Category Archives: Good News

When the Levee Breaks (on Purpose)

Thanks to many years of hard work by the Sonoma Land Trust, 1000 acres of farmland are being restored to tidal marshes. This land, bordering the San Francisco Bay, was historically marshy but was drained and converted to farmland over 100 years ago. Now, in an effort to create habitat and further buffer the landscape from sea level rise, more and more former marshes are being returned to their natural state.

The video shows the first step: breaching the levee so the ocean can rush in to fill the tidal basin. Next step: revegetation and restoration. Future plans include adding a new segment of the Bay Trail along the old levee top and incorporating the property into the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

This is great news for birds, marine life, and nature lovers!

View the SFGate article and video here

Endangered Orca Baby Boom Continues!

The pod of endangered orcas in the Puget Sound off the Washington coast have welcomed their sixth infant this year. The baby whale was born to a 38-year-old mother. This brings their population to 82 whales.

Several more of the orcas appear to be pregnant.

Read more at The Guardian

“Third Way Technologies” May Show a Way Out of Climate Crisis

Tim Flannery’s new book, Atmosphere of Hope, outlines several ideas that go beyond geoengineering to reduce atmospheric carbon. He describes biological and chemical means of drawing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it safely that may be safer, and less radical, than some of the geoengineering ideas that have been proposed.

Many of the technologies and processes needed to implement these “third way technologies” already exist or are in production.

Read more at Yale Environment 360

Morocco Set to Become the World’s Solar Superpower

A Moroccan city is building four interlinked solar power plants that, when complete, will be the largest solar plant in the world. The first phase will go online next month. The plant is projected to help provide around 50% of Morocco’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. The upcoming phases of the project will be able to store energy for 8 hours, which creates the possibility of a 24-hour solar power supply in the region.

The ultimate goal is to construct a solar power network across north Africa and north into Europe, and maybe even as far as the Middle East.

Read more at the Guardian UK

Joshua Tree National Park to Be Expanded

The Mojave Desert Land Trust recently acquired a 690-acre parcel west of Joshua Tree National Park. Known as Quail Wash, the property is slated for restoration work, followed by donation to the Park.

Joshua tree ecosystems are threatened by development, particularly for energy projects. This parcel protects a critical wildlife passage corridor, as well as important habitat for the threatened desert tortoise, whose habitat is rapidly being lost to development.

A great win for conservation! Thanks to the Land Trust Alliance for the story.

Read the San Bernardino Sun article here

Feds move ahead with Mexican wolf releases

In a direct snub to state officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that plans to release up to 10 Mexican gray wolf pups and a mating pair into the wilds of southwestern New Mexico sometime in 2016 , even though state game officials have refused to issue a permit for the action.

The federal agency sent an internal memo Wednesday about the decision to members of the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team that said it will release the wolves as part of its recovery program for a species that is at risk of extinction.

“It is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s obligation under the law to recover this species, and reintroductions into the wild from the more genetically diverse captive population are an essential part of that recovery process,” the memo said.

via Feds move ahead with Mexican wolf releases – The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News.

Cities Ban Styrofoam to Reduce Pollution

“Something amazing is happening around the country: cities and town are starting to ban Styrofoam.

Throwaway polystyrene coffee cups, soup bowls, plates, and trays have gotten the boot. So have those foamy clamshell-style cartons fast food comes in. Even packing peanuts are going the way of the dodo.

Here’s a list of cities that have completely or partially banned Styrofoam, compiled by Groundswell.

New York City (and several other cities in New York)
Takoma Park, MD
Seattle, Washington
Washington DC
Miami Beach, FL
Freeport, Maine
Portland, Maine
Nantucket (City & County), Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Portland, Oregon (and several other Oregon cities)
Los Angeles County and San Francisco, California (and many other cities and counties in CA)”

Read the article here

Girl Power! Two female California Condors successfully raise chick together

“Two female California Condors successfully raised a chick. The ladies teamed up after the suspected male mate of one of the females died after nesting began. Ventana Wildlife Society monitored sondor females 317 and 171 raising the chick in an extremely remote nest cave in the Ventana Wilderness, in Big Sur, CA. They produced this time-lapse video of the chick hatching in the nest. [The] video is the first time-lapse footage ever taken of a condor chick hatching in the wild.”

View the Audubon post/Ventana Wildlife Society video here

New Proposal to ReWild the United States

“Grizzly bears can meander in and out of Yellowstone and pronghorns enjoy corridors near Grand Teton, but a new study wants to take it a step further. It will require unprecedented coordination among landowners and governments, but researchers at Washington State University have just demonstrated that a nationwide wildlife network is possible. The answer, they say, comes from our waterways.”

Read the article here

The world has protected more of the ocean this year than ever before

“Thursday’s announcement, by the small Pacific island nation of Palau, that it is designating a 193,000-square-mile fully protected marine reserve is dramatic in its own right. It would be the sixth largest such area in the world, and would help protect over a thousand species of fish and some 700 species of coral.

But in context, the news is even more momentous — it means the world has now announced plans to set aside over 1 million square miles of highly protected ocean in 2015 alone, more than during any prior year, according to figures provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts. This is a gigantic area, bigger than Alaska and Texas combined.”

Read the Washington Post article here