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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Destructive swamp rodents are knocking on the Delta’s door

The destructive invasive swamp rodents known as nutria are officially on the doorstep of one of the state’s most critically important waterways. State wildlife officials announced Tuesday that a nutria was killed on agricultural land west of Stockton in San Joaquin County.

Aquafornia news Argus-Courier

Petaluma Wetlands added to international conservation list

The Mekong River Delta, the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon Rain Forest, and now the Petaluma Wetlands, all share an important distinction. They are sites included in an international list of critical wetlands worth protecting.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Salmon season for West Coast approved

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) approved reduced recreational and commercial ocean salmon seasons for the West Coast on April 10. The reduction in fishing days this season amounts to cuts of about a third for the ocean sport fishery and over half of the commercial fishery, compared to a normal season.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Can dirt save the earth?

In 2007, at Jeff Creque’s behest, John Wick got in touch with Whendee Silver, an ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Letting cows graze on his property had certainly made the land look healthier, he told Silver. But he and Creque wanted to know: Had it put carbon in the ground? And if so, was it possible to measure how much?

Aquafornia news Oceans Deeply

Seabirds aren’t keeping pace with climate change, scientists warn

From oil spills to rat-infested nesting sites to fishing nets, seabirds have long faced a wide range of threats to their survival. One study of monitored populations found a 70 percent drop in their numbers since 1950. More recently, climate change has added another challenge for seabirds: As global warming accelerates, they’re increasingly out of sync with their prey.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Marysville to install rice dispensers at Ellis Lake for healthier waterfowl feeding

The waterfowl at Ellis Lake are about to get a diet that’s a little less foul. Four gumball-style machines, to be filled with free rice, are slated to be installed at Ellis Lake near 9th and D streets as early as June as a way of encouraging people to feed the birds a healthier diet and keep the lake in good shape.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Minnow rescues underway as portions of Rio Grande dry up

Federal water managers will be facing difficult decisions as the worsening drought is significantly affecting flows on one of the country’s longest river systems and prompting rescue missions for a tiny endangered fish. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their operating plan for the Rio Grande on Thursday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Bat key to tequila trade gets off US endangered species list

Wildlife managers in the American Southwest say a once-rare bat important to the pollination of plants used to produce tequila has made a comeback and is being removed from the U.S. endangered species list.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Don’t be rushed in awarding water storage billions, California

Since its passage, Proposition 1 – officially known as the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act – has benefited tens of millions of Californians. … Recently, however, debate has roiled over a key section that allocated $2.7 billion to the California Water Commission for water storage improvements and drought preparedness.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: If you understand history, Colorado River shortages are no surprise

With the potential of a Colorado River shortage declaration looming as Lake Mead drops, Arizona is struggling with the politics of who will have to cut their water use, and by how much. As Arizona wrestles, it is important to remember how we got here. It’s easy to blame today’s problems – an overallocated river and declining reservoir levels – on drought and climate change, and both of these do play a role.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Beyond the music, the Coachella you probably don’t know

I [Steve Lopez] went to Coachella and had a swell time, although I overindulged a bit. But it’s not what you think. I went to explore the valley beyond the world-famous music festival, and I ate too many dates.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: 10 questions about 11 proposals to save Salton Sea

Less than fifteen miles from where Beyonce took the stage at the Coachella Music Festival, the Salton Sea is in crisis. As evaporation causes the sea’s shoreline to recede, more of the toxic chemical matter previously embedded in the water is being exposed and swept up into the atmosphere by desert winds.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Records contradict feds’ story behind disbanding of Trinity River watchdog group

Federal documents and emails provided to the Times-Standard contradict and call into question the Trump administration’s reasoning for disbanding a citizen’s watchdog group tasked with overseeing a multi-million dollar, publicly funded Trinity River restoration project.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Desalination in Las Vegas? Faraway ocean could aid future water needs.

Sin City has never been a place that thinks small. So it should come as no surprise that Las Vegas – about 300 miles from the Pacific Ocean – is pondering seawater desalination to meet its long-term water demand. That doesn’t mean Vegas plans to build a pipeline to the ocean. More likely, it would help pay for a desalination facility in a place like Mexico, then trade that investment for a piece of Mexico’s water rights in the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Dam project unearths whale skulls, giant shark teeth now heading to UC Berkeley

For the past five years, construction workers building a new 220-foot-high dam in the remote canyons east of Milpitas and Fremont have been slowly discovering a long-ago, not-quite-tropical world of buried treasures — from giant shark teeth to whale skulls to pieces of ancient palm trees. Now the huge haul of fossils beneath the Calaveras Reservoir is heading for a permanent new home at UC Berkeley.

Aquafornia news Truckee Sun

Tahoe-Truckee area water agencies oppose California drinking water fee

The Tahoe-Truckee area’s water agencies say they oppose a budget trailer bill that is part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2018-19 budget. The bill, according to the Association of California Water Agencies, is essentially a modified form of State Bill 623, dubbed the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fee.”

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Earth Day 2018: Here are 6 California bills that aim to reduce plastic litter and pollution

State lawmakers got the memo in advance. The theme of Earth Day (Sunday, April 22) is “End Plastic Pollution,” but California legislators are already on the case. Four years ago, they made California the first state to ban single-use plastic grocery sacks — and 52 percent of voters agreed with the law in a 2016 referendum.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin nonprofit backs bill to curb gill trawling nets

A Marin-based environmental group is backing state legislation to rid the ocean of drift gill nets it says accidentally injure or kill marine mammals. The drift net fishery for swordfish in California consists of roughly 20 fishing vessels that set out floating nets, some the length of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

San Francisco’s big seismic gamble

Sailors arriving in San Francisco in the 19th century used two giant redwood trees perched on a hill to help guide their ships into the bay. The redwoods were felled for their lumber at around the time of the gold rush, but San Francisco now has a new beacon: Salesforce Tower, the tallest office building in the West.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Ryan Zinke is opening up public lands. Just not at home.

When Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was a state senator from this idyllic mountain town, he drove a Prius, sported a beard and pushed President Barack Obama to make clean energy a priority. Today, the beard and Prius are gone, and Mr. Zinke has emerged as a leading figure, along with Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency, in the environmental rollbacks that have endeared President Trump to the fossil fuel industry and outraged conservationists.