Global sea-level rise could hit California hard

San Francisco ChronicleBy David PerimanJune 22, 2012 Global sea-level rise, induced by the warming climate, will hit California's coastline harder than the other West Coast states over the coming decades and on through the end of the century, according to a new report from the National Research Council. Oceans around the world are rising, but seas around California will rise even higher - by Read More…

Debate over fire retardant toxicity rages in West

The Sacramento BeeJune 21, 2012Forest Service officials insist firefighting won't be hindered by new rules meant to prevent millions of gallons of retardant dropped onto scorched landscapes each year from poisoning streams and killing fish and plants.The agency rules that resulted from a lawsuit require drops to come no closer than 300 feet from streams and lakes except when human safety is at Read More…

Is hydroelectric power a ‘renewable’ energy source?

KQED NewsBy Craig MillerJune 20, 2012It’s a fair question and one that a reader posed during our recent series on “Water and Power” in California. Hydro has its virtues. It’s clean, once it’s built; producing hydropower creates no significant greenhouse gas or other emissions. And it’s certainly “renewable” as long as the water flows. But it’s not without its environmental Read More…

California environmentalists seek protection for unfished species

Contra Costa TimesJune 21, 2012Who cares about fish that no one seems to care about? Everybody, it seems.In a San Mateo hotel ballroom Saturday, a group of scientists, fishermen and environmentalists will convene to debate whether to regulate several species of fish for which there is no market, but which could see increased demand from aquaculture and are increasingly seen as critical to the Read More…

Retooled plan for Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water diversions fails…

The Sacramento BeeBy Matt WeiserJune 21, 2012A plan for two massive tunnels diverting water from the Delta has been scaled back 40 percent in size. The project would divert only 10 percent less water, however, and it remains to be seen if this proves less harmful to fish and their habitat.The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is an unprecedented effort by state and federal water agencies to replumb the Read More…

How lamprey get over Bonneville Dam

OPB EcotropeBy Cassandra ProfitaJune 21, 2012Awhile back, I shared a video on Facebook of the relatively new lamprey passage system at Bonneville Dam taken by Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission President Paul Lumley on his iPhone. “Cool!” I thought. “I didn’t know Bonneville had a lamprey passage system!”One of my followers commented that the video could use some narration. So, Read More…

New hatchery aims to boost Snake River’s sockeye production

Magic Valley TimesJune 21, 2012A new hatchery near Springfield in southeastern Idaho means up to a five-fold increase in the capacity of the sockeye recovery program that has kept Snake River sockeye salmon from extinction.The Northwest Power and Conservation Council recently recommended construction of a $13.5 million hatchery to boost production of Snake River sockeye, listed as an endangered Read More…

Spring Chinook numbers lower than expected

OPB NewsJune 21, 2012You might remember predictions of really high spring chinook runs this year. But, it turns outs, after all the returning salmon were tallied up, the numbers were not as high as everyone had hoped.Biologists had predicted the Columbia River would see one of the stronger spring salmon runs in the past decade. Similarly big expectations were set for returning salmon numbers in Read More…

Biololgist Steve Hayes: “the run is not looking good”

Alaska Native NewsBy GW RastopsoffJune 20, 2012Those words from Alaska Department of Fish and Game Biologist Steve Hayes on his observation of the Yukon River King Salmon run bode ill for subsistence fishermen on the river.This year's escapement of Kings on the Yukon was predicted to be between 109,000 and 146,000. The escapement of 4,500 so far through the sonar counter at Pilot Station is a far Read More…

Laos optimistic on Xayaburi despite stumbling blocks

Bangkok PostBy Nareerat WiriyapongJune 21, 2012The Lao government remains optimistic the construction of the Xayaburi hydroelectric dam on the Mekong River can begin at the end of this year's rainy season and be completed by 2020.Xaypaseuth Phomsoupha, the director-general of Laos's Energy and Mines Ministry, said two separate reports from independent consultants found the US$3.8-billion project Read More…