Weekly Roundup | September 5, 2013

Check out this week’s Weekly Roundup for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay.newspaper

Southern California Public Radio 9/3/13
California spends $428M on waterway trash-fighting
California communities are spending $428 million a year to keep plastic and other trash off the streets and keep it from polluting waterways and beaches, an environmental group said in a new report. The study, released on Aug. 28, was based on information supplied by 95 communities around the state on how much they spent on street sweeping; litter pickup; waterway and beach cleanup; storm drain cleaning and maintenance; installation of devices to trap trash that flows down storm drains with runoff, and public education programs about litter’s impact on waterways.
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SF Gate 9/1/13
San Francisco Before 1900
People from all around the world moved in, built a famous city, built factories on the bay shore, and by 1908 when the U.S.Navy’s Great White Fleet steamed in the Golden Gate, the whole world around San Francisco Bay was transformed in only 100 years. 2013 is the Year of the Bay. To celebrate, we’re opening up the Chronicle photography archives to an innovative crowdsourcing project at //yearofthebay.org, designed at Stanford University with nonprofit social technology partner Historypin. We’ll post the pics, but we need your help. We need you to tell us anything you know about the who, what, when, where of the scenes in these photos.
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San Jose Mercury News 8/29/13
Massive new wetlands restoration reshapes San Francisco Bay
The Carneros region in southern Napa and Sonoma counties has been known for years for chardonnays, pinot noirs and merlots.But as the grapes hang plump on the vines awaiting the autumn harvest, this area along the northern shores of San Francisco Bay is growing a new bounty: huge numbers of egrets, herons, ducks, salmon, Dungeness crabs and other wildlife, all returning to a vast network of newly created marshes and wetlands. Construction crews and biologists are in the final stretch of a 20-year project to restore 11,250 acres of former industrial salt ponds back to a natural landscape. The aquatic renaissance is already the largest wetlands restoration project ever completed in the Bay Area, turning back the clock 150 years and transforming the area between Vallejo and Sonoma Raceway, despite little public awareness because of the distance from the Bay Area’s large cities.
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Berkeleyside 9/5/13
Bird’s eye view: San Francisco Bay as seen from the air
The eyes of the Bay Area have been on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge this week. The self-supported suspension span, conceived after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, took 24 years of planning and building, and $6.4 billion, to complete. But man has been building on the shores of San Francisco Bay for hundreds of years, and a new book and exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California documents those changes and pushes viewers to ask whether it has been for the good. Matthew Coolidge, one of the founders of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, a research and education organization that uses art and other methods to explore and examine landscape issues, is fascinated with man’s impact on the land. The organization got its start in an office in Jack London Square in Oakland in 1994, but now has offices and exhibition space in Los Angeles, and residency and research outposts in Wendover, Utah, the Mojave Desert, and Kansas.
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San Jose Mercury News 9/3/13
California Coastal Cleanup 2013 targets cigarette butt trash
Every September, Coastal Cleanup Day analytical surveys of trash collected by volunteers create a snapshot of how much trash and what type of trash is polluting our waterways and ocean, in order to make changes to protect the environment. This year, on Saturday, Sept. 21, volunteers will again count collected trash.The number one piece of trash with 6,489,979 items collected in California from 1989 to 2012 (if you don’t count the countless pieces of plastic and Styrofoam) is the miserable, disgraceful, discarded cigarette butt. After group items such as food wrappers/containers and caps/lids, the group plastic and paper bags were 4th on the list, with a count of 1,374,381. And, you cannot have failed to notice that environmental stewards have managed to successfully campaign to change the availability of plastic bags in our society.
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Weekly Roundup | August 29, 2013

Check out this week’s Weekly Roundup for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay. newspaper

