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Unearthing climate change challenges along Delaware Bayshore

By Christa Young

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories coming out of a recent meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Philadelphia.

Shane Godshall speaks to a group of journalists about his work doing habitat restoration on Money Island. Image: Christa Young

New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore isn’t called the road less traveled without reason.

Persistent rainfall, exacerbated by global warming, has increased the wetlands in this area of Cumberland County.

Journalists, scientists, and conservationists are uncovering data showing that remote rural communities like Money Island will be flooded soon if politicians and state officials don’t act fast.

Roughly three dozen attendees of the recent Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Philadelphia traveled to Money Island, the smallest and most remote rural hamlet in the county. It was the first stop on a daylong traverse of a 70-mile stretch of untouched Delaware Bayshore coastline in southeast New Jersey.

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Reporting on local food systems

By Vladislava Sukhanovskaya

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories coming out of a recent meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Philadelphia.

Reporting on local food systems
Find someone who “is doing a spark” and who is recommended by dozens and dozens of other people. What else can you do to cover local food community ethically?

“Place both feet on the ground and take a moment to breathe,” said Malaika Hart Gilpin, executive director of One Art Community Center. “Give ourselves a moment to feel a connection with Mama Earth.”

Chairs and floor slightly vibrate in response. After a short meditation, the reporters attending a recent Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Philadelphia open their eyes. They are ready to listen about how to cover food systems.

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Journalists hike urban wilderness of Wissahickon Valley Park

By Shealyn Paulis

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories coming out of a recent meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Philadelphia.

Ruffian Tittman of Friends of Wissahickon explains that the journalists touring Wissahickon Valley Park have arrived on opening day of trout season. Image: Shealyn Paulis

Nestled in the heart of an urban and busy city, Wissahickon Valley Park of Philadelphia provides a place for city dwellers to enjoy the sanctuary of nature.

A popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts, historians and even wedding-goers, the park houses over 50 miles of trails and encompasses over 2,000 protected acres along a stretch of the Wissahickon Creek as it passes through northwest Philadelphia.

Some Society of Environmental Journalists members had the opportunity to explore the greenery during their recent annual conference. Continue reading

Making obscure animals and ecosystems compelling characters

By Ruth Thornton

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories coming out of a recent meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Philadelphia.

Four science journalists discussed framing compelling stories about obscure animals. From left: Benji Jones, Maya Kapoor, Douglas Main and Bethany Brookshire. Image: Ruth Thornton.

 

PHILADELPHIA – One of the many challenges of environmental journalism is making the general public care about animals that are not cute or ecosystems that are obscure.

A recent session of this year’s Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference taught journalists how to do just that.

Four science journalists discussed how they framed stories about lesser-known species including pigeons, the American chestnut tree and ice worms that live in glaciers.

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