DAILY DIGEST: Monterey Bay is swimming in microplastic; Keeping green during drought; Attempt to plug a wasp nest sparked the biggest wildfire in CA history; States take up PFAS fight: ‘Is this the next asbestos?’; Planning the next century of the Contra Costa Canal; and more …

In California water news today, The New Pollution: Monterey Bay is Swimming in Microplastic; Keeping Green During Drought; Attempt to plug a wasp nest sparked the biggest wildfire in California history; State Water Board Plans Workshop on CV Salt and Nitrate Program; States take up PFAS fight: ‘Is this the next asbestos?’; Planning the next century of the Contra Costa Canal; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

‘Incredibly sobering’: New study finds Monterey Bay littered with tiny pieces of plastic:  “Monterey Bay has a reputation as one of America’s most pristine ocean environments: It’s a national marine sanctuary and far away from heavy industry.  But a groundbreaking study published Thursday has found levels of plastic pollution in the water similar to those found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The pollution is made up of trillions of tiny bits of debris, roughly the size of a grain of rice or smaller, floating from near the surface to thousands of feet underwater. The particles are being consumed by small ocean animals, the study found. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: ‘Incredibly sobering’: New study finds Monterey Bay littered with tiny pieces of plastic

The New Pollution: Monterey Bay is Swimming in Microplastic:  “Monterey Bay — long considered an environmental success story–is now facing a new threat: tiny particles of plastic.  And scientists are finding that it’s far worse than they suspected.  The bay is a national marine sanctuary, a place where environmental protections and sustainable fishing have transformed what was once a stew of dumped waste products from local sardine canneries.  Long gone is the industrial filth that John Steinbeck described in his Depression-era novel Cannery Row. Now, the bay is cleaned up and home to seals, otters, and the occasional humpback whale. ... ”  Read more from KQED here: The New Pollution: Monterey Bay is Swimming in Microplastic

Keeping Green During Drought:  “The grass is not always greener if you water it, a new study finds. A recently published Stanford-led paper couples water-use and remote sensing data to examine the effectiveness of irrigation on urban green space during periods of climate-induced drought. Their findings provide important insights for efficient water conservation management as droughts become more frequent and severe due to a changing climate.  ... ”  Read more from Stanford’s Water in the West here:  Keeping Green During Drought

Attempt to plug a wasp nest sparked the biggest wildfire in California history:  “The biggest fire in California history was started by a man trying to plug the entrance of a wasp nest with a hammer and stake in Mendocino County, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday.  On July 27 of last year, while firefighters were spread across the state battling fires in the north and south, a Potter Valley rancher working on a hot day in a bed of waist-high cured grassland drove a stake into the ground and created a spark that grew into the 410,000-acre Ranch fire. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Attempt to plug a wasp nest sparked the biggest wildfire in California history

Manage forests to burn again, scientist says:  “Forest conditions created after catastrophic wildfires like last year’s Carr and Camp fires in Northern California can be conducive to another major fire in the same area just a few years later, University of California scientists say.  Along with leaving dead trees and branches and other burned debris in their wake, hot fires seed a more fire-adapted underbrush that can come back ferociously, explains Ryan Tompkins, a University of California Cooperative Extension forestry advisor. ... ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Manage forests to burn again, scientist says

State Water Board Plans Workshop on CV Salt and Nitrate Program: “A July 2 public workshop in Sacramento will invite input on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s plans to address salt and nitrate control, which the State Water Resources Control Board is considering for approval.  The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has amended the Sacramento and San Joaquin Basin Plan and the Tulare Lake Basin Plan to incorporate a Central Valley-wide Salt and Nitrate Control Program. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here: State Water Board Plans Workshop on CV Salt and Nitrate Program

Groundwater planning tools available online:  “Two tools developed by The Nature Conservancy for sustainable groundwater management were presented during an ACWA webinar on May 29. For those who could not attend the live session, the webinar recordings are available online via registration.  The first tool, the GDE Pulse tool, is a free, interactive web-based map of the state displaying the health of groundwater dependent ecosystems – GDEs. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Groundwater planning tools available online

No longer the loneliest? Why Oregon’s all-in climate push matters to California:  “After efforts to unite the West under a carbon-trading program stalled for nearly a decade, Oregon will decide this month whether it wants to follow in California’s footsteps.  A bill winding its way through the Oregon legislature could finally give California a U.S. partner in the cap-and-trade program it shares with the Canadian province of Quebec. Other states have embraced carbon trading to curb greenhouse gases pumped out by power plants. But this bill would make Oregon the only state besides California to rely on the market for emissions reductions throughout its entire economy. ... ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: No longer the loneliest? Why Oregon’s all-in climate push matters to California

States take up PFAS fight: ‘Is this the next asbestos?’  “State lawyers are lining up in court to fight PFAS, the vexing group of chemicals linked to cancer but used broadly in cookware, firefighting foam and other materials.  Litigation has increased as research and public awareness of potential impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances has grown in recent years. Now, state lawsuits against chemical manufacturers are piling up, raising the stakes for all involved.  “I think you’re going to see a waterfall effect. You’re going to see more states doing that,” said Akerman LLP attorney Matthew Schroeder, who advises companies on PFAS-related legal risks. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  States take up PFAS fight: ‘Is this the next asbestos?’

