JUNE 2005 HEADLINES

World Environment Day Kicks Off on
Water

World Environment Day began this morning with the first of five
days, each focusing on a different theme. Over 70 mayors and thousands
of participants are expected to attend scores of events throughout
the Bay Area. There is still space available for many events and
some are available on a first-come, first-serve basis –
see the World Environment Day website for more information.

The Pacific Institute, in tandem with various partners, is producing
two events, a workshop on water going on today and a tour of West
Oakland. More info online.

Advocates Lobby California Lawmakers
on Environmental Health and Justice Issues

Neighborhoods near ports, rail yards, and freeways — sometimes
called “fence-line communities” — bear the burden of
air pollution from these and other sources. And the effects are
serious: with health effects ranging from asthma, heart disease,
and cancer to reproductive harm. The goal of the Institute’s Community
Strategies program is to empower these at-risk communities to
create a healthy environment for residents.

On May 23 and 24, Institute staff and our community partners
participated in the Environmental Health Legislative Education
Days, sponsored by the Environmental Health Legislative Working
Group. Community residents from the West Oakland Environmental
Indicators Project and Contra Costa Asthma Advocates were equipped
with information from workshops on air, water, toxics, and pesticides
and set out to lobby for legislation to protect the environmental
health of their communities. Residents met with their State Senators
and Assembly members to discuss local concerns around diesel pollution
and other issues.

In addition to influencing statewide environmental health policy,
the Institute also focused attention at the local level on West
Oakland. After a pilot health survey showed high rates of uninsured
adults, community partners decided to share the results with health
agencies and present their recommendations. On May 9, the Institute
convened a meeting with the heads of county health agencies, including
Public Health, Lead Poisoning, and Asthma Programs. After sharing
results with the agencies, a Healthy West Oakland Working Group
was established to continue working on these health issues and
move forward on recommendations.

Gleick at ENN: Hybrids Economical,
Fun

Is there a solution to climate change
that’s fun to drive? Anyone who understands the threat knows
that more efficient cars are just one piece of the solution. But
Peter Gleick’s new
column on the Prius
makes the case that Toyota has figured
out how to do make an efficient and, yes, fun car.

UPCOMING

6/2/05, “West Oakland Victories
Tour,”
[West Oakland, Calif.], This resident-led
tour will highlight community successes and ongoing challenges.
More info online.

6/08/05, Colorado River, [Boulder,
Colo.], Michael Cohen will present “Environmental Impacts
of Increased Colorado River Water Stress and Shortages: An Overview,”
at the University of Colorado Law School’s “Hard Times on
the Colorado River: Drought, Growth and the Future of the Compact”
conference. More info
online.

6/10/05, Colorado River, [Boulder,
Colo.], Michael Cohen will participate on a panel entitled “Action
Agenda: What Should We Be Doing?” at the University of Colorado
Law School’s conference “Hard Times on the Colorado River:
Drought, Growth and the Future of the Compact.” More info
online.

6/13/05, Salton Sea, [Ontario,
Calif.], Michael Cohen will participate in the California DWR
Salton Sea Advisory Technical Subcommittee meeting on inflows
and variability for Salton Sea inflow projections.

6/15/05, Water, [San Francisco,
Calif.], Peter Gleick will give the keynote lunch address at the
San Francisco meeting of the American Water Works Association,
Water for People luncheon. More info
online.


STAFF UPDATES

5/25,
The Pacific Institute held a lunchtime discussion of
the “Death of Environmentalism,” which was organized by
the Institute’s Jason Morrison and ranged widely over issues of
strategy and values.

5/18 to 5/20, Michael Cohen
attended the Salton Sea Advisory Committee meeting in Sacramento and
the Salton Sea Coalition meetings held later that week. Info on the
Advisory Committee is online.

5/12, Peter Gleick met with
the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation in Washington, DC to discuss
how to address global water supply and sanitation needs.

5/4, Jason Morrison attended
an annual meeting of the Registration Appeals Board of the National
Biosolids Partnership’s Environmental Management System Initiative
in Washington, DC. Morrison serves as the NGO member of the nine-person
board, which serves an arbitration function for the wastewater sector’s
EMS certification program.

5/3, Michael Cohen participated
in the YDP/Cienega Working Group. The Group released a white paper offering
solutions to preserve the Cienega de Santa Clara, the largest remaining
wetland in the Colorado River delta. The white paper is posted
online.


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