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Sun Nov 1 2015 (Updated 11/02/15)
California Moves to Keep Whales Out of Crab Gear
A state-convened working group is recommending a series of initial steps toward reducing whale entanglements in crab gear in California, including more monitoring and retrieval of lost fishing gear. The Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group was convened in September after the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups found that whale entanglements in 2014 and 2015 had reached historic highs.
Small cascades of pristine water rush out of the hillside at Big Springs, the headwaters of the Sacramento River, as they converge in a shallow pool located in the Mount Shasta City Park. On September 26, Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, and hundreds of environmentalists and activists from all over California and Oregon held a rally, the “Water Every Drop Sacred” event, in the scenic park. After the rally ended, Sisk and tribal members led a march and protest of 160 people to the water bottling plant.
Mon Aug 17 2015 (Updated 08/18/15)
As the Drought Rages On, So Do the Fires
Wildfires are a natural and regular occurrence during the dry season in California. After four years of drought, the situation this year is especially dire with huge numbers of large fires breaking out all over the state. The Rocky Fire was only contained within the last several days after burning for more than a month, consuming 70,000 acres in total. D. Boyer shared a thorough report from the scene of the Rocky Fire.
Environmental groups petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to protect the Humboldt marten under the California Endangered Species Act. The Humboldt marten is a cat-sized carnivore related to minks and otters that lives in old-growth forests in Northern California and southern Oregon. Most of the marten’s forest habitat has been destroyed by logging, and the remaining martens in California likely number fewer than 100 individuals.
Flowback fluid from fracked oil wells in California commonly contains dangerous levels of cancer-causing chemicals, a new analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity has found. Benzene levels over 1,500 times the federal limits for drinking water were found in fracking flowback fluid tests dating back to April 2014 obtained and analyzed by the Center. Benzene in excess of federal limits was found in 320 tests, and chromium-6 was detected 118 times. Both chemicals can cause cancer.
Mon Dec 29 2014 (Updated 12/30/14)
Drift Gillnets are Deadly Curtains of Death
On December 22, with the full support of marine conservation organizations, a group of California legislators called on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service to transition away from deadly California drift gillnets. “California drift gillnets are deadly curtains of death for marine wildlife like whales and sea turtles,” said Doug Karpa of Turtle Island Restoration Network.
Voters in two California counties were able to overcome the oil industry and pass fracking bans by wide margins. Measure J in San Benito County passed with 57% of the vote, and Measure S in Mendocino County passed with 67%.
North Coast: 1