Biodiversity Along the Border Wall

There is an ongoing political debate regarding the construction of a continuous border wall along the United States-Mexico border has the potential to devastate biodiversity in the wall’s path. If the wall is built, the divide of ecoregions will result in fragmented ecosystems, splitting habitats into smaller, isolated ecosystems. Fragmented ecosystems are disastrous and endanger prominent species like jaguars and bighorn sheep.[1] Such fragmentation will be created by the border wall’s obstructing-intrusion into the animals’ migration routes. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) exist to maintain biological diversity and federally protected wildl

California's Urchin Problem

1. Background As purple sea urchins continue to multiply along the state’s coasts, California’s kelp forests are struggling to maintain their existence. [1] Historically, purple sea urchins did not pose a significant threat to kelp forests. [2] However, due to both human interference and unfortunate natural events, the urchins’ predator populations have vanished. [3] These disappearances have fostered the urchins’ destructive potential. [4] 2. Issue Importance Sea urchins cripple entire coastal ecosystems by devouring kelp forests. Kelp forests are a foundational element of coastal ecosystems, providing both sources of food and shelter to hundreds of marine species. [5] However, in exh

Uranium: Explosive Both In and Out of Court

Uranium mining has the potential to damage the ecosystem in the Grand Canyon and endanger the way of life of Native American tribes living nearby. Recently, the Havasupai Tribe took legal action to protect its waters from potential contamination from mine runoff. They are opposed by mining companies who own mining claims in the area. A legally complex scenario has unfolded involving multiple laws, regulations, and lawsuits. While some issues have been resolved, a Senate bill and a petition to the Trump Administration both vie for dominance and could have a profound impact on the Grand Canyon for decades to come. In 1966, Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which is

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