Daily Kos – It’s pretty easy to get the salt out of seawater. All you have to do is boil it, freeze it, or just wait for rain! But those things take a lot of energy and/or time that many of us don’t have to spare. So people have been working on low-cost and low-energy-input ways to do it, such as solar desalination. Thanks to a collaboration between MIT and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) this device breaks the record for rate of fresh water production from seawater by a solar device, and as awesome as that is, it’s actually kind of a charming side note. The bigger breakthrough is that the device can keep running up near this rate for a long time without getting fouled by salt accumulation, and it does this by emulating natural processes that occur in the sea. That cuts costs by about 10x compared to typical solar desalination, making the cost of the fresh water it produces comparable to that of tap water. Read MORE
Canary Media, Oct 30: – The industries that produce the building blocks of modern society — steel, cement and chemicals — are incredibly carbon-intensive. And since we’ll always be dependent on at least some amount of these materials, we need to figure out how to produce them without sending staggering quantities of planet-warming CO2 into the atmosphere. Thanks in part to a little law you may have heard of called the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. is on pace to slash emissions from two of its most carbon-intensive sectors: transportation and power generation. But emissions from industry, which stem primarily from steel, cement and chemicals production, might not even budge over the next decade. Learn how carbon-cutting can happen right now across heavy industry. ARTICLE.
Thanks to your support, the Imperial County Planning Commission delayed its decision on the Oro Cruz Gold. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved this terrible project despite impacts to a cultural landscape held sacred by the Quechan Tribe, and without proper tribal consultation. The BLM also failed to fully analyze and mitigate impacts to rare plants and wildlife, including Mojave Desert Tortoise. Now, we are asking for a BLM State Director Review of the project. Please join us in solidarity by sending a letter to BLM today! Take ACTION.
California is the 10th state to ban some of the worst uses of bee-killing pesticides! (This) will help protect bees and other critical pollinators from neonicotinoids — or neonics for short. California’s new law limits some of the worst uses of bee-killing neonics. Specifically, it will ban the consumer use of neonics on lawns, gardens and golf courses. Neonics are a class of pesticides that attack bees’ brains, paralyzing and then killing them. Eliminating these needless or easily replaceable uses will make a big difference for bees in peril across the state.as the world’s fifth largest economy, California’s action will set a strong example for the rest of the country that we don’t need to use bee-killing pesticides.
SB 253, which requires the largest corporations to measure and publicly disclose their direct and indirect pollution (all of it!), will have global impacts in our fight to reduce pollution. It is the biggest climate bill in the country in 2023 — other countries and the White House have reached out to us in the last few months encouraging us in this fight and sharing how important this policy is for them to leverage for corporate climate accountability. The new Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas showed vision and courage taking on the biggest polluters in the state and not letting 253 fail in the Assembly.
Governor Newsom signed AB 1322 into law today! It will crack down on deadly diphacinone and prevent more poisonings of raptors including great horned owls (like this beautiful one in flight by Pamela Rose Hawken) and many other raptors as well as mountain lions, bobcats and more — we are thrilled and thank all of you for your help making calls and sending emails! “Rat poison indiscriminately harms animals up and down the food chain, making them more susceptible to disease and causing internal bleeding and death. It’s heartening to know that California will take the necessary steps toward ending this torture”, said Tiffany Yap, Center For Biological Diversity the Co-sponsor of this bill. More INFO.
Native News Online – It’s an unprecedented day for Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous-led coastal conservation as three federally-recognized California Tribal Nations announce the Yurok-Tolowa-Dee-ni’ Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area – the first-ever ocean protection area designated by Tribal governments in the United States. The Resighini Tribe of Yurok People, Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation and Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria each took action to protect nearly 700 square miles of their ancestral ocean and coastal territories, and waters to advance long-term Tribal stewardship and governance, as well as Tribal and State co-management of critical ecosystems to protect and support cultural lifeways and economies, while directly addressing climate impacts. The Yurok-Tolowa-Dee-ni’ IMSA stretches from the Oregon and California border to just south of Trinidad in Humboldt County – about 290 miles north of San Francisco Read MORE.
