Tags >> water
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.

 



 

 

Aug 16
2009

Invasive Snails

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , Science , research , ocean , Marin , food , fish , environment , coast , California , animals

Bruce Robinson

A complex interaction between native crabs and oysters and invasive Atlantic snails (seen at left)  is playing out beneath the waters of Tomales Bay.

 Dr. David Kimbro has studied the predatory effects of invasive Atlantic snails on native Olympia oysters in Tomales Bay. He explains how they arrived there more than a century ago.

 

 

There also native Pacific snails in Tomales Bay, but unlike their invasive (or as scientists say "introduced") Atlantic cousins (right), the local snails have learned how to safely coexist with the snail-eating red rock crabs (below). UC Davis biologist Ted Grosholtz explains.

 

The smaller, green European crab, another introduced species in Tomales Bay, can handle the less salty water in the shallow portions of the bay, but because they will eat a wider variety of foods, these crabs have not developed the same skills for preying on snails that the red rock crabs display.

 

Aug 03
2009

Prenatal Pollution

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , water , toxic , technology , speaker , Science , public safety , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , medicine , Marin , legislation , healthcare , Health , government , food , families , environment , education , drugs , disability , corporate responsibiliyt , Congress , children , chemicals , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

Exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment begins early in life--even before birth.

  Ken Cook, President and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group, is a strong proponent for a Kids-Safe Chemical Act, to reduce children's exposure to toxics in the environment.

  

 Additional online resources from the Environmental Working Group  include the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides, and their Cosmetic Saftety database.

Click here to view Ken Cook's 20-minute video summary presentation on the 10 Americans  study.

The Environmental Working Group is also pressing for the creation of a human "toxome," similar to the genetic map known as the human genome, to identify where and how toxic chemicals affect the body's healthy biological processes.

 

 

Jul 07
2009

Sunscreen

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , news , Health , fish , environment , birds

Bruce Robinson

Slathering on sunscreen may protect your skin, but it's not healthy for the world's water supplies, or the aquatic life within them.  

 

 Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays causes increased risk of skin cancers: this medical message has been widely embraced, but the law of unexpected consequences has kicked in with regard to the increased use of sunscreen.

Sejal Choski, the program director for Baykeeper of San Francisco, also wrote about this issue here.