Raptorama is here again. Tickets are selling fast to take a walk on the coast's wilder side with Bay Area bird experts! Learn firsthand about coastside raptor habitats, including Wavecrest, Pillar Point Marsh, Pescadero State Beach, and Half Moon Bay State Beach. During the weekend of November 7-9, a diverse series of birding workshops and walks are available, including dinner with keynote speaker Glenn R. Stewart, director of the Predatory Bird Research Group, University of California at Santa Cruz. Workshops are indoors and include topics such as raptors, birding photography, and children's birding. Walks are outdoors in small groups to explore the local habitats listed above. For workshop and event details, and to purchase tickets, please visit Raptorama.org.
Coastside Land Trust Art Gallery presents its 2nd annual "California Raptor Show," opening on Friday, November 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibit features 26 local artists who have captured California's diverse raptor population through art. Mediums include oil, watercolor, batik, acrylic, mixed media, wood carving, and fine-art photography. All art is for sale. Show dates: November 7 to February 13. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment. Coastside Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of open space, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of the San Mateo County coast, for present and future generations. 788 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, 650-726-5056.
I sure hope you check out the e-book on iTunes and iBooks (free sample available). It includes illuminating stories, pictures, and videos on Yosemite's native people, soldiers, artists, climbers, promoters, and protectors. For me, it's been a wonderfully intense work of love and discovery. Twenty percent of all proceeds from the e-book go to support Yosemite Conservancy's restoration and education projects in the park.
"Paddle with the Salmon" canoe trips are coming up on the first two weekends in November. These trips always fill up, so if you want to visit a beautiful stretch of the lower Tuolumne and watch salmon spawn, be sure to register soon. The details are at http://www.tuolumne.org/content/article.php/fallcanoe
Finally, I'm pleased to report that water use in the SFPUC service territory has been way down this summer. Attached is a graph showing a reduction of about 45 million gallons of water per day below the average. Also, BAWSCA, which represents the SFPUC's 26 wholesale customers, recently released new demand projections for 2035 that are 20% below their previous forecast. TRT is working through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dam licensing process and State Water Board proceedings to make sure water saved actually flows down the river for the benefit of fish and wildlife, water quality, and recreation. More details coming soon.
CY = Calendar Year. Note that over the summer we have substantially exceeded our goal of a 10% reduction in water use, delineated by the black line.
Peter Drekmeier Policy Director, Tuolumne River Trust 312 Sutter St., #402, San Francisco, CA 94108 email@example.com | www.tuolumne.org 415-882-7252
State and local agencies responding to an anticipated rise in sea levels in California will be required to submit monthly reports to a public database under a new bill that has become law.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed Assembly Bill 2516 as he prepared to address the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.
Authored by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, the bill establishes a statewide online database focusing on sea-level rise planning that will be overseen by the California Natural Resources Agency. The database, which is believed to be the first of its kind, is intended to serve as a resource for cities and counties across the state to utilize data collected by other communities and share methods for how to adequately prepare for rising sea levels.
"California has produced an abundance of sea-level rise planning information, but lacks a consolidated location for this information," Gordon said. "AB 2516 creates an accessible, centrally located tool for local and state governments to share information and coordinate their efforts, allowing us to be far more efficient in our work to address the growing threat of sea-level rise."
The legislation was initiated as a result of work conducted by the Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, which Gordon chairs. After receiving testimony from scientists and stakeholders at a series of hearings, the committee issued a comprehensive report, which urges Californians to prepare for the seas to rise by an average of 3 feet during this century.
The report additionally cited that California is "woefully unprepared" for the challenge of accelerating sea-level rise and could potentially lose billions of dollars in revenue due to related impacts.
"Sea-level rise is already happening," Gordon warned. "This legislation enables California to become a national model for sea-level rise planning and continue to lead the country in addressing climate change."
According to Gordon, information such as studies, modeling, inundation maps and cost-benefit analyses will now be readily available for communities through the new database.
In this terrible drought, why waste precious water on ice bucket challenges? Here is a trash bucket challenge that can make a difference.
Pick up a bucket of trash in 24 hours (or take a little longer if needed), then make a donation to the Pacifica Beach Coalition (PBC) to help its beach cleanup and restoration work (click the link below). Challenge your friends and family to do likewise.
By answering the trash bucket challenge, you can help save the beaches, the ocean, and marine wildlife. Only you can stop the flow of litter into our creeks, where it goes down to pollute the ocean. Record your trash bucket challenge by clicking the blue bag at Pacifica Beach Coalition
On July 14, Pacifica City Council passed a weakened Climate Action Plan (CAP).
The Pacifica Climate Committee, a local citizens group working on climate change issues, lobbied the city to start working on a plan in 2009. The council appointed a task force in 2010 that worked for two years to develop the plan. After much effort, the plan has strong goals but is rather weak in what it asks the city to do.
The Pacifica Climate Committee hopes that the city will follow through and begin work to achieve the goals set out in the plan. The city should appoint a staff person in charge of implementation as promised at the council meeting, when it cut the dedicated half-time staff person that the plan originally called for. Council should take quick action on near-term measures in the plan.
The CAP calls for a 35 percent reduction in Pacifica’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, which is consistent with State of California targets. These are very ambitious goals. Pacifica’s plan calls for encouraging new development to be near transit, improving walking and biking infrastructure (e.g., safe routes to schools, bike lanes), setting a waste diversion goal of 75 percent away from the landfill by 2020 and zero waste by 2030, and supporting state law requiring commercial recycling. The plan also calls for improving public transit but without any specific measures.
Originally, the CAP called for residential and commercial energy efficiency ordinances that would have required sellers or buyers to make basic energy efficiency improvements to homes and commercial buildings when they were sold. This part of the plan was cut by council due to opposition primarily from real estate interests, most notably the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR).
While Council supported the ambitious goals set out in the CAP, it appears that that the current plan will not actually achieve those goals. In a July 14, 2014 letter to the city’s Associate Planner Lee Diaz, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff commented that the plan, as currently written, is not strong enough to reach those targets.
BAAQMD staff also questioned various inconsistencies in the CAP and criticized the methodology the city’s consultant used to calculate some of the projected emissions reductions. For example, staff commented, estimated reductions from adoption of a water conservation ordinance were “grossly overestimated,” and other estimates were similarly flawed.
BAAQMD staff strongly recommended (among other things) that the city should reinstate the residential and commercial energy conservation ordinances to ensure that short- and long-term goals of the CAP will be met.
In another peculiar exchange, council member Karen Ervin asked whether the city could encourage the adoption of residential solar energy by lowering solar permit fees. Planning Director George White responded that the city had investigated this and determined that Pacifica’s solar permit fee is already among the lowest in the area. But according to a study done by the Sierra Club, Pacifica’s $335 solar permit fee is the second-highest fee in San Mateo County, second only to Daly City's. Pacifica’s permit fee is well above the $257 average for Northern California cities. We hope council can be persuaded to lower solar permit fees in the future.