SF Gate 8/23/13
Dunkin’ Donuts searches for foam cup alternative
Dunkin’ Donuts sells more than 1.7 billion cups of coffee around the world each year – and many of those are served in a foam cup. That volume of trash would make any environmentalist pop a vein, and the doughnut chain’s disposable cups even became the topic of a Change.org petition that’s drawn nearly 125,000 signatures.
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Marin Independent Journal 8/24/13
Volunteers pull invasive plants, protect marsh wildlife at Kentfield park
Mulcahy was one of 10 volunteers participating in the clean up at the Kentfield park Saturday. Members of Save The Bay, an organization that restores Bay Area habitats, organized the event in partnership with the Marin County Parks and Open Space District as part of an ongoing effort to protect the brackish marsh near the park. The organizations have been teamed up for about a year, holding 10 events to remove non-native plants, plant native ones and gather litter at the site — the only one in Marin County that Save The Bay helps maintain.
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SF Gate 8/25/13
Sailing from the dock of the Bay
We tugged waterproof pants on over our own, zipped ourselves into jackets, dragged life vests over our heads and then, over those, bibs (to prevent any Velcro straps or zipper pulls getting entangled with the boat stuff). Then came the thrill, a sail aboard an Extreme 40 Catamaran, a fast boat that was state-of-the-art about two Cups ago.
We clambered aboard a variety of vessels to make our way – a strange term to use for water transportation, but the trip from the pier to catamaran involved two separate inflatable boats, the first of which sped through the water under the Bay Bridge – to the catamaran. En route, we strapped on helmets.
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BBC News 8/26/13
Sea otter return boosts ailing seagrass in California
The return of sea otters to an estuary on the central Californian coast has significantly improved the health of seagrass, new research has found. Seagrass was deemed to be heading for extinction in this region before the otters returned.But scientists found that the animals triggered a chain reaction of events that boosted the water-dwelling plants. The urbanisation of California has led to a huge increase in nutrient pollution in coastal waters, from increasing use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers.
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Mercury News 8/27/13
San Jose approves foam food container ban
San Jose will become one of the largest cities in the nation to ban plastic foam food containers when a law the City Council passed Tuesday takes effect next year. The council voted 9-2 to approve an ordinance that would ban the foam containers starting in January for large multistate restaurant chains and extend to small neighborhood eateries and other businesses a year later. San Jose is one of the largest among dozens of cities and counties including 70 in California that have approved bans and restrictions on the foam containers, which environmentalists say become more persistent and pervasive pollutants that harm wildlife than other packaging material that breaks down more easily.
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Marin News 8/28/13
Cigarette eater meter in San Rafael collects 50,000 cigarette butts
Three months after its installation, a public art piece called a “cigarette eater meter” has collected 50,000 cigarette butts and in turn raised money for a local nonprofit. The 7-foot-tall meter was placed in the San Rafael city plaza on Fourth Street on May 30 as part of an effort by the San Rafael Clean Coalition to get litter off city streets. The coalition, a group of organizations and volunteers focused on keeping the city tidy, wants people to retrain themselves not to throw cigarette leftovers on the ground.
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I’m for the Bay because…

IMG_1968_fb2What do you love about San Francisco Bay? Everyone who lives in the Bay Area has fallen for the Bay at some point, which explains why Bay Area natives are so proud of this area. The Bay adds to the beauty of the region and connects unique and bustling cities that comprise the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up in Alameda, I’ve had the unique opportunity to take my dog along the Bay within a 5 minute walk.  It’s hard to imagine not having that chance to enjoy the Bay at least once a week. The Bay is a constant reminder of just how lucky we are to live in such a gorgeous region.

For my summer project at Save The Bay, it only seemed fitting to focus on local love for the Bay, its importance, and how it brings together people from many different walks of life. I wanted to take photos of Bay Area residents expressing their love for the Bay and its importance to them. The Bay has different meanings to different people, but in the end they all connect to the fact that the Bay has significant importance to each person. This project engages different types of people, such as bicyclists, parents, runners, outdoorsy people, and environmentalists about their love for the Bay.

During the process of asking people to fill out the signs for the pictures, I found it interesting how most people picked “My favorite spot along the Bay is…” sign instead of “I am for the Bay because…”.  Several people mentioned that it was hard from them to describe, in one phrase, the exact reasons why they are for restoring the Bay. After I thought about that, it made sense because I had trouble explaining it myself. Of course I am for protecting the Bay (I do work for Save The Bay, right?!), but they are abstract reasons, so it is hard to articulate in one sentence. Maybe that is the point; many of us cannot imagine the Bay Area if the Bay was taken out of the equation because the region would not have the same feel without it. 

As you can see from this photo project, Save The Bay’s restoration efforts matter to people from all walks of life — from dogs, to adults, to teenagers. We all have reasons for protecting the Bay, and there are dozens of spots along the shoreline where we can experience our personal moments of appreciation for living in such a beautiful place. Personally, I am for the Bay because I want my future family to be able to enjoy living in the Bay Area just as much as I have. And my favorite spot along the Bay? It’s where I can sit on top of a cement boat on the edge of Bay Farm Island in Alameda and look out directly across the Bay to see the Bay Bridge, an outline of San Francisco, Oakland and the rest of Alameda.

View all the photos from this project here.

