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With more states like ours — Maryland and Virginia — joining the “shelter-in-place” club, finding a way to get outdoors but maintain the appropriate social distance is increasingly difficult particularly in urban areas, and the stress of it all can be really draining. There is a wealth of resources to help you get outdoors — albeit virtually — if you cannot easily get to a secluded place to enjoy nature safely. If you want something bold or exotic, try a virtual expedition with a National Geographic Explorer. Even a one-minute “walk in the woods” in silence like the one above in Federica Park on St. Simons Island, Georgia can provide instant relief from our new relative captivity.
Emily Ellison, Executive Director of St. Simons Land Trust said, “There have been times in the last week when, hiking on Land Trust properties, the only sounds I’ve heard are my own footfalls and bird calls. It is a surreal experience to be out in nature, where everything seems as always — the same sun and sky overhead, the familiar smells of pine and marsh, the fetterbush (pictured above) blooming as it always does this time of year — and yet know that so much has changed.” For a peaceful interlude, check out the Land Trust’s series of short walks through Guale Preserve here.
The Wonders of the Last Wild Places in the Ocean
National Geographic’s latest expedition took place earlier this year — they explored the ocean off of the Kawésqar National Park in southern Chile, home to some of the healthiest kelp forests on earth, as well as shallow water colonies of cold-water corals — a unique ecosystem that is extremely important to the functioning of the entire region. Or explore the remote island of Malpelo, a UNESCO World Heritage site off the coast of Columbia, which is recognized as one of the best diving sites in the world with steep walls and underwater caves containing an abundance of marine life. Check out Ascension — a tiny volcanic island created by the collision of remote undersea mountains along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, part of the longest underwater mountain range in the world. There are more than 25 expeditions to experience virtually — and each one is breathtaking and will definitely take you places you would likely never visit otherwise!
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Climate change is already causing flooding and heatwaves worldwide. Thankfully, one Dutch city has a plan to tackle it. Arnhem, the capital city of the province Gelderland, recently made a 10-year plan to re-landscape the city in order to deal with the impacts of climate change. As part of […]
A recent study published in Science found that a significant percentage of beef and soy exported from Brazil to the EU is connected with illegal deforestation.As YaleE360 reported that “as much as 22 percent of soy and 60 percent of beef…back to illegal tree felling and fires in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.”
Why This Matters: The study’s lead author Raoni Rajão said, “Until now, agribusiness and the Brazilian government have claimed that they cannot monitor the entire supply chain, nor distinguish the legal from the illegal deforestation.” This new study undercuts that idea, showing that Brazil can (and must) monitor agribusiness’ connections to illegal deforestation.
As the World Economic Forum recently wrote, miniature urban forests (often no bigger than a tennis court) planted using a method invented by a Japanese botanist in the 1970s are growing in popularity. Known as “Miyawaki” forests, these dense groups of trees are bursting with biodiversity and grow more quickly and absorb more CO2 than […]
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