Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Introduction to State Senator Fran Pavley

Hal Helsley, former Los Angeles County Planning Commissioner and Nancy Helsley, current Treasurer and Director of the Board at the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, both requested that I share this speech, an introduction to State Senator Fran Pavley at the RCDSMM Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Saturday.


Raise your hand if you already know who our State Senator is.

In Malibu and adjacent areas, we are represented by Senator Fran Pavley. Prior to that she was our Assemblymember.

I would suggest that apart from President Barack Obama she might be the most important person in the United States.  

[Audience erupts.]

Hear me out, hear me out.  Ten to twelve years ago when all the smart people I knew started freaking out about the inevitability of climate change, pretty much equating it with the onset of the zombie apocalypse, she saw the rise of anthropogenic climate change as a budgeting issue – an inappropriate relationship of energy input and output.  As with any troubled budget, she saw this as a situation that with core changes and good planning, could be managed and resolved.

So while the rest of the country had its head dug in the sand ignoring the onset of climate change, she approached climate change as a math problem and decided to create legislation that would reduce climate change.

If California were a separate nation, we’d be the eighth largest economy in the world – so her success in working with California's legislature has borne fruit. 

In the nineties, her legislation to promote cleaner cars included laws stating that car manufacturers selling cars in our state not only had to reduce tailpipe emissions, they had to sell a percentage of cars that are ZEV.

Anyone want to tell me what ZEV stands for?

Right. Zero Emissions Vehicles. 

In essence, this legislation forced the car companies that wanted to continue to sell cars in the State of California to build and sell EV and ZEV cars.

The response of the car companies? 

They took it to the California Supreme Court – and the State of California lost that one. 

So she took it to the U.S. Supreme Court – and won.

Her work setting the framework for carbon-trading markets is a model that is being studied and emulated all around the world. She’s spoken to national legislative bodies in such countries as Japan, Norway and Canada about these legislative efforts.

Currently AB 32 requires a reduction in statewide climate pollution to 1990 levels by the year 2020.  The largest polluters are the primary target including factories power plants and oil companies.  About half the required pollution reductions have already been made, so the program is on track to be a success that other states and nations follow.
  
The positive impacts on our state’s overall carbon footprint are going to be breath-taking – or perhaps breath-adding.

In addition to her seminal work reducing climate change, the Senator has been a huge advocate for children, for the developmentally disabled, for our State Parks and for clean water and for maintaining water supply.  Her legislation on groundwater is a critical dose of good sense in an era of ongoing drought.

As an historian, I have to mention that she is a great-granddaughter of William Jennings Bryan who ran for President in 1896.

As a parent, I love it that she spent 28 years teaching school. 

As a staffer at the RCDSMM, I must tell you that she served on our board in the early days of her career as an elected official.

And, as someone who believes that the next generation has the capacity to heal and restore our earth, I want to tell you that my personal favorite piece of her legislation resulted in environmental education standards being built into the curriculum for students in California.


Please welcome our honored guest, State Senator Fran Pavley.

-- Melina Sempill Watts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

RCDSMM Wild and Scenic Film Festival is Coming Soon: Tickets Online Now

Need some beauty in your life?
Join us at the RCDSMM Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Pepperdine University.
Watch the trailer for the RCDSMM Wild and Scenic Film Festival here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE1A5k_BQsY&feature=youtu.be
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Buy tickets here: WildScenicBu.eventbrite.com
Please note that State Senator Fran Pavley will be our honored guest on Saturday October 25th.
Night I
Special Guest: State Senator Fran Pavley
Films About Climate Change
Date: Saturday, October 25
Reception: 6:30
Time: 7:00 - 10:00

Night II
Special Guest: To Be Announced
Films About Water
Saturday November 8th
Reception: 6:30
Time: 7:00 - 10:00
2014 Intro Trailer
YOUTUBE.COM

Friday, September 12, 2014

Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council Meeting: Save the Date, Great Events, News Announcements for Now...

Dear Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council Members,

A whole string of exciting events are brewing …

NEXT SANTA MONICA COUNCIL MEETING: SAVE THE DATE
Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council Meeting
Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Time: 2:30 - 5:00
Location: King Gillette Ranch
Agenda attached.

Every speaker I contacted wanted to come in November…not September…so we're going with a full November agenda. Should be AMAZING.

