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The Outdoors Boosts Child Development 
A study in Britain has found that exposing children to learning in the outdoors pays big dividends in social and emotional development. News flash, eh? Sadly, as the BBC article points, children today have fewer opportunities to get outdoors, a cause for concern here, as well as there. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36795912

Floodplain Battle Brews 
Human settlement has followed waterways since before civilization. Modern development along waterways has, however, many undesirable ramifications. From habitat loss to flood-driven property loss, the costs of floodplain development have come into sharper focus in the light of climate change. Now, FEMA and the National Marine Fisheries Service are in the process of defining tighter rules on floodplain development. Caught in the middle of any outcome from this are a number of Oregon cities. The Oregonian has more: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/07/floodplain_palooza_shows_the_n.html#incart_river_home

Scientists Point to Unsafe Decline in Biodiversity 
A report published in Science magazine details the findings of an international team of scientists: the human-caused decline in the planet’s biodiversity stands to wreck devastating consequences to ecosystems and humanity. Of course, this shouldn’t be a surprise; every ecosystem on the planet is declining, and there are bound to be consequences. The BBC summarizes the report: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36805227

Public Thinks National Parks Undervalued 
It seems blatantly contradictory: While park budgets are gutted by politicians, the public seems to think the parks are worth way more than we spend on them. Then again, many politicians would like to see public monies flowing into their friends’ private pockets, and not the hands of public employees. Anyway, the Smithsonian has the story on the public’s park appreciation: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/articles/americans-think-national-parks-are-worth-way-more-we-spend-them-180959802/

Bats Suddenly Popular in the Face of Zika, West Nile 
As new viral infections make their way into the United States, some are waking up to bats and their mosquito-devouring habits. The New York Times tells the story of a Long Island community betting on bat boxes to make a difference: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/05/nyregion/devouring-1000-mosquitoes-an-hour-bats-are-now-welcome-guests-as-zika-fears-rise.html?_r=0

Putting a Dollar Value on Nature 
The standard development model holds that the only value to be had from nature is by exploiting it. Forgotten in that equation are the essential services provided humanity by nature. As the Smithsonian reports, some are now looking to find a more viable balance in our relationship with nature by quantifying its contributions to our welfare: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-you-put-price-tag-nature-actually-yes-180959678/