Since about Jan. 1, the Freshwater Society has been publishing, as a blog, a weekly digest of a dozen or so news articles about water and the environment. The digest also is published on our web site.
The articles have covered a lot of subjects. One of the first digests included a link to a New York Times article about a tsnunami washing over Manhatten. It wasn’t an April Fool’s Day spoof. It was about new research indicating a tsnunami may have – it’s not certain – struck the area that now is New York 2,300 years ago.
More recent blog postings have had links to articles on President Bush’s designation of a huge marine reserve near the Mariana Islands, the evolving activism of President Obama’s appointees to the Environmental Protection Agency, the likely toll on ground water of Canadian efforts to extract oil from tar sands and Michigan State research on synthetic pheromones that trick spawning sea lampreys.
There has been some news items that seemed counter-intuitive: Research indicating that the global extinction crisis may not be as bad as it has been portrayed, and other research suggesting that, at least temporarily, fish off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast are benefiting from nutrient-laden runoff.
From Minnesota, the blog has linked to accounts of a Blackduck man being fined for filling wetlands, a judge’s rulings in a ground water pollution suit against 3M, University of Minnesota research on corn-based ethanol, low water in White Bear Lake and the discovery of zebra mussels in Prior Lake.
Proving that one should never underestimate the impact of wagering, some of the highest traffic on the blog came in recent weeks as lots of Lake Minnetonka-area residents were waiting for news that the ice was out.
Sometimes the blog has succeeded in doing more than rounding up the usual sources. We’ve had lots of links to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and Minnesota Public Radio. But we also posted news from the U.S. Geological Survey’s web site, Scientific American, the PR News Wire, the San Jose Mercury News, the Nation, the Annapolis Capital, Medill Reports, the Eden Prairie News and the UW-River Falls Student Voice.
Now it is your turn. Please take time to tell us how you use these weekly digests.
We want to know:
n Do you read them regularly?
n Do you use the RSS feature to access the digests?
n Do you follow the links? How often?
n Do the digests help you find articles you would not otherwise encounter?
n Most of all, how can we make the blog better and more useful?
You can respond directly to this blog. Or you can email Patrick Sweeney – psweeney(at)freshwater.org.