GET INFORMATION on San Bruno Mountain Watch stewardship programs and special events. Or call 415-467-6631.
What's a BioBlitz? Watch the video below to find out. In this episode of Pacific Currents, host Steve Johnson interviews San Francisco State University Environmental Studies Professor Carlos Davidson about the National Geographic-sponsored 2014 BioBlitz that happened in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area (GGNRA), focusing on activities at Mori Point in Pacifica on March 28 and 29.
Watch the Video
Waterfowl Cry Foul!
At San Pedro Creek bridge in the past few days, in the midst of Caltrans' cleanup of the marshy area where the creek spills into the ocean, a huge oil slick can be seen from the pedestrian walkway. Disgusting. Thought you might be in a position to ruffle some feathers about this. I'm guessing the ducks and other waterfowl that made the marsh their home are pretty ruffled about now.
Eyewitness news reported by Riptide reader "Aich"
Sprout Farm by Beau Gill
Since 1997, Coastside Land Trust has actively worked to protect and enhance the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of the San Mateo County coast. Our gallery conveys the beauty of these resources through art. The show runs from August 15 to October 24, including during the annual Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. Please contact Eric with any questions at 650-726-5056 or email@example.com
Native Plant $5 Sale!
Go green-er with summertime sale prices on 1-gallon native plants, including coyote bush, currant, bee plant, strawberry, lizard tail, white yarrow, wild rose, and sagebrush. Please visit our office to purchase plants and view our demonstration garden.
Coastside Land Trust
788 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, 650-726-5056
Energy In California, September 15-16, San Francisco (Marriott Union Square Hotel)
Law Seminars International is pleased to announce this year's 16th annual "Energy in California" conference. The program explores a number of cutting-edge areas and brings both practical advice and up-to-date information on recent developments in emerging areas such as energy storage and integrating renewable resources through capacity markets.
Conference participants will hear from seasoned practitioners and senior agency staff and will receive the latest information on developments at the California Public Utilities Commission and California Air Resources Board.
The conference will also explore new trends in distributed generation and micro-grids. You will hear about climate change and California's water supply planning and learn about potential impacts on hydropower generation.
We are excited about the diverse array of excellent speakers and anticipate a lively and engaging discussion. We hope you will join us. Live webcasting will be available for this program.
H. Kate Johnson
Call us at (206) 567-4490.
Attorneys, industry executives, economists, consultants, and governmental officials involved with energy project development
Howard V. Golub, Esq. of Nixon Peabody LLP
Anne E. Mudge, Esq. of Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP
Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 11.75 California MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.
By Samantha Weigel, Daily Journal
Projections that portions of San Mateo County could one day be submersed in three feet of water is prompting federal, state, and local policymakers to join in planning for the future of sea level rise.
San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine, Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) continue to host a series of workshops on sea level rise for elected officials, city managers, city planners, and public works directors.
“San Mateo County is one of the most vulnerable counties in the state because we not only have a coastal zone, but we have a highly developed bay zone, both subject to sea level rise,” Gordon said. “It’s a very slow-moving crisis and sea level will continue to rise over the next decade, and we have an opportunity to plan and prepare so that we’re not in a reactive mode.”
Gordon said he proposed and has chaired the Assembly’s Select Committee on Sea Level Rise, which has evaluated at-risk areas that could suffer severe consequences.
“We’ve learned that there are a lot of different sections at risk around the state; everything from the Air Force (base) to wastewater treatment facilities, we’ve learned there’s a threat to coastal agriculture from saltwater intrusion. … So there’s a whole variety of issues that we’re going to need to pay attention to,” Gordon said.
Many scientists agree that the sea will rise at least three feet by 2100 and it’s critical that cities and governments begin to plan with it in mind, Pine said.
The conference series provides a platform for officials who lead in creating land use policies to share ideas, resources, and information. Attendees are asked to help make decisions on three key concepts.
The first will be to decide if San Mateo County should adopt a cohesive planning concept that assumes the 3 feet of sea level rise prediction, Pine said. Officials will also discuss preparing a countywide sea level rise vulnerability assessment and the third issue will to consider how to fund adaptations, Pine said.
The county’s bayfront is lined with developments such as residential communities and high-tech companies that are at direct risk of being affected by sea level rise. Gordon and Pine said cities and special districts must work together and create a comprehensive planning scheme to effect meaningful change.
“We need to understand that there’s some places where we should not develop. We need to understand there’s other places where we have to protect existing developments and, at the end of the day, there’s going to be costs related to protecting what’s in place and adapting in some way. So we’re going to need to figure out how we pay for these things over time,” Gordon said.
An important part of the discussion will involve evaluating which parts of the county face the most imminent danger from extreme storm events like king tides, Pine said.
Pine said he became increasingly concerned after speaking with an official from Genentech who noted if the South San Francisco pump station near its campus was to flood, it would shut down the entire facility and its operations.
Gordon noted “in our immediate area, probably the greatest economic risk would be if San Francisco International Airport was to not be able to function and at this point, it’s pretty difficult to move the airport.”