Weekly Roundup | August 23, 2013

Check out this week’s Weekly Roundup for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay. newspaper

New York Times 8/20/13
Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming
An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.
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Mother Nature Network 8/19/13
Rare sea turtles eating plastic at record rate
Sea turtles around the world are eating plastic at an unprecedented pace, a new study reveals, with some species downing twice as much as they did 25 years ago. This indigestible, potentially fatal diet is especially popular among young turtles in the open ocean, deepening concerns about the ancient animals’ long-term outlook.
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Mercury News 8/20/13
Los Gatos Plastic Bag Ban Approved by Town
The Los Gatos Town Council approved a ban on single use plastic bags at its meeting Monday night. The ban takes affect Feb. 3, 2014. At that time, grocery stores and most other retailers will begin selling recycled paper bags for 10 cents apiece. However, the aim of the ordinance is to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags to stores.
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SF Gate 8/20/13
Expert brings public health into climate change
Temperatures are intensifying. Sea levels are climbing. Wildfires are spreading. None of this is news to Dr. Linda Rudolph, a Bay Area expert on climate change. What worries her most, however, are the human health disasters that global warming may end up unleashing. While California, along with the rest of the world, may be years away from feeling the full brunt of global warming, signs already point to potential consequences for the environment and, subsequently, humans.
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SF Gate 8/21/13
Wildlife Sightings to Crown Summer: 18 Picture Gallery
Summer is about to end for a lot of people, but how could a summer be complete without seeing a bear? Or an elk, bald eagle and other wildlife? Seeing California’s major wildlife is not a random event; you can leave right now and likely find what you are looking for by the weekend. Along the way, you might have additional chance sightings, such as bobcat, fox, raccoons and coyotes, or more elusive wildlife such as porcupine, mink, pine martens and badgers.
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Marin News 8/20/13
Stinson Beach closed to swimming after great white shark spotted near beached whale
Stinson Beach will be closed to swimmers and others who like to get into the water until Sunday after a 10- to 15-foot great white shark was seen near the area where a fin whale beached itself. Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials closed the beach’s waters after the shark was spotted by a lifeguard in the surf line at about 3 p.m. Monday. The shark continued to be seen until 5 p.m.
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Weekly Roundup | August 16, 2013

Check out this week’s Weekly Roundup for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay. newspaper

Palo Alto Online 8/9/13
Creek project will help endangered fish run free
Steelhead trout are expected to be able to swim more easily between the Searsville Dam and the San Francisco Bay after a low-lying concrete slab is removed from San Francisquito Creek this month. The $285,900 Bonde Weir Fish Passage Improvement Project will remove the barrier that’s more than 50 years old and lies on the creek bottom in El Palo Alto Park at Palo Alto’s border with Menlo Park.
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SF Gate 8/14/13
Ancient redwoods in growth spurt of a lifetime
The last remaining old-growth redwood trees along the California coast and in the Sierra are in the midst of a growth spurt the likes of which has never been seen before, a climate research study revealed Wednesday. The ancient trees produced more wood over the past century than they have during any other time in their life, a stretch that dates back, in at least one case, a thousand years before the birth of Christ, according to a study released by the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.
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SF Gate 8/12/13
On the way home, boater rescues dog from SF Bay
Berkeley resident Adam Cohen’s already atypical commute home from San Francisco in a motorized inflatable boat turned even more unusual Monday evening when he helped a group of windsurfers rescue a dog from the middle of the bay.
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Marin News 8/11/13
Art by the Bay exhibit decorates Tiburon hillside
Driving on Tiburon Boulevard, motorists may be surprised to glimpse a series of oversized paintings bursting with color on the Tiburon hillside by the bay, part of an outdoor exhibition stretching from Blackie’s Pasture to Shoreline Park through August 18.
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SF Gate 8/13/13
Postcards of San Francisco from the 40’s and 50’s
Check out these fabulous vintage Bay Area postcards from the 1940’s and 50’s.
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Bay Nature 8/15/13
Why exactly is Muir beach closed to parking until the end of the year?
Muir Beach has always been a beloved coastal sanctuary for Bay Area residents, but until December it will be notably empty of human form due to the recent closure of the parking lot. Instead, the endangered coho salmon will be the ones kicking back on the coast in what have been dubbed “coho cabanas.” These driftwood ‘cabanas’, built by the Redwood Creek Restoration Project (RCRP), serve as safe houses for the salmon, which avoid predators by using the structures as stepping stones along their up- and downstream migrations.
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