Explore: June 2013

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2 posts from June 2013


4 Natural Firework Displays for Fourth of July


Fireworks have long been a staple of Fourth of July revelry — but at what environmental cost? America's favorite explosives are made from heavy metals, sulfur-coal compounds, and toxic chemicals. When detonated, the smoke and dust produced by fireworks can pose serious health risks for humans and animals alike. Plus, igniting fireworks can start fires and contaminate water, harming the environments that surround us. Enjoy (and spare) the environment around you by observing these natural displays of beauty.

1.) Bioluminescent waters: Next time you're in Florida, skip the crowded beaches and theme parks. Many of the state's small rivers and lakes are filled with bioluminescent dinoflagellates, which light up the waters after the sun goes down. Take a kayak trip through places like the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge to watch these microorganisms in action. If Florida is inaccessible, California, Washington, and Puerto Rico also boast bioluminescent waters. Isn't a calmly glowing river preferable to loud bangs and the smell of sulfur?

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Update: Wilderness Diplomacy

Shin Kalay studentsIn our May/June 2011 issue, Sierra magazine featured photographer Ian Shive's Wilderness Diplomacy initiative, which seeks to bridge cultural gaps by sharing images of natural landmarks.

Shive tells us that the program continues to thrive. His book was recently used by Green Village Schools in Helmand Province, Afghanistan (pictured here). Students who might not otherwise be exposed to the wildlife and landscapes of the United States were invited to explore the country through photography.

Dr. Mohammad Khan Kharoti, who visits classrooms in Afghanistan as part of the initiative, reported that the students were very engaged with the material. Kharoti said, "They were pointing to every little thing on the pages, which was very exciting."

Check out more photos below and read the feature article about the Wilderness Diplomacy program in Sierra magazine.

Continue reading "Update: Wilderness Diplomacy" »

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