Category Archives: Water Policy

Our Oceans; Our Future

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It’s time to look at our future. It’s time to look at our oceans.

The oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients and regulate climate. They are important economically for countries that rely on tourism, fishing and other marine resources for income and serve as the backbone of international trade.

Unfortunately, human pressures, including over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the world’s oceans and seas.

June 8 is World Oceans Day, an annual celebration of the planet’s oceans and recognized by the United Nations each year. This day is also a call for ocean conservation action throughout the year.   Take a look:

Many of our projects work with our oceans and the ecosystems that support them.  Take a look here and support one (or more) today!

 

Are you all wet? Take our wetlands quiz.

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Like our own kidneys that help purify our blood, wetlands are the ‘kidneys’ of our landscape. They remove excess nutrients, toxic substances and sediment from water that flows through them, helping to improve downstream water quality and the overall health of the waters throughout the world. They also protect against flooding, provide recreational opportunities and serve as important habitat for many wildlife species.

During American Wetlands Month, we wanted to see how well you know this vital environmental resource. Take our quiz to find out.

Wetlands Quiz

How much do you know about our wetlands?

New positions available at two of T4CI’s projects

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Two of our projects are looking to hire!  Are you a fit for one of these new careers?

CHANGE director – Californians for a Healthy & Green Economy (CHANGE) is looking for a new director, who will advance the production of safe, affordable, and accessible alternatives to toxic chemicals, spurring economic growth in vulnerable communities and creating a healthy, green, sustainable economy for all.  The job announcement and details is here.

WaterNow Alliance director of team operations –  WaterNow Alliance (WNA) is a network of water utility leaders dedicated to expanding sustainable water solutions in their communities. The Alliance focuses on innovative strategies to accelerate adoption of reuse and efficiency technologies, green infrastructure, watershed health, stormwater recapture and groundwater management. Reporting to Executive Director (ED), the Director of Team Operations will serve as a key leadership team member and an active participant in strategic planning, mission execution and fundraising The job announcement and details is here.

Week of the Ocean: What do you know?

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This week is the National Week of the Ocean.  Yet we know very little about the waters that cover 70% of the earth’s surface and holds 96% of all the water in the world.

But there are things we have discovered over the years. Let’s see how much you know by taking the quiz below!

How much do you know about our oceans?

It's the National Week of the Ocean. How much do you know about these bodies of water and its inhabitants?

Test your water knowledge on World Water Day

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Water: the essential building block of life.  So much so that in 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day.

But how much do you really know about H2O?

It’s time to take the T4CI Water Quiz to find out.

Test your water knowledge

Water Quiz

 

 

 

Forget the groundhog; focus on wetlands

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Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and has determined that, on this Groundhog Day, winter isn’t going anywhere soon.

Yet, in all the pomp and circumstance of the annual occasion, Phil forgot to mention it is also World Wetlands Day, and how losing wetlands has more effect on us than his weather forecasting.

Chances are, you are more familiar with a wetland than you are with a woodchuck. Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.

On this day in 1971, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar to provide the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, which cover more than 6 percent of the earth.

However, that doesn’t mean the wetlands are doing as well as the famous rodent. Here are the facts:

  • Global wetlands have declined between 64 – 71 percent since 1900.
  • The annual cost of the loss of wetland ecosystem services is more than $20 trillion.

Instead of worrying about how accurate a groundhog can be predicting the weather, which statistically is only 36 percent since 1969, consider instead using this day to support our wetlands. Go to t4ci.org/sponsored to see the many sponsored projects which are making a difference.

Living with Floods in Louisiana

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“An estimated 6.9 trillion gallons of rain fell on Louisiana between Aug. 8-14. In less than one week, 31.30 inches fell….[w]e must think about how we can learn to live with water, even at this scale of inundation. We can’t avoid the rain, but we can prevent the flood.”
~Susannah Burley and Andreas Merkl, The ADVOCATE, Baton Rouge, Sept. 1, 2016.

Susannah is the project director of Sustaining Our Urban Landscape (SOUL), one of our newer projects focused on driving a resilient and equitable New Orleans through strengthening local water and food systems. Andreas Merkl, is a resident of New Orleans, Chairs the SOUL Advisory Committee, and is the CEO of Ocean Conservancy.

Read the Full Article here and learn more about SOUL here and here.

Photo Credit: Prairieville, LA, Photo by J.T. Blatty/FEMA

Root Solutions and the Story of Stuff

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RSIt’s very exciting to see one of our projects, Root Solutions, featured for the cool work that they are doing, and what better place to be featured than on the Story of Stuff Project blog?

Root Solutions is dedicated to providing conservationists and policy makers with tools and resources informed by the proven methods of behavioral science, allowing them to create more effective campaigns, polices and strategies that reflect how people process information and make decisions. With techniques like, “green nudges,” people can be motivated to use behavior that is  both good for them and good for the environment.

The project is the brainchild of Nya Van Leuvan and Rod Fujita, who met at the Environmental Defense Fund where they led the introduction of decision science to their colleagues. The project is also producing a book called “Choices for Change: Using Behavioral Insights to Save the Planet,” which they hope will help policy-makers, advocates, and the general public understand how to frame and encourage behavior that makes conservation a part of our daily lives.

Read more about how behavioral science can improve conservation outcomes at the Root Solutions  website and on the Story of Stuff blog!

Project News: Maven’s Notebook wins award at California Water Policy conference

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CWP-AwardA big congratulations to Chris Austin, who won an Award of Merit at the California Water Policy conference this past weekend.

Chris’ blog, Maven’s Notebook, is the premier compendium for all you’d ever need to know about California water policy, including the science behind the headlines. In Chris’ own words, she’s “dedicated to creating the crazy-best, the most informative, and the most useful website on California water issues.” Her readers agree, heralding the blog as a main part of their daily work-related reading, and  a must-read for folks interested in western water issues.

Maven’s Notebook aggregates California water-related news content from other sources including newspaper articles/editorials, press releases, blogs, legislator statements, research journals, and academic institutions. But wait, there’s more! She supplements the news with original and detailed coverage of agency meetings, legislative hearings, and seminars and conferences. Maven’s Notebook focuses on the major planning processes currently underway such as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, as well as the activities of the State Water Resources Control Board, the Delta Stewardship Council, and the California Water Commission.  The blog also follows statewide policy issues, such as groundwater, the water bond, and other state and federal legislation, and the latest developments in Delta science.

We are so proud to count Maven’s Notebook among T4CI’s many innovative projects and excited for Chris’ accomplishment!

Learn more about Maven’s Notebook here.