Speakers at next SMMWC Meeting: 
"The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Resilience Ventura Project” by Lily Verdone, the Nature Conservancy (45 minutes)
Desalination Plant Presentation by Diane G., West Basin Municipal Water District (30 minutes)
Evergreen Fund: Solar in the Santa Monica Mountains by Robert Metcalf (20 minutes)
The Making of a Modern Day Chief: Charlie Cooke.” Presentation + book sigining by Dr. Mary Gordon (30 minutes)


IRRIGATION RESTRICTIONS
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District restricts outdoor water use  to three days a week in response to the statewide drought.


EVENTS
Coastal Clean-Up Day
Heal the Bay and other partners across Los Angeles County are motivating … join in.
Date: September 20th
You can join current sites as an individual or you can set up a clean up site at the location of your choice.
Important: Due to a watershed perspective on trash pick up, there are many inland sites.

G2 Green Earth Film FestivalDates: October 17th -- October 19th
Location: The G2 Gallery -- Nature & Wildlife Photography Supporting Art & The Environment
1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd. | Venice, CA 90291 | 310-452-2842
All screenings and activities  are free.
Link: http://www.calendar.theg2gallery.com/2014/10/

RCDSMM Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Pepperdine University




RCDSMM Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Pepperdine University: Climate Change Night
Date: Saturday, October 25
Reception:6:30
Time: 7:00 - 10:00
Location: Pepperdine University

Slate to be announced this week -- looks gorgeous so far
Special Guests to be announced -- hold your breath

RCDSMM Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Pepperdine University: Water Night
Date: Saturday, November 8
Reception: 6:30
Time: 7:00 - 10:00
Location: Pepperdine University

Slate to be announced this week -- looks fantastic so far
Special Guests to be announced -- will be wonderful

RCDSMM Native Plants Sale
Come Go Wild with Native Plants
Landscaping? Getting rid of your lawn? Pre-orders available for YOU. Email me: malibucreekwatershed@gmail.com
Get all your holiday shopping done -- this year go wild with your friends and relatives .
Plants grown by Matilija Nursery.
Date: Saturday, December 6
Location: Topanga Ranch Motel at Pacific Coast Highway, requested, not confirmed
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: WESTERN POND TURTLE POND RESCUE
Rosi Dagit, Senior COnservation Biologist, RCDSMM is committed to preserving our current population of Western Pond Turtles in Topanga -- and their pond is drying up.  Keeping water in the system could rapidly become a life or death issue for the whole population. Volunteers are hand-carrying in eight gallon loads up a dirt path to the turtle pond. 
Email me at malibucreekwatershed@gmail.com for flyer for dates and meet up location if you love turtles -- and/or if you want to start really feeling the drought.


CLASSES
Permaculture Class
Six month long permaculture class.  See announcement at the very bottom of this email.


ANNOUNCEMENT
Selva International Wins Grant to Take Lawns Out in Los Angeles
Could be an opportunity for you to have help in conserving water at your home.
Certainly a great water conservation project. Check out announcement below this email.


GRANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
Thanks to Drew Ready, Center for Watershed Health for sharing.

CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry Program has just released our grant solicitation for projects to be funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.  Our Concept Proposals will be due November 13.  Please note the webinar scheduled for September 24 that is linked in the upper right corner of the page.  In addition, we will advertise public workshops at six locations statewide in the next few days on the same page.  We are very excited to reach disadvantaged communities with these projects that will help meet GHG reduction goals and provide numerous co-benefits. 

Any help you can provide by sending these links out to list serves, partner organizations, etc. would be most welcome. 

Here is the link to our funding page, followed  by the link to our programmatic page.  Let me know if you have questions.




SUPPORTING FUNDING GREAT  GREEN PROJECTS
LA2050  is funding 10 projects this year up to 100,000.00 each.
Five of those projects will be selected by popular vote from the internet, five from their internal selection process.
There are many green worthwhile projects.  Jump in and vote for some of the great ones…three more days until voting closes.
I did note that both TreePeople and Duvivier Architects, each long term partners of the Santa Monica Mountain Watershed Council had great p


IN THE NEWS
Antarctica: In the Category of ?

Blue Velella Wash Ashore
There is always something new under the sun….

Climate Change + the Little Hoover Commission


Walk in beauty.

Sincerely,
Melina Watts
Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Coordinator
Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains


malibucreekwatershed@gmail.com
http://www.rcdsmm.org/santa-monica-mountains-watersheds-council

818 597 8627 x 104

Join the Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council on facebook for updates on news and events.

