Santa Cruz County Local News: Sustainability

All Local Sustainability News articles contributed by our local media allies and other local newsrooms.

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.

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.

Image caption: 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 ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland

California has used reclamation districts to turn millions of acres of unusable swamps into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush. Here’s how it happened.

Image caption: Dairy products are California’s top agricultural commodity, but the industry is often criticized for its impact on the environment.
Sustainable Sustenance

California is a leading producer of agricultural crops. So it’s not surprising to find cutting-edge ideas taking root here.

Image caption: 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

Solar power, and a network of giant battery storage facilities, are playing an essential role in moving California toward its goal of exclusive reliance on renewable energy sources.

Image caption: From the coast to the mountains, Santa Cruz County’s landscape has given way to human development. But residents can make all parts of the region more hospitable to native species.
Backyard Ecology

Tips for creating wildlife-friendly habitat in Santa Cruz County, no matter where you live.

Image caption: RCDs look after the land, whether it’s used for grazing, growing, or getting out into nature.
California Dirt

What do resource conservation districts protect? Pretty much everything that’s worth saving.

Image caption: 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

Residential wells are drying up in the state’s main agricultural region at the same time that agricultural businesses consume almost 90 percent of the water there.

Image caption: In Santa Cruz County, 10 separate entities manage the water supply.
Santa Cruz County Water, Explained

Santa Cruz County's water system is run by a decentralized collection of entities.

Image caption: The city of Santa Cruz gets just over 20 percent of its water from Loch Lomond in the mountain community of Lompico.
Where’s Our Water?

Santa Cruz is one of the few California communities that receive 100 percent of its water from local rainfall.

California Local Pin Marker From San Joaquin Valley Sun...

An analysis has been released indicating the cost of construction of the 45 mile long Delta Tunnel would be $20.1 billion, to be paid by a group of 29 water agencies.

The Pajaronian logo From The Pajaronian...

Image for display with article titled Into the Woods: Watsonville to Plant Thousands of New Trees

Over the next two decades, the city of Watsonville plans to add thousands of trees to its landscape, create a plan to take care of them and train crews of young people to aid in that effort.

Santa Cruz Local logo From Santa Cruz Local...

Image for display with article titled New Training Facility Proposed for Santa Cruz Police and Fire

Leaders of Santa Cruz Police and Santa Cruz Fire have a new $20 million training center in their long-term plans to replace outdated facilities inside and outside the city.

KSQD logo From KSQD...

Image for display with article titled Organic Rising: Central Coast Farmers Featured in New Film

Anthony Saua, director of Organic Rising, talks about the rise of organic agriculture and its importance to health, the environment and slowing global warming,

Santa Cruz Local logo From Santa Cruz Local...

Image for display with article titled Soquel Drive Housing Complex Proposal Draws Concerns

A Monday night meeting about a proposed five-building housing complex on Soquel Drive drew dozens of residents who lambasted developers about the project’s size, additional traffic and other concerns.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

Repairs to roads damaged in recent storms, including the slow-moving slide on Mountain Charlie Road, depend on state and federal funding and could take years to complete.

California Local Pin Marker From CalMatters...

A bill to rein in a proposed monthly fee on California electric bills would let California’s largest for-profit utility companies charge customers $24 per month — with fees as low as $6 for lower-income customers — as a kind of membership fee for the power grid.

Press Banner logo From Press Banner...

Image for display with article titled State Certifies Scotts Valley’s Housing Element on First Try

During a report at the April 3 Council meeting, Scotts Valley City Manager Mali LaGoe announced the California Department of Housing and Community Development had certified its Housing Element—on its first try.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

The Downtown Streets Program is growing to 8 teams in the County with the start of a new 6 month pilot program in Boulder Creek on the Highway 9 commercial corridor.

KSQD logo From KSQD...

Image for display with article titled California’s Insurance Crisis: Interview With Deputy Insurance Commissioner Michael Soller

In part II of "Have you Been Canceled?", a look at California's homeowner's insurance crisis, Rachel Anne Goodman talks with Deputy Insurance Commissioner and spokesperson for Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Michael Soller.

Santa Cruz Local logo From Santa Cruz Local...

Image for display with article titled ‘Bleak’ Outlook for Santa Cruz County Budget

A proposed budget for 2025 cuts money for road repairs. Storms in 2023 caused about $140 million in damage to county-maintained roads, county staff said.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

Marimo Berk and Brad Lewis joined the Board of Directors of Sempervirens Fund, the oldest land trust in California.

KSQD logo From KSQD...

Image for display with article titled California’s Insurance Crisis Hits Homeowners Hard

In this program, State Senator John Laird and Executive Director of Consumer Watchdog, Carmen Balber discuss California's homeowner's insurance crisis and whether Commissioner Ricardo Lara's proposed fixes will actually help the flight of insurance companies from the state or make it worse.

San Lorenzo Valley Post logo From San Lorenzo Valley Post...

Image for display with article titled Big Basin Redwoods State Park Update

California State Parks staff continues to move forward with the Big Basin Redwoods State Park Facilities Management Plan (BBFMP).

Santa Cruz Local logo From Santa Cruz Local...

Image for display with article titled Proposed Fishing Bans Spark Debate in Santa Cruz County

As kelp forests in some parts of the state transform into barren seafloor, California Department of Fish and Wildlife leaders are set to consider a petition that aims to protect kelp with new no-fishing zones that include Pleasure Point and offshore of Natural Bridges State Beach.

California Local Pin Marker From CalMatters...

The consumer price index shows services are mostly responsible for persistent inflation, but prices for food and other goods in California remain high.

California Local Pin Marker From CapPublicRadio...

Ecologists estimate that up to 14,000 sequoias have been killed in recent wildfires. The National Park Service for the first time has begun replanting some severely burned areas.

California Local Pin Marker From Los Angeles Times...

New research warns of a possible collapse in Atlantic Ocean currents due to climate change. That could fundamentally alter global weather patterns.

California Local Pin Marker From Monterey Herald...

There was a time not so long ago when trained observers were overwhelmed by the number of whales migrating through Monterey Bay.
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