"Everything Is Dead"
Ricky Handshoe's family has lived in Floyd County, Kentucky, for generations. Raccoon Creek flows right by his house. "We used to have the best water on the creek and just about more fish than anywhere else for a stream this size."
No longer. Heavy metals and other pollutants from mountaintop-removal coal mining have made the electrical conductivity of the water over 11 times what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for aquatic life. "Everything is dead," says Ricky.
After years of scientific study, the EPA issued guidance on acceptable levels of conductivity in stream water. Unfortunately, last week a court sided with the coal industry and threw out the EPA's guidance, saying it wasn’t an official rule.
Join Ricky Handshoe in urging the EPA to appeal the court's ruling so that we can protect our water.
Mind the Gap
Traveling from Joshua Tree to Crater Lake? Be sure to transfer at Yosemite. Going to Hot Springs? Change at the Great Smokies.
We love parks and public transit. Which got us to thinking: What would a subway system of our national parks look like?
Take a look at our fun subway map and count the number of stops you've made and the stations you might want to visit on your next trip.
Nine Must-See West Coast Waterfalls
You can hike to them, dance underneath them, appreciate them from afar, or listen to them up close. They're majestic and powerful, and no two look alike.
These majestic natural wonders are well worth taking a hike to see.
How many of these waterfalls have you experienced firsthand?
The Good, the Bad, and the Best
Traveling all over the country on outdoor adventures and documenting them on video sounds like a dream job, but Best Internship on Earth winner Joaquin Sosa has discovered that it's not all s'mores and zip lines.
Joaquin's been hard at work this week, chained to the edit desk putting together a miniseries about the highs and lows of his outdoor internship.
Check out Episode 1 here!
Olympic Medalist and Urban Farmer
You might know that Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin, the most decorated female athlete at both the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing games, won a bronze medal at this year's London Olympics, bringing her lifetime total to 12 medals. What you probably didn't know is that she grows most of her own food and keeps five chickens in her backyard.
Learn more about Coughlin's passion for urban farming, her eco-friendly wedding, and how it feels to win a gold medal.
Photo courtesy of Ethan Hall.
Welcome, Dr. Al!
In August, former Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Al Armendariz chose to join the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign as a campaign strategist. Why the Sierra Club?
As Dr. Armendariz explained in his first interview since leaving the EPA:
"I wanted to join an organization with a track record of success in taking on the coal industry, and I wanted to join an organization that I felt I could contribute to. I found that in the Sierra Club and in the coal campaign."