Weekly Round-up: December 13, 2013

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

San Mateo Daily Journal 12/7/13
Sea level rise focus of conference: Federal, state, local officials to highlight potential impact on San Mateo County
San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, and Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, are hosting a conference to address how San Mateo County can begin to prepare for the effects of sea level rise.
About 300 people have registered for Meeting the Challenge of Sea Level Rise in San Mateo County on Monday morning at the College of San Mateo. National, state and local officials and environmental experts will speak about the magnitude of the reported effects the county faces.
“San Mateo County is uniquely positioned to be impacted on two fronts by sea level rise; both along the coastal zone and along the Bayfront. So we need to be planning now for what will happen when our seas rise,” Gordon said.
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San Jose Mercury News 12/9/13
Is Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels plan repeating the errors of high-speed rail?
Ever since he took office three years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown has been trying to build two landmark public works projects to reshape California: a $68 billion high-speed rail system and a $25 billion overhaul of the state’s water system, including two massive tunnels under the Delta.
Both have been debated separately so far, with most public attention going to the bullet train plan.
But on Monday, as state officials released a 25,000-page environmental study of the water tunnels plan, critics began to make comparisons between the two, noting that the administration is steaming ahead with both projects, even though neither has anywhere near the funding in place to complete the job.
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KCET 12/9/13
Salmon come back to Marin County as lawsuit proceeds
Bay Area wildlife fans have long known that Marin County’s Lagunitas Creek is a great place to watch wild coho salmon. The creek, which runs from Tomales Bay to the slopes of Mount Tamalpais through undeveloped West Marin, has been home to one of California’s healthiest coho runs despite a century and a half of regional development in the Bay Area. The little Lagunitas Creek watershed held between 10 and 20 percent of all remaining coastal California coho.
That was until a few years back, when the Lagunitas Creek watershed’s coho numbers cratered. The fish have been steadily regaining ground since, but their protectors fear that sprawling residential development may undo the rebound. Three weeks ago, two environmental groups filed suit against Marin County to block a development plan they say threatens the county’s salmon habitat.
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SF Gate 12/11/13
Tidal extremes help put on a wildlife show
The lunar forces will take hold this weekend. The moon cycle will phase into a full moon Tuesday, and in the process, launch a series of high tides and minus low tides.
The time has arrived, Friday through Tuesday, to beachcomb, tide-pool hop on the coast, bird-watch at bay wetlands and go fishing in the bay and off the coast.
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Yubanet.com 12/10/13
In latest victory court of appeal upholds San Francisco plastic bag ban
A unanimous California Court of Appeal upheld San Francisco’s expanded plastic bag ban, marking the latest in a string of victories for local laws phasing out single-use plastic bags. The lawsuit, brought by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, had disputed the procedures San Francisco used to expand its plastic bag ban in 2012 and the legality of banning plastic bags in restaurants. This is the first appellate court to consider the restaurant issue. Today’s ruling sets the stage for more cities to adopt and strengthen local laws phasing out plastic bags.
“This is a great victory for our oceans,” said Nathan Weaver with Environment California. “The court’s decision makes clear once again that our communities have the right to keep plastic out of the Pacific by banning plastic bags and encouraging reusable bag use. Phasing out plastic bags is the right policy to protect our beaches, our rivers, and the amazing animals that live in the Pacific Ocean.”
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WUTC 12/13/13
How plastic in the ocean is contaminating your seafood
We’ve long known that the fish we eat are exposed to toxic chemicals in the rivers, bays and oceans they inhabit. The substance that’s gotten the most attention — because it has shown up at disturbingly high levels in some fish — is mercury.
But mercury is just one of a slew of synthetic and organic pollutants that fish can ingest and absorb into their tissue. Sometimes it’s because we’re dumping chemicals right into the ocean. But as a study published recently in Nature, Scientific Reports helps illuminate, sometimes fish get chemicals from the plastic debris they ingest.
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Weekly Roundup | June 14, 2013

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

San Francisco Chronicle 6/9/13
Restoring the shore on World Oceans Day
To the person who tossed the Burger King action hero cup somewhere in Oakland – yes, you – here’s what happened to it: After tumbling into a drain, it floated down the culvert beneath city streets, surfaced in the East Creek Slough and landed on a shore near the airport.
There your cup met a Lay’s barbecue potato chip bag, a hot sauce wrapper, a Quickly Market cup, assorted plastic forks and spoons, and plenty of other garbage caught in patches of western goldenrod and sticky monkey flower along the slough’s south bank. Those native plants capture much of the junk before it can drift farther into San Francisco Bay, and are planted there not to ease your conscience, should it exist, but to protect the Pacific Ocean.
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SF Examiner 6/11/13
Bayfront Trail gaps not going anywhere
The Burlingame Bayfront Shoreline Trail, part of the San Francisco Bay Trail system, is 5.5 miles of scenic hiking and biking trail that runs alongside the Bay. Its views are beautiful, but two noticeable gaps divide the trail. Walkers and bikers must retire to the street or forge ahead through nonpaths that may be littered with detritus such as old mattresses.
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ONEARTH 5/29/13
Could California’s Salmon Make a Comeback?
Jon Rosenfield and I bushwhack through the scrubby willows that line the American River east of Sacramento. The air is crisp this October morning, and the timing of our visit should be just right to watch California’s Chinook salmon as they return to where their lives began and spawn the next generation. Rosenfield, a biologist, works for a conservation group called the Bay Institute, and he wants me to witness an annual ritual that future generations might not have the opportunity to see.
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Mercury News 6/12/13
Bay Trail to add scenic segment along Carquinez Strait bluffs
A washed-out and washed-up county road is about to be remade into a new, $5.5 million regional shoreline trail along the scenic Carquinez Strait, linking Central and West Contra Costa County.
On or before July 5, East Bay Regional Park District contractors will be begin rebuilding and converting 1.7 miles of Carquinez Scenic Drive into a hiking and riding trail between Martinez and the town of Port Costa.
The trail segment — expected to open in fall 2014 — will improve access to an often-overlooked area of hills, shoreline, natural parks and preserve south of the strait between San Francisco Bay and the Delta.
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The Sacramento Bee 6/10/13
Delta could get saltier if tunnels are built
The two giant water diversion tunnels Gov. Jerry Brown proposes building in the Delta would be large enough to meet annual water needs for a city such as Newport Beach in a single day’s gulp from the Sacramento River.
That gulp, however, would also prevent a lot of fresh water from flowing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This would likely make water saltier for farms near Isleton and cities such as Antioch, which draws some of its drinking water from the Delta.
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Weekly Roundup | May 31, 2013

