Environment

Environment
4:39 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Widespread reports of shaking following light Central Coast earthquake

Credit USGS 'Did You Feel It?' Map

A light-to-moderate earthquake hit the Central Coast this morning with people throughout Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties reporting to have felt it. 

The 4.4 temblor struck along the San Andreas Fault east of Greenfield and Soledad.

The quake was also felt in the Central Valley areas of Fresno, Madera and Visalia.

No damage has been reported.

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Environment
3:45 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Volunteers asked to take photos of upcoming King Tides event in California

King Tide on December 12, 2012 at Port San Luis in San Luis Obispo County.
Credit Gordon Hensley - San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

Volunteers are set to record thousands of images of the California Coast next week as the highest tides of the year are expected to hit the area on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The volunteers are part of an effort to help people visualize how sea level rise will impact the lives of coastal Californians. It's called the California King Tides Project, and Central Coast representatives are on board to help document the event.

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Environment
5:28 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Monterey County reaches settlement over environmental lawsuits

A Salinas Valley strawberry field.
Credit Tom Wilmer

A couple of environmental lawsuits filed against Monterey County were settled Tuesday—at least for the time being.

Landwatch Monterey County and The Open Monterey Project sued back in 2010 following the adoption of the new county's General Plan. Those two lawsuits were combined.

The plaintiffs were concerned with management of the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin, encroachment of agriculture on the county's hillsides, blockage of wildlife corridors, and other aspects regarding the county's agriculture and wine industries.

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Environment
5:41 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Monarch butterflies under consideration for federal Endangered Species List

Credit Flickr member Greg Hewgill

A process to place the monarch butterfly on the federal Endangered Species List is underway. It's part of an effort to protect it from rapidly declining numbers.

Over the past several years, the annual count for monarch butterflies has seen a gradual upswing at the popular grove in Pismo Beach. Cal Poly Professor Denis Frey has been tabulating the local migration numbers since the early 90s, and has shown wide swings in peak totals, according to the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove website.

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Environment
3:56 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Tips to protect plants with freezing temperatures ahead

Credit Randol White - KCBX News

The Central Coast is seeing freezing temperatures this week, creating conditions that can be harmful to some plants.

To protect plants from extreme frost damages, water plants thoroughly.  Todd Davidson is the owner of Sage Ecological Landscapes and Nursery in Los Osos. He says some people may think watering creates ice, but it's actually protecting plants. 

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Environment
12:17 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Recycling do's and don'ts during the holiday season

Credit Flickr member Colin Delaney

The gift-giving, party-throwing and house-decorating associated with the Christmas holiday season generates a lot of trash and recyclable materials each year. But, what exactly goes into the blue bins and what is for certain headed to the landfill?

Tom Martin has been with San Luis Garbage for more than 20 years. He says the rules surrounding recycling have changed over time, including what to do with all of that wrapping paper.

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Environment
11:57 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Morro Bay National Estuary celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Adrienne Harris, executive director of the Morro Bay National Estuary program
Credit Tom Wilmer

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, the Morro Bay National Estuary Program is a non-regulatory, non-profit organization that brings together citizens, non-profits, government agencies, and landowners to protect and restore Morro Bay.

Estuary program-staff members and volunteers conduct monitoring and research, restore natural habitats, and educate residents and visitors on how to keep Morro Bay clean and healthy.​

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Adrienne Harris, executive director of the Morro Bay National Estuary program for a visit on the waterfront.

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Environment
11:44 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Free home energy tips as we head into the winter months

Credit Empower Central Coast

It's now December. With cooler temperatures on the way and larger energy bills along with them. However, you have access to a service that can help you make efficiency upgrades to your home and it's totally free. Learn more about the EmPower program in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and how it could potentially save you money.

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Environment
3:14 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Lawsuit aimed at federal government over fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel

Platform Gail in the Santa Barbara Channel
Credit Flickr member Ken Lund

An environmental group took the first step toward suing the federal government on Thursday, over fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Interior Department for violating federal law in regards to offshore fracking approvals.

The group says the government did not evaluate how the enhanced oil extraction practice may pollute local waters, nor its effects on marine wildlife prior to issuing the approvals to oil companies. 

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Environment
5:22 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

State Water Board says Santa Maria River is 'highly toxic'

Oso Flaco Lake and other estuaries fed by the Santa Maria River are sensitive habitat areas affected by toxic levels of pesticide runoff from surrounding agriculture in the Santa Maria Valley.
Credit Flickr member Rennett Stowe

A new survey by the State Water Board shows the Santa Maria River is highly toxic—and has been for years with some of the highest readings in the state for certain chemicals.

Bryn Phillips is an environmental toxicology specialist with UC Davis who has been working on this ongoing project. He says an increase in pyrethroid pesticide levels is cause for concern.

Recently the river was designated with a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) restriction.

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Environment
6:41 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Plastic bag ban expands in Santa Barbara starting Friday

Credit Flickr member Taber Andrew Bain

Santa Barbara's ban on plastic bags steps up a notch Friday to include smaller grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores. The initial portion of the ban that went into effect back in May only included larger supermarkets and major drug chains of 10,000 square feet or more. 

Customers can still buy a paper bag for 10 cents if they forget to bring a reusable shopping bag.

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Environment
6:36 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Air pollution control measures don't appear to be working at Oceano Dunes

The Oceano Dunes, Calif.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

Projects to reduce the amount of air pollution caused by particulates coming from the Oceano Dunes don't appear to be working. Testing shows the number of days with poor air quality on the Nipomo Mesa held steady, despite the addition of sand fencing and hay bales.

California State Parks spent more than a million dollars on the projects this past spring.

Larry Allen is the Air Pollution Control officer for San Luis Obispo County. He believes the problem can be fixed without putting an end to vehicle access on the dunes, but says some action needs to be taken.

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Politics
7:08 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

State Senator hosts public meeting to prepare for climate change

Credit Live Stream: Climate Change Impacts on Critical Infrastructure

State Senator Hannah-Beth held a public hearing in Santa Barbara earlier today to address Climate Change and Emergency management.

The hearing was designed to discuss the risks associated with climate change and what's left to be done. Panels of experts presented Climate Change reports and examined how climate change has already affected California.

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Environment
1:12 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

SLO County Air Polution Control District on Climate Change and local air quality

Brian Reynolds talks with representatives from the Air Pollution Control District of San Luis Obispo County about climate change, also about our local air quality, what affects it, and what each of us can do to improve it.

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Economy
3:08 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Carbon Shock

Broadcast date: 09/29/14

Journalist Mark Shapiro investigates the economic disruption caused by climate change. At the heart of the challenges we face is how to establish a price for carbon.

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