Dirtiest week for water in EPA history

Photo: Dirtiest week for water in EPA history

Photo: © Getty Images

Before the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, our nation’s waters were in trouble. Lake Erie was virtually dead, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire, and the Androscoggin River in Maine was so polluted it peeled paint on nearby buildings. Many of America’s waters had become little more than lifeless, open sewers.

Nobody wants to return to the bad old days of polluted, dirty rivers. … [more…]

World Wetlands Day, Feb. 2nd

photo: Kermit sings for World Wetlands Day

Everyone should be commemorating World Wetland’s Day on Feb. 2nd, they are indispensable to a healthy environment!

The reasons for preserving our wetlands are endless but here are some of the most critical: wetlands provide a vital habitat for thousands of animals, fish, birds and plants. Wetlands control erosion and provide flood protection by buffering shorelines during storms; wetlands improve water quality; and wetlands offer a unique aesthetic and recreational … [more…]

Salmon surge: Habitat improvements paying off on one California river

photo: a chinook salmon trying a fish ladder on the Mokelumne River in California. AKA: king salmon

A chinook, also called king salmon, attempts to jump up the fish ladder to the hatchery on the Mokelumne River in the Sierra foothills, where fisheries biologists say improved habitat in recent years has paid off. Photo: Mason Trinca / Special to The Chronicle 2017

Near record numbers of chinook salmon are surging up the Mokelumne River, marking the second large spawning year in a row and signaling to fisheries

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Eelgrass wasting disease has new enemies: Drones and artificial intelligence

photo: underwater eelgrass

When infected with eelgrass wasting disease, blades of eelgrass develop black and brown splotches (‘lesions’) that can spread and kill the blade. Credit: Olivia Graham/Cornell University

Every year, the world loses an estimated 7 percent of its seagrasses. While the reasons are manifold, one culprit has long confounded scientists: eelgrass wasting disease.

This September a team of biologists is zeroing in on the problem, in the first study of the … [more…]

California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

cost River, feeds into the Klamath. California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

Photo: Scott River, http://www.westernrivers.org/projectatlas/scott-river/

Court Rejects Claim That SGMA “Displaces” Public Trust’s Application to California Groundwater

The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District has issued an important decision declaring that California’s powerful public trust doctrine applies to at least some of the state’s overtaxed groundwater resources. The court’s opinion also rejects the argument that California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) displaces the public trust doctrine’s applicability to … [more…]