Tags >> water
Jun 28
2010

Jack London's Lake

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , volunteer , state government , Sonoma Valley , recreation , preservation , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , history , fish , farms , environment , California , author , aging

Bruce Robinson

Jack London's cottage and ranch buildings have been preserved at the state park that bears his name in Glen Ellen. But there is another part of his historic holding that is languishing in need of repair and restoration

Cracks in the dam, such as the one in the center of this photograph, are continuing to widen as the muti-layered process of getting the pre-requisites and approvals for remediation work drags on. Five years into it, Elisa Stancil, a neighbor and volunteer event coordinator at the park, says progress is slowly being made.

London erected the dam and created the rain-fed lake in 1913, using it for both recreation (as seen here) and for his farm.  Restoring the 98-year old dam is estimated to cost $1.3 million, but Stancil says that, too, has been delayed by the glacial permitting process.

The photos below show the lake's water diverter, seen as it appeared while under construction in 1913, and as it looks today. They're taken from the picture gallery on the website of the Jack London Lake Alliance.

Jun 25
2010

Hands Across The Sand

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Sonoma County , resources , recreation , politics , parks , ocean , nonprofit orgs , Marin , legislation , government , fish , environment , current events , conservation , Congress , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Offshore oil drilling has never been embraced here on California’s north coast, but recent events in the Gulf Coast have bolstered that view elsewhere. Hands Across the Sand, a coordinated series of demonstrations across the country, including one near Bodega Bay, will try to reinforce those changing attitudes on June 26th.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s Marine Sanctuary Expansion Bill (HR 223) and its identical Senate counterpart would build on existing protections and expand them to cover the entire Marin and Sonoma coastlines. Tom Roth, the congresswoman’s senior policy aide, offers details.

But Roth also notes that the partisan political climate in Washington has become increasingly hostile toward anything that sets out to restrict American oil development.

Regardless of what happens to Woolsey’s bill, Coastwalk Executive Director Una Glass points out that there is another, statewide, obstacle to coastal oil drilling, one that is already in place, even if it is not widely known.

 

 

Jun 21
2010

Innovation Hub

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , technology , speaker , Sonoma County , research , planning , nonprofit orgs , jobs , Ideas , Green , go green , gadgets , employment , economy , design , construction , carbon , California , business , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

The Business Cluster at Sonoma Mountain Village, an incubator for green entrepreneurs, is getting a boost from the state's Innovation Hub (iHub) initiative for  new companies intended to become a prime source for new, local jobs.

Sustainability looks beyond energy use and building materials, adds Geof  Syphers. He notes that part of their systemic focus at Sonoma Mountain Village, the former Agilent campus on the southern edge of Rohnert Park,  is on water.

The business cluster at Sonoma Mountain Village was one of the first elements of their 200 acre redevelopment project to get up and running, in part because it could make use of existing buildings there, explains Chief Sustainability Officer Geof Syphers. But he is also looking ahead to the new residential construction that will dramatically transform the site.

One of the eye-catching aspects of the event yesterday was a demonstration module for Pix2o, one of the start-ups in the Business Cluster that Executive Director Michael Newell says is closest to bringing their product to market.

The full roster of Business Cluster members is available here.

 

 

 

 

May 24
2010

Gray Whales

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Science , policy , ocean , nonprofit orgs , international , environment , education , current events , coast , climate change , California , animals , activism

Bruce Robinson

Once there were four types of Gray whales in the world’s oceans. Today, only the California Gray Whale survives in sustainable numbers, and its future is looking grim.

Gray whales are not just some of the largest creatures on the planet, says Sue Arnold, CEO of the Gray Whale Coalition, as a species they are also among the oldest.

Protecting the whales is not just an ecological and environmental issue, Arnold says, but there is an economic concern for California, too.

The whale hunting quota of 140 killed in each of the next ten years is now proposed in a “draft compromise” before the International Whaling Commission. But Arnold says the only current gray whale killing is happening in a remote area of Siberia.

Changing conditions in the arctic waters of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia/

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