California announces $1 billion emergency drought relief package
Even scarier than California’s shrinking reservoirs is its shrinking groundwater supply
Surprise finding heightens concern over tiny bits of plastic polluting our oceans
Grunion runs are here: See fish leap from ocean, mate on beach
Sea lion pup strandings due to deadly domino effect
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California Waterkeepers Call for Permanent, Deeper Water Conservation Reforms
Today, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is expected to adopt an expanded emergency urban water conservation regulation. The State Water Board’s action comes on the heels of new NASA data showing California has approximately one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and a poor showing of statewide water conservation in January. (State water use in January 2015 was reduced by 8.8% compared to January 2013; the Governor’s emergency drought order requires a 20% reduction requirement compared to 2013). The State Water Board’s proposed regulations would mandate common-sense practices that many Californians have adopted voluntarily. New measures include prohibiting watering lawns during, and 48 hours following, a rain-event; a requirement that restaurants serve water only on request; and a requirement that water agencies promptly notify customers of leaks.
As hotter, drier conditions and longer periods of drought could become the new normal in California, state water experts are calling for more sweeping, permanent reforms. California Coastkeeper Alliance and California Waterkeeper organizations urge the State Water Board to pursue measures that would save water in greater amounts, such as stricter regulations on outdoor water use and landscape watering, requirements to use recycled rather than drinking water to water golf courses, and sending better price signals to high water users.
For California Coastkeeper Alliance's full press release, click here.
California Set to Become a Leader on Trash Pollution
California is renowned for its iconic beaches, coast, rivers, and bays, bringing over 50 million beachgoers to the shoreline every year. However, trash is accumulating in California’s waters and on its beaches at an alarming rate. Too many waters throughout the state are so clogged with trash that they are unfit for swimming, fishing and other uses. Both the problem and solution reside on land. The vast majority of trash that ends up in the ocean travels from stormwater drains to rivers and streams. However, California has no statewide plan for how local governments should prevent trash pollution flowing into waterways.
Over the past three years, California Coastkeeper Alliance has been advising the State Water Board on the development of a statewide Trash Policy. On April 7th, the State Water Board is set to adopt its proposed Trash Policy, declaring a statewide goal of no trash in California’s coastal waters, bays, rivers, streams and lakes. The Policy will be a critical improvement to preventing trash from reaching California's waters, and serve as a national model to attain trash free waterways . While some charged with implementing the new plan are pressuring the State Board to weaken provisions and make the Trash Policy difficult to enforce, many business, environmental groups, and state leaders are voicing their support for the adoption of measures that promise to truly reduce trash pollution in California. On April 7th, the California Coastkeeper Alliance, supported by a diverse coalition of allies, will urge the State Water Board to adopt a Trash Policy that requires a clear, straightforward path to compliance that holds each city and county responsible for achieving high, uniform standards.
For a more detailed description of the Trash Policy, read CCKA’s briefer.
SD Coastkeeper Releases Water Quality Data for 2014
San Diego Coastkeeper, your water quality watchdog in the southern end of the state, has released its 2014 results. Effective monitoring is essential in protecting public health, the environment, and working towards solutions to cleanup contaminated waters. Scores ranged from fair to poor and call to attention worsening water quality problems in the region.
Monterey Coastkeeper Holds Polluters Accountable in Court
Congrats to our Monterey Coastkeeper, who won an important courtroom victory for clean water by holding the Monterey County Water Resources Agency responsible for discharges into the Salinas River and Elkhorn Slough. The ruling is key towards an ultimate cleanup of the Lower Salinas Valley, a victory for sea otters, public health, and everyone in Monterey who values clean and abundant water.
Great Russian River Race
Russian Riverkeeper has opened registration for the 5th annual Great Russian River Race! The wildly popular event will take place on Saturday, May 2nd, and is sure to sell out fast. Click here to join us on May 2nd to celebrate the Russian River and support our Riverkeeper’s efforts to protect the watershed.