Support the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains: Donate.

The Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Coordinator Program is a program of  the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains and is funded by a Proposition 84 grant from the California Department of Conservation and via support from the Cities of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, the California Department of State Parks, the California Association of Conservation Districts, Ozzie Silna, the  National Park Service,  the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Celebrate Rachel Carson's Birthday: Keep Your Cats Indoors

Happy Birthday Rachel Carson.

In honor of Rachel Carson, who loved birds, keep your cats indoors. 

Convince your friends, relatives and neighbors to keep your cats indoors.

Our cultural habitat of adoring small predators, feeding them, protecting them, letting them roam free, has catastrophically skewed the predator / prey ratio,resulting in an ongoing slaughter of birds, especially birds in the nest and fledglings who are still learning to fly.

We are in danger of extirpating / or even making extinct entire populations of birds because of the high density of our domestic / feral cat population.  Please note that belling cats does not solve the problem as they are geniuses at learning to work around the bells. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dear Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council members,

Welcome to a hot summer with early fires and drought conditions.  Take shorter showers. Take out your lawn.  Talk to friends and neighbors about water conservation.

WATER CONSERVATION I
MWD Steps It Up To $2.00 Per Square Foot for Turf Removal; Expands Programmatic Goals: Thanks to Gus Meza, WBMWD and Dr. Randal Orton, LVMWD for the update.


Events
Public Workshop on Enhanced Watershed Management Programs for the Malibu Creek Watershed and the North Santa Monica Bay Coastal Watersheds
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: King Gillette Ranch, 26800 West Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, CA 91302
Registration: Please register through www.Eventbrite.com at 2014malibuewmppublic.eventbrite.com by May 15th.

The County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Flood Control District, Cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, and Westlake Village are holding a public workshop for the Enhanced Watershed Management Programs (EWMPs) for the Malibu Creek Watershed and the North Santa Monica Bay Coastal Watersheds.

The EWMPs identify water quality concerns in the watersheds and provide implementation strategies to address these. The public agencies will provide information on the development of the EWMPs and the supporting Comprehensive Integrated Monitoring Programs (CIMPs) for the watersheds in compliance with the Los Angeles County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Discharge Permit.

All interested parties are encouraged to attend and provide ideas and feedback on the EWMPs and be part of this important and proactive process for our area. 

Damnation
After spending my first decade at work in the film business, I"ve seen a lot of clever people try to be lot of clever.  
Patagonia, however, takes the prize for wittiest film title, with upcoming film Damnation. 

Hans Cole, Patagoina says:

The film is getting a lot of great reviews, awards and traction nationwide – including awards at South by Southwest, the Washington DC Environmental Film Festival and the 5Point film festival.  If anyone would like to learn more about the film – the best place to go is:  www.damnationfilm.com

We are very excited to share a premiere screening of the film at the Los Angeles  NoHo Laemmle #7 theatre on May 16, next Friday.  We’d like to invite you all to come out – and if anyone in this group is able to spread the word about the film through their networks, please let me know.  Also, I’m attaching an image and sample text below if anyone can help promote, share via email, social media, etc. (the theatre will release actual screening times next Monday).

Q&A with the filmmakers following the film on May 16th.

Check DamNationFilm.com for the latest screening information.


5240 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Watch the trailer and take action against deadbeat dams at DamNationFilm.com.

From: King, Jamie@Parks 
In addition, Tim Brick says: 

The Patagonia store in Pasadena will also feature a showing on June 5th in the evening. 
We'll be there to talk about Brown Mountain Dam in the Arroyo Seco."

UCLA Extension Sustainability Certificate Malibu Creek Watershed Tou
The Malibu Creek Watershed Tour for UCLA Extension Sustainability Certificate Program will be an all day event, mostly outdoors, as we go from site to site looking at key environmental restoration projects in the Santa Monica Mountains. 

The day starts off with bagels and coffee; boxed lunches will be provided as well.

Just a few of our guest speakers include charismatic State Parks Senior Ecologist Suzanne Goode, premier grunion scientist Dr. Karen Martin from Pepperdine University, UCLA biologist Dr. Richard Ambrose, the founder of the City of Calabasas, Dennis Washburn, Malibu City Councilmember John Sibert and, representing the engineer's perspective, Malibu City Public Works Director Bob Brager.

Note that we start inland and work our way to the beach, winding up with a last stop at the California Wildlife Center which does heroic veterinarian work healing damaged wildlife.

