Weekly Roundup | April 5, 2013

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

Palo Alto Patch 4/3/13
Save The Bay Welcomes Estuary Scientist Sam Luoma to Board of Directors
Save The Bay, the largest regional organization working to protect and restore San Francisco Bay, announced today that Dr. Sam Luoma has joined its Board of Directors. Dr. Luoma comes to Save The Bay with a distinguished career in Bay estuary and water science.
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High Country News 3/21/13
Uncertain science in CA’s Bay Delta
In 2009, a reporter for CBS’s 60 Minutes asked the then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger a hard question about California’s water. The state had been battling over the fate of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta for decades, and, with the Governator’s encouragement, work was progressing on the new Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The plan was supposed to supply water to Central Valley farms and Southern California cities while also protecting Delta fish and farmers. It was a tall order, and 60 Minutes wanted to know if Schwarzenegger thought he could have it all.
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Mercury News 4/4/13
Bay Bridge tanker collision report: Pilot committed ‘misconduct,’ made risky change in course
The pilot of a 752-foot-long oil tanker that collided in heavy fog with the Bay Bridge three months ago committed “misconduct” by making a risky last-minute change in course, state investigators concluded Thursday.
The pilot, Captain Guy Kleess, failed to effectively communicate with other members of the ship’s crew and “lost awareness of what was happening around him,” an investigative committee of the State Board of Pilot Commissioners concluded.
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Marin Independent Journal 4/2/13
Assemblyman Levine’s bill banning plastic bags passes first committee
A plastic grocery bag ban proposed by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, has overcome its first hurdle and is headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Assembly Bill 158 was approved Monday by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata. Chesbro helped co-author Levine’s bill along with Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, Richard Gordon, D-Menlo Park, and Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo.
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National Geographic 3/29/13
RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities
Most of the great cities, the world over, are built along the water. So are many towns, hamlets, and villages. But sea level rise and extreme weather, both fueled by climate change, threaten to reclaim coastal lands and the communities that are built on them. The destruction of New York’s shoreline, in the wake of Super Storm Sandy, has made this all too clear. The RISE series looks at this international issue through the lens of a single place: the San Francisco Bay and the 7 million people who live and work in cities that ring its shores. Moving beyond the headlines, RISE asks hard questions — and finds some interesting answers.
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San Jose Mercury News 4/3/13
Sickly sea lion pups come north for treatment in Marin
About 30 malnourished California sea lion pups have arrived at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands for treatment from Southern California, where treatment centers have been overwhelmed by hundreds of the sick animals. Since January, strandings of California sea lion pups have been high in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
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Fairfield-Suison Daily Republic 4/3/13
The reasons why to garden with native plants
In the Bay Area’s residential areas, 20 to 50 percent of the land remains open, meaning it has not been paved over or covered by structures. All of it is potential habitat. Wherever there’s soil and air, organisms are living. Insects hunt and pollinate, plants extend their roots downward and stems upward, and winged or furry creatures eat and sleep. Habitat does not only mean undeveloped lands, it means backyards, front yards and yards with planted containers. You can create your own backyard habitat by planting native plants that invite wildlife. Everyone appreciates being in a garden that is beautiful, but a garden with bees, birds, butterflies and dragonflies is an interesting, peaceful place to spend time.
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Board Spotlight | Donnie Fowler

Donnie Fowler
Donnie Fowler has been a member of Save The Bay’s Board of Directors since 2011.

Meet Donnie Fowler, a Public Affairs and Technology professional originally from Columbia, South Carolina. Donnie joined Save The Bay’s Board of Directors in 2011.

Do you have a favorite Bay site or experience?

I love being outdoors, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since I moved here in 2001, I’ve continued to discover new places from Healdsburg and the Sonoma Coast to the Santa Cruz Mountains that back up Silicon Valley and down to Santa Cruz. One of my favorites has been participating in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, which includes a mile-and-a-half swim in the Bay. How lucky are Bay Area residents to be able to experience all this in our backyard?

How did you get involved with Save The Bay?

I was invited by Wade Crowfoot, who was a Save The Bay Board member at the time. He and I worked together in 2010 to successfully defeat California’s Prop 23 which was sponsored by a bunch of ideologues and Texas oil companies to overturn our State’s climate and clean energy laws. Our “No on 23” effort was an a broad coalition of Republicans and Democrats, environmentalists and clean energy entrepreneurs – a great way to build a coalition to solve problems.

What is the best thing about being a board member at Save The Bay?

The great legacy we follow and bring to every issue. The prestigious reputation of the organization and respect from the community is inspiring. I also feel honored working with dedicated board members and the really talented staff of Save The Bay.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why?

The California Sea Lion. How could anyone not envy how happy they look in the water and lying in the sun. They feel as comfortable in water as on land (and never seem to be cold!).

Who is your environmental hero?

Al Gore. I have worked for him four times, including as his national field director during the 2000 presidential campaign. I also helped drive the marketing efforts for the documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” that brought attention to the climate change issue to so many for the very first time. Al Gore walks the walk and talks the talk. Some Californians that I really admire include Tom Adams (California League of Conservation Voters), Mary Nichols (California Air Resources Board ), John Doerr (venture capitalist), and Nancy Pfund (venture capitalist).

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?

The breathtaking beauty and diversity of the landscape and its waters.

What is one thing you do each day to protect the environment?

Serving on the board of Save The Bay and working closely with their policy and public advocacy teams. I also have spent a significant amount of my professional life supporting the growth of the clean energy economy in the United States, especially the solar and wind industries.

 

Board Spotlight | Maureen Reilly

Maureen Reilly
Maureen enjoys sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Maureen Reilly has been a member of Save The Bay’s Board of Directors since 2008.  Maureen lives in San Francisco and is Senior Vice President at Chase Business Credit/JP Morgan Chase. She enjoys hiking, photography, sailing and running along the Bay.

Why did you decide to get involved with Save The Bay?

I moved to San Francisco in 2005 from southern California where I had been an active volunteer with Heal the Bay.  Save The Bay has a similar mission to that organization (i.e., conservation and pollution prevention), together with a great staff and large group of members/advocates.  I was surprised to learn how much of SF Bay had been lost to in-fill before Save The Bay was formed and really wanted to work with an organization that is dedicated to preserving and protecting our area’s top natural treasure.

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?

I pretty much love everything about San Francisco and the Bay Area – the amazing outdoors, the food and wine, the great cultural organizations, the unique people, the climate.  I was born in San Francisco but my family moved back east when I was a young child – it took me a long time to get back and I hope to never leave.

Do you have a favorite site along the Bay?

I love to hike to the top of Angel Island for the 360-degree view of the Bay – it is truly breathtaking.  (And beers at Sam’s afterwards are always a great treat.)  I also enjoy Wednesday Night Sails with the OCSC Sailing Club out of the Berkeley marina – the perfect way to break up the workweek.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why?

Probably a sea lion – they seem to have fun lounging out by Pier 29.

Who is your environmental hero?

Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick , of course! 

What is your first/fondest memory of San Francisco Bay?

Learning to sail last summer – there were 24 knot winds on my very first day and I was white-knuckled, but hooked.

Anything else you want to tell us?

A day on the Bay is special – do try to get out sailing/kayaking/paddling as often as possible, your spirit will thank you.

Welcome to the Board of Directors, Ron Gonzales

Ron Gonzales joined Save The Bay’s Board of Directors in September. Ron comes to us with years of experience in public service and business. A former mayor of both San Jose and Sunnyvale, Ron is a champion of innovative public education, transportation, housing, and the environment. He currently serves as President and CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, an organization working to improve the quality of life for Latinos in the Silicon Valley region through education, elder services, and leadership programs. He founded and serves as Chairman and CEO of Presencia, LLC, a Hispanic-owned technology business. A Bay Area native, Ron lives in his hometown of San Jose.

What’s the most exciting thing about joining Save The Bay’s Board?
I’m honored to be serving with a group of incredible people who are dedicated to saving and preserving the Bay Area’s greatest natural icon, the actual Bay!

Why did you want to join Save The Bay’s Board?
As a Bay Area native and lifetime admirer of the beautiful Bay environment I wanted to take this opportunity to add a South Bay perspective to the Save The Bay board.

What is your first/fondest memory of San Francisco Bay?
I still remember touring the Bay, as a child, with relatives from Tucson, Arizona, who had never laid eyes on a body of water as large and beautiful as our Bay.

What is your favorite activity or location on the Bay?
Simply watching ships on the Bay and looking at its bridges. Also, as a golfer, I’ve enjoyed the scenic beauty of the Bay as viewed from various golf courses.

What is the one thing you do every day to protect the environment?
Support local measures to eliminate plastic bags and general litter that eventually makes it way to the Bay.

Click here to learn more about Ron Gonzales’ work with Save The Bay.