Some ideas Gordon said they’ve generated in the Assembly committee that he hopes will evolve are armoring certain zones with special sea walls, adding levees and restoring marshes.
Pine said another intent of the conferences is to create standing working groups or a joint powers board. One group would oversee the preparation of a countywide sea level rise vulnerability assessment and the other to consider funding options for addressing necessary plans.
Pine said he would like to consider creating financing or assessment districts and cited Santa Clara County’s related district as a possible model. Bringing together those who create county land use policies and are at the front lines of preparing for climate change is critical to ensure the county doesn’t become paralyzed when the seas eventually rise, Pine said.
“San Mateo County is known for having a very collaborative political environment and if there’s any place we need to collaborate, it is on the issue of sea level rise. Because it does not lend itself to a city-by-city solution,” Pine said. “So I really think that San Mateo County is the county most at risk to sea level rise in the state of California. And I think we are starting to take the initial steps to be a leader in not only California, but in the country, to addressing the challenges of sea level rise.”
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106
Excerpt from the full post at link above:
"The California coast is a panorama of open farm fields and hundreds of miles of undeveloped land. Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway) follows the coast for almost the entire length of the state. The kind of road you see in car ads and movies, it looks like it was built to be driven in a sports car with the top down. The almost 400-mile coast drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco is one of the road trips you need to do before you die.
With 39 million people in the state, there’s no rational reason there aren’t condos, hotels, houses, shopping centers and freeways, wall-to-wall for most of the length of our state’s coast (instead of just in Southern California). The Coastal Act saved California from looking like the coast of New Jersey.
Almost 40 years ago the people of California passed Proposition 20 – the Coastal Initiative – and in 1976, the state legislature followed with the Coastal Act, which created the California Coastal Commission. Essentially the Coastal Commission acts as California’s planning commission of last resort for all 1,100 miles of the California coast.
Thanks to the Coastal Act and the Coastal Commission, generations of Californians and our visitors enjoy the most pristine and undeveloped coast in the country, with recreation and access for all. It’s an amazing accomplishment.
The downside is that the coastal zone has the strictest zoning and planning requirements in the country. As a new commissioner I learned quickly what developers would do to bypass those requirements."
San Mateo County Parks presents two pilot restoration projects to be conducted at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The projects aim to address the health of a 13-acre cypress grove and erosion of the San Vicente Creek corridor.
From Peter Drekmeier: I'm writing today to ask for your support to help protect and restore the Tuolumne River, the primary source of water for many of us, and a waterway of great ecological and recreational importance. I hope you will sponsor my participation in Paddle to the Sea. Please visit my page at http://www.paddletothesea.org/paddle/participantpage.asp?fundid=2147&uid=3802&fkroledescid=5
The Tuolumne River needs us today more than ever. The drought is putting tremendous pressure on government agencies to relax protections for water quality and endangered species. We need to make sure our hard-won victories are preserved.
97% of the Rim Fire burned through the Tuolumne River watershed. We need to make sure the Recovery Plan places an equal value on ecosystem restoration as it does on salvage logging. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be released in the next few weeks, and the Tuolumne River Trust (TRT) will be heavily engaged in making sure it's based on sound science.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing of Don Pedro Dam (the largest on the Tuolumne) is moving forward. Last year TRT convinced FERC to require a license for La Grange Dam, two miles downstream of Don Pedro, which is important because the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts (which own and operate both) have argued that Don Pedro doesn't block fish passage because fish can't make it past La Grange. TRT is holding them accountable for the poor environmental conditions they have created.
The State Water Board will be releasing an updated environmental document for the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan sometime this spring. Word has it they might increase unimpaired instream flow requirements on rivers such as the Tuolumne to 40% or more, which would be a huge improvement. We need to encourage them to stand strong, especially under pressure from the drought.
Water conservation, efficiency, and recycled water are key to balancing the needs of humans with those of other species that depend on the Tuolumne. In the SFPUC service territory, where 2.6 million people depend on the Tuolumne, we have reduced water consumption by 15% over the past seven years. This has created a healthy buffer against the drought, and serves as a good example to others. We must continue to use our precious water more efficiently.
I'm proud to work for the Tuolumne River Trust, which I believe is one of the most effective environmental groups in the region. Our strength comes from supporters like you! Please help us continue to be as effective as possible my sponsoring my participation in Paddle to the Sea at http://www.paddletothesea.org/paddle/participantpage.asp?fundid=2147&uid=3802&fkroledescid=5
It’s interesting that Pacificans want Pacifica to remain beautiful, in good shape financially, and its infrastructure intact. Folks see that happening in different ways. Most people who live here stay because they want the open space and to be away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco or Daly City. In fact, I know one person who says we Pacificans are spoiled because our town is so beautiful – that made me smile.
We don’t need to fill up our “empty space” with buildings in hopes that businesses will come here and stay. We have empty business spaces, for instance, Eureka Square. I’ve been told that rents there are very high; rumor has it the owner wants to sell that or build condos, but who knows. We do need more business, but basic businesses that will stay, not simply niche businesses. Niche businesses are good and fun, too, don’t get me wrong.
