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Santa Cruz County Environment Articles



Image caption: California ranks seventh in wind power, with 3.5 percent of all U.S. wind energy produced here.
California Inches Toward Renewable Energy Goal

Renewable energy sources provided 37 percent of California electricity in 2021, a new record for the state as it moves toward its 2045 goal of 100 percent clean energy. Battery storage will play a huge role in reaching that goal.

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Felton a testing ground for new wildfire prevention philosophy

Foresters are being tapped by government to manicure, at-scale, millions of acres of dense, sprawling forest across California to ward off wildfire.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
New funding will help protect and restore the coastal wetlands at Elkhorn Slough.

If you‚Äôve never visited the Elkhorn Slough, you should. It‚Äôs one of the most incredible places on the Central Coast to view wildlife‚ÄĒespecially birds‚ÄĒand is home to the most extensive salt marshes in California south of the San Francisco Bay.‚Ķ

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California Forest Resilience Task Force Holds Forum on Wildfire Management

The all-day seminar featured California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot and other experts.

Image caption: They help feed the whole country, but life for California’s farm workers remains a struggle.
How California Feeds the Country

California stands as America‚Äôs agricultural powerhouse, growing half of its fruits and vegetables. Here‚Äôs how California farming has shaped the state, from the early missions to today‚Äôs ‚Äúfactories in the field.‚ÄĚ

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Santa Cruz County and UCSC Launch Trash Talkers

The future of environmental stewardship banks on incentives and an app that crowdsources urban cleanup.

Image caption: 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

Almost one million California residents are forced to drink from contaminated water supplies, or pay for bottled water. Economic inequality makes the crisis worse. What is the state doing to fix it?

Image caption: New housing construction in the Crocker Village neighborhood in Sacramento on Feb. 10, 2022.
CEQA Must be Changed

By almost any measure, the balance between advancing projects critical to California's future and environmental protection under the California Environmental Quality Act has been lost. The failure to reform CEQA is not for a lack of knowing what the solutions …

Image caption: When walking around this spring, keep an eye out for the stunning Calochortus lily.
Spring Forward!

The long, wet winter is finally over. The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History has some tips on what to see in the blossoming new season.

Image caption: Just because record rains have been falling, the state’s water crisis remains.
What Is Drought? Probably Not What You Think

2023’s torrential rainstorms have eased California's drought conditions. But there’s a lot more to drought than the amount of rain, and this drought isn't over yet.

Image caption: Heavy storms prompted the state to extend tax deadlines for most California residents.
Storms Could Make Newsom’s Budget Problems Worse

Climate change driven storms are creating new problems for Gavin Newsom and California's budget process, which is already reeling from a projected $25 billion deficit that emerged after a $97 billion surplus disappeared.

San Lorenzo Valley Post logo LOCAL NEWS
Eyes Skyward: Hobbyist Chuck Winser Manages His Backyard Weather Station

By Julie Horner with Chuck Winser  Chuck Winser has been living in Boulder Creek since December of 1989, a refugee from the Loma Prieta Quake. Because he was working with manufacturing data collection at Seagate Technology at the time and …

Image caption: Dianne Feinstein began her career in government six years before current Gov. Gavin Newsom was born.
Dianne Feinstein ‚ÄėCharted Own Path‚Äô in Legendary Career

Dianne Feinstein, California's longtime senior U.S. Senator, has announced she will end a legendary career in public life that began in 1961 and took off amidst the turbulent, violent era of San Francisco in the 1970s.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Fear of ecological disaster prompts Monterey City Council to end cruise ship services.

For over 200 years, ships at sea have used colorful flags to communicate with passing vessels or a nearby shoreline. Monterey City Manager Hans Uslar flew his own flag to the cruise ship industry, signaling his belief the city should…

Image caption: A view of the San Lorenzo River from the Soquel Avenue Bridge‚ÄĒwhich fared better in this storm than in 1982, when it collapsed.
Flowing Through History

During January’s destructive storms, environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney created a concise, riveting timeline of the San Lorenzo River.

Image caption: Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) is the new House Speaker, but his constituents remain badly short of water.
CNN: Kevin McCarthy AWOL on Central Valley Water Crisis

Kevin McCarthy has reached the top position in the U.S. House, but has still fallen short in addressing the ongoing water crisis in his owndistrict, a new CNN.com report says.

Image caption: Sean de Guzman of the California Department of Water Resources conducts the first snow survey of the 2023 season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Jan. 3.
Is California’s Drought Over?

A dozen days of wet and wild weather haven’t ended the drought, and won't cure the driest period in the West in the past 1,200 years.

Image caption: Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed $6 billion in cuts to programs designed to fight climate change.
As Storm Batters California, Newsom Calls for Climate Cuts

With a projected $25 billion deficit, Newsom proposes slashing $6 billion from climate change programs even as a historic storm likely driven by climate change batters the state.

Image caption: Explaining California is hard work! But at California Local, we were up for it throughout 2022.
Explaining California in 2022: Our 10 Best Explainers of the Year

2022 was a year that needed a lot of explaining. And California Local was there. Here are our 10 most important explanatory journalism stories from the year gone by, from immigration to cryptocurrency to wealth inequality and more.