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

San Jose Mercury News 5/28/13
Chinook salmon study breaks ground in bay, Delta
On a sunny morning in the state capital, Mike McHenry, a fisherman out of Pillar Point Harbor in San Mateo County, guided his boat to a dock on the Sacramento River and readied its 10,000-gallon hold for some special cargo.
In about 10 minutes the vessel was teeming with fish, their speckled backs presenting various shades of greens, browns and yellows. Soon after, McHenry would steer his boat 109 miles to Fort Baker, just east of the Golden Gate Bridge, completing the latest phase of a groundbreaking experiment involving one of California’s most vital and popular fish, the Chinook salmon.
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Marietta Daily Journal 5/24/13
Plastic ocean debris the target of new California bill
It’s a common sight on the nation’s beaches: among the sand, sea foam and gnarled kelp lay plastic bottles, bags and other garbage.
Each year cleanup crews throughout the U.S. collect millions of pounds of plastic trash from beaches and coastal waterways, with the biggest numbers coming from California’s 1,100-mile coastline.
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The Sacramento Bee 5/27/13
California beaches brace for Japanese tsunami debris
It’s an unseasonably warm day, and Avila Beach is packed with sunbathers and tourists. Scott Milner attracts more than a few curious glances as he steps onto the beach holding a Ludlum radiation scanner and proceeds to take background readings next to the pier.
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Pressdemocrat.com 5/29/13
High mercury levels in fish caught at popular Laguna de Santa Rosa spot
Fish caught at a popular fishing spot in the Laguna de Santa Rosa between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa had unacceptably high levels of mercury, well above the threshold where health officials normally recommend against eating them, according to a new state survey.
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Daily Kos 5/7/13
Sierra Club California Condemns Governor’s Delta Policy
The campaign by Delta advocates to stop the construction of twin peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta received a big boost today when Sierra Club California called on Governor Jerry Brown to abandon his “out-of-step position” on the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.
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Weekly Roundup November 30, 2012

weekly roundup

It’s crab season! As we look forward to adding this iconic local crustacean to our holiday tables, few of us stop to think about the role our very own Bay plays in ensuring a bountiful crab harvest. It’s going to be a good year for crab. More in the good news department: populations of Coho salmon are arriving early to spawn in Marin creeks this year, due, most likely, to early rainfall. But it could also be a sign of recovering populations. The beginning of the rainy season is also sparking necessary discussion of how to best prepare for the inevitable floods that sea level rise will cause in coastal communities nationwide. California is a model for the rest of the country in planning for higher waters. To ease the transition away from single-use bags (a Bag Ban goes into effect January 1 ), Alameda county is offering an exchange this Saturday: one single use bag for one reusable. And if you’re looking for a gift this holiday season, buy a Bay Sustainer membership for a friend. They’ll get an Oaklandish t-shirt to wear proudly and the Bay will benefit.

KQED 11/24/2012
Let the Cracking Begin! Dungeness Crab Season is Underway
While the crabs are caught between 3-40 miles offshore, they spend a great deal of their lives in estuaries. Juvenile Dungeness crabs lose their shells as they grow, this process of molting helps them to grow new, larger shells. During these periods, they head into the San Francisco Bay for protection. They hide out in the eel grass and eat fish, mollusks, and other crustaceans before heading out to the deep waters. At times they even seek protection in clamshells.
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Marin Independent Journal 11/26/2012
Endangered coho salmon make early return to Marin creeks
“The 2012-13 spawning season is off to an auspicious start,” said Eric Ettlinger, aquatic ecologist for the Marin Municipal Water District, which oversees the watershed. “We’ve already received 12.5 inches of rain — far above average for this time of year — and with the rains come the salmon.”
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L.A. Times 11/27/2012
California confronts a sea change
Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey don’t need to wait on gridlocked Washington to confront future risks from climate-change intensified storms. They can instead look at how California is already moving forward on common-sense adaptations, and do it themselves.
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Alameda Patch 11/28/2012
Getting Ready for the Plastic Bag Ban Locally and County-Wide
The plastic bag ban is upon Alameda and the rest of the County.
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Greeneroo 11/27/2012
Consider Donating to Save The Bay
It’s that time of year. You can vote on what’s important by HOW you spend money. Watching TV tells me that we should buy cars, diamonds, and expensive “toys”. But there is another way:
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Oaklandish 11/19/2012
5 reasons the Bay needs your local love
Save The Bay grew out of Berkeley in 1961. Back in those days, there were plans to fill 60 percent of the Bay, the public had access to less than six miles of shoreline, and the water was choked with raw sewage and industrial pollution.
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