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Santa Clara County Environment Overview



California Local Pin Marker Get To Know A Group

Our City Forest aims to cultivate a green, healthy, and sustainable living environment for residents within Silicon Valley. To achieve this goal, the organization creates events that teach the community to protect the urban environment.

California Local Pin Marker Local Environment Digest

As Salmon Are Released Into the Klamath River, Tribal Leaders See a 'Symbol of Hope'

04/20/2024

California has released 500,000 salmon into the Klamath River. As dams are removed, the fish will be some of the first to return to a free-flowing river.

A Plan to Change Your Utility Rates Is Dividing California Environmentalists. Here’s Why

04/18/2024

The California Public Utilities Commission will consider on May 9 a new proposal that would change how Californians pay for electricity.

California Local Pin Marker Recent Articles

Image caption: This 6,000 square foot structure, a two-boiler system, will help dispose of dangerous biomass by burning wood chips to boil water, providing heat to buildings in Northstar Village.
Transforming Waste Wood from Wildfire Hazard to Energy

For the good of Tahoe Truckee forests and communities, funders & local leaders rally to support Northstar Community Services District wood energy facility.

Image caption: California has a goal of 6 million heat pumps cooling and heating buildings by 2030.
6 Million New Heat Pumps: Essential to California's Climate Future

Heat pumps, an energy-efficient way to both heat and cool homes, are a necessary element of California's climate goal of net zero carbon emissions. Here's what they are, how they work, and how to get one.

Hilltromper Silicon Valley logo LOCAL NEWS
The Wildflowers of Coyote Ridge

A conversation with Dr. Stu Weiss about the Máyyan 'Ooyákma-Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve, and why it is one of the Bay Area’s premier wildflower hot-spots.

Image caption: A beaver dam and pond in the eastern Sierra.
Beavers Can Help Stop Wildfires

Beavers create unburned islands where plants and animals can shelter from megafires, research has confirmed. A movement is afoot to reintroduce the rodents to the state's waterways.

Image caption: Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law

The California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, is both the state’s signature environmental legislation, and is also often named as the villain in the state’s housing shortage. But the story may not be that simple.

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Silicon Valley Billionaires vs. Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?

In NYT‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Farmers Had What the Billionaires Wanted,‚ÄĚ we meet a man who wants to build a city in the middle of nowhere, and folks who are slowing him down.

Image caption: The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

Image caption: The roundabout joining Highway 12 and State Route 113 in Rio Vista, just south of the site for a proposed new city of 400,000 people.
Solano County May Get to Vote on New City in November

California Forever, the company behind a proposed new city in Solano County, will submit a ballot measure seeking an exemption from local laws to allow development on the massive project to proceed.

Image caption: The legislature's own analysts blasted new state water conservation rules as too strict and largely unjustified.
California’s New Water-Saving Regs Lack 'Compelling Justifications'

Even though California faces serious water shortages, the Legislature’s analysts recommend weaker outdoor conservation requirements and longer deadlines for urban water agencies.

Image caption: Long-duration energy storage, such as this thermal energy storage facility, allows renewable energy sources to operate at full capacity without overloading the power grid.
How California Leads the Race For Long Duration Energy Storage

Long-duration energy storage is essential if renewables are to become the basis for a future, carbon-neutral power grid. Here's how California is leading the race to store energy from solar, wind, and other clean sources for use whenever it's needed.

Featured

A smoky blanket of particulate matter hovers over San Francisco’s skyline.
Getting Acquainted With AQI
Learn what's getting into Californians’ lungs and why it matters.
A Pyrocumulus cloud generated by the Dixie Fire in July, 2021.
What is Fire 'Containment?' That and Other Terms, Explained
What does it mean when firefighters call a fire "contained?" Here's a brief guide to commonly used fire prevention terminology.
Water is a human right under California law, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Agriculture and Water Shortages in the State’s Breadbasket, Explained
There are many causes contributing to this crisis. And as you may already know, this situation really is nuts.
RCDs look after the land, whether it’s used for grazing, growing, or getting out into nature.
California Dirt
RCDs were created to avoid a repeat of the Dust Bowl. Now they work with landowners to preserve the air, water and natural habitats that sustain us all.
Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people every year, worldwide.
Taking a Bite Out of the Mosquito Population
How local government tries to control the world‚Äôs deadliest wild animal‚ÄĒthe mosquito.
Supercell storms are just one of many weather phenomena in the era of climate change.
The New Vocabulary of the Climate Change Era
As climate change causes more extreme and unusual weather, we need a new set of terms to describe the various phenomena
Over two weekends last October, residents of Santa Cruz and Watsonville  participated in demonstration rides aboard an electric streetcar on rails.
The ‚ÄėRail Trail‚Äô Movement, Explained
The heated controversy over what to do with abandoned railroad tracks
Moss Landing in Monterey Bay is the world’s largest battery storage facility for solar and other renewable energy.
Solar Power and California’s Clean Energy Goals
How the sun is helping push the state toward 100 percent renewable energy.
Just because record rains have been falling, the state’s water crisis remains.
What Is Drought? Probably Not What You Think
Recent torrential rains have helped, but California's drought is a long way from over.
From nitrates to arsenic to ‚Äúforever chemicals,‚ÄĚ California‚Äôs water supply faces a serious pollution threat.
Dirty Water: California Faces a Water Contamination Crisis
In a state that declares water a ‚Äúhuman right,‚ÄĚ more than 2 percent of its residents have no drinkable water.
They help feed the whole country, but life for California’s farm workers remains a struggle.
How California Feeds the Country
California, a state known for high-tech and show business glitz, is also America’s farming powerhouse.
How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‚ÄėSwamps‚Äô Into Farmland
From its earliest days as a state, California has been trying to turn marshes into productive land.
Kerry Wood, CEO of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, says the organization researches areas of need to help donors direct their contributions.
What Is a Community Foundation?
By channeling funds to a number of nonprofits working on various issues in a given region, community foundations help solve big problems throughout California.
Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation has cost California 90 percent of its wetlands.
How Land Reclamation Hurts California’s Environment
The hidden price tag of ‚Äúreclaiming‚ÄĚ swamps and marshes as usable land.
The Pajaro River levee broke during the 2023 atmospheric river storms, flooding the town of Pajaro.
Is California Ready for More Extreme Weather Driven by Climate Change?
Increasingly extreme weather events are already testing California’s preparedness.
Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does
How a nuclear plant, a real estate development and an oil spill led to a landmark law.
Long-duration energy storage, such as this thermal energy storage facility, allows renewable energy sources to operate at full capacity without overloading the power grid.
How California Leads the Race For Long Duration Energy Storage
For renewable energy sources such as solar and wind to be viable, ways to store the power they create are essential.
The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land
Starting in 1976, the legislature began creating agencies to buy up open land, and keep it open.
California has a goal of 6 million heat pumps cooling and heating buildings by 2030.
6 Million New Heat Pumps: Essential to California's Climate Future
Installing 6 million heat pumps by 2030 is essential if California is to reach its goal of net zero carbon emissions.
Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law
54-year-old environmental law is often blamed for causing the state’s housing crisis. Is it getting a bad rap?
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