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Tag archives for california

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…

Pumas on the Edge: The Effects of Human Activity and Development

Post submitted by Max Allen of the Santa Cruz Puma Project. I currently work on the Santa Cruz Puma Project in California, studying pumas that live in the highly fragmented and human-dominated Santa Cruz Mountains. Pumas who live here must navigate through a landscape that is a mosaic of different levels of human activity and…

Recent Studies Provide Examples of Emissions Trading Successes, Failures

The emissions trading program in the northeastern United States—the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—is responsible for about half the region’s emissions reductions—an amount far greater than reductions achieved in the rest of the country. The study in the journal Energy Economics determined that even when controlling for other factors—the natural gas boom, the recession, and…

Heavy Metals in Motor Oil Have Heavy Consequences

By: Annie Reisewitz and Sarah Martin We’ve all heard the old adage, “Oil and water don’t mix.” Yet we are constantly mixing the two, it seems, hoping that one day they will indeed mix. Add in drought and pollution and the potential environmental problems grow even larger. Every year 10 billion gallons of liquid petroleum,…

A Farm Level View on Supply Chain Water Risk

WATSONVILLE, CA—Lettuce is a thirsty crop in parched California. It takes roughly 12 gallons to grow a single head, and Chris Willoughby, a mid-sized grower of leafy greens, broccoli and cabbage, is doing his best to cut back on that amount. When his wells ran salty 10 years ago, following decades of regional groundwater over…

The West Coast Sardine Fishery is Closed: Not Because You Eat Sardines, but Because You Don’t

By Maria Finn As a food and lifestyle writer and someone who works in the seafood industry, I’ve long encouraged people to eat the little fish, particularly sardines, herring, anchovies and other small “forage” fish that are plentiful and local to California. This summer, the Pacific Fishery Management Council closed West Coast sardine fishing due…