Environment

Environment
3:31 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Elfin Forest natural area on Morro Bay turns 20 this Saturday

San Luis Obispo County's El Moro Elfin Forest in Los Osos.
Credit Flickr member Kevin Cole

San Luis Obispo County's Elfin Forest natural area will celebrate its 20 year anniversary on Saturday, September 27.

The 90 acres of preserved land sits on the southeastern shore of Morro Bay adjacent to Los Osos and Morro Bay State Park. It was created by the local group Small Wilderness Area Preservation (SWAP) and now includes a combination of County and State park lands.

SWAP's chair, Ron Rasmussen, says the natural area got its name based on oddly-shaped native trees.

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Environment
5:43 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Unusual items among tons of trash collected on Central Coast beaches

Volunteers in Santa Barbara County during Coastal Clean-Up Day
Credit Project Clean Water Facebook Page

The Central Coast numbers for this weekend's Coastal Clean-up Day are starting to come in and Santa Barbara County looks like it had an increase in the number of volunteers and trash collected.

Project Clean Water says more than a thousand people came together Saturday at sites county-wide, collecting roughly 4,800 pounds of trash and recyclables. 

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Environment
6:17 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Thousands of volunteers expected to hit Central Coast beaches this Saturday

Avila Beach is one of several Central Coast locations where there are organized cleanup efforts taking place September 20th.

This Saturday, September 20, is the 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup Day. Several organized efforts are taking place along the beaches of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties.

In California alone last year it's estimated more than 70,000 people collected nearly a million pounds of trash.

Eben Schwartz is the marine debris manager for the California Coastal Commission. He says the Central Coast plays a big role in those numbers.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Central Coast counties get portion of $2.8 million environmental judgement against national retailer

Credit Flickr member Mike Mozart

A Monterey County judge ordered Tuesday the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods to pay $2.8 million in penalties related to environmental violations.

A total of 38 California counties sued the Massachusetts-based corporation known as TJX Companies for dumping hazardous pollutants at its stores throughout the state.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley says the settlement "marks a victory for the environment and should also serve as a strong message to other companies and individuals that engage in illegal disposal practices."

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What are the health impacts of climate change?
6:00 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Climate Change and Health

Broadcast date: 9/11/2014

Climate change is threatening the health and well-being of our communities. Locally, increased temperatures are impacting our environment and the Central Coast is experiencing severe drought and reduced air quality. These changes to our environment have the potential to greatly impact our health.

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Environment
6:16 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Several Central Coast Costco stores part of EPA settlement

Costco stores in Oxnard, Goleta, Santa Maria, and Salinas will be updating their refrigeration systems under a new settlement with the EPA.
Credit Flickr member Chris Potter

Several Costco stores along the Central Coast will soon need to update their refrigerator systems under a company settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Costco will pay $335 million in penalties for federal Clean Air Act violations and will fix refrigerant leaks, among other improvements, the agency said in a media release.

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Environment
6:20 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

San Luis Obispo moves forward with possible Styrofoam ban

San Luis Obispo City Council members are considering a ban on food containers like this, as well as other forms of polystyrene.
Credit Flickr member playerx

San Luis Obispo city staff will move forward with plans on how to implement a Styrofoam use ban, should the council vote to approve one down the road.

A special one hour public meeting of the City Council was held Wednesday afternoon. Several members of the public spoke in favor of banning Styrofoam—or polystyrene—at the meeting.

City leaders described it as a "study session." Four out of the five city council members agreed to direct staff to continue working on the issue.

Councilman John Ashbaugh supports the strongest possible version of a ban.

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Environment
4:33 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Quagga and zebra mussels a concern for boaters this holiday weekend

Credit U.S. Geological Survey, July 24, 2014

Officials in California are hoping Labor Day boaters will help keep invasive quagga and zebra mussels in check this Labor Day holiday weekend.

“Californians have a unique opportunity to enjoy numerous natural resources,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Doing your part to clean, drain and dry before heading out to recreate will help keep them free of quagga and zebra mussels, as well as other invasive species.”

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Environment
6:51 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Mystery of Death Valley's slithering stones solved by Santa Barbara-based team

If you look closely at the stone, you can see the embedded GPS unit placed on top to monitor movement.
Credit PLOS ONE - Richard D. Norris, James M. Norris, Ralph D. Lorenz, Jib Ray, Brian Jackson

California's Death Valley is probably best known for its soaring temperatures, which are among the hottest recorded on the planet. But another natural phenomenon has puzzled scientists for decades; rocks that appear to slide on their own across a dry lake bed.

A Central Coast man says the mystery is now solved. His research was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Environment
6:52 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Pesticide bill aimed at protecting honey bees awaits Governor Brown's signature

A honey bee lands on an orange blossom in San Luis Obispo County.
Credit Randol White

Santa Barbara County Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) says he hopes Governor Jerry Brown will sign his bill involving the use of a controversial class of pesticides.

Neonicotinoids are the most widely used, and possibly among the most harmful for honey bees according to Williams. His bill, (AB) 1789, has passed the legislature and is now awaiting the governor's signature. It would create a timeline for the Department of Pesticide Regulation to complete its current reevaluation of those compounds.

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Environment
6:19 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Central Coast beaches seeing increase of velella velella jellyfish

A velella velella jellyfish washed ashore in Dana Point, Calif.
Credit Twitter feed for Carrie Kelly ‏@CarrieHKelly

Increased numbers of blue jelly fish—known as velella velellas—are washing up on Central Coast beaches according to scientists with California State Parks. Reports out of Southern California show a similar situation.

This summer the large colonies have been spotted at several state beaches in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.

"The numbers have been large enough over the past several weeks to get people’s attention," said Vicky Waters, Deputy Director for Public Affairs with California State Parks.

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Central Coast
4:00 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Paso Robles Groundwater Basin

Broadcast date: 8/20/14

KCBX News Director Randol White discusses the highly contentious issue of managing the Paso Robles Groundwater basin with San Luis Obispo Tribune Reporter David Sneed.  The issue is full of political twists and turns… with all sides looking for a stake in controlling this highly valuable commodity for the area. 

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Wilderness
3:52 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Outward Bound

Broadcast date: 8/13/14

For nearly 75 years Outward Bound has been teaching wilderness survival skills to young people, and promoting personal transformation through challenge and discovery.  Molly Blaisdell talks with Outward Bound California's executive director, an alumna and an instructor about their experiences with and passion for the organization.

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Environment
5:40 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Eel grass decline affecting ecosystem of California's coastal habitat

Volunteers hold up eel grass bundles Saturday morning at the Morro Bay State Park marina.
Credit Kathryn Winfrey

At nearly 66 degrees, the Morro Bay estuary water is warm say the divers zipping up their wet suits on this Saturday morning in mid August. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the average Morro Bay water temp for August at 58 degrees, nearly 8 degrees cooler than its current temperature.

Scientists believe warmer water is among the main culprits behind the decline of the area's eel grass, a plant that grows along the bottom of the estuary.

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Sustainable Design and Green Building
5:42 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Better Design for a Better Environment

Broadcast date: 8/14/2014

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