Santa Cruz Sentinel – “For his work creating an online hub of local environmental organizations, news, volunteer opportunities and events, Andy Carman, founder and director of Environteers, was selected as a finalist in the Sentinel’s Santa Cruz County Heroes. Carman was nominated for, “his tremendous job both informing Santa Cruz residents of their power to be helpful with environmental issues and breaking down important sustainability news stories and making them digestible and interesting.” (Carman offers), “We can feel small, like what difference can I make? It’s stressful when you think at an individual level, but it’s empowering and reassuring to be on a team, because you see other people who care, and you see that your team can make a big impact.” Article HERE.
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Optimist Daily, Sept 29 – On September 12th, the California state Assembly passed Senate Bill 244 with a unanimous 50-0 vote, marking a historic milestone for the right-to-repair movement. This historic measure, which was also approved with an amazing 38-0 vote in the California Senate in May, now needs a final concurrence vote in the Senate before reaching Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. California joins Minnesota and New York as the third state to pass right-to-repair legislation. However, California’s measure differs in that it requires corporations to offer access to repair resources like parts, tools, documentation, and software for a longer period of time. This commitment lasts three years for products priced between $50 and $99.99 and seven years for those priced at $100 or higher. More INFO.
THE BBC – Sometimes referred to as the “City of Eternal Spring”, Medellín’s temperate climate has long helped attract tourists all year round, but increasing urbanisation had also exposed it to the urban heat island effect, where buildings and roads absorb and retain heat. Its new green corridors, however, have proven remarkably effective in reversing this impact, with a 2C temperature reduction across the city, according to local government data seen by BBC Future Planet. Immerse yourself HERE
“Nothing like sharing some great news with our dedicated supporters like you: Save the Redwoods League has met our fundraising goal and purchased the Russian River Redwoods, ensuring the lasting protection of this terrific Sonoma County forest and its famous Clar Tree. More than 2,000 donors from across the U.S. helped raise the $6.5 million purchase price for the 394-acre property that includes one mile of Russian River frontage—and we offer our heartfelt thanks to every one of them.” Read ON.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has awarded a three-year, $15 million contract to expand TNC’s BirdReturns program in partnership with Point Blue Conservation Science and Audubon California. Our state has lost more than 95% of its historic wetlands, leading to chronic habitat shortages for migratory waterbirds. For almost a decade, BirdReturns has helped birds in the Central Valley by creating temporary wetlands when and where they need them most. The program is working, but more work is needed. This investment is the largest of its kind given to a single entity, a testament to BirdReturns’ track record and the trust we’ve built with CDFW. These funds are going toward habitat creation and supporting our BirdReturns team so they can make sure the program endures as long as migratory birds need it. More DEPTH.
“Ecology Action has been awarded a contract with the Department of Energy as part of the Renew America’s Nonprofits Program. The Renew America’s Nonprofits Program is helping nonprofits across the country reduce emissions and amplify their community impacts. Our program will serve the facilities of Food Banks and their distribution networks in Western States. We will provide turn-key energy efficiency retrofit support to improve facility operations and drive energy bill savings. To announce this award, the DOE scheduled a press conference in San Jose today with the Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm. The press conference was held at Martha’s Kitchen, a food pantry that benefitted from energy efficiency projects that we installed in 2012. Martha’s Kitchen was chosen to host the announcement because it represents the types of facilities that will directly benefit from this award.” Keep READING.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission just banned wildlife-killing contests on public lands across the state. These cruel contests wreak havoc on ecosystems, disregarding the ecological roles of target animals like coyotes and foxes, who keep rodent populations in check. And when hunters kill wildlife to win money or prizes, they’re especially likely to use unethical cheats like high-powered rifles, night-vision goggles, and whistles mimicking a coyote pup’s distress call. “I’m really proud of Oregon for banning these contests,” the Center’s Collette Adkins told National Public Radio. “I think it does say something about changing values of society — that ethics should play a role in wildlife management, that suffering matters.” Oregon is the ninth state to ban these mass-slaughter events. If you’re one of the 1,000 Center supporters there who signed our petition to help make it happen, thank you. Read ON.
