The Trump administration on Friday named Mike Stoker, a Santa Barbara County attorney and former oil company spokesman who some credit with coining the “lock her up!” chants against Hillary Clinton at the Republican Convention in 2016, as the new West Coast head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Stoker will lead the U.S. EPA Region 9 office, which is based in San Francisco.
It may seem strange to burn the area around wetlands as a habitat restoration technique, and even more oxymoronic to do so in order to save an aquatic creature in the desert. But for a nearly extinct species of fish in the arid Owens Valley, a prescribed burn is exactly what the doctor ordered.
For more than 18 years, Kerstin Wasson has plowed through mud, eelgrass, and brackish water in a quest to understand and preserve the salt marshes of the West Coast. In recognition of her many contributions to science and conservation, the Environmental Law Institute honored Wasson on May 9 at the National Wetlands Awards in Washington, DC.
The ocean inlet to the Bolsa Chica wetlands, once again being dredged to allow the tidal flushing vital to the abundant wildlife in the area, could run dry of funds necessary for the near-annual pumping operation required to maintain the ecosystem.
For years, Californians have mismanaged the aquifers that supply the state with about 40 percent of its water supplies. Declining water levels from over-pumping have left less water for agriculture, urban, and other uses in many areas of the state. But the problems do not stop with groundwater users.
In the coming construction season, the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District hopes to restore about 2,500 feet of waterway during the latest phase of the Salt River Restoration Project. The end goal of the $34 million project is to reduce flooding impacts and restore wildlife habitat along a 7-mile stretch of the Salt River and 330 acres of tidal marsh.
A proposal that federal officials said was intended to simplify federal water laws has instead been interpreted to do the opposite – and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scrambling to defend itself to agriculture and other industries.
A recently completed inventory of tricolored blackbirds has found a steep drop in the birds’ spiraling population statewide, with scientists worrying that this year’s drought will lessen future populations.
“California’s Central Valley hosts millions of migrating shorebirds. It’s a critical stopping point on migration route that runs thousands of miles. But the drought could make it difficult for birds to find a haven.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today [April 24] they have signed a Record of Decision for a comprehensive, 30-year plan to restore and enhance Suisun Marsh, a critical part of the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta estuary ecosystem.”