Environment

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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Environment
5:28 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Slower ships could help save whales and improve South Coast air quality

A humpback whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.
Credit Flickr member Anita Ritenour

A pilot program in underway in the Santa Barbara Channel aimed at reducing air pollution and saving migrating whales. The plan calls for large container ships passing through the area to significantly slow down. 

Only a small fraction of the annual shipping traffic through the channel—some 2,500 ships—will be affected by this program initially, but organizers are hoping it will still make a measurable difference.

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Environment
10:26 am
Wed August 6, 2014

California's giant sea bass making a comeback after near extinction

Giant sea bass caught using nets at Pismo Beach.
Credit Bill Bookout

UC Santa Barbara researchers are asking recreational divers to participate in a giant sea bass census this week. According to researchers these fish can grow to more than 600 pounds and are making a comeback from the brink of extinction.

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Environment
2:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Stewardship Travel

Morro Bay Harbor
Credit Wine Coast Country Facebook Page

Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the world of ecotourism with a local company that encourages appreciation for places, culture, and adventure, but goes one step further by also providing clear opportunities to participate in regional conservation and preservation.

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Environment
6:15 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

UPDATE: Coastal Commission rules unanimously against McCarthy's Ontario Ridge Trail fencing

Barbed wire fencing along the Ontario Ridge hiking trail in San Luis Obispo County.
Credit Tarren Collins

UPDATE: July 11, 2014 at 10:49 a.m.  

The California Coast Commission ruled unanimously Friday morning in favor of a Cease and Desist Order, demanding Robert and Judith McCarthy remove fencing and signage restricting access to San Luis Obispo County's Ontario Ridge Trail.

Original Story:

The Ontario Ridge Trail is located between Shell Beach and Avila and has seen a steady stream of hikers for nearly 50 years.

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Environment
1:45 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Badges, Bears and Eagles

Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with author Steve Callan, whose new book Badges, Bears and Eagles recounts his longtime career as a California State Fish and Game warden.  Tom also chats with Ryan Hansen, a young game warden out of Morro Bay who is inspired by Callan in his own career locally.

Environment
6:54 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

VIDEO: Delta II launch success at Vandenberg AFB Wednesday morning

A Delta II rocket launches successfully from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday morning.
Credit Video still from NASA

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 2, 2014 at 7:36 a.m. 

A NASA satellite that will study Earth's carbon dioxide levels and their relationship to climate change was launched into space early Wednesday morning onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is the second of NASA's five Earth science missions to launch this year. It's the organization's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human- produced greenhouse gas.

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Environment
6:56 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Surf Beach closed at Vandenberg AFB through September

A group of volunteer Vandenberg Airmen hike Surf Beach as they sweep for trash during Beach Cleanup Day here Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013
Credit U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson

Santa Barbara County's Surf Beach will be closed from June 27 to Sept. 30 because the maximum number of violations tolerated to protect the nests of the federally-listed Snowy Plover was exceeded.

Beach restrictions are enforced yearly on Wall, Minuteman and Surf beaches during the snowy plover's nesting season. If a pre-determined number of violations are detected, the beaches are closed for the remainder of the nesting season.

This week there were 11 violations reported, putting the number at Surf Beach more than 50, the pre-determined limit.

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building
4:27 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Explosion Green

Explosion Green: When David Gottfried came up with an idea for green environmental building 20 years ago, he ran into a number of hurdles.  The building industry had been doing what they did for decades.  Why change?  It’s taken another two decades, but changes have been made.

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Environment
6:33 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Electric motorcycle tested as possible San Luis Obispo Police vehicle

Credit SLO PD

An electric motorcycle is being tested on the streets of San Luis Obispo as a possible addition to the police department's fleet of vehicles. 

Sergeant Steven Mickel says it goes 130 miles on a single charge and only costs about one cent per mile in electricity fees.

The electric police motorcycle is rated with a top speed of 95 miles per hour, fast enough for around town, and comes fully equipped with pursuit emergency lighting and sirens, safety components and patrol items.

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