June 2010

Giant Salmon Will Be First GM Animal Available for Eating

by Louise Gray

Usually Atlantic salmon do not grow during the winter and take three years to fully mature.

But by implanting genetic material from an eel-like species called ocean pout that grows all year round, US scientists have managed to make the fish grow to full size in 18 months.

They hope that the sterile GM salmon can offer an efficient and safe way to breed salmon in fish farms, so that the wild fish can be left in the oceansUS watchdog the Food and Drug Administration is currently considering whether the GM Atlantic salmon, called AquAdvantage, is safe to eat. The fish could be on supermarket shelves within a year.

Click here to read more at Commondreams.org

Posted by Dan Bacher, Indybay.org, 6/15/10

“This legislation will help sustain Delta maintenance programs during this time of transition,” Senator Lois Wolk concluded. “Until the state develops and begins to implement its plans for the Delta, the Delta Levee Program must remain in place to help provide necessary levee maintenance and improvements that protect Delta levees and the communities living and working behind them.”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on June 3 signed legislation by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) to extend a cost-sharing program that helps many local levee agencies afford necessary maintenance and improvements to levees that protect lives, farmland, and drinking water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, according to a news release from Wolk’s office.

“At a time when funding is hard to come by, this measure extends a successful program that helps to safeguard the Delta’s continuing role as the heart of the state’s water system, as fertile farmland, and a rich estuary ecosystem,” said Wolk, who also authored legislation in 2005 that extended the 75 percent cost-sharing formula until 2010.

Wolk’s current legislation, Senate Bill 808, extends the state’s authorization to reimburse local agencies for up to 75 percent of levee maintenance and improvement costs. Without the bill, the state could not provide more than 50 percent reimbursement after July 1 of this year.

Click here to read more at Indybay.org

We can be the most powerful protectors of our own sources of water

by Sarah van Gelder

posted May 27, 2010

Whose job is it to protect our waterways? Water quality laws and enforcement are only as strong as the popular movements that press for them. Unless we stand up, those who would privatize, pollute, or divert our waters get away with it. That’s the message of Robert Kennedy Jr., founder of the international Waterkeeper Alliance and chief prosecutor of the New York-based Riverkeeper, which helped lead the successful movement for the restoration of the Hudson River.

Clik here to read the interview at yesmagazine.org

And now you know it’s the Calaveras River

Alex Breitler, Stockton Record, 6/15/10

Stockton, meet the Calaveras River.

Crews have installed 14 signs proclaiming the name of the stream along bridges throughout north Stockton.

“A lot of people cross the river and just don’t know it,” said Larry Nordstrom, a retired landscape architect who pushed the project forward. “Anytime you can make people aware we have a river in the city of Stockton – not just a drainage ditch – it’s great.”

Nordstrom, a member of the advocacy group Friends of the Lower Calaveras River, launched the project seven or eight months ago. But the work was shared across the community.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

SACRAMENTO (AP) — It could soon cost California shoppers at the checkout if they forget to bring their own bag to the grocery store.

Legislation passed Wednesday by the California Assembly would prohibit grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and convenience stores from giving out plastic bags. It would also charge customers for using store-issued paper bags.

If signed into law, California would be the first state to impose a statewide ban.

Clisk here to read more at Recordnet.com