BLOG ROUND-UP: Remarkable Suisun Marsh: a bright spot for fish; San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint; Delta Levees Investment Strategy: protecting Delta smelt?; California’s new PFAS guidelines; Is Los Angeles a desert?; and more …

Middle Velma Lake at sunset by Christian Arballo

In blogs this week: Remarkable Suisun Marsh: a bright spot for fish in the San Francisco Estuary; Is the San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint “community organizing”?; Delta Levees Investment Strategy: protecting Delta smelt?; California on PFAS – Missing the Forest Through the Trees; Is Los Angeles A Desert?; Winners and Losers: Here’s What Ocean Warming Means for Fish; and more …

Remarkable Suisun Marsh: a bright spot for fish in the San Francisco Estuary:  Teejay O’Rear and Peter Moyle write,”To most people, Suisun Marsh is either the seemingly blank area visible at 70 MPH from the north side of Highway 680 or the sudden expanse of tules visible after the Amtrak train leaves Suisun City, headed for Oakland. However, it is one of our favorite places in California, where it is easy to imagine being in a different place and time, with sturgeon jumping out of the water; flocks of ducks, ibis, and pelicans flying overhead; otters swimming by; and tule elk coming down to the water’s edge for a drink.  We know the marsh well because we have been taking a boat out every month to sample its fishes.  This sampling started 40 years ago, when Peter Moyle and a graduate student, Don Baltz, did some trawling in the marsh to look for tule perch and learned it supported many fish of all sorts.  Here we provide an updated account of Suisun Marsh fishes to show why the marsh is so important for conserving fishes in the upper San Francisco Estuary in general…and why we continue to be enthusiastic about working there. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Remarkable Suisun Marsh: a bright spot for fish in the San Francisco Estuary

blog-round-up-previous-editionsIs the San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint “community organizing”?  On the Public Record writes, “Don left this comment below:  “It’s not just Friant. The Valley Blueprint is Valley wide and includes non ag participants, NGOs, disadvantaged communities and real live people who work and live here. I don’t get the push back. It’s community organizing.”  So. Is the San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint “community organizing”?  No. The San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint is lobbying, not community organizing. There are several tells … ”  Continue reading at On the Public Record here: Is the San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint “community organizing”?

On the Public Record is just too good:  Eric Caine writes, “Sometimes it’s easy to forget how little most of us really know about water in the San Joaquin Valley. And even when we do know just a little, it’s even easier for what little we know to be submerged in the flood of mis- and disinformation that fills most of our media most of the time. … And the real hard core water zealots, those for whom water news ranks above sports, politics, celebrity gossip and even gory crime, never fail to scan their mailboxes closely for a post from the mystery author who, too infrequently, posts in On the Public Record (OtPR). … ”  Continue reading at the Valley Citizen here: On the Public Record is just too good

Vanishing funds for levee upgrades for smaller, vulnerable Delta communities:  Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The Delta Stewardship Council will be adopting regulations to implement the Delta Levees Investment Strategy (DLIS) on August 22, 2019.  Maps of the priorities for levee investments are available here.  The proposed regulations make investments in upgrading urban levees in West Sacramento and Stockton and adjacent areas “very high priority.” These investments are long needed, particularly for Stockton.  Stockton is the 7th largest city in California, and the levees are badly in need of improvement. ... ”  Read more from the California Research Blog here: Vanishing funds for levee upgrades for smaller, vulnerable Delta communities

Delta Levees Investment Strategy: protecting Delta smelt?  Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The Delta Stewardship Council has considered and rejected an alternative for the Delta Levees Investment Strategy that prioritized reducing risks to lives and property in the Delta.  It’s listed as Alternative 3 in the Initial Statement of Reasons for the regulations adopting the strategy.  The Delta Stewardship Council explains that Alternative 3 was rejected because it would not prioritize levee investments that provide “ecosystem enhancements.”  This is from p. 23 of the Initial Statement of Reasons ... ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here: Delta Levees Investment Strategy: protecting Delta smelt?

California on PFAS – Missing the Forest Through the Trees:  Anna Reade writes, “California is missing an important opportunity to deal more comprehensively with a large class of toxic, ‘forever’ chemicals, known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in our drinking water. Last Friday, the California State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) announced updated guidelines for local water agencies to follow in detecting and reporting the presence of PFOA and PFOS, just two out of thousands in this problematic class of chemicals. While the guidelines are the strictest, most-health protective levels proposed in the nation for these two PFAS chemicals, we are deeply disappointed by the Water Board’s decision to focus on just two of the many PFAS that have been detected in California drinking water. … ”  Read more from the NRDC blog here: California on PFAS – Missing the Forest Through the Trees

