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Wednesday
Apr112018

How Belize Is Restoring Its Coral Reefs and Damaged Ocean

Tik Root | National Geographic | Photo: Brian J. Skerry/National Geographic Creative 

The Astrum helicopter company launches from a base less than five miles from where Belize City meets the Caribbean. In the backseat, to my left, is Belizean Senator Valerie Woods. Across from us are two representatives from international ocean protection organization Oceana, which organized the flight. The country’s minister of state, Carla Barnett, climbs into the front seat.

“I haven’t been in a helicopter for a long time,” she mutters, pulling on her headset. The doors shut, and we’re off.

As we rise above the trees, Belize City starts to spread out in front of us. But that’s not our destination. Side-skirting downtown, we head out over the water—where the true treasures lay.

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Thursday
Mar012018

Paint Fight

Tik Root | Mother Jones | Graphic: Selman Design

In 1998, Fidelma Fitzpatrick, a young associate at the Motley Rice law firm, was wrapping up her work on the groundbreaking $246 billion national tobacco settlement when a new case landed on her desk. The state of Rhode Island—which had a disproportionate number of children with elevated blood lead levels—wanted her firm’s help suing the paint industry.

So began a decadeslong legal battle to hold paint manufacturers accountable for cleaning up old houses still coated in toxins. Fitzpatrick played a key role in the Rhode Island case and now spearheads her firm’s involvement in similar litigation. And the argument she proposed using to take on the paint companies is being applied to a widening array of state and local public health lawsuits—especially important given the Trump administration’s apparent reluctance to regulate industries.

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Thursday
Dec282017

A Descendant of Robert E. Lee Speaks Out 

Tik Root | The New Yorker | Video: Paul Rosenfeld, Tik Root, Charlie Weber

Rob Lee had a very busy 2017. His first book, “Stained-Glass Millennials,” about young people and the church, came out in January. In May, he graduated from Duke Divinity School. Later that month, he got married. Then, in August, the Unite the Right Rally descended on Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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Thursday
Dec212017

Saving BASE Jumping’s Most Famous Party

Tik Root | Outside Magazine | Video: Paul Rosenfeld, Tik Root

Since about 1977, West Virginia’s New River Gorge Bridge has been the site of Bridge Day, an iconic BASE jumping party that’s seen some rough years lately. Will this most storied of adrenaline-junkie events survive?

WATCH VIDEO...

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Thursday
Jun292017

Doctors Are Prescribing Park Visits to Boost Patient Health

Tik Root | National Geographic | Photo: Corey Arnold/National Geographic Creative 

South Dakota doctors routinely write prescriptions for everything from painkillers to ointments. This year, however, they’ll have a more novel option at their disposal: park prescriptions. Printed on a notepad with an “Rx” symbol in the top-left corner, a park prescription instructs a patient to take one free day at “any South Dakota state park or recreation area.”

Doctors get these prescriptions through a new program run by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and the state‘s Department of Health. Although the initiative was piloted in 2015, this is the first year that prescriptions will be available statewide.

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