Evergreen Issues: Flooding grows along Mississippi, smugglers target succulents and woman takes helm at “Nature”

EVERY TUESDAY WE BRING YOU ISSUES THAT IMPACT YOU AS AN OUTDOOR LOVING WOMAN. WHETHER IT HAS TO DO WITH CLIMATE CHANGE OR FEMALE EMPOWERMENT, WE SCOUR THE INTERNET, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT BILLS, SOCIAL MEDIA AND LOCAL AND NATIONAL NEWS, AND DELIVER IT TO YOU – SO YOU KNOW.

HERE ARE YOUR EVERGREEN ISSUES:

1. Scientists: Levees along Mississippi River worsen flooding

Flooding along the Mississippi River through Missouri has infiltrated national headlines the past few weeks, and a new report from NPR explores the effectiveness of the infrastructure meant to prevent them.

Scientists say earthen levees built along the river to keep floodwaters at bay are actually upping flood risk for everyone.

“When a new or larger levee is built there is often hew and cry, and if there isn’t, there should be,” says Nicholas Pinter, a geologist and the associate director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis.

“What you’re doing in many cases is taking a flood plain out there — it can be 5 [or] 6 miles wide — and you’re forcing the water that would otherwise spread across that area to go through a narrow passageway.”

Researchers say the resulting floods are more severe than they would have been without levees, which causes more to be built, thus creating a vicious cycle.

This is not NEW information – NPR reports in 1852, an engineer named Charles Ellet Jr. warned the federal government that forcing the Mississippi into a narrow channel made the water “rise higher and flower faster.”

Despite, levees became the routine solution for controlling the river’s flow. Congress ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct a massive system of levees and dams on the Lower Mississippi after the great flood of 1927.

2. California faces succulent plant smuggling crisis

California law enforcement has been dealing with a succulent smuggling crisis, as demand for the plants grows in Korea and China.

In the past year, California Department of Fish and Wildlife game wardens have busted five smuggling operations, involving more than 3,500 succulent plants.

“Dudleya”, as they’re officially known, grow wildly along the California coastline. One of the poached plants can fetch upwards of $70 on the Asian black market.

Check out this photo from a poaching bust by CDFW in Humboldt County. Three people – two from Korea and one from China – were arrested for pulling some 2,300 plants out of the ground.

3. Journal “Nature” hires first female EIC

The journal Nature has hired its first female editor-in-chief in 149 years of existence.

Magdalena Skipper is a geneticist, who has worked for Nature journals for more than 15 years.

Photo c/o Magdalena Skipper Twitter

NPR reports that the position is one of the most important in science, as Nature is one of the most renowned scientific journals in the world.

“The ozone hole and the first planet found outside the solar system were all announced in its pages, among many other discoveries.”

Skipper told NPR she looks forward to keeping the scientific process transparent. Skipper says while she’s honored to serve as a role model for girls and women who are thinking about entering the sciences.

She begins her new post July 1.