And lastly … Towing an Iceberg: One Captain’s Plan to Bring Drinking Water to 4 Million People:  “Nicholas Sloane doesn’t mind discomfort. The 56-year-old South African marine-salvage master has survived two helicopter crashes and spent thousands of hours aboard ships that are burning, sinking, breaking apart, or leaking oil, chemicals, or cargo into the ocean. … But at some point early last year, Sloane really wanted to take a bath and couldn’t. He was home with his family in Cape Town, which had recently declared an emergency: After three years of severe drought, the city of 4 million was at risk of becoming one of the first in the world to run out of municipal water. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek here: Towing an Iceberg: One Captain’s Plan to Bring Drinking Water to 4 Million People

In regional news and commentary today …

Placer County: PG&E bankruptcy causing concern about drinking water supply:  “The bankruptcy proceedings surrounding Pacific Gas and Electric could pose a risk to the reliability of water supplies to nearly 300,000 residents in parts of Placer and Nevada counties, according to reports issued by the Placer County Water Agency and the Nevada Irrigation District.  PG&E’s Drum Spaulding Project, which consists of 29 reservoirs and 70 miles of canals, supplies 125,000 acre-feet of water to PCWA customers every year. ... ”  Read more from KCRA Channel 3 here: Placer County: PG&E bankruptcy causing concern about drinking water supply

Planning the next century of the Contra Costa Canal:  “Construction of the Contra Costa Canal began in 1937 as part of the Central Valley Project under the auspices of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, but efforts are now underway to transfer ownership of the aging canal to the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD).  Transferring the canal to local control is likely good news for the 500,000 residents of East and Central Contra Costa County who depend upon the 48-mile-long canal for at least a portion of their water supply. ... ”  Read more from The Press here: Planning the next century of the Contra Costa Canal

Santa Clara County: Grower faces July 10 deadline in lawsuit:  “Santa Clara County’s lawsuit against a national mushroom grower accused of dumping toxins into a creek in north Morgan Hill is still working its way through the courts.  The defendants—Monterey Mushrooms and company CEO Shah Kazemi—have until July 10 to respond to the initial complaint that was filed by District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office in December 2018. The defendants were given extra time to respond to the DA’s accusations because in January a Superior Court judge ruled the lawsuit a “complex case,” Deputy DA Melanie Griswold explained. ... ”  Read more from the Morgan Hill Times here: Grower faces July 10 deadline in lawsuit

Santa Maria: Local groups capitalize on unofficial groundwater, oil field study results to protest new project:  “Preliminary findings in a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study show indications of oil field-related substances mixing with groundwater at various sites in the Orcutt oil field. Local environmental groups are using these unofficial findings to protest further oil and gas projects in Santa Barbara County.  In a 33-page letter to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission, the Environmental Defense Center and other groups cite these unofficial results, along with their own research, as reasons to deny a project proposal from ERG to develop 233 new oil wells in Cat Canyon. … ”  Read more from the Santa Maria Sun here: Santa Maria: Local groups capitalize on unofficial groundwater, oil field study results to protest new project

Santa Maria residents urge city to resume water fluoridation:  “The city of Santa Maria is reconsidering its decision to discontinue the fluoridation of the city’s water supply after some residents pushed back on the move at a recent City Council meeting.  Santa Maria began fluoridating its water in 2004, but stopped last year as a cost-saving measure. According to the city’s 2018-19 budget, not fluoridating the city’s water saves about $48,000 annually.  The budget document states that discontinuing fluoridation doesn’t affect water quality delivered to the public. However, some people who spoke at the May 21 meeting said residents are missing out on the health benefits of fluoride. … ”  Read more from the Santa Maria Sun here: Santa Maria residents urge city to resume water fluoridation

Ventura County: With no answers, drilling moratorium extended six months: “A moratorium on drilling of certain oil wells near a major supply of groundwater in Ventura County has been extended for six months.  The action Tuesday by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors extends until Dec. 7 the 45-day moratorium that was due to expire June 7.  Supervisors want to know why petroleum gases were detected in samples drawn in 2017 from agricultural water wells on the Oxnard Plain. With no answers available yet, they voted unanimously to extend the moratorium to protect groundwater supplies. … ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Ventura County: With no answers, drilling moratorium extended six months

SCV Water Takes Well Offline After Positive PFAS Chemicals Test:  “After testing water at 15 local wells, the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency has removed one well from service that tested positive for PFAS chemicals, the water agency announced Thursday.  In May 2019, as part of its quarterly sampling required by the State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water, SCV Water sampled 15 wells for PFAS chemicals.  Of the wells tested, eight were above the interim notification levels set by DDW. One exceeded the response level and was immediately removed from service. … ”  Read more from SCV News here: SCV Water Takes Well Offline After Positive PFAS Chemicals Test

San Diego-area leaders to ask Congress for $400 million to address Mexico sewage spills: “San Diego County leaders are planning to ask Congress for upward of $400 million to fund projects to stop ongoing sewage spills from Mexico’s Tijuana River Valley from flowing north onto U.S. shorelines, resulting in beach closures and sick swimmers in recent years.  The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday met with leaders from San Diego County, the Port of San Diego and elected officials from the border cities of San Diego, Coronado, Imperial Beach and Chula Vista to discuss the problem. … ”  Read more from Fox News here:  San Diego-area leaders to ask Congress for $400 million to address Mexico sewage spills

Along the Colorado River …

Newly restored Colorado River habitat spawns success:  “The planning and design work of a new habitat built for endangered fish in the Colorado River is seeing its first signs of success.  A partnership among local, state and federal agencies created an inlet channel from the Colorado River into the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve in Moab in hopes that razorback sucker larvae will travel into the restored habitat and grow. … ”  Read more from the Moab Sun News here: Newly restored Colorado River habitat spawns success

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

FINAL DOCS: Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project EIR

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Bat Walks~ Blog Post~ First Friday~ ISB Meeting~ Annual Cleanup ~~

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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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