Weekly Roundup November 1, 2012

The effects of Hurricane Sandy topped the news this week. Many in the Bay Area are asking, “Could it happen here?” Though we don’t have hurricanes here, we do have powerful storms and storm surges. Some scientists are saying that a major storm in the Bay Area would put more than 140,000 people at risk, along with $30 billion worth of roadways, weekly roundupairports, and other infrastructure. Restored wetlands can lessen this risk. The Sonoma Land Trust just announced a new restoration project that would restore nearly 1,000 acres of former farmland along San Pablo Bay, and help protect low-lying Highway 37 and surrounding communities from flooding. In other news, our Policy Director, Stephen Knight, co-authors a piece with local farmer, David Winsberg that shows the breadth of  Cargill’s influence on California politics. Finally, California EPA righted a wrong when it removed some controversial verbiage in the public school curriculum on the environmental effects of plastic bags that had been placed there by the pro-bag America Chemistry Council.

California Water Blog 10/29/12
Lessons from Hurricane Sandy for Bay Area Business Leaders

As you read this today, Hurricane Sandy is colliding with cold air from Canada and creating an impressive storm in the Northeast.
Strong onshore winds and an intense low-pressure system are causing storm surges as high as 13 feet in Lower Manhattan, threatening to swamp the subway system. On the land, 5-10 inches of rain is flooding creeks and rivers and overwhelming stormwater systems.
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Petaluma 360 10/28/12
Big Sears Point marsh restoration gets $4.2 million boost

With $4.2 million in new funding, the Sonoma Land Trust is set next year to begin an ambitious project to restore wetlands and provide public access to nearly 1,000 acres of former farmland along San Pablo Bay.
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Civil Eats 10/29/12
Cargill’s Meddling in Politics goes Beyond Food

While Monsanto may have grabbed the headlines for the millions of dollars they have poured into the effort to defeat California’s Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods, they’re not the only major global agricultural behemoth meddling with California’s politics.
Far more secretive and with ten times the annual revenue of Monsanto is Minnesota-based global ag giant Cargill.
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Bay Citizen 10/29/12
New Environmental Curriculum Corrects Plastic Bag Information

The state’s Environmental Protection Agency finalized a revision of a controversial K-12 environmental curriculum on plastic bags Friday.
California Watch
, sister site of The Bay Citizen, reported last year that whole sections of an 11th-grade teachers’ edition guide for a new curriculum had been lifted almost verbatim from comments and suggestions submitted by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical and plastics industry trade group.
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