Our effort to ban plastic bags is under attack! The plastics industry is airing radio and TV ads across the state making false and misleading claims about the environmental impacts of its product.
We are just days away from a "live or die" vote in the State Senate on SB 405 (Padilla), which would ban single-use plastic bags in California. We need you to take three simple steps to support our efforts:
(1) Sign our petition in support of SB 405.
(2) Make a special contribution to support our campaign.
(3) Forward this message to your family and friends, and repost it on social media.
The plastics industry is pulling out all the stops and we have to be ready to respond. These corporate giants continue to rake in profits. We can’t match them dollar for dollar. But with our drive and passion, and support from people like you who care about the impacts of plastic-bag pollution, we can make a difference!
We’ve been working to ban single-use plastic bags for years. It’s time for the rest of the state to join the 75 California communities like Pacifica that are taking a leadership role by passing local ordinances and standing up to the plastics industry in the process. Let’s do this! Thanks so much for your support.
Californians Against Waste, 921-11th Street, Suite 420, Sacramento, CA 95814
Avoid cleaning brushes or rinsing paint containers in the street, gutter, or near a storm drain. For latex paint, rinse brushes in the sink. Filter and reuse oil-based paint and thinners. Recycle leftover paint at a household hazardous-waste collection event, save it for touchups, or give it to someone who can use it.
When working with concrete, cement, or mortar, prevent materials from blowing or flowing to a driveway, street, or storm drain.
When excavating and landscaping, protect dirt piles from wind and rain. Excessive soil sediment can add too many nutrients, cloud waters, change stream temperature, limit oxygen levels, and cover spawning areas. Protecting the streambank where accelerated erosion is occurring is very important. Never use fertilizers or pesticides in the riparian or aquatic zone.
Use a broom rather than a hose to clean up garden clippings. Don't leave leaves and lawn clippings in the gutter. Sweep any residue after yard waste pickup, but don't sweep into the storm drain.
Minimize grassy areas, which require high maintenance. Spread mulch on bare ground to help prevent erosion and runoff. Compost your yard trimmings. Compost is a valuable soil conditioner that gradually releases nutrients to your lawn and garden.
Divert rainspouts and garden hoses from paved surfaces onto grass to allow filtration through the soil. Water only your lawn and garden — not the sidewalk or driveway.
Test your soil before applying fertilizers. Over-fertilization is a common problem, and the excess can leach into ground water or contaminate creeks or the bay. Also, avoid using fertilizers near surface waters.
Clean up after your pets. Pet waste contains nutrients and pathogens that can contaminate surface water. Dispose of pet waste in a trash can.
Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, and antifreeze by absorbing them using kitty litter or sand and then dispose of the material at a local household hazardous-waste event. Do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach local creeks, the ocean, and bay.
The health of our creeks and beacjes is in our hands. If you witness people discharging pollutants into the street, creek, storm drain, or ocean, please educate them or, if needed, report them to the City of Pacifica Public Works Department or Police Department.
Our fellow creekwatcher Ruben noticed a gray color in the normally clear water of San Pedro Creek, "as if someone had emptied a cement mixer into the water." Ruben says this happens a couple of times a year. He checked the water coming out of San Pedro Valley Park (the creek's middle and south forks) and found it was clear. But when he checked at each bridge over the creek flowing through Linda Mar, the water was murky. Ruben emailed Riptide and we relayed his concerns to Lynn Adams of Pacifica's Environmental Family. She contacted the appropriate city and water district officials. Reminder: It is illegal to dump or flush ANYTHING into the creek, which flows to Linda Mar Beach and is natural habitat for all kinds of fish and wildlife.
How will Pacifica's beachfront and clifftop properties fare in an uncertain future, including sea-level rise, drought, and heatwaves such as we have experienced this spring 2013? (And why can't we prevent or deflect the high-pressure systems that divert all our precipitation northward and eastward?) Are we ready to deal with global warming's impact on our coastal environment? These are questions we need to be asking our city government and community leaders.
If you like to walk in San Pedro Valley Park and enjoy its flora and fauna, and you want to help maintain the park, drop by the visitor center and find out about joining the volunteer team called Friends of San Pedro Valley Park. On Saturday nights and weekend mornings several times a year, experts present programs at the visitor center and guided hikes focusing on park wildlife, geology, botany, etc. Volunteers help improve the hiking trails and wildlife habitat in the park.
By Paul Donahue, Special to Riptide On April 26 I joined Margaret Goodale and Diane Darling on one of their weekly surveys for the endangered mission blue butterfly on Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Milagra Ridge in Pacifica, one of the very few spots where this butterfly still occurs. Despite 10 mph winds and less than ideal temperatures, we managed to find one female of the species (above).
Females are brown on the upper side of the wings while males are blue. Two of the butterfly's tiny whitish eggs on a lupine seed pod (above). The butterfly's preferred food plant is silvery lupine (above). Distribution of this lupine is probably one of the limiting factors for the butterfly. Paler varied lupine is a more common species in the area, and an alternate food plant for the butterfly, but is not as well liked as silvery lupine. The lupines grow in more open areas of the coastal scrub covering the slopes. Other coastal scrub wildflowers are as follows:
Cobweb thistle (above) Coast man-root
(above) Common lomatium
(above) Wight's Indian paintbrush
(above) Cow parsnip
(above) California bee plant (above)
Throughout 2013, the Friends of Edgewood celebrate their 20th anniversary and that of the designation of Edgewood County Park as a Natural Preserve. The Friends group was founded by many of the individuals in the Save Edgewood Park Coalition who struggled in the early 1990s to protect Edgewood. In 1993, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to preserve the park from development in perpetuity.
Edgewood Park is known throughout the Bay Area for its spectacular springtime wildflower displays. The Friends of Edgewood volunteer more than 4,000 hours annually to offer docent-led wildflower walks, host visitors in the new Bill and Jean Lane Education Center, and support the California Native Plant Society in weeding and habitat restoration efforts at Edgewood.
To celebrate this milestone, the Friends of Edgewood and San Mateo County Parks present 2013: Year of Edgewood. Special guided nighttime walks, guided access to sensitive areas normally off-limits, and walks led by distinguished naturalists, scientists, and professional photographers highlight these events.
All events are free, but donations are suggested and greatly appreciated. Because space is very limited, visitors must register in advance. To register or to get more information, please visit friendsofedgewood.org.
Bay Area nature enthusiasts can stay informed about nature events and list their own events on BAY NATURE online events calendar. That’s even easier to do now with our new online event submission form. You can also still email us your announcements (but please email events two weeks in advance). The events calendar is the most comprehensive listing of nature-related public activities in the Bay Area. What kind of events do we post? Our visitors are looking for hikes, talks, film screenings, workshops, restoration projects, special days at nature centers or science museums, and anything else local and nature-related. Events on the calendar not only show up on our events page, they also feed into our interactive map, one of the most popular features of our website. Your event may also be selected to appear in our new biweekly e-newsletter, Bay Nature Connections. Visit our website to see our events calendar or submit your event now. We look forward to getting the word out for you.