Daily Digest

A “crowning symbol” of the restoration of the Bay, work on 2,635-acre Bair Island is nearing completion. This is a great opportunity to appreciate the Redwood City residents who stopped Mobil Oil’s development of the marsh in the 1980s. Restored wetlands provide wildlife habitat and protect communities from sea level rise caused by climate change. That’s why the San Jose Mercury News is calling on Silicon Valley to protect itself against sea level rise. Plus, local communities are cleaning up trash from waterways that flow directly to San Francisco Bay.

San Jose Mercury News 4/23/2012
Restoration of huge bay wetland near Redwood City nearing completion
For hundreds of thousands of motorists driving along Highway 101 every day, it is a vast expanse of dirt and grass, framed on the north by Oracle’s world headquarters and on the south by the Port of Redwood City. But to environmental groups and biologists, it is a crowning symbol of the ongoing restoration of San Francisco Bay, 2,635 acres that prove not everything has been diked, filled and paved.
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San Jose Mercury News 4/23/2012
Mercury News editorial: Silicon Valley must protect against catastrophic sea-level rise
In a visit to Silicon Valley earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein issued a timely warning about the potentially catastrophic effects of sea-level rise throughout the Bay Area and the need to act now to control the damage. She knows that water issues are likely to dominate California politics for the next decade.
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Contra Costa Times 4/21/2012
Volunteers clean up North Richmond creek for Earth Day
Alonzo Harden Jr. used a grabber to stir the sludge of North Richmond’s Wildcat Creek, pulling a plastic bag from among the spray cans, Styrofoam cups and other junk littering the murky water.
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Laney Tower 4/20/2012
Laney battles Merritt Channel pollution
Just east of the Laney parking lot lies the last stretch of the Merritt Channel before it empties into the Oakland Estuary. At the water’s edge, a snowy egret stalks a small frog that will become its next meal. Noise from the 880 freeway is muffled. In a cacophony of flapping and honking, a flock of Canada geese rises into the air. In their wake, an empty Doritos bag floats languidly on the water. It will be gone in a few hours, taken out to the Bay on the tide that flows through the channel. It’s a small sign of a much larger problem for the small, often overlooked marine habitat.
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Daily Digest

As Americans grapple with the tons of trash we produce, local cities – from Milpitas to Ukiah – are taking strides to reduce plastic pollution.

The Wall Street Journal 4/18/2012
Grappling With a Garbage Glut
Each week, we push our trash to the curb, and it seemingly disappears. But where does it all go: the spent cartons of milk, the computer keyboard fried by spilled coffee, those empty dog food cans?
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Milpitas Post 4/18/2012
Council steps closer to plastic bag ban for Milpitas
Milpitas City Council on split votes Tuesday decided to pursue a future ordinance to ban single-use carryout plastic bags in the city. On a related vote, however, the council rejected a larger state-level effort to restrict polystyrene food containers.
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Press Democrat 4/18/2012
Ukiah to ban plastic bags
The Ukiah City Council Wednesday night unanimously voted to prohibit disposable plastic shopping bags, the first such ban in Mendocino or Sonoma counties.
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Daily Digest

San Mateo County is seeking public comment on its countywide bag ban. And local “weed warriors” keep invasive species at bay. Plus, the surfing industry isn’t as green as you think.

San Mateo Daily Journal 4/18/2012
County seeks input on bag ban plan
San Mateo County and several like-minded cities considering regulations on plastic and paper bags are seeking public input throughout the Bay Area as part of the required environmental review process.
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The New York Times Green Blog 4/19/2012
For Weed Warriors, the Motto Is Endurance
To the untrained eye, a weed is just a weed, and few of us could tell a thistle from a teasel. But for Paul Heiple and his team of Weed Warriors, knowing the difference is essential to their work routing out invasive plants that threaten the native species at Edgewood Park, a 500-acre natural preserve that overlooks California’s Silicon Valley.
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Forbes 4/19/2012
Surfing’s Toxic Secret
As I paddle out into the surf on a crystal clear California morning, brown pelicans swoop low over the ocean, and a flock of seagulls of Hitchcockian proportions soar above a deserted beach where a harbor seal lolls in the sunshine. With surfers carving the face of a wave breaking off this reef just north of Santa Cruz, it’s the kind of nature-boy scene that sells billions of dollars of surf apparel and gear to coastal dwellers and landlocked wannabes. There’s nothing pristine about what’s under our feet, though. The typical surfboard is a slab of petroleum-spawned polyurethane slathered in layers of toxic polyester resin. Gnarly, and not in a good way.
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Daily Digest

