The Stream, September 11: 90 Percent of U.S. Urban Waterways Contain Pesticide Levels Harmful to Wildlife

United States
Approximately 90 percent of urban streams and 61 percent of rural streams in the United States contain levels of pesticides above thresholds that are considered safe for aquatic wildlife, though they are generally safe for humans, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, Reuters reported. The percentage of contaminated urban streams rose dramatically in the past decade, up from 53 percent between 1992 and 2001, while the percentage of rural streams affected declined from 69 percent.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would limit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to implement proposed rules that could expand their jurisdiction over small streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act, The Hill reported. President Obama threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

Food Security

More than one million people in Somalia are experiencing acute food insecurity in part due to drought and conflict, the United Nations News Centre reported. The summer harvest of cereal grains is expected to be 37 percent below the long-term average because of water shortages, and humanitarian aid is needed at least until the end of the year, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Invasive Species
Invasive plants are pushing out native species and overtaking parts of Russia’s Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world, United Press International Reported. The outbreaks are thought to be driven by more than 25,000 tons of waste dumped into the lake annually, according to local ecologists.

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