Environment

S Bence

Most of the Kinnickinnic River looks like a giant drainage ditch. However, work is underway to restore the river to it's natural flow.

Back in the 1960s, the KK was channelized with concrete slopes. At the time, the technique was considered to be a state-of-the-art storm water management system. Instead, the channels led to devastating flooding.

By 2007, the river was named one of the 10 most endangered rivers in the United States.

A lawsuit in the Netherlands is taking an unusual approach to climate change. So unusual, in fact, that experts around the world are watching it closely, wondering whether it might spark a major shift in environmentalists' efforts to limit carbon emissions.

If that happens, it won't be the first time that Marjam Minnesma has turned the status quo on its head.

She's founder and director of a Dutch environmental organization called Urgenda, an abbreviation for "urgent agenda."

Photographer Matt Black grew up in California's Central Valley. He has dedicated his life to documenting the area's small towns and farmers.

Last year, he says he realized what had been a mild drought was now severe. It had simply stopped raining.

"It was kind of a daily surreal thing to walk outside," Black says.

The disease-resistant Callery pear became American cities' street tree of choice starting in the 1950s. One community in Pennsylvania, fed up with the stench, has banned it.

This story originally aired on All Things Considered on April 24, 2015.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Great Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Facebook

Around a dozen filmmakers will be in Milwaukee over the weekend as Marquette University hosts the first annual Great Lakes Environmental Film Festival. The three-day long event is the last in a growing number of film festivals with environmental themes around the world.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: California going back to the drawing board to deal with their drought.

Susan Bence

UPDATE:  Earlier this month, emergency responders told the the city's public works committee that if a rail crisis occurred in downtown Milwaukee up to a half mile area might be evacuated. That topic reverberated again at today's meeting.

It was attended by Canadian Pacific Railway representatives and Wisconsin Commissioner of Railroads Jeff Plale.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A version of this story was first published on April 5, 2014. It has been updated.

The majority of Americans now live in cities and have very little to do with the production of their food.

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