By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – October 8, 2015

For just the third time on record, scientists say they are now watching the unfolding of a massive worldwide coral bleaching event, spanning the globe from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. And they fear that thanks to warm sea temperatures, the ultimate result could be the loss of more than 12,000 square kilometers, or over 4,500 square miles, of coral this year — with particularly strong impacts in Hawaii and other U.S. tropical regions, and potentially continuing into 2016. For full story, click here.

By Donnelle Eller – The Des Moines Register – September 13, 2015

About 1,000 acres of rich northwest farmland drain into a 10-acre wetland, where grasses, cattails and other vegetation help hardworking microbes remove nitrates from the water before they can enter the Des Moines River. The pilot project, one of five wetlands constructed at the same time the drainage systems were rebuilt, works to offset nitrate losses from the tile it connects with. With an aging tiling network that drains 12 million acres, the state faces a unique opportunity to construct the conservation practices needed to dramatically improve Iowa’s water quality, says Sean McMahon, executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance. For full story, click here.

By Douglas Main – Newsweek – September 7, 2015

A surprising study has found that frogs in suburban lakes tend to be mostly female, and suggests that urbanization and estrogenic wastes are likely turning male frogs female. In a study published September 7 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers sampled hundreds of young frogs from 21 ponds in Connecticut, which were all geographically close but varied widely in terms of how developed their immediate surroundings were. The scientists, led by Yale University researcher David Skelly and doctoral student Max Lambert, were surprised to find that the extent of development was strongly linked to the proportion of females; ponds in forests contained lower proportions of females, whereas males were in the minority in some areas of the ‘burbs. For full article, click here.

 By Jessica Mendoza – The Christian Science Monitor – August 31, 2015 – Video

A stubborn, squatting species of algae has come to Minnesota’s lakes. On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of non-native starry stonewort in Lake Koronis and Mud Lake, producing dense mats that choke out other plants and form a wall between fish and their natural breeding grounds. The algae is one in a list of invasive pests that conservationists say pose serious risks to the nation’s water bodies in particular and its ecosystems in general. For full story and to view video, click here.

By Brian Bienkowski – Environmental Health News – August 28, 2015

Long-term exposure to tiny amounts of Roundup—thousands of times lower than what is permitted in U.S. drinking water—may lead to serious problems in the liver and kidneys, according to a new study. The study looked at the function of genes in these organs and bolsters a controversial 2012 study that found rats exposed to small amounts of the herbicide Roundup in their drinking water had liver and kidney damage. It is the first to examine the impacts of chronic, low exposure of Roundup on genes in livers and kidneys and suggests another potential health impact for people and animals from the widely used weed killer. For full story, click here.

By Alister Doyle –  Reuters –  August 19, 2015

Many of the world's plants are turning "alien", spread by people into new areas where they choke out native vegetation in a worsening trend that causes billions of dollars in damage, scientists said on Wednesday. The invaders include water hyacinth from the Amazon, which has spread to about 50 nations where it crowds out local plants, while Japanese knotweed has fast-growing roots that have destabilized buildings in North America and Europe. Citing a new global database, an international team of scientists wrote in the journal Nature that 13,168 plant species - 3.9 percent of the global total - "have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity". For full story, click here. – August 18, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey found insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the nation and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency published Tuesday in Environmental Chemistry. This study, conducted from 2011 to 2014, represents the first national-scale investigation of the environmental occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural and urban settings. The research spanned 24 states and Puerto Rico and was completed as part of ongoing USGS investigations of pesticide and other contaminant levels in streams. For full story, click here.