Folks who think that building is the answer to our problems should ask themselves why they think empty space is “wasted” space. Someone actually said that to me. If buildings attract business, then why do we have empty storefronts? If that’s true, then just move up to Daly City or SF.
As for widening Highway 1, I’ve driven to San Mateo for nearly 17 years now for work. I leave before 7 a.m. to get there without the hassle of traffic. I can honestly say two things: When school is out, I can leave 10 or 15 minutes later; and widening a part of Highway 1, then narrowing it again, does not truly solve traffic woes – it would be like a heart surgeon cleaning out part of your artery but leaving the rest of it clogged.
“Gang of No” is a label meant to segregate and isolate a specific group of people and give that group a negative connotation. That does not help anyone because it turns ideas into conflict. It is not productive. People will argue. Big deal. But ALL sides need to realize there will be give and take. It’s not a contest; it’s a process to reach a mutual goal.
(name withheld by request)
By John Maybury, Editor and Publisher
Pacifica has a long history of infighting, probably a function of our disparate neighborhoods without common interests. Scattered along 10 miles of coastal hillsides, deep valleys, beaches, and floodplains, our 40,000 residents range from blue-collar workers to white-collar professionals, and self-employed entrepreneurs to retired civil servants.
Lots of new money is coming into town, while lots of old money desperately hangs on. There is plenty of friction, resentment, bitterness, and distrust. This atmosphere engenders a kind of McCarthyism in which groups that have nothing in common blame other groups for Pacifica’s woes, demonizing and dehumanizing them with silly labels.
Reading comments on the four blogs of the apocalypse (Riptide, Index, Fix, Patch) and Pacifica Tribune letters to the editor, you may have seen a “Gang of No” label applied to various local environmentalists and conservationists because of their principled opposition to the highway widening and other public or private development/construction proposals.
As one of the aforementioned bloggers, and as a Tribune columnist, and as a member of the much-maligned “Gang of No,” I would like to ask for a timeout.
I do not claim to speak for my fellow gang members. They are fully capable of speaking for themselves, and many of them do so on the blogs and in the Tribune's inky pages.
I simply want to say that as a green-to-the-gills enviro, I am not primarily a naysayer. I love Pacifica’s green hillsides and blue waters. I moved here and I stay here because of the natural beauty of this little burg, just over the hill yet worlds away from the mad, mad mess of San Francisco.
Okay, I do say “NO” to anything that I think would endanger all this great scenery or all this laid-back small-town vibe. To me, bigger and faster is not better. I want to fix the town’s problems as much as anyone does. I may not share the same ideas as you about what is good for Pacifica, but make no mistake: I belong to “The Gang of Yes.”
I say “YES” to slow growth, smart development, small business, and green initiatives. From my deeply felt opposition to bad ideas and poor planning comes a wealth of positive alternatives and creative solutions.
Now if only I could get the powers-that-be to listen to me and my gang members once again, as they finally did with the Tom Lantos Tunnels at Devil’s Slide. That brilliant and popular transportation solution came from the very same people who are now unfairly smeared as “The Gang of No.”
(A slightly different version of this op-ed ran in my April 9 Pacifica Tribune column "Wandering and Wondering.")
Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others, narrate this documentary about real human beings dealing with the effects of climate change.
Daly City’s City Council has passed a resolution to call on the state legislature and governor to ban clearcut logging in California, making it the first city in San Mateo County and the wider Bay Area, and the second city in the state, to pass the resolution. The City of Davis has passed a similar resolution. The resolution highlights negative impacts of clearcutting on climate and water.
Daly City’s Water Department offers free water-saving devices, rebates, and school programs for residents, commercial users, and students. The city also has a climate action plan to reduce its carbon footprint.
“I am delighted to partner with the Sierra Club in making sure that the governor and the California legislature take immediate action to prohibit industrial clearcut logging in the forests of California,” said David Canepa, mayor of Daly City. “I am also proud that Daly City is the first city in the Bay Area to demonstrate such leadership.”
A growing movement of communities, environmental groups, and fishermen's alliances is calling on the governor and state legislature to end clearcutting in California and to ensure that logging in California is done in a way that will preserve and protect fish, wildlife, forests, streams, and carbon sequestration.
Clearcutting is an ecologically destructive form of logging in which nearly all native vegetation is removed, soils are deep-ripped, and herbicides are applied across the landscape. It harms water quality and wildlife habitat, and exacerbates climate change. It replaces diverse forests with tree farms that can have a higher risk of catching fire. Timber can be harvested using a less destructive method known as selective logging (see top photo above), which involves carefully planned removal of some trees while leaving the overall forest intact.
What happens in the forests – especially in the Sierra Nevada – is important to Bay Area cities. Some 60 percent of Bay Area water is stored in and filtered through Sierra forest watersheds, and 15 percent comes from the forested Santa Cruz Mountains. At least 15 percent of California’s carbon dioxide emissions are sequestered by California forests, and clearcutting both reduces the amount of carbon that forests can retain, and releases excess greenhouse gases.
Photos (above): selectively harvested forest (top), clearcut (bottom)