Environment

Environment
3:52 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Challenges and Opportunities in Climate Change

Broadcast date: 4/23/2015

Climate change: The problem is serious, but experts believe it is solvable, not with expensive new technology, but with political will and by taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The longer we wait the more expensive and difficult it will be to solve.

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Environment
6:53 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

UCSB ranked No. 1 public 'Green College' in the US

The UCSB campus and Storke Tower
Credit Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

In honor of Earth Day next week, the Princeton Review is out with its national list of the Top 50 Green Colleges—and UCSB comes in at No. 1 for public schools.

UC Santa Barbara ranks No. 3 overall, with private schools Lewis and Clark (Oregon) and Green Mountain (Vermont) making the No. 1 and 2 spots respectively.

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Environment
6:57 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Pacific Coast sardine fisheries in decline, upcoming season cancelled

A school of sardines at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Credit Flickr member Allie_Caulfield

The upcoming 2015-2016 sardine fishing season off the Central Coast will be closed in an effort to help rebuild the fish population, according to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Council members made the decision at their current meeting in the Bay Area.

“While this is a sad day for all those dependent on a healthy sardine fishery, it is actually a good thing that this Council is addressing the problem directly, something you don’t always see across the nation or certainly, internationally,” said Council member Frank Lockhart.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Grunion runs expected on Central Coast beaches Saturday through Tuesday nights

Taken at Belmont Shore, Long Beach.
Credit Kimberly Walker: Environmental Scientist, Marine Region Fisheries Research and Management Project, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Central Coast residents and visitors should get a chance in the coming days to see a natural phenomenon that is expected to peak along local beaches.

The annual grunion run is predicted to take place Saturday through Tuesday nights, April 4-7. When the conditions are right, thousands of the small fish beach themselves as part of their mating cycle. There will be another run this month, April 18-21, and two more in May.

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Environment
6:01 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

California condors having 'banner year' on the Central Coast

A California condor protecting its egg during the 2015 breeding season.
Credit Pinnacles National Park

The endangered California condor is having its best spring to date with at least 16 active nests identified statewide by biologists.

More than a third of those nests are within Pinnacles National Park in Monterey County, the park stated on its Facebook page. 

The range of the condor is big, including much of the Western United States and even a portion of Mexico. But, the endangered birds seem to be doing especially well along the Central Coast this year at Pinnacles.

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Environment
6:28 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Chumash tribe plans to resubmit marine sanctuary nomination following NOAA rejection

Their are plans to move forward with an effort to create a National Marine Sanctuary for the waters off the coastlines of San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties, following a federal rejection of the nomination earlier this month.

The Northern Chumash Tribal Council would like to preserve the area sandwiched between the Monterey Bay and Channel Islands sanctuaries. The proposed area would be called the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

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Environment
6:32 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Sea lion population facing historic starvation problem along Central Coast

Rehabilitated sea lions are released back into the Pacific Ocean.
Credit Marine Mammal Center

There is a major spike in the number of starving sea lion pups showing up on Central Coast beaches. While the influx is overwhelming facilities like the Marine Mammal Center in Morro Bay, all rescued animals are still being accepted according to spokesperson Laura Sherr.

The organization says it has rescued more than 500 animals so far this year, more than ever before in its 40 year history.

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Environment
5:09 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Channel Islands fox population recovers after near extinction

Island Fox
Credit Nature Conservancy

An animal species unique to the Channel Islands could soon be removed from the federal Threatened and Endangered Species List.

Federal reports show four subspecies of the Island Fox found on six of the eight Channel Islands are making a remarkable comeback. As a result the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating a review process to see if the animals should remain protected.

Experts say the recovery is the fastest population rebound recorded for any land mammal in the U.S. thanks to a robust restoration plan.

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Environment
5:56 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Wildflower season gets early start in eastern San Luis Obispo County

This 2008 photo in the Carrizo Plains National Monument shows a pre-drought wildflower bloom.
Credit Bob Wick, BLM California

The wildflower season in eastern San Luis Obispo County is off to a very early start. Fields of yellow and blue are a few weeks into their bloom right now according to the Carrizo Plain National Monument's visitor center.

Jackie Czapla runs the center and says the blooms should just be getting started, but instead are well underway.

Czapla says the monument has had less than five inches of rain this year, so it's not going to be a big showy spring display, but it's still beautiful.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Our Oceans, Our Coasts

Broadcast date: 3/5/2015

There are more than three hundred miles of ocean along the Central Coast of California, between Santa Cruz and Carpinteria. 
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Environment
1:32 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

'Unprecedented' back-to-back warm winters in California complicate ongoing drought

Jan. 17 2015 - San Luis Obispo, Calif. — A wet December helped to green California's hills and refill a portion of San Luis Obispo's Laguna Lake, but the following month of January was among the warmest and driest on record in 2015.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

The Central Coast saw a very warm, dry January this year, as did the rest of the state. Now, Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say it ranks among the warmest and driest on record.

Not only was this January the fourth warmest in the books, but it follows the warmest January ever in 2014. 

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Environment
6:27 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Bill aims to add more protections for California groundwater from oil and gas drilling contamination

Roughly 60 percent of the oil pumped to the surface in California comes from Class II injection wells, according to the state. This oil field is in Kern County, Calif.
Credit Flickr member ben klocek

A new bill up for consideration in Sacramento is aimed at protecting groundwater from oil and gas drilling operations.

Central Coast Assembly Member Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) introduced AB-356 on Tuesday. It would require monitoring near Class II injection wells.

Currently, there are nearly 42,000 oil field injection wells operating in the state, according to the California Department of Conservation. These wells are designed to increase oil recovery and "safely dispose of the salt and fresh water produced with oil and natural gas" the department states.

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Environment
6:13 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

UCSB Study: The world's oceans are filling up with plastic

Plastics mixed in with debris washed ashore at San Francisco's Ocean Beach following a storm in 2010, the same statistical year used for the NCEAS study.
Credit Flickr member Kevin Krejci

A study published Thursday in the journal Science takes at look a just how much plastic waste is collecting in the world's oceans.

An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste are added each year according to the numbers crunched by UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). That's more than scientists had thought, and enough to cover the entire City of Los Angles in ankle deep trash more than twice over—each year.

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Environment
5:29 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Proposed National Marine Sanctuary nominated off California coast

The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary is in the initial nomination process with NOAA.

A large area along California's Central Coast is now being considered as a National Marine Sanctuary.

The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary marks the first time that the public has nominated a stretch of California coast for this designation.

The formal documents were submitted this week to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for consideration on Monday.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Sea creature that prefers warm water found moving farther up California's coast

Hopkins' Rose Nudibranch - Pink sea slug
Credit Jeff Goddard, UCSB

Central Coast scientists are seeing a number of species show up along the California coast, far north of their usual range. One of these animals is the Hopkins' Rose nudibranch, a pink sea slug.

Jeff Goddard, a project scientist at the UC Santa Barbara Marine Science Intstitute says the Rose nudibranchs are normally found in Southern California, but last year's warmer ocean conditions may have pushed them north. 

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