As Silicon Valley looks for solutions to sea level rise, Google scales back its proposed bridge project over Stevens Creek in Mountain View. At Hunter’s Point, NASA scientists are developing a modern alchemy of turning wastewater into biofuel. And hands-on environmental education improves test scores at inner-city schools. Learn more about Save The Bay’s Restoration Education programs here.

Forbes.com 4/14/2012
Silicon Valley Joins the Maldives on Threat List for Sea Level Rise
According to the AP, “Business leaders and Sen. Dianne Feinstein launched a $1 billion, 10-year fundraising goal on Thursday that is aimed at preventing some of Silicon Valley’s leading technology companies from going underwater—literally.”
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Mountain View Voice 4/16/2012
Google scales back bridge project
After prodding from conservationists, Mountain View-based Google is redesigning its bridge project over Stevens Creek, one of the most hotly contested infrastructure projects in recent memory.
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SF Appeal 4/17/2012
NASA Scientists Toil At Hunter’s Point, Trying To Turn Wastewater To Biofuels
NASA scientists working at a San Francisco sewage treatment plant in Hunter’s Point believe they’ve developed a way to use wastewater to make biofuels.
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The Almanac 4/17/2012
County seeks public comment on plastic-bag ban
With the support of most city and town governments in San Mateo County, the Department of Environmental Health Services is asking the public to comment on the scope of a proposed county-wide ordinance that would ban the use by retailers of single-use plastic bags at checkout counters.
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Los Angeles Times 4/16/2012
At an urban L.A. school, nature grows — and test scores too
At Leo Politi Elementary, workers ripped out concrete and planted native flora. The plants attracted insects, which attracted birds, which attracted students, who, fascinated by the nature unfolding before them, learned so much that their science test scores rose sixfold.
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Learn more about Save The Bay’s Restoration Education program >>

Daily Digest

Restored wetlands provide wildlife habitat and protect communities from sea level rise caused by climate change. Listen below to the personal impact of sea level rise on the South Bay community of Alviso. Healthy tidal marshes also provide habitat for sensitive species including river otters, which are now returning to Bay Area creeks. And around the Bay, restoration projects are reclaiming open spaces, from the Richmond shoreline to Candlestick Point.

Latino USA on National Public Radio 4/13/2012
SAVING ALVISO
Chuey Cazares has lived all of his 21 years in Alviso, California, a tiny hamlet, perched at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay. His close, extended Latino family has lived in this town for generations. Now sea level rise and storm surges brought on by climate change, threaten to inundate Alviso. Plans to save the town from flooding are underway, but the solution may be bitter sweet for Chuey and his family.
Listen here >>

San Francisco Chronicle 4/15/2012
River otters rebounding with hospitable habitat
It’s wild times in the watershed. The most happy-go-lucky denizen of Bay Area creeks is back, after a hiatus of at least three decades: the river otter.
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Bay Nature 4/5/2012
Reclaiming the Richmond Shoreline
Travel along Richmond Parkway and you’ll witness a parade of progress and decay, nature and commerce. Evidence of industry past and present shares fence lines with blighted lots, tract housing, new developments–and plenty of open space. To the west are marshland, shoreline, and San Francisco Bay. To the east is urban North Richmond. Here in the space in between, residents of a working-class subdivision called Parchester Village fought for decades to keep a neighboring marsh undeveloped.
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San Francisco Chronicle 4/15/2012
Fixing up Candlestick Point Recreation Area
Growing up, Reneka Jones capped off 49ers games with family barbecues in Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. She celebrated birthdays there, too, and fished and skipped stones across the waves.
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