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The Newsom administration on May 2 shelved the plan to build twin Delta Tunnels — and announced it will start a renewed environmental review for a single Delta Tunnel to facilitate the export of northern California water to San Joaquin agribusiness and Southern California Water agencies. The announcement marks the end of the twin tunnels project that Arnold Schwarzenegger began in 2007, itself a revival of the peripheral canal plan that the voters overwhelmingly rejected in the November 1982 election. After beginning his third term as Governor, Jerry Brown continued to pursue the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, as it was called, until it was renamed the California WaterFix in 2015.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Fish Conservancy sued the Trump administration in April for mismanaging West Coast salmon fisheries and harming critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, a violation of the Endangered Species Act. That orca population has dropped to just 75 individuals, mostly because declining salmon runs have left them without enough to eat. The National Marine Fisheries Service responded by committing to expanded designation of critical habitat off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.
Sun Apr 28 2019 (Updated 05/04/19)
Earth Day in California Site of Creative Protests
A week before Earth Day was not too early for San Francisco activists with Extinction Rebellion who staged direct action designed to draw attention to the planet's peril. On April 15, they led a march and rally, shutting down 7th Street for close to two hours. Elsewhere in California there were Earth Day die-ins, dance demonstrations, and invitations to rethink waste and save trees. In Los Angeles protesters scaled the iconic globe outside Universal Studios; four people were charged with felonies.
Fri Apr 12 2019 (Updated 04/27/19)
People’s Park 50th Anniversary
People’s Park has been the site of continual struggle for decades. Students and demonstrators took over the park from UC Berkeley in 1969 as a staging ground for activism and protests. In the following decades, the university has tried again on numerous occasions to develop the park, but People’s Park continues to be a rallying point for community activists. In honor of the People’s resistance, two weeks of events with music, tree planting, spoken word, and activist speakers will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of People's Park. A free concert kicks off the celebration on April 13 and events run through April 28. On May 1, a "Hold the Land" demonstration kicks off.
The Center for Biological Diversity is suing the Bureau of Land Management over its refusal to provide public records of its plans new oil drilling and fracking along California’s Central Coast and in the Bay Area. The BLM has yet to publicly release the final plans, but earmarked for leasing are lands in Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Stanislaus counties. The Trump administration’s plans would end a six-year moratorium on leasing federal public land and mineral estate in California to oil companies.
A coalition of local and community groups hosted a town hall in the East Bay town of Rodeo on March 7, drawing over 150 people to discuss the risks of a proposal by Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo to bring in more oil tankers and process more heavy crude oil like tar sands. The tar sands expansion proposal would impact local health and the climate by increasing refinery emissions and worsening air quality for nearby communities while also increasing tanker traffic and the risk of a devastating oil spill in the San Francisco Bay Area.
On March 18, climate activists targeted the nation's fourth largest bank for protest, just in time to crash its annual founding day celebration. They seized the entire block of California Street between Montgomery and Sansome for three hours, shutting down a major entrance at Wells Fargo headquarters during that time. The action was the culmination of the March for Fossil Fuel Freedom that started in Palo Alto days earlier, a trek of hundreds forming a human billboard to demand Wells Fargo stop funding the fossil-fuel industry.
Sun Jan 13 2019 (Updated 01/16/19)
Delta Smelt on the Brink of Extinction
For the first time ever, a fish survey that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducts every autumn turned up zero Delta Smelt throughout the monitoring sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in the last four months of 2018. The Delta Smelt, listed under both federal and state Endangered Species Acts, is regarded as an indicator species, a fish that demonstrates the health of the entire Delta ecosystem.
Sat Dec 29 2018 (Updated 01/13/19)
People's Park Is Under Assault
A video captured on December 21 shows UCPD officer Sean Aranas violently assaulting someone hanging out in People's Park. Aranas pulls him up and throws him to the ground. UC Berkeley has long wanted to develop the park and deny public use. The university has been whittling away at the foliage and, on the morning of December 28, forty-one trees were destroyed. The unannounced predawn timing was apparently calculated to avoid protests. A vigil was held on December 29 in response.
The "Green New Deal" is a proposed program for moving America quickly away from a climate catastrophe and into an ecologically sustainable future, simultaneously creating millions of new jobs and addressing economic inequality. On December 11, the Sunrise Movement of young people demonstrated at Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco office. The day before, over 100 protesters were arrested at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Fri Nov 30 2018 (Updated 12/02/18)
Protect Juristac: No Quarry on Sacred Grounds
The Amah Mutsun tribe is waging an all-out campaign to stop a proposed sand and gravel quarry that would desecrate one of their most important sacred places. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band know it as Juristac. The public knows it as Sargent Ranch, 6,500 acres of nearly pristine open space at the tail end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the foothills slope down towards the broad agricultural fields south of Gilroy. To the Debt Acquisition Company of America (DACA), the property’s owner, it is a potential sand and gravel quarry.
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to cease issuing permits for offshore fracking and acidizing in federal waters — waters over 3 miles from shore — off of the coast of Southern California. On November 9, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act when it allowed hydraulic fracturing and acidizing in offshore oil and gas wells in all leased federal waters off Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

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