By Carl Zimmer – The New York Times – January 15, 2015

A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them. “We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science. But there is still time to avert catastrophe, Dr. McCauley and his colleagues also found. Compared with the continents, the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health.For full story, click here.

By Justin Sink – The Hill – January 16, 2015

Vice President Biden on Friday will announce a trio of new federal initiatives designed to spur new infrastructure spending to upgrade the nation’s drinking and waste water systems. The programs, which Biden will announce following a tour of the Anacostia River Tunnel Project — a massive underground tunnel that will store storm water in an effort to clean up the capital’s notoriously polluted rivers — are the latest effort in a push by the Obama administration to help facilitate local and private spending on infrastructure projects. For full story, click here.

By Ben Geman – National Journal – January 13, 2015

Mike Boots, the acting chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will leave the administration in March, according to a CEQ spokesperson. His upcoming departure from CEQ, which helps coordinate federal environmental policy and oversees several climate-change initiatives, is one of two big changes coming among top White House environmental aides. For full article, click here.

By Tom Henry – The Blade – January 11, 2015

Although western Lake Erie has become an international poster child for noxious algae, a new study suggests that many of the world’s much smaller, cleaner, and calmer bodies of water are likewise in trouble if greater efforts are not undertaken to keep farm fertilizers and other nutrients out of them. The study’s lead author, Dartmouth College biology professor Kathryn Cottingham, said that’s more evidence of how climate change, population growth, and poor land-use practices are putting the Earth’s dwindling freshwater resources at risk. For full story, click here.

The State Journal – January 9, 2015

National and local environmental groups representing Appalachian citizens plan to push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal court to enforce clean water protections in West Virginia and Kentucky. The groups, including the Sierra Club, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, submitted separate legal actions against what they call “the documented, systematic failure of Kentucky and West Virginia to regulate harmful water pollution from mountaintop removal coal mines,” according to the Jan. 7 news release. For full story, click here.