A Water Wake-Up Call
Surrounded by the waters of Lake Superior, Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is a roadless haven for wildlife.
OUR ARCHIVE OF ARTICLES from the past 60 years makes it clear that coverage of water—from freshwater lakes and marine sanctuaries to vernal pools, wetlands and fishing streams—has long been a passion of National Wildlife® magazine. And why wouldn’t it be? Without this essential stuff of life, the blue planet would be devoid of life. So from its very beginning in 1962, this magazine has been celebrating water’s life-giving gifts, holding government to account for protecting our nation’s waters and urging individuals to do their part to keep our waters clean and flowing.
This special water issue—honoring the 50th anniversary of passage of the Clean Water Act—continues the tradition with new urgency. Our article on the Great Lakes (Lakes on the Line) celebrates lake water improvements due to the act but cautions about emerging challenges from invasive species, climate change, “forever chemicals” and other ills. We note how rollbacks to water protections could cause populations of wildlife from river otters to wood frogs to plunge (Sustaining Fresh Waters). We offer guidance to gardeners on how to conserve water in drying climates (Coping with Extremes). And we explore how millions of Americans, often in economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color, lack access to safe, clean water and sanitation infrastructure (Life's Purest Essential)—an environmental injustice that many are working to rectify. When all of us have access to clean water, we can all thrive.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.