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A date with killer whales

Wildlife photographer Jodi Frediani explains why April 20 is more than a holiday for smokers; it’s a day for whale lovers in Monterey Bay to gather & watch.

California’s Cap-and-Trade Program Survives Legal Challenge

Last week, California’s Cap-and-Trade Program to reduce carbon emissions was handed a victory when a state appeals court ruled that program’s auction of emissions permits does not constitute an illegal tax because the program is voluntary and the emissions permits have value. In a 2–1 vote, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District…

Shark attack survivor says people should respect, not fear, the seas

Brian Correiar, a California-based diving master and certified diver for more than 18 years, says he’s always been more comfortable in water than on land. His sense of ease in the seas was seriously shaken on Saturday, March 18, 2017, when a great white shark attacked the 14-foot, single-person ocean kayak he was paddling in through Monterey Bay.

Fire Woman: Fighting Fire with Fire

By Amanda Stamper, Fire Manager – The Nature Conservancy, Oregon “All right, boys, we’re moving!” shouted one of the squad leaders, as our crew began hiking up to a wildfire on a steep and brushy slope in southern California on a hot August afternoon. It was the first time I felt alone amongst these 19…

Trump Speech to Congress Focuses Little on Energy, Climate

In his first address to Congress Tuesday night, President Donald Trump touted accomplishments since taking office in January—including withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ordering construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and nominating conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Crime, immigration, trade and health care dominated the speech, with little focus…

Fate of Small Species Has Huge Implications for Our Ocean

When most of us think of the ocean, we think big: It covers 71 percent of our planet, dictates our weather, and is home to the tallest mountain and deepest canyon on the planet, as well as the largest animal, the blue whale.

And yet the ocean relies on its smallest inhabitants, from the phytoplankton and zooplankton that underpin the food web to forage fish, species like sardines, herring, and anchovy that are often referred to as baitfish.

In recent years, numbers of some forage fish species have declined dramatically, causing a food shortage for a vast array of marine animals. The Pacific marine ecosystem, including right here in the San Francisco Bay, is already suffering the consequences, with well-publicized accounts of starving sea lion pups and brown pelican breeding failures among the most visible evidence.

California bans orca breeding and entertainment, SeaWorld feels the bite of public opinion

A new law passed in California supports the idea that the captivity of orcas and other cetaceans is abusive and unnecessary.

California Increases Climate Ambitions with Landmark Legislation

Two laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will ratchet up California’s fight against climate change by launching efforts to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. SB-32 calls for increased renewable energy use, more electric cars, improved energy efficiency, and emissions cuts from key industries. AB-197 provides aid to low-income or minority communities…

Book saves bird’s life: The story of Albie the Albatross

Co-authored by Erica Cirino About a year and a half ago, Melissa Ursey was riding in the car as her husband Jerry drove across the Southern California desert back to their home in Rancho Mirage from their friends’ house in Desert Springs. As the car cruised through the town of Palm Desert, Jerry noticed something…

New York Joins Handful of Other States with Ambitious Clean Energy Targets

By 2030, half of the energy produced in the state of New York will come from renewables, according to a new policy adopted Monday by the state’s public service commission. The move is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels (80 percent by 2050) and to attract billions in clean…

Study Quantifies Climate-Change-Related Deaths

A study in Environmental Research Letters suggests a fifth of premature deaths during a 2003 heatwave in Europe are linked to human-caused climate change. “We are now able to put a number on the deaths caused by climate change in a heat wave,” said lead author Daniel Mitchell of the University of Oxford. “This has…

Best Job Ever: Mapping “California’s Galápagos”

Cartographers and National Geographic grantees Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue traveled to the little-known Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to document the scientists who live there and to create an interactive digital map to allow the public to explore the islands from afar. The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is closed to public access to protect this…

Coho Salmon Virtually ‘Swim’ Across Frank Lloyd Wright Building

Last night, just as darkness fell, the SF Projection Department and Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) met in front of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece – the Marin County Civic Center. The buildings oval shaped windows and unique triangle spire, and historic landmark status coupled with the important legal and…

California Driftnet Fishery: One in Eight Fish Caught Is the Targeted Swordfish

Turtle Island’s latest report, California Driftnet Fishery: The True Costs of a 20th Century Fishery in the 21st Century Overview, by Doug Karpa, Peter Fugazzotto and Todd Steiner, makes a compelling case for phasing out this deadly swordfish fishery that kills large numbers of whales, dolphins, sharks and non-target fish. The report exposes the facts about…

Competition Between Carnivores: Untangling the Relationship Between Pumas, Black Bears, and Deer

By Max Allen of the Santa Cruz Puma Project Pumas and black bears are the two large carnivores found throughout California. Both species kill deer and other ungulates and as a result they often compete with each other. In Mendocino National Forest, where I completed my PhD project, black-tailed deer, including adults and fawns, make…