A contractor for Green Forests Work plants native hardwood and evergreen seedlings on a reclaimed mine site in Dorton, Kentucky.

Previous efforts to restore former coal mine sites in Appalachia have left behind vast swaths of unproductive land. Now, a group of nonprofits and scientists are working to restore native trees to the region — even if it means starting the reclamation process from scratch. 

By Elizabeth McGowan

Oceans

As Oceans Warm, the World’s Kelp Forests Begin to Disappear

Kelp forests — luxuriant coastal ecosystems that are home to a wide variety of marine biodiversity — are being wiped out from Tasmania to California, replaced by sea urchin barrens that are nearly devoid of life.

By Alastair Bland

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A farmer examines a rye cover crop planted within a field of soybeans in Midburn, Iowa.

Food & Agriculture

Where Corn Is King, the Stirrings of a Renaissance in Small Grains

Breaking with the industrial model of growing corn and soybeans, a growing number of Iowa farmers are putting oats, rye, and other small grains into their crop rotation, a switch that is regenerating soils, cleaning up waters, and providing benefits to family farms.

By Twilight Greenaway

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