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MMWD Delays Decision on Desalination Ballot Measure

When Marin last considered building a desalination plant on San Francisco Bay more than a decade ago, residents wary of the high financial and environmental costs reacted by giving voters the power to make that decision.

Now comes the question: should voters retain the power to block what could be an emergency source of water in the event of another crisis?

“The strange weather we’ve had the last few years I think suggests that having more options in the event of a similar kind of emergency we were in this past year is prudent,” Marin Municipal Water District General Manager Ben Horenstein told the district Board of Directors on Tuesday. “With this ordinance in place, it does limit our ability in certain ways to move forward if we wanted to with an emergency desal system.”

Recent Storms Washed Microplastics Into San Francisco Bay, Studies Show

Walk along Damon Slough in Oakland and you’re likely to see trash heading towards San Francisco Bay. David Lewis of the environmental group Save the Bay, says much of it comes from the nearby 880 freeway and local storm drains.

“Every time it rains, anything that’s on the streets goes into the storm drains and straight out into the bay unfiltered. And we see this on all of the freeways and all of our urban road,” Lewis explains.

San Francisco Bay: Protection from Costly Disasters is Being Thrown Away, Scientists Say

For more than 100 years after California’s Gold Rush, developers and city leaders filled in San Francisco Bay, shrinking it by one third to build farms, freeways, airports and subdivisions.

All that changed in the 1970s with modern environmental laws. But now as sea level rise threatens to cause billions of dollars of flooding in the coming decades, the bay is going to need to be filled again — but this time in a different way, according to a new scientific report out Tuesday.

Opinion: Newsom is Being Played by Big Ag on Delta Water

He won’t admit it, but Gavin Newsom is being played by Big Ag interests as he tries fruitlessly to negotiate a truce in California’s water wars.

The governor’s apparent willingness to play into the hands of monied, agri-business players at the expense of the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta remains the biggest mystery of his short tenure. It also threatens to trash his reputation as a strong protector of California’s environment.

Black And Brown Muck: Can Overwhelmed S.F. Sewers Ever Stop Flooding?

After a weekend storm walloped San Francisco, officials say preventing flood damage from powerful rains in vulnerable areas of the city largely remains a pipe dream.

A storm that inundated San Francisco with more than an inch of rain in a single hour Saturday flooded two Muni light-rail stations, snarled traffic on Highway 101 and forced residents in parts of West Portal to wade through waist-deep water that surged into homes, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

San Francisco Bay Dredging Fuels an Unexpected Concern: Climate Change

What began as an unremarkable bid to deepen a shipping channel in San Francisco Bay, making it easier for cargo vessels to come and go, has become a flash point in the debate over climate change.

Environmental groups are blasting plans by the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge 13 miles of waterways inside the Golden Gate because the work would benefit ships delivering oil to East Bay refineries.

Climate Havoc Wipes Out Coastal Kelp As S.F. Bay’s Native Fish Species Die Off

A climate-related catastrophe off the California coast has resulted in the death of 90% of the kelp from San Francisco to Oregon as an explosion of ravenous urchins devours everything in sight. And it’s happening at the same time native fish in San Francisco Bay are dying out, two studies released Monday documented.

The studies, by government, university and scientific institute researchers, offer a disturbing look at an underwater ecosystem suffering more than anyone previously suspected — along the coast, in San Francisco Bay and in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

San Francisco Leaders Hate Trump Enough They Voted to Limit the City’s Water Rather Than do This

For months, San Francisco, a hotbed of anti-Donald Trump sentiment, has found itself in the awkward position of being aligned with his administration over California water policy. On Tuesday, the city’s leaders said the alliance was unbearable. In an 11-0 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed in a resolution to support the State Water Resources Control Board’s proposal to leave more water in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries to benefit struggling fish populations. The supervisors’ vote is subject to veto by Mayor London Breed, although the board could override the veto.

Millions to be Spent Protecting SF Bay Shoreline From Sea Level Rise

A decades-old plan to protect Alviso and surrounding South Bay areas from devastating floods has moved closer to reality with $177 million in federal funds to begin work on a 4-mile-long levee and wetlands restoration.

The combination of flood control and environmental improvements will be a model for the rest of the country, Sam Schuchat, executive officer of the state Coastal Conservancy, said Friday at an event celebrating the project at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso.