Saving Cape Cod's Waters

Imagine the kind of summer day we New Englanders wait for all year – a light breeze, an azure sky, temps in the low 80s, and, best of all, low humidity. Coolers are stuffed with snacks and sandwiches, beach chairs stacked in trunks, and kids corralled into waiting cars for the traffic-jammed ride to their favorite Cape Cod beach, where the water has warmed just enough to entice even the least hardy among us.
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Taking the Long View

Sometimes, a good idea takes a long time to come to fruition. A very long time. It also takes vision, tenacity, and skill. Take ocean planning – the idea that we can be smarter and more coordinated about how we collectively use, manage, and protect limited ocean resources. When the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan was approved for New England’s federal waters last year, it capped off a journey for CLF that began nearly two decades ago. In 2000, current Vice President for Oceans Priscilla Brooks w

Reclaiming the People’s Harbor

It doesn’t take long for Peter Shelley to warm to his story, though he’s told it countless times before. It’s the case that has defined the career of CLF’s senior statesman, transformed the organization into a litigation powerhouse, and changed the face of Boston forever. It’s the story of Boston Harbor, and it begins like so many modern epics – with an intrepid reporter, a three-part exposé, and a life-changing phone call. The reporter was the Boston Globe’s Diane Dumanoski and it was Decembe

Stopping Childhood Lead Poisoning

For the past four years, Tom Irwin has talked to countless people about the tragedy of childhood lead poisoning. Especially before the Flint crisis put lead issues back in the headlines, he often would be met with the incredulous response, “But haven’t we solved that problem already?” It’s a fair question, says Irwin, director of CLF’s New Hampshire Advocacy Center. “We’ve known that lead is a dangerous toxin, especially for kids, for decades, even before it was banned from paint in 1978. But u

Saving Lake Champlain

If there’s one thing that most Vermonters can agree on, it’s that Lake Champlain is in trouble. The iconic lake is central to Vermont’s identity and its tourism economy. It provides drinking water and feeds thirsty farms throughout its large watershed. How to stop that pollution, by when, and how much to spend have been debated for years. As someone who has been on the front lines of the fight for more than two decades, Chris Kilian, CLF Vice President and Director of the Vermont Advocacy Cente

Talking Trash

On a Monday night in February, more than 100 people crowded into the Sturbridge, Massachusetts, town hall for an emergency meeting of the town’s Board of Health. Nineteen wells in the Sturbridge neighborhood closest to the massive Southbridge Landfill had just tested high for lead – a dangerous neurotoxin proven to do irreversible harm to young children. Recent tests had also revealed a possible carcinogen, 1,4 Dioxane, in six wells in the same testing area. The residents in the town hall that

Boston Harbor 2.0

The New Frontier in the Fight to Save Boston Harbor When CLF launched its 1983 lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for dumping toxic sludge and untreated wastewater into Boston Harbor, years of neglect by the federal government, the state, the city, and polluters had turned the harbor into a shameful liability. But over time, and thanks to the dedicated efforts of public and private partners, the harbor has become the pride of Boston and a centerpiece of booming economic growth, t

Our Changing Ocean

In September, leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C., for the third annual Our Ocean Conference, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. Together, they committed to 136 new initiatives aimed at conserving and protecting fragile ocean areas worldwide. In between commitments from the countries of Sri Lanka and Panama, CLF Vice President and Director of Ocean Conservation Dr. Priscilla Brooks took to the microphone to address heads of state and environment ministers from aroun

Community Voices: The Clean Energy Landscape

On one of those perfect, blue-sky-and-sunshine summer days that New Englanders dream of all winter long, Peter Baute emerges from a shaded trail into a small clearing overlooking Block Island Sound. At least half a dozen people mill about the clearing, cameras in hand, jockeying for the best angle of the scene before them. They’re not here to photograph the cloudless sky, the blue-green water, or even the dramatic Mohegan Bluffs that plunge into the ocean nearby. Instead, they’re transfixed by

Web of Deceit

Holding ExxonMobil Accountable for Its Decades of Climate Denial On January 9, 2006, residents of the Mystic River communities of Chelsea and Everett awoke to find the foul odor of diesel hanging in the air and the river covered in a blue-green sheen. Clearly, one of the local industries that dominate the shores of the lower Mystic had spilled fuel into the river. But, as the hours ticked by, none of them stepped forward to claim responsibility. Meanwhile, the spill continued its sickly-hued sp
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