For years, a mysterious phenomenon called “urban runoff mortality syndrome” has been decimating salmon returning to freshwater streams to spawn in the Pacific Northwest. The syndrome can kill up to 100% of salmon in an affected area before they are able to spawn and lay their eggs. Now, researchers have finally solved the mystery. The culprit is our tires. Or, more specifically, a chemical called 6PPD used in tires since the 1950s to prevent degradation. During normal use, tires made with 6PPD release a breakdown product known as 6PPD-q, which washes into waterways during storms. 6PPD-q is the second most toxic chemical to aquatic species ever evaluated. To put an end to this existential threat to wild salmon populations, the Yurok, Port Gamble S’Klallam, and Puyallup Tribes are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish regulations prohibiting the manufacturing, processing, use, and distribution of 6PPD for tires. Read ON.
Oct 18 – When guano mining operations on Redonda ceased around the start of the first world war, they left behind a legacy of rats and goats. Over the successive decades, the rats and goats stripped Redonda of its vegetation. Then in 2016, conservationists began removing the rats and goats to restore the island. They first used a rodenticide to eliminate the rats while not harming other biodiversity. Then, they captured and transported the small population of goats by helicopter off the island. Once these invasive animals were gone, Redonda transformed faster than anyone could have imagined. Native trees and grasses sprouted back. Seabirds like brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) and red-billed tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus) recolonized the island. According to conservation experts working to restore Redonda, the population of the critically endangered and endemic Redonda ground dragon (Ameiva atrata) has increased 13-fold since 2017. More INFO.
Optimist Daily, Oct 17 – The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Washington State hoped for the reintroduction of coho salmon to the Elwha River for over a century. The river, which was vital to their way of life, was obstructed by two dams in 1911, impeding salmon migration. These dams, however, were demolished in August 2014. Now, after waiting patiently, the tribe is celebrating a remarkable reunion with coho salmon, marking a historic moment. The dam removal on the Elwha River was a massive effort, widely regarded as the most extensive dam removal in history. This long-awaited change is extremely important to the community. “It means everything,” Vanessa Castle, the tribe’s natural resources technician, says, “to have that food security, to know that I can catch a fish to feed my family.” Learn MORE.
Over 39,813 volunteers have participated in California Coastal Cleanup Day Sept 21, 2023. Those volunteers picked up 294,012 pounds of trash and an additional 48,191 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 342,203 pounds or 171 tons. Collectively, we brought tens of thousands of people out to help our environment, and many of them have had their eyes opened to what will be a lifetime of coastal stewardship. The impacts of this day cannot be overstated. You really are bigger than you think. THANK YOU!
CBS, Oct 12 – California’s valuable remaining salt marshes are disappearing. Climate change, with its melting glaciers and warming seas, threatens to drown the remaining coastal marshes out of existence. Between the land and the sea, salt marshes are the true guardians of our coastline. They offer many incredible services and benefits: they filter runoff and pollutants from water, prevent coastal erosion, stabilize the soil, shelter thousands of species and protect cities and towns from flooding during storm surges. They also provide what’s known as blue carbon as they capture and sequester atmospheric carbon. More than 90% of California’s coastal marshes disappeared within the past century. Near Monterey Bay within the Elkhorn Slough Reserve, a restoration project is now underway that may show the world how to protect and make salt marshes more resilient to the rising seas. Read ON.
Power In Nature Coalition, Oct 7 -30×30, as it’s known, solidifies California’s commitment to the preservation of its unique biodiversity, equitable access to nature’s benefits, and Tribal initiatives. President Biden’s administration supports 30×30 and Governor Newsom has made California the first state in which it’s codified into law. With this measure, California will protect biodiversity,expand equitable access to nature’s benefits, support Tribal initiatives, and safeguard places that help the state achieve climate resilience. SB 337 ensures the state’s dedication to the 30×30 goal will last beyond the current administration. More INFO.