by Neil Stalter | Zoom Out Mycology
Water is the most destructive force on the planet, causing billions of dollars in property damage and tens of thousands of casualties every year. Much of this is due to flooding is the major culprit in this destruction. Streets, homes, and businesses filling with water can shake the very foundation of a community, and it will never be the same. Consider for example, the flooding following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. To this day, communities (particularly poor and underprivileged areas) are still feeling the lingering effects of the flooding the storm left in its wake. (1) Puerto Rico, in a similar fashion, will continue to feel the effects of Hurricane Maria indefinitely; not the least of which the loss of life the storm and subsequent flooding caused. Unfortunately, the country and planet now face a growing problem that will increase the frequency and intensity of these flooding events: sea level rise.
by Neil Stalter | Zoom Out Mycology
The lovely smell that follows a spring rain as you sit on your porch and enjoy the sound of drips pattering on the lawn is so loved that it has earned the distinct honor of its own word, “Petrichor”. Somewhat less romantic is the source of the smell: a mix of plant oil and bacterial by-product. Despite that, when I was young, living in Conesus New York, I learned to love rainy days. There is something especially relaxing about being inside while the sky outside is unleashing millions of gallons of water onto the earth. But rain is also synonymous with sadness and difficulty; for good reason. Rain, in all of its forms, causes billions of dollars in damage in the US every year. But there is one effect of rain that is less obvious than flooding or acid rain. Every time it rains, all of those millions of gallons of water that tumble onto the ground need to go somewhere—and not all of it soaks into the soil below our feet. All that water that rolls off of your roof, through your yard, and over the street is called storm water runoff. This runoff is incredibly good at picking up whatever it comes in contact with as it travels downward to the lowest elevation. Dirt, nutrients, trash; storm water does not discriminate. By some twist of fate, the nutrients that it picks up as it travels actually cause significant damage to the surrounding ecosystem.
by Alyssa Leavy | Zoom Out Mycology
Who cares about water pollution? We do! We do!
Little Lisa, the outspoken voice of morality in the Simpson family, made her debut as an environmental advocate in 1992 in the episode “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish.” The episode features Blinky; a three-eyed fish caught in a polluted river, similar to the one pictured below, behind the Springfield nuclear power plant. Lisa struggles with the injustice that the owner of the plant, who had been dumping toxic waste, won’t answer for this mutagenic atrocity. However, when Marge serves Blinky’s head on a silver platter during a publicity stunt on Mr. Burns’ campaign trail, it costs him the mayoral election. (Simpsons World)
Zoom Out Mycology’s Environmental Awareness blog strives to explain and expose environmental topics and concerns to a wide audience. Our team consists of a diverse group of scientists, policy experts, and engineers that help describe the science behind environmental issues that you see in the news and experience in your daily life. We hope that this knowledge will help all of our readers embrace a healthy and sustainable lifestyle! If you are interested in being a guest contributor, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org