Governor’s budget prioritizes climate adaptation, protecting vulnerable communities
Deidre Des Jardins writes, “In July 2019, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board held one of many agency listening sessions on the Water Resilience Portfolio. I told the Flood Board, “For climate adaptation, the first priority for the state must be increasing resiliency of the existing built environment, and protecting vulnerable populations from catastrophic effects of climate change.” I described some of the investments the state needed to make in rehabilitating and upgrading the state’s aging dams and levees, and concluded, “Whether people are displaced in 2050, or whether they even survive, will depend on the investments we make now.” … ” Read more from the California Water Research Blog here: Governor’s budget prioritizes climate adaptation, protecting vulnerable communities
Salmon recovery work in the Sacramento Valley shows promise as we start the new year
“In the latter part of 2020, various actions were implemented in the Sacramento Valley to promote salmon recovery that point positive as we begin 2021. Even during a global pandemic, partners were working together on efforts to advance science to inform salmon recovery decisions and tangible projects to improve habitat for fish. Voluntary partnerships were formed or renewed to collaborate on actions ranging from individual projects to comprehensive programs to prioritize work and support project implementation. These partnerships included local landowners, water management entities, academic institutions, conservation organizations and state and federal agencies – all working together on common objectives to help salmon recovery. Importantly, this work occurred throughout the valley, in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the region’s rivers, to benefit all Chinook salmon freshwater life-cycle stages. … ” Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here: Salmon recovery work in the Sacramento Valley shows promise as we start the new year
“Protecting fish in the Sacramento Valley takes time and teamwork. This was keenly apparent on a recent morning along the Feather River in South Sutter County just outside Montna Farms. The event? Installation of a modern, new fish screen to protect Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout. The project, officially known as Garden Highway Mutual Water Company Fish Screen, was over a decade in the making. … ” Read more from the Sacramento Valley here: Screen saver
2021: Is this the year that wild delta smelt become extinct?
Peter Moyle, Karrigan Börk, John Durand, T-C Hung, and Andrew L. Rypel write, “2020 was a bad year for delta smelt. No smelt were found in the standard fish sampling programs (fall midwater trawl, summer townet survey). Surveys designed specifically to catch smelt (Spring Kodiak Trawl, Enhanced Delta Smelt Monitoring Program) caught just two of them despite many long hours of sampling. The program to net adult delta smelt for captive brood stock caught just one smelt in over 151 tries. All signs point to the Delta smelt as disappearing from the wild this year, or, perhaps, 2022. In case you had forgotten, the Delta smelt is an attractive, translucent little fish that eats plankton, has a one-year life cycle, and smells like cucumbers. … ” Read more from the California Water Blog here: 2021: Is this the year that wild delta smelt become extinct?
Can Wall Street profit off the Colorado River?
Matt Rice writes, “The convergence of a multi-decadal, climate-fueled drought, a trillion-dollar river-dependent economy, and a region with growth aspirations that rival any place in the country has peaked speculative interest in owning and profiting from Colorado River water. An “open market,” as described by investors in the recent New York Times article, Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado’s Water, while extremely unlikely, would present a grave danger to rural communities, farms and ranches, clean, safe, reliable drinking water for people, and ultimately the health and sustainability of the Colorado River ecosystem itself. Water speculation is not a new concept in the West. ... ” Read more from the American Rivers blog here: Can Wall Street profit off the Colorado River?
Why plastic pollution is a producer responsibility
Alex Truelove writes, “We’re all culprits in the plastic pollution crisis — and that’s by design. I was reminded of this recently when I ordered a set of carbon filters for my countertop compost bin. (Like most people, I don’t care for smelly kitchens.) The package arrived in a layered-plastic bubble envelope. Inside I found another clear plastic bag encasing the filters. Finally, adding insult to injury, each filter was wrapped individually in plastic. That made at least three layers of plastic for each filter. Frustratingly, in an effort to reduce waste, I had created more. And I’m not alone. A recent landmark study confirmed that the United States is the most plastic-polluting country in the world. Every 16 hours Americans throw away enough plastic to fill a football stadium. … ” Read more from the Revelator here: Why plastic pollution is a producer responsibility
PHOTO CREDIT: David McCracken’s Diminish and Ascend, photo by Bernard Spragg