Planning for a Post-Coal World

Planning for a Post-Coal World

Cumberland monkeyface. Rough rabbitsfoot. The shiny pigtoe. They’re not dance moves - they’re mussels! And they are a just a few of the colorfully-named aquatic species that make the lakes and streams of the Appalachian Mountains their home. Unfortunately, these mussels share another quality with over 50 aquatic crayfish, fish, mussel, and salamander species native to central Appalachia - they are listed on the U.S. Endangered Species List as threatened or endangered. While many factors can imperil species, it is no coincidence that Appalachia is home to both an abundance of imperiled species and extensive surface mining, including mountaintop removal mining and valley filling - a coal extraction practice whereby the tops of mountains are literally blasted away and dumped into adjacent valleys, burying streams. Click here to learn more.

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Michael Evans
Senior Conservation Data Scientist

As a Senior Conservation Data Scientist in the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders, Mike leads geoinformatics and data science projects to inform and improve conservation.