The Science of Sustainability

Tag: pollution

QUEST TV: Restoring America's Waters

QUEST TV: Restoring America's Waters

Explore efforts to rebuild oyster reefs, battle algae blooms, and restore salmon to a dammed river in this television episode.

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Fracking in Urban Oilfields: A New Study Sparks More Debate

Fracking in Urban Oilfields: A New Study Sparks More Debate

A rigorous study shows that fracking is unharmful when the stakes are high. Not much should be made of it.

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The Fungus Among Us Could Help Clean Oily Soil

The Fungus Among Us Could Help Clean Oily Soil

There’s more to fungi than just mushrooms. Buried in the soil live large fiber networks of fungi. And these fibrous microbes might be able to help clean up polluted soil.

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Mercury Rises on Coal Costs

Mercury Rises on Coal Costs

Half of the airborne mercury pollution in the US comes from coal-fired power plants. After years of study and debate, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to announce new limits on mercury from coal plants in November. Meanwhile, utilities are scrambling to meet other new federal regulations and industry groups are asking the government to slow down.

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Climate Change Could Mean Cloudy Future for Lake Tahoe

Climate Change Could Mean Cloudy Future for Lake Tahoe

Over the last 15 years, more than a billion dollars has been spent to protect Lake Tahoe's clear waters from runoff and erosion. Now, new threats to lake's clarity are emerging, just as restoration funding is drying up.

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Rise Above Plastics

Rise Above Plastics

Plastic is forever, with virtually every piece of petroleum-based plastic ever made still in existence. That's why it's so critical to oceans and beaches that we dramatically reduce our use of plastics, especially single-use plastics.

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Clean it Up

Clean it Up

Plastic in the ocean doesn’t go away, it just gets smaller. Approximately 70% of this plastic sinks to the bottom where it sits like a time bomb waiting to be assimilated.

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Two Endangered Icons: Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon

Two Endangered Icons: Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon

Kenneth Balcomb, senior scientist at the Center for Whale Research Friday Harbor, Washington, explains the connection between the Southern Resident killer whales (orcas) and chinook salmon.

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Bay Area Mercury

Bay Area Mercury

The Bay Area's mercury problem arises from the special geology of the Coast Range that concentrates the metal in the mineral cinnabar.

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Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Cleanup Day

Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, plastic knives and forks, tangled fishing line, plastic bags, food wrappers, cigarette butts… all this and more will be collected from California’s beaches this coming Saturday, September 25, on Coastal Cleanup Day.

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40 Years of the Clean Air Act

40 Years of the Clean Air Act

In 1969, there were 65 days when Bay Area air quality exceeded federal health standards. Under those same standards, last year, there wasn’t a single day over the limit. On the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, we examine the impacts that the law has had on public health, business, and environmental justice in the Bay Area and what still needs to be done to improve the quality of our air.

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Polishing Oakland's Crown Jewel: Lake Merritt Reborn

Polishing Oakland's Crown Jewel: Lake Merritt Reborn

Oakland's Historic Lake Merritt is in the midst of a multimillion dollar face lift.

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Producer's Notes: The Plastic Breakdown

Producer's Notes: The Plastic Breakdown

Life was easier back before I produced this piece. Now everywhere I look and everything I touch seems to be made of plastic.

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The Changing Bay: Wetland Restoration Projects in Northern California

The Changing Bay: Wetland Restoration Projects in Northern California

Wetlands — they are possibly the most diverse ecosystems on the plant, according to environmental scientists.

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Reporter's Notes: The Changing Bay

Reporter's Notes: The Changing Bay

Less sediment in the bay means there's less for the wetlands, which could be an issue. But there's one thing that makes it worse: sea level rise.

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Reporter's Notes: Ghost Fleet On The Move

Reporter's Notes: Ghost Fleet On The Move

Argentine ants have had amazing success as an invasive species in the US. Their West Coast super colony numbers in the billions and spans from Mexico to Oregon. But aside from invading homes, they've had a dramatic effect on native ants and local ecosystems.

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Reporter's Notes: Truckers Clean Up Their Act

Reporter's Notes: Truckers Clean Up Their Act

Poor air quality can exacerbate breathing problems such as asthma, as well as cause other negative health outcomes. In few places is this more apparent than West Oakland, where reporter Amy Standen investigates the amount and types of carcinogens that are being emitted by diesel trucks and new air quality rules air officials believe will turn things around.

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Scenes from the Pacific Garbage Patch

Scenes from the Pacific Garbage Patch

Quest reporter Amy Standen talks with journalist Lindsey Hoshaw, who has recently returned from a trip to the Pacific Garbage Patch, about what she found there.

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Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Producer's Notes: Mercury in San Francisco Bay

Because there wasn't time in the QUEST TV segment on mercury in the bay to include information on safe fish eating practices, below are the guidelines, along with web links, to help you get plenty of Omega 3s and still keep your mercury levels low.

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Being Green on the Way to Work

Being Green on the Way to Work

On Thursday, May 14th, expect a jump in the number of bikes on the road in San Francisco. The reason for the inflation? Bike to Work Day.

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