2015 was hottest year in historical record, scientists say
PacifiCorp pursues dam removal after collapse of Klamath legislation
El Niño rains only slightly increased historic low reservoir levels in California
How dark forces are chipping away at our beloved California coast
State probing experimental hubbs fish breeding program that’s spawned deformities, mixed results
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Media Inquiries and requests to connect with our local Waterkeepers can be forwarded to Sara Aminzadeh at 415-794-8422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CA Waterkeepers Call to Return Water to the Colorado River
In the face of unrelenting drought, California’s urban residents have managed to slash water use by more than one-third. These water savings have been a rare bright spot in California’s drought, reducing dependency on imported supplies from the Colorado River. Building off these conservation achievements, California Waterkeepers have authored a resolution to call for a small percentage of water saved to be transferred back to the Colorado River, to allow for “pulse flows” and a restoration of natural river conditions.
In the spring of 2014, the Colorado River wound through the dewatered Colorado River Delta to the Sea of Cortez for the first time in 13 years. This “March Miracle” was the result of a unique policy agreement to create a very small pulse of water to mimic natural spring flows now rarely witnessed in the heavily diverted river. Twenty-two months later scientists continue to measure groundwater recharge, habitat restoration, and ecological benefits resulting from the brief pulse flow.
Transferring back to the Colorado River a percentage of the water California’s urban residents save will help guarantee pulse flows can continue to benefit the Colorado River Delta. As Californians have demonstrated, impressive reductions in water use can be achieved without lifestyle transformations, impacts to the economy, or changes to daily life. Furthermore, California Waterkeepers know that California residents will be inspired to continue to conserve if water saved will benefit the restoration and recovery of the Colorado River.
Unchecked development, a drier, warmer climate, and constant diversions continue to push the Colorado River beyond the breaking point. For these reasons, California Waterkeepers ask that a small percentage of the water saved in California be given back to the Colorado River, so life can once again bloom in the Colorado River Delta.
Native Landscaping Prepares Businesses for Drought or Drench
California’s unprecedented drought has motivated many businesses and homeowners to rethink their gardens, replacing thirsty lawns with beautiful native plants, and other smart landscape designs more attune to our arid climate. These changes have helped California’s urban residents slash outdoor water use, provide habitat for pollinators, and reduce overall urban water consumption by up to 31% statewide. The benefits of native and smart outdoor landscaping, however, won’t stop with the rain.
As the seasons change and El Niño rains set in, the same smart outdoor landscapes that helped Californians weather the summer in style will go to work filtering and slowing the flow of rainwater. Heavy rains will bring short-term drought relief, but they also wash pollutants from land into our rivers and ocean. Hard surfaces like concrete prevent rain from seeping into the ground where it can recharge our aquifers. Garden features like basins and bioswales help clean stormwater and allow it to soak into the ground. Rain barrels and cisterns also reduce polluted runoff, and capture water for later use.
To promote smart landscapes that work for clean water rain or shine California Coastkeeper Alliance and the Blue Business Council are teaming up with 1% for the Planet to launch the #Drought2Drench campaign. The campaign will showcase plants and garden features that help to capture and clean stormwater. Businesses like Healdsburg SHED, with a savvy rain garden attached to a creek, are helping demonstrate that investing in water wise gardens pay year-round dividends.
San Diego Coastkeeper Fights Industrial Fish Farming
To better protect wild fish populations, water quality and healthy ecosystems, San Diego Coastkeeper has announced they are petitioning the EPA to deny a discharge permit for the proposed Rose Canyon Aquaculture Project. The proposed commercial fish-farming operation is similar to industrial feedlots for cattle, but in the ocean, with comparable environmental, animal welfare, and human health issues. San Diego Coastkeeper is calling for a clear federal regulatory framework for all aspects of offshore aquaculture permitting.
Klamath Riverkeeper Mobilizes Action for Klamath Dam Removal
Our Klamath Riverkeeper is asking lovers of salmon, rivers and clean water everywhere to speak up in support of the Klamath River dam removal. Currently, the State Water Board is considering whether to recommend dam removal, a critical step in the eventual restoration of the Klamath Basin. Please lend you voice by attending upcoming meetings, or submitting comments to let the State Water Board know that upholding the Clean Water Act requires dam removal.
CCKA Welcomes New LA Waterkeeper
California Coastkeeper Alliance is proud to announce Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s new Executive Director Bruce Reznik. A Los Angeles native, Reznik brings twenty years of experience in the environmental arena, including 11 successful years at our San Diego Coastkeeper. Under his direction, SD Coastkeeper grew into the region’s largest and most effective voice for clean water. CCKA is excited to support Reznik and Los Angeles Waterkeeper efforts to ensure that all Angelenos enjoy safe, healthy waterways. Welcome back!