FERN’s Friday Feed: Milkweed Matters

welcome to FERN’s Friday Stream (#FFF), where we share stories from this week that got us thinking.

Farmers were fighting milkweed. Now they are fighting for it.

modern farmer

“Common milkweed is the main plant species that the monarch butterfly, Danaus Plexippus, must survive. And the species is disappearing at a rapid rate. If milkweed ceases to exist, scientists say, so will the iconic monarch butterfly,” writes Jennifer Taylor. “The perilous state of milkweed is important to farmers as [Don] Guinnip because, he says, “we don’t want to burden the environment when we don’t need it.” It turns out that the decline of milkweed threatens more than monarchs. Such threats have a cascading effect that eventually affects humans, as a third of the country’s food production depends on pollinators like monarchs.

Are sustainable seafood products really sustainable?

The hill

“The MSC [Marine Stewardship Council] is the largest fisheries certification program in the world with its widely known blue tick sustainability label and its certified fisheries accounting for approximately 17% of the world’s total wild marine harvest. With more than a third of the world’s fish stocks currently fished at an unsustainable level, the MSC aims to tackle overfishing by encouraging consumers to choose sustainably caught seafood,” writes Trang Chu Minh. “However, UK marine conservation charity Shark Guardian recently revealed the possibility of shark finning and other fraudulent practices on MSC-certified tuna fishing vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. .

Next Level River Cleaners: Bivalves and Grasses

Yale Environment 360

“[Fifty] years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, urban waterways continue to return, showing more and more signs of life,” writes Katherine Rapin. “And yet, the ecosystems are still in trouble and the waters are often inaccessible to the communities that live around them. Increasingly, scientists, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and state agencies are focusing on organisms such as bivalves (such as oysters and mussels) and aquatic plants to help nature restore fragile ecosystems, improve water quality and increase resilience.

Wildfire poisons fish in the Klamath River

High Country News

“Tens of thousands of fish died this weekend in the Klamath River as a result of the McKinney Fire in Siskiyou County, California, just south of the Oregon border,” B wrote. .Toasty. “As the fire burned, thunderstorms and flash floods triggered landslides of ash and mud into the water, causing parts of the river to swell even as its oxygen levels dropped. The scientists say dead fish started showing up last Thursday – adult and juvenile suckers, juvenile chinook and coho salmon, rainbow trout, lamprey, crayfish and more. in it died,” said Kenneth Brink (Karuk), a Karuk Tribal Fisheries Program field supervisor and traditional fisherman.

Black Elders Saved This Mississippi Farm


“Until five years ago, Teresa Springs was always in heels and perfectly manicured. As a child growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, she had never even walked barefoot in the grass. Today Today, Teresa goes barefoot through the rows of crops on her farm, rooting herself in the Mississippi earth as part of her daily healing, connecting to the earth as the sun sets before returning with covered hands and feet of land to her husband, Kevin, and their old farmhouse. They’ve been running their farm for five years now, dubbed TKO Farming, an acronym for Teresa and Kevin’s Oasis, and they’re still as impressed with what they’ve built in As self-described townsfolk who met in July 2013 while working on criminal justice reform in Miami, the couple never considered living, let alone operating, a farm.

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