Butterflies in Residence Hedge Against Climate Change?

While monarch butterfly numbers at traditional winter roosts on the California coast hit an all-time low of about 2000 last winter, citizen-science observers have noticed that some remain in the San Francisco Bay Area year-round. Biologists Elizabeth Crone (Tufts University) and Cheryl Schulz (Washington State University) estimate a resident population of 12,000 in northern and central California, extrapolating from a Berkeley survey.

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Coalescing as a Region Around Sea Level Rise Response

Regional leaders approved a joint platform of nine actions and 21 tasks this June aimed at galvanizing the Bay Area into collaboration on sea level rise adaptation. Actions range from rooting planning in communities to raising more money for resilience and making the best local science and technical support accessible to all. The platform also “centers the most vulnerable” – 28,000 disadvantaged people in the future flood zone and wildlife in drowning wetlands. Leaders approving the platform commended the effort to address so many governance challenges and channel so many diverse opinions

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Rocky Drought & Short Supply

What do rock walls across Delta water channels, brown lawns, bans on hoses, and red flag fire warnings have in common? California’s deepening drought. Up in the Delta, the state is once again piling up rocks in False River to prevent salty ocean tides from intruding too far inland, and too close to intakes for the state’s water supply pumps (there’s no enough pushback from snowmelt and river outflow this year to keep things fresh!) Meanwhile, many water districts around the Bay Area have already called on their customers to reduce their water use by 10-25%, with Marin going first in April.

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Three Ways to Feed the Marsh

Seal Beach is drowning. As a result of sea-level rise, subsidence, and limited sediment supply, much of the 920-acre National Wildlife Refuge in Orange County can no longer keep its head above water. Pacific cordgrass, normally exposed at low tides, is being completely inundated. Rare nesting habitat for the endangered light-footed clapper rail is disappearing at high tides.

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