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State Senate bill advances: Would require companies to take back unwanted drugs

Modeled on a 2012 Alameda County ordinance, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s (D-Santa Barbara) bill is the first of its kind in the US. The Senate Environmental Quality Committee approved the bill on March 26 by a 5-1 vote. It will be heard by the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on April 21.  Law360, March 28, 2014
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Walnut Creek and San Rafael ban plastic bags; statewide ban moves ahead in the Senate

San Rafael became the 100th municipality statewide to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. Nearly a third of Californians, 12.3 million people, live in communities with bag bans. IndyBay, March 3, 2014 Walnut Creek is the fifth city in Contra Costa County to adopt a bag ban, joining Richmond, El Cerrito, Pittsburg, and San Pablo. San Jose Mercury News, March 5, 2014 Meanwhile a bill that would enact a statewide ban is moving through the committee process in the state Senate....
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Assembly bill targets cigarette filters

For some reason, people who would never “litter” drop cigarette butts on the sidewalk or toss them out car windows without thinking twice. Municipalities spend millions of dollars each year cleaning up cigarette trash; what may be worse, even a few cigarettes that reach creeks or the Bay through local storm drain systems pose a real threat to water quality. A bill recently introduced in the state legislator would outlaw the sale or any other transfer of filtered cigarettes. Los...
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Statewide Plastic Bag Ban in Sight

Under a compromise negotiated with opponents of last year’s bill, disposable plastic shopping  bags would be banned from grocery check-out stands in California and consumers would pay at least a dime for a paper or re-usable plastic bag a under a compromise proposal negotiated with key opponents of last year’s bill to ban plastic shopping bags. The new measure, to be formally announced on Friday, January 31,  would ban single-use carry-out bags in California grocery stores starting July 1, 2015,...
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Seagulls feasting on coastal trash also take young wild salmon

One more reason to clean up our trash: A new study by California Sea Grant-funded researchers shows that a young steelhead has about a 30-percent chance of being eaten by Western gulls during its transit to sea through creek mouths in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. California Sea Grant Research News, November 22,2013.
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California drought: Three more months of dry weather likely, National Weather Service announces

Comprehensive explanation of the causes of the drought, San José Mercury News, January 16, 2014.
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California declares drought emergency

Governor Brown makes it official. Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2014.
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Severe Drought Grows Worse in California

Summary of the drought’s environmental and economic effects. New York Times, January 17, 2014.
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Statue of Liberty

New York City unveils multi-faceted plan to protect against sea level rise

Mayor Bloomberg has released a $20 billion-plus plan to protect New York City against inevitable sea level rise and future mega-storms. New York Times, June 12, 2013 Graphic shows locations of 11 different infrastructure strategies, including wetland and dune restoration, permanent levees, and barriers and revetments.
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Scientists recommend revised flows classifications for climate change

Researchers at UC Davis and Utah State University explain that California’s allocations to agriculture and wildlife are based on water-year classifications that are becoming irrelevant in a global warming regime. California Water Blog, June 10, 2013
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Statewide Plastic Bag Ban dies on Senate floor

For the third time since 2010, a bill that would ban single-use plastic bags throughout California failed to win approval in the Legislature. Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2013.
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Brown administration releases full Bay Delta Conservation Plan

By diverting river water through two huge tunnels before it reaches the Delta, and restoring more than 100,000 acres of habitat, water contractors hope to escape the endangered species restrictions that have reduced their Delta water deliveries in the past. Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2013 Read the full Plan, and view related materials here. The plan is supported by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and members of Congress from the Central Valley and the Los Angeles area, and opposed by several...
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San José is very green — Could it be even greener?

KQED’s Quest reports on San José’s progress toward it’s very green goals…and some Bay Area environmentalists suggest the city could do more. Read the article, follow the links, and listen to the audio.
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Water splash with green water drop

Reports Point to Environmental, Public Health Effects of Fracking

A peer-reviewed study by Cornell University researchers and a report released by the Pacific Institute point to significant health effects to animals and humans, and contamination of soils and crops that come in contact with the cocktail of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking (Examiner.com).
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Coalition Proposes Integrated Plan to Secure Delta Water

The plan proposed to the Governor by environmental groups includes smaller, less costly tunnels, along with funding for strategies such as water conservation, recycling, and new water storage south of the Delta. The goal of the proposal is to reduce the state’s reliance on the estuary for drinking and irrigation water. (Recordnet.com)
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Planning for Sea Level Rise in the Bay Area is theoretical in 2013

“California has done more than most states to prepare for the challenges of climate change, but when it comes to the dangers of sea level rise, experts worry that the state isn’t doing nearly enough.”  (San Francisco Chronicle) Watch a series of videos describing some of the plans being considered, in light of the prediction that sea level at the bayshore will rise significantly by the end of the century: Taking the heat: Introduction Taking the heat: A silver lining Taking...
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