See change in action.

Please register at the UCLA website here: https://www.uclaextension.edu/pages/Course.aspx?reg=248276

IN THE NEWS
Today's Fish Die Off in Marina Del Rey
Thanks to Dana Roeber Murray from Heal the Bay.

Southern Steelhead Trout in the Los Angeles River?
Answer: not yet, but you won't find them without looking. 

Huge kudos to my colleagues at the RCDSMM Rosi Dagit + Jenna Krug and Dr. Sabrina Drill from University of California Cooperative Extension and all their volunteers.  Double thanks to partners Note: if anyone ever cancels out on you at the last minute? I'm there.

Swordfish and the Fish Extinctions: Turning the Boat Around

San Francisco Bans Bottled Water...In Part
Responsible Runners from Australia posted on facebook news about San Francisco's new ban on bottled water.
Here is a SF Examiner article about same.Note that even a teensy bit of digging reveals that the news is not as glorious as the headline, this only applies to bottled water sold on public property.Baby steps.  http://www.sfexaminer.com/PoliticsBlog/archives/2014/03/04/sf-becomes-first-major-city-to-ban-sale-of-plastic-water-bottles

Still, a big cheer for the Think Outside the Bottle campaign. As President of the Board of Supervisors Chiu said in the above referenced article: “If we can do this on public property and folks understand that this is absolutely doable, then we can look at next steps,” 

Groundwater Deplection = Earthquakes?
Sobering.

Snowy Plovers
An older article, first in a series about Snowy Plovers, which are, of course one of the most adorable species in the Santa Monica Mountains.

WATER CONSERVATION
Update on the Santa Monica Mountains Watershed Coordinator Program, the California Department of Conservation, the Govenor and ... You
Governor Jerry Brown decided to offer extensions to the California Department of Conservation Watershed Coordinators subject to an intensifie focus on water conservation.  The RCDSMM has received funding for six months' more work at half time.  

Please reach out to me if you have ideas for projects and programs that you want to see implemented which will result in measurable water conservation.

Walk in beauty.

Sincerely,
Melina Watts
Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Coordinator
Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains

malibucreekwatershed@gmail.com
http://www.rcdsmm.org/santa-monica-mountains-watersheds-council

310.383.9978

Join the Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council on facebook for updates on news and events.

Support the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains: Donate.

The Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Coordinator Program is a program of  the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains and is funded by a Proposition 84 grant from the California Department of Conservation and via support from the Cities of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, the California Department of State Parks, the California Association of Conservation Districts, Ozzie Silna, the  National Park Service,  the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Drought Proclamation Redux, UCLA Extension Sustainability Certificate Malibu Creek Watershed Tour + Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council Newsletter

Dear Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council Members,

Feels like the Santa Ana winds in ... April.  

DROUGHT
Drought Proclamation Redux
Governor Jerry Brown has issued a second proclamation about the drought in order to expedite water supply / water conservation related projects. Thanks to Lynn Rodriguez, Project Manager, Watershed Coalition of Ventura County for the update. 
Ms. Rodriguez notes: 

"According to the Administration, this proclamation will enable several important actions to be taken urgently as we head into several months of the dry season.  The proclamation expedites the approval of water transfers, emergency drinking water projects , and habitat monitoring and protection.  It also streamlines normal regulations to enable fire protection, recycled water projects, and purchasing of equipment for emergency drought response.

The proclamation also calls on Californians to  take specific actions to avoid wasting water including limiting lawn watering and car washing, recommends that schools, parks and golf courses limit the use of potable water for irrigation; and asks that hotels and restaurants give customers options to conserve water by only serving water upon request and other measures.  The Water Board will work with local water agencies to ensure such water conservation measures are implemented.

Up-to-date information on the state’s drought response is always available at www.drought.ca.gov."

 See attached.

EVENTS
Malibu Creek Watershed Tour with UCLA Extension Sustainability Certificate Program
Date:Saturday, May 31
Time: 8:30 - 5:00
Location, Starting / Ending point:  Las Virgenes Municipal Water District

On Saturday, May 31, I will be teaching a class for the UCLA Extension Sustainability Certificate program.  

We have an incredible array of speakers including the likes of Councilmember John Sibert from the City of Malibu, Suzanne Goode at State Parks, Dr. Karen Martin from Pepperdine and more and will be looking at a number of restoration venues starting in Calabasas and ending in Malibu.  

