Lawyers may get close to $180 million in Flint water crisis settlement

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

Lawyers who helped win a $626-million legal settlement tied to the Flint water crisis could receive close to $180 million for their work, according to terms set forth in a federal judge’s ruling Friday. It’s less than they requested, but considerably more than critics say should go to lawyers for such a large class-action award.

In her decision, U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy adjusted some of the lawyers’ requested fees downward, leaving them to collect expenses and fees coming to what she described as “less than 31.33 percent” of the total settlement amount of $626.25 million.

Atchafalaya mud

Read the full story at the Bitter Southerner.

After years of dredging, straightening, and leveling, the largest river swamp in the United States needs help. But no one can agree on what this iconic wilderness is supposed to look like. How do you conserve a landscape when the only constant is change?

Biden’s top science adviser resigns after acknowledging demeaning behavior

Read the full story in the New York Times. See also the story in Politico.

The adviser, Eric S. Lander, had apologized for his workplace conduct. The president had pledged to immediately fire any official who acted that way toward colleagues.

Webinar: Sustainability in the City of Orlando

Feb 17, 2021, 1 pm CST
Register here.

This free, one hour webinar features Christopher Castro, director of sustainability & resilience for the City of Orlando. Chris will describe his department’s seven focus areas and corresponding goals: transitioning the electric grid to 100 percent clean energy; creating a market for high-performance, green building development in commercial and residential sectors; building a local food economy that embraces urban agriculture; transforming to a zero-waste future; enhancing livability with natural systems and ecology; developing programs around water quality; and reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles through the implementation of multimodal transportation solutions.

Our Speaker

Chris is a renowned public official, sustainability professional, clean energy enthusiast, and eco-entrepreneur with a passion for advancing smart, resilient, and sustainable cities in balance with nature. In his current position since 2014, he has served as a senior advisor to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and “Future-Ready” steering committee member at the City of Orlando — developing policies, programs, and partnerships that have turned Orlando into one of the leading cities in America accelerating sustainability, resiliency and climate action. Chris is also known for his entrepreneurial efforts prior to coming to the City, including co-founding a global sustainability nonprofit, IDEAS For Us, as well as a clean energy consulting firm, Citizen Energy, and a renowned urban farming social enterprise, Fleet Farming. In 2020, Chris also joined partners to launch Climate First Bank, the first B-Corp community bank in Florida working to advance ESG and local sustainable investing. Outside of work, Chris serves on many nonprofit and academic boards, including the UCF Energy Research Center, US Green Building Council of Florida, Project Greenschools, and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. In December 2018, Chris was featured in a National Geographic documentary on climate change called “Paris to Pittsburgh.”

In a refinery’s ashes, hope for an end to decades of pollution

Read the full story at e360.

An old industrial site in Philadelphia is being converted into a vast e-commerce distribution center, a trend being seen in other U.S. cities. But the developers of these brownfields must confront a legacy of toxic pollution and neglect of surrounding communities of color.

Assessing Carbon Removal webinar series

American University’s Assessing Carbon Removal webinar series brings together experts to examine particular carbon removal technologies.

Institute staff and guest speakers explain and contextualize what we know about carbon removal options, as well as the research necessary to thoroughly assess the technical, legal, and social considerations of carbon removal technologies as a potential element of a climate response portfolio.

Counting ducks from 500 feet above: How a wetland bird ecologist inventories waterfowl along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers

Read the full story at WCBU.

Josh Osborn has a unique job. The Navy veteran turned ecologist leads the waterfowl aerial inventories from the Frank C. Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center at the Forbes Biological Station in Havana.

Taking to the skies every autumn and spring during migration seasons, Osborn makes regular educated estimates of the number and types of birds flocking along 212 miles of the Illinois River and 214 miles of the Mississippi River.

New underwater trash bins help clean up Anacostia River

Read the full story at DCIst.

The Anacostia River has a trash problem; in fact it’s one of the few rivers in the U.S. that is officially considered impaired by trash by the Environmental Protection Agency, which implemented a “trash diet” on the river more than a decade ago.

D.C. is trying out a new tool in the fight against trash — underwater bins that suck debris out of the water. Seven of the contraptions, called Seabins, are being deployed by the nonprofit Anacostia Riverkeeper, funded by a $60,000 grant from the District Department of Energy and Environment and the U.S. EPA.

Rising from the Antarctic, a climate alarm

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Wilder winds are altering currents. The sea is releasing carbon dioxide. Ice is melting from below.

How the mining industry is using Minecraft to get into kids’ heads

Read the full story at CNET.

Mining-focused video games are being integrated into 57 schools in Australia.