DAILY DIGEST: Companies polluted Western waters; now taxpayers are picking up the tab; USGS study predicts more disastrous effects from sea level rise in Bay Area; Battle brews over Cargill land in Redwood City; Fish in tubes; Wet weather returns, and more …

In California water news today, Companies polluted Western waters. Now taxpayers are picking up the tab; USGS study predicts more disastrous effects from sea level rise in Bay Area; This invasive 20-pound rodent could devastate California’s agriculture industry; Once Again in Redwood City, a Battle Brews Over Cargill’s Land; Fish in tubes: The salmon cannon is just one place where fish go tubular; and more …

In the news today …

Companies polluted Western waters.  Now taxpayers are picking up the tab:  “The remnants of an abandoned gold and silver mine scar the Little Rocky Mountains just south of the Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana, bleeding polluted orange water into streams that meander through the reservation. Warren Morin remembers drinking the once-pristine water while he was growing up in the 1970s. Now it’s so acidic it makes his skin burn and turn red on contact.  Pegasus Gold Corp., a Canadian company that owned that mine and several others in the state, went bankrupt and folded 20 years ago. That left a legacy of water pollution and a cleanup bill nearing $100 million — with no end in sight. ... ”  Read more from the Center for Public Integrity here:  Companies polluted Western waters.  Now taxpayers are picking up the tab

Old mercury mines sit abandoned across SLO County — and they’re hiding in plain sight:  “Mercury mines were once a critical player in San Luis Obispo County’s economy.  They helped keep America’s economy running — playing a part in everything from the California Gold Rush to World War II.  One SLO County mine even helped establish Cambria as a city, back in the 19th century. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  Old mercury mines sit abandoned across SLO County — and they’re hiding in plain sight

USGS study predicts more disastrous effects from sea level rise in Bay Area:  “The effects of sea level rise in the Bay Area could be more disastrous than what most people think, according to a new study written by a team of researchers led by the United States Geological Survey. It could cost the state of California $150 billion in property damage and impact 600,000 Californians.  And the cost of retrofitting the infrastructure of the state’s major ports to deal with 6 feet of sea level rise, which is the extreme end of what could happen this century based on the USGS modeling, could cost between $9-12 billion. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  USGS study predicts more disastrous effects from sea level rise in Bay Area

This invasive 20-pound rodent could devastate California’s agriculture industry: “Here are some things you should know about nutria. They are a semiaquatic South American rodent a bit smaller than a beaver. Females can give birth three times a year and have up to 12 babies each litter. They are really good at tearing up crops, burrowing tunnels into levees, and other destructive behavior that is tough on farmers. And they’ve been discovered in California’s San Joaquin Valley, a major food-producing area.  All of these facts spell huge problems for California officials tasked with the complicated task of removing these rodents from the state. ... ”  Read more from Mother Nature Network here:  This invasive 20-pound rodent could devastate California’s agriculture industry

Dam removal report sparks hope for Klamath Basin ag:  Dave Muerer writes, “It may be a unique situation when a dam removal might mean more water for farmers instead of less, but the Klamath Basin is a unique place.  A report released last summer by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is leading more and more Basin farmers and ranchers to believe that dam removal may have something big to offer those who rely on irrigation water from Upper Klamath Lake. … ”  Read more from the Herald & News here:  Dam removal report sparks hope for Klamath Basin ag

Building a better view of Moorhen Marsh:  “Otters, birds, and turtles might be the last animals you would expect to find living next door to the Interstate 680 toll-plaza. But, tucked between the freeway, an oil refinery and a wastewater facility hides an oasis on the mend.  “This marsh is really rare to even be here sustaining life,” said California Conservation Corpsmember Sarai Ayala. ... ”  Read more from the Martinez News-Gazette here:  Building a better view of Moorhen Marsh

Once Again in Redwood City, a Battle Brews Over Cargill’s Land:  “It’s no easy task keeping track of the disagreements between Californians and the current version of the United States federal government when it comes to environmental policy. Now, here’s another one …  A move by the Environmental Protection Agency could revive the contentious plan to develop 1,400 acres of Redwood City shoreline owned by Cargill Salt, which operates an industrial plant there. The EPA removed one barrier to development earlier this month by ruling that the area is not subject to restrictions in the federal Clean Water Act. ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  Once Again in Redwood City, a Battle Brews Over Cargill’s Land

Long-sought creek restoration in Pescadero takes a major step:  “By allocating $1 million last week toward a creek restoration project set to rejuvenate threatened and endangered species and reduce flooding in Pescadero, county officials locked in funding needed to begin a dredging effort experts expect will give the Butano Creek a chance to reset.  Also backed by California State Parks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, the project to re-establish more than a mile of the Butano Creek channel, remove 45,000 cubic yards of sediment and restore more than 10 miles of habitat for steelhead trout and coho salmon has been a focus for Supervisor Don Horsley, landowners, government agencies and community organizations for years. ... ”  Read more from the Daily Journal here:  Long-sought creek restoration in Pescadero takes a major step

Los Angeles hits 80 F for first time since mid-November; warmth to fade to rain by Wednesday:  “After not hitting the 70-degree Fahrenheit mark in February for the first time on record, another temperature phenomenon has occurred in Los Angeles.  For the first time since Nov. 15, temperatures in downtown Los Angeles reached 80 degrees.  “A pleasant weekend graced California after what has been a wet, drought-ending winter season,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun. … ”  Read more from Accu-Weather here:  Los Angeles hits 80 F for first time since mid-November; warmth to fade to rain by Wednesday

Fish in tubes: The salmon cannon is just one place where fish go tubular: “Behold the salmon cannon—developed to help salmon traverse dams; made famous by the comedian John Oliver. Recently, the cannon’s creators suggested that officials in the state of Washington should use the cannon to boost salmon over dams so that the fish can spawn, ultimately creating more food for hungry and endangered southern resident killer whales. Firing live fish through the air may be rich fodder for late-night television, but there are a surprising number of situations where salmon and other fish sluice through tubes. ... ”  Read more from Hakai Magazine here:  Fish in tubes: The salmon cannon is just one place where fish go tubular

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Drought is over … or not … ; Instagram-hungry crowds are destroying the super bloom; Everything that’s in the Dingell Act; Enviro group wants Scott Dam on Eel River removed; Wet winter likely to keep Colorado River out of shortage next year; and more …

RESERVOIR AND WATER CONDITIONS for March 18

Today’s announcements …

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

 

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