UCLA has graciously made this event open to the public. If you want to join us, please register today as the course is filling up.


Further information attached.

Thank you so much to all the people in the Malibu Creek Watershed who are helping to make this event possible.

Headwaters to Ocean H2O Conference: Last Chance for Hotel Discount Tomorrow
Date: May 27-29, 2014
Location: Catamaran Resort Hotel on Mission Bay in San Diego, California
These conferences are always crammed with great talks that leave attendees inspired to go do better. Our watersheds and oceans want you to attend.

RESTORATION OPPORTUNITIES
Owl Boxes: Get One Now

NEWS + RESEARCH
What's the Dam Pricetag?
This information forwarded by Rosi Dagit, RCDSMM:
“A study of 245 large dams carried out at Oxford University shows that big hydropower is uneconomic. Actual costs are typically double pre-construction estimates - and have not improved over 70 years.
Project promoters deceive the decision-makers and the public with strategic misrepresentations.
Researchers at Oxford University have found that planners and policymakers systematically underestimate the costs and time required to implement large dam projects.
The actual costs of large dams were 96% higher than the estimate, on average, and implementation took 44% longer than scheduled.”
The study is based on the most comprehensive economic analysis of large dams ever undertaken. "Large dams" refers to dams with a wall height in excess of 15 meters.

Since 1934, no improvement in economic assessments
The study, which is based on a representative sample of 245 large hydropower dams built in 65 different countries between 1934 and 2007, concludes that cost and time overruns have not improved over time.
 
 
  
Dennis Riecke
2014 SDAFS President-Elect
Can Chimps Sue People?

And As for Trees...
You cannot read the above article on animal rights without reading the classic book "Should Trees Have Standing?" by Christopher Stone as background.

Meandering Mississippi
Hydrology is all about change.  Rivers change their routes over time, sometimes quite rapidly.  
Former Topanga Creek Watershed Coordinator Patricia Lea Watts shared this beauty: http://www.visualnews.com/2011/09/24/vintage-maps-trace-the-meandering-mississippi/

Urban Gardening: Thinking About Soil Safety / Soil Contaminants
Embedded in the article below is this Soil Safety Guide, which gives at least a cursory examination of what could be problematic about urban gardening with some suggested solutions:
Note that if you are in the Santa Monica Mountains, you are probably safe. However, the comments about railway ties, leaching of paint into soils hold true anywhere. We are more likely to have to think about how deep the septic tank is, where it leaches, etc.

Water Quality Testing: the Urban Version

Can Africa Leap-frog the Carbon Energy Age?
Bridget Crocker at Patagonia forwarded this article; a totally heartening look at developing nations' energy needs:

The Last Time I Feed Bread to the Birds...
This article shared by Nancy Hastings, Surfrider, will change your thoughts on feeding the birds.  
Apparently white flour causes "Angel Wing" in which birds' wings and feathers grow in poorly with increased curvature; thisultimately prevents them from flying.
Honestly, it gave me second thoughts about my children's preference for white bread.

Collaboration Between Mexico and the United States to Bring Back the Colorado River Delta
Note that if reading this in Spanish feels too heroic, Google translator can and will help you out nearly instantaneously.

Sunny News
Apparently homeowners can get solar for zero down.  
Sent in by Ruth Taylor Kilday.

Taking the Ban on Rat Poison to the Next Level

Update on the RCDSMM Santa Monica Mountains Watershed Coordinator Program
This week, I am writing on the watershed plan.  The current grant ends this Saturday on May 3rd.

Governor Jerry Brown has agreed to extend some of the California Department of Conservation Watershed Coordinator grants if the Coordinators commit to working on drought reduction related projects, to whit... water conservation, water supply and ... water conservation.  The RCDSMM has been offered a six month extension at fourteen hours a week.    

I will be back when the contract is signed in Sacramento.

Until then, walk in beauty.

Sincerely,
Melina WattsSanta Monica Mountains Watersheds Coordinator
Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains

malibucreekwatershed@gmail.com
http://www.rcdsmm.org/santa-monica-mountains-watersheds-council

310.383.9978

Join the Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Council on facebook for updates on news and events.

Support the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains: Donate.

The Santa Monica Mountains Watersheds Coordinator Program is a program of  the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains and is funded by a Proposition 84 grant from the California Department of Conservation and via support from the Cities of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, the California Department of State Parks, the California Association of Conservation Districts, Ozzie Silna, the  National Park Service,  the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.