More stories

New York State law could protect Long Island wetlands from federal restrictions

Just a short hike into a 200-acre woodland in Manhasset lie a series of shallow basins in the forest floor left behind by retreating glaciers. After a dry August, the basins are empty, but in spring they will fill with snowmelt and rain and teem with wildlife: spotted salamanders and wood frogs, waterthrushes and rusty blackbirds, woodland bats and a resident pair of coyotes. Small freshwater wetlands like this provide habitat for dozens of species, offer protection against flooding and help cle

‘Ghosts of capitalism’: the push to dismantle America’s decrepit dams

On a muggy day in late August, George Jackman, an aquatic ecologist who works on habitat restoration, stood at the edge of Quassaick Creek in upstate New York.

The Quassaick, which flows through the small city of Newburgh, New York, and spills into the Hudson River, was unusually shallow after a summer with little rain. “It looks bucolic now,” Jackman said. “But it can be a raging torrent.”

For 300 years, that torrent had been contained by a small dam that once powered a nearby mill, where the

An accidental experiment during COVID suggests too many children are removed to foster care

In the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, some experts worried that children confined at home would be vulnerable to abuse.

Brookings Institution scholars wrote in April 2020 that COVID had created “a perfect storm” of isolation and economic stress that would “almost certainly lead to a sharp increase in unreported cases of child abuse and neglect,” and a New York Times op-ed headline the same month warned of a coming “child abuse epidemic.”

But the evidence suggests that in some parts of

How Game Theory Helped Improve New York City’s High School Application Process

Tuesday was the deadline for eighth graders in New York City to submit applications to secure a spot at one of 426 public high schools. After months of school tours and tests, auditions and interviews, 75,000 students have entrusted their choices to a computer program that will arrange their school assignments for the coming year. The weeks of research and deliberation will be reduced to a fraction of