katrinas, Ivans, and Sandys out there who must deal with being the namesake of a horrible hurricane. But what if we started naming tropical storms after people who have actually done something wrong, like denying climate change? Happily, hilariously—there’s a petition for that. Huffington Post

Beast beneath the leaves: Last week, the interwebs hummed with the discovery of a new species of velvet worm. But not just any worm, of course. This creepy crawly captures prey with a dueling set of glue-shooting cannons. In its honor, here’s some video showing one of its spitting-cousins on the hunt. (Ah, I love the sound of Sir David Attenborough in the morning.) YouTube

OTHER HEADLINES

Can Big Blobs of Greasy Sewer Blubber Power London? OnEarth

Be Aware: Beaches Can Make You Sick Poughkeepsie Journal

Waste CO2 Could Be Source of Renewable Power Climate Central

On a Remote Island, Lessons in How Ecosystems Function Yale Environment 360

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)
Image:
Geoff Gallice

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