April 2010

Developer brings trash-collecting vessel to Stockton with a message

By The Record
April 25, 2010 12:00 AM

STOCKTON – Downtown developer Dan Cort returned to Stockton this weekend aboard a 65-foot research vessel that doubles as a trash collector.

Cort and his colleagues with the nonprofit Sealife Conservation netted garbage out of the water as they sailed from San Francisco to Stockton, and finished with two overflowing buckets full of polystyrene foam, bottles and wrappers.

The group’s goal is to get the word out about marine debris and steer the public away from polystyrene (Styrofoam) in particular, which breaks down into tiny plastic pellets and is ingested by wildlife in the Delta and out in the ocean.
Click here to read the full article at Recordnet.com

To learn about marine debris and the nonprofit Sealife Conservation, visit www.sealifeconservation.org



On Monday, a coalition of environmental groups submitted approximately 760,000 signatures to California election officials in support of a ballot measure that would raise funds for state parks. The parks funding campaign needs 433,931 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify the measure for the November 2nd ballot. Election officials now have until June 24 to certify the measure.

If approved by a simply majority of voters in November, the measure would give Californians free admission to all of California’s 278 parks, including redwood forests, historic sites, and beaches in exchange for an increased vehicle registration fees of $18 annually. The measure would raise the state parks operation budget to approximately $500 million a year, compared to the woefully inadequate current budget of $380 million, and would eliminate the need to close parks for a lack of funds.

California’s state parks and beaches have been threatened with closure as the state addresses unprecedented budget shortfalls. Recently, Governor Schwarzenegger drew strong public opposition with his proposal to close as many as 220 of California’s 278 parks to help balance the budget. Even after lawmakers restored the funding, Schwarzenegger proposed closing 100 parks, but then changed course and settled for $14 million in cuts. These costs forced some parks to remain closed longer in the spring and summer, closed visitor centers, and eliminating services at many parks, beaches, and historic sites. Although the Governor proposed and approved a similar $11 million increase in 2008 to vehicle registration fees to fund the California Highway Patrol, Governor Schwarzenegger opposed the parks funding measure.

The Planning and Conservation League supports this parks funding measure, and we are eager to have it placed before voters on November 2, 2010.

Earth Day is surely a time to celebrate the steps forward we’ve taken in the stewardship of life  on our planet… yet we still have a long way to go to halt the massive loss of biodiversity around the world!

– Jeremy


By John Mulrow | April 22, 2010

Species classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “threatened” increased by 2.1 percent in 2009, as 365 species were added to the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species.1 Only 2 species were removed from the list.2 Since 1996, a total of 47,677 species of animals, plants, fungi, and protists (a group that includes protozoans and most algae) have been evaluated by the IUCN, and 17,291 of these are now considered threatened—a full 36 percent.

Click here to read Vital Signs Trend Biodiversity 2010

By Peter Grenell

Special to the Mercury News

Posted: 04/18/2010 08:00:00 PM PDT

For West Coast harbors, salmon mean business. The obverse is also a true — a lack of salmon means a lack of business.

For the past two years, there has been no salmon fishing due to greatly reduced stocks. Even if there is a token season this year, it will do little or nothing to revive the fortunes of the commercial fleet and the myriad businesses that depend indirectly on salmon, such as boat and tackle retailers, fuel purveyors, charter operators, restaurants and motels.

The absence of salmon also affects our harbor district and other harbor administrations, which collected significant revenues from salmon-related businesses when the fishery was flourishing.

The collapse of California’s salmon fishery is due to human mismanagement, not the vagaries of nature. By allowing unrestrained and irresponsible pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and ignoring the established science on the biological requirements of anadromous fish, we have brought our wild salmon to the brink of extinction.

Click here to read more at Mercurynews.com

Evidence that the world’s water cycle has already intensified is contained in new research to be published in the American Journal of Climate.

The stronger water cycle means arid regions have become drier and high rainfall regions wetter as atmospheric temperature increases.

The study, co-authored by CSIRO scientists Paul Durack and Dr Susan Wijffels, shows the surface ocean beneath rainfall-dominated regions has freshened, whereas ocean regions dominated by evaporation are saltier. The paper also confirms that surface warming of the world’s oceans over the past 50 years has penetrated into the oceans’ interior changing deep-ocean salinity patterns.

Click here to read more at Scienceblog.com

The Atlantic patch was found by the Five Gyres Project hiding in a remote area of the ocean between Bermuda and Portugal’s mid-Atlantic Azores islands. Like the Pacific patch, it consists of tiny particles of plastic floating just beneath the ocean’s surface brought there by a vortex of currents. The patch also has larger debris composed mostly of plastic bottles entangled in seaweed — the researchers even caught a live trigger fish caught inside a plastic bucket.

Click here to read more at Inhabitat.com



At the Stockton City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 6th, Mayor Ann Johnston made history by proclaiming the week encompassing Earth Day as “Calaveras River Appreciation Week,” to include Stockton’s first ever Steelhead Festival!

FLCR was given 5 minutes to present our work on the Calaveras River before City Council.

After our presentation, Mayor Johnston made the following Proclamation:

Earth Day, observed on April 22, is a celebration aimed at educating and making citizens more aware of the natural world, “of all wondrous things natural.” It is a nationally observed day to remember our natural world and celebrate our natural treasures.

The Lower Calaveras River is a one of those natural treasure in the City of Stockton, providing essential habitat for fish and wildlife, especially the threatened steelhead trout and fall-run Chinook salmon. The river also provides recreational opportunities for our citizens in a natural setting. In recognition of the importance of the Lower Calaveras River to Stockton’s community, the Friends of the Lower Calaveras River, a group of concerned citizens and organizations in Stockton, has come together to promote the sustainable management of the river by increasing public awareness and educating citizens about the important, but long-neglected waterway that runs through our city and adjacent communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANN JOHNSTON, as Mayor of the City of Stockton, and on behalf of the Stockton City Council, do hereby proclaim that the week encompassing Earth Day shall henceforth be celebrated as

Calaveras River Appreciation Week,

In the City of Stockton, appropriate festivities and educational activities shall be scheduled for this week of celebration, such as a Steelhead Festival.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Stockton to be affixed the 6th day of April, Two-Thousand-Ten

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