A series of programs is under way to restore wetlands, the newest starting this week. The Department of Water Resources will break ground Wednesday at Dutch Slough in Oakley for what DWR calls its largest tidal wetlands restoration project — nearly 1,200 acres — in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Other projects by other agencies are transforming salt ponds to wetlands in the Napa-Sonoma Marsh and along South San Francisco Bay.
In June and September of 2017, two heat waves killed at least 14 people in the Bay Area, and sent hundreds more to the hospital. San Francisco was caught off guard, says the city’s deputy director of public health, Naveena Bobba.
The ease with which residents can rebuild depends on resources such as time and money, of course, but also location. … In Fountaingrove, most of the homes sat on large lots with uneven topography, making them tricky to clear and more expensive to rebuild. On top of that, the neighborhood was plagued with water contamination issues after the fire, which melted plastic pipes and leaked benzene and other contaminants into the water supply.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving forward with a flood control project along Corte Madera Creek in Ross and Kentfield. A draft environmental impact report on the project was released Friday. Comments are being accepted on the findings through Nov. 27.
In a major coup for Bay Area outdoors recreation, the best trail camps at Big Basin Redwoods State Park and in the Santa Cruz Mountains will stay open through fall and winter. The decision by California State Parks affects eight trail camps with about 50-hike-in sites at five state parks in the Santa Cruz District.
A state of emergency was declared for the bayfront community of Belvedere after investigation of a damaged seawall revealed the problem is larger than the city had realized. Consulting engineers told the city late last month it should act immediately to prevent the seawall along Beach Road — which protects the area from flooding — from shifting any further or collapsing into San Francisco Bay.
A Marin Audubon Society-led marsh restoration project in San Rafael’s Canal area seeks to pack a double punch on the environmental front by both restoring some of the state’s dwindling wetland habitat and bolstering defenses against sea level rise. The project at the 20-acre Tiscornia Marsh near Pickleweed Park is in its early planning and fundraising stages, but has already gained widespread support among San Rafael officials and departments.
San Francisco water officials said Monday night they’re testing drinking water in the city’s Sunset District after receiving a report from a customer who said her water “tasted funny.” Officials with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said the tests are “out of an abundance of caution” and that they have no evidence of water quality issues.
Marin County had a dry water year in 2017-18, with some areas recording rainfall levels comparable to recent and historic drought years, according to meteorological data. … The low rainfall didn’t concern local water districts in terms of water supply, at least for now. Local reservoirs and water supply are well-above those that would trigger mandatory conservation measures.
Mike Taugher taught his children Anna and Zack how to ride their bikes in Benicia State Recreation Area, a short five-block walk from his house. He’d walk and jog with his wife Kim along the rolling hills and wetlands tucked beside Interstate 780. The award-winning Contra Costa Times environmental reporter would kayak along the Carquinez Strait, the same body of water he’d fiercely document, monitoring salmon runs, tiny Delta smelt and battles on the fragile ecosystem’s future.
Sea level rise is changing Bay Area shorelines, and the focus of planning discussions on mitigating the effects suggests most communities in the water’s way have time to adapt. But it doesn’t always feel that way in East Oakland or West Marin.
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District partnered with the Friends of Bear Creek Stables to install two 10,000-gallon water tanks near the stables, which sit on approximately 15 acres at 19100 Bear Creek Road. … The wildfire water tank project is meant to help protect a wider swath of the open space preserve in case of fire.
Two longtime incumbents on the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors who have a combined tenure of 38 years are facing two challengers this November who are critical of how the district has handled its finances and rates. At the same time, the North Marin Water District Board of Directors is set to have its first contested election since 2007.
Ross Valley’s controversial flood fee was hiked 3 percent Tuesday, helping pay for a public relations campaign smoothing the waters for projects that will turn key park areas into flood retention basins.
Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood is a dentist who believes in the effectiveness of fluoridated water in combating tooth decay. But he won’t be writing the argument against a November ballot measure to remove fluoride from the city’s water.
From the San Jose Mercury News, in a commentary by Richard Santos:
In the midst of exceptional drought conditions, a new, locally controlled, drought-proof water source for Silicon Valley could not have come at a better time. The Santa Clara Valley Water District, in partnership with the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara, is celebrating the completion of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center.