Striped Bass Status – Summer 2019:  Tom Cannon writes, “I last reported the status of striped bass in 2016.  The prognosis was not good after four years of drought (2012-2015).  Today, after a sequence of water years (2016-2019) that were below normal, wet, below normal and wet, the prognosis has not improved, notwithstanding the remarkable resilience of striped bass.  After improving in below-normal 2016 and wet year 2017, the below-normal 2018 fall index equaled that of below-normal 2010, the lowest since 2000 (Figure 1).  A similar pattern occurred in the 2018 summer index (Figure 2). … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Striped Bass Status – Summer 2019

Mary Wells’s Story – A “No” Will Not Suffice:  “Girls were not allowed. Agricultural-Science was a class for boys who would one day become farmers or ranchers. School-age girls were to take home economics so they could learn to cook and clean. Or so thought educators at Merced High School until they met Mary Callen.  Mary didn’t take a ‘no’ as easily as others and she never backed down from a challenge. Especially after her father fell ill when before she entered kindergarten. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Mary Wells’s Story – A “No” Will Not Suffice

Is Los Angeles A Desert?  Jessica Ogilvie writes, “A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article in which I — perhaps cavalierly — described Los Angeles as a desert.  In the interest of transparency, it was a sentence I tossed off without really thinking. I've heard L.A. described as a desert many times in my 18 years of living here, and it just flowed through my fingers as I typed, much as one might describe water as wet without necessarily reaching out to several geologists to confirm the matter.  There was a small part of me that raised a red flag as I pounded the words into my keyboard. Is L.A. a desert, though? I thought. Haven't I also heard that it isn't? … ”  Continue reading at the LAist here: Is Los Angeles A Desert?

More talk of a Colorado River climate change “grand bargain”:  John Fleck writes, “The Denver Post’s Bruce Finley took a deep dive in today’s paper into the idea of a Colorado River “grand bargain” that might trade off the Lower Basin’s right to make a “call” on the river if flows at Lee’s Ferry drop against an Upper Basin cap on future development … What Finley characterizes as “serious behind-the-scenes contemplation” of the “grand bargain” is driven by increasingly clear hydrologic reality. There has always been less water in the Colorado River than the planners thought when they allocated the river’s water in the first half of the 20th century, and there is even less water now as climate change saps the river’s flow. … ”  Read more from Legal Planet here: More talk of a Colorado River climate change “grand bargain”

Gutting the BLM?  Living in the bubble of Washington D.C. isn't necessarily the best way to see how the rest of the country (fly-over country) lives:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “People in Washington D.C. do not like change, especially change coming from Republicans, conservatives or Donald Trump.  If there are what many consider common sense revisions to the Endangered Species Act they say it's being gutted.  Guess they must think the law was written perfectly in the 70's and can't ever be changed.  Is it possible there are changes that make sense?  We think so and wrote about it in out last newsletter (Endangered Sanity).  The same is true of the Trump Administration's plan to move the Bureau of Land Management out of Washington D.C.  The largest player in the management of federal lands is the BLM.  It oversees 248 million acres, much of which is in the West.  What's the problem with moving the Bureau where the land is? … ”  Continue reading at Families Protecting the Valley here:  Gutting the BLM?

Winners and Losers: Here’s What Ocean Warming Means for Fish:  Chris Free writes, “Climate change has been steadily warming the ocean, which absorbs most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, for 100 years. This warming is altering marine ecosystems and having a direct impact on fish populations. About half of the world’s population relies on fish as a vital source of protein, and the fishing industry employs more the 56 million people worldwide.  My recent study with colleagues from Rutgers University and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that ocean warming has already impacted global fish populations. We found that some populations benefited from warming, but more of them suffered. … ”  Read more from The Revelator here: Winners and Losers: Here’s What Ocean Warming Means for Fish

And lastly … Is the Amazon Burning?  The current panic may not be justified, although long-term worries are:  “The environmental community is presently up in arms about fires in Brazil’s Amazon. The number of fires have dramatically increased over this time last year. A Greenpeace worker said, “This is not just a forest that is burning. This is almost a cemetery. Because all you can see is death.” France’s president Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis,” and spoke of trade sanctions. And NBC News offers the headline, “Amazon wildfires could be ‘game over’ for climate change fight.”   Fortunately, the situation is not so dire. … ”  Continue reading at Legal Planet here: Is the Amazon Burning?  The current panic may not be justified, although long-term worries are

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About the Blog Round-up: The Blog Round-up is a weekly journey through the wild and varied tapestry of blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet. Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily my own; inclusion of items here does not imply my endorsement of their positions. Items are chosen to express a wide range of viewpoints, and are added at the editor’s discretion. While posts with obvious factual errors are excluded, please note that no attempt is made on my part to verify or fact check the information bloggers present, so caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

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