Tags >> coast
Oct 19
2009

Climate Change and Invasive Plants

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , speaker , Science , planning , invasive species , Ideas , fish , events , environment , conservation , coast , climate change , California , animals

Bruce Robinson

Some invasive plants in northern California will not tolerate higher temperatures and other habitat changes resulting from global warming. But there are others that can be expected to thrive and spread even further.

Elizabeth Brusati is program manager for the California Invasive Plant Council.  She was among the presenters at the State of the Laguna Conference in Rohnert Park last week, where  one area of emphasis was  strategies for adapting watershed ecosystems to climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 12
2009

Protecting Oaks

Posted by Bruce Robinson in weather , trees , timber , research , environment , coast , chemicals , California , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

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The pathogen that causes sudden oak death tends to spread during rainstorms, so with forecasts of a wet winter ahead, now is the time to apply a protective treatment to trees in high-risk areas.

According to Katie Palmieri, the public information officer for the California Oak Mortality Task Force at UC Berkeley, spraying the protective substance directly onto the trunk of vulnerable oaks is the easier method.

Injecting the spore-fighting material directly into the oaks is more complicated, in no small part because the process is a little different for each tree.

The California oak Mortality Task Force has developed guidelines and an instructional video to aid homeowners in the proper application of Agri-Fos as part of the resources available at their website. Below is an illustrated explanation of the pathogen that causes the disease, how it spreads, and the way it affects the trees that get infected.

Sep 15
2009

Sonoma Coast Wave Power

Posted by Bruce Robinson in West County , weather , water , technology , Sonoma County , resources , planning , ocean , fish , environment , design , conservation , community , coast , climate change , California , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

Wave power off the Sonoma County coast is a potentially carbon-free source of electricity, but it faces big questions about environmental impacts and economic viability.

You can read more about the project on the Water Agency's website.The image at right shows one prototype of a low-profile generator which could be deployed in an array of dozens of individual units, as illustrated below, to power a sizable area.

The Sonoma County Water Agency's first informational meeting about the wave power studies was held in Gualala on September 9th. Most of the people there, reports Richard Charter, knew nothing about the project before that meeting.


Two other study projects on the Northern California coast have received permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), both issued before the Sonoma County Water Agency's application was approved. Cordell Stillman (left with Water Agency boss Randy Poole) says both sites were sought by PG&E, but other than that, they are quite different in status and approach.

While the entire concept of wave-generated electricity is in its very earliest stages, Richard Charter  (left) observes that it holds some benefits from an environmental perspective, but it is hardly a clear or easy solution to meeting future power needs.

 

Aug 20
2009

Marin Desalination

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , technology , resources , protest , planning , ocean , news , Marin , government , energy , conservation , coast , climate change

Bruce Robinson

The Marin Municipal Water District has taken another significant step toward building a saltwater desalination facility to stabilize their water supplies, but critics remain adamantly opposed to the project.

Paul Heliker (right), General Manager of the MMWD, believes that the desalination facility is needed to protect Marin residents from possible future droughts and the economic havoc they could cause.

Sharp questions about the safety and purity of the desalinated water were raised again at this week’s water district meeting, but Heliker says those concerns should have been settled by the results of the district’s own tests of the reverse osmosis technology with the same water that the larger plant would use.

Adam Scow, California Deputy Director for water programs for the national consumer advocacy group, Food and Water Watch, is among the vocal skeptics who question the need and cost of the proposed desalination plant. He points to a report commissioned by his organization that disputes the underlying assumptions the district uses to make its case for the project. You can read that report here.

 

For its part, the district has prepared a 9-page slide show on their desalination project, which is much easier to digest than the full Environmental Impact Report, which is posted here. At left is a map showing where the proposed plant would be situated.