October 2007

Gordon Confirmed


New Report Available
Delta Ruling Commentary
Institute’s 20th Anniversary
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Community Workshop
Richmond, Calif.

Those concerned with problems related to trucks and trains in West County neighborhoods are invited to a workshop focused on developing community solutions. If you live or work in West Contra Costa County and are interested in attending this workshop or would like more information, please contact Catalina Garzón or call (510) 251-1600 ext. 104.

Salton Sea Commentary

Michael Cohen’s article “Salton Sea at a Crossroads” (Geotimes, Sept. 2007) is now available online (subscription required).

  Gordon Confirmed as Port Commissioner


Board’s First Neighborhood,
Enviro. Health Expert


GordonWest Oakland resident and former Pacific Institute staff member Margaret Gordon was confirmed by the Oakland City Council to the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners last Tuesday night. She is the first environmental health expert and neighboring community member to sit on the Commission.

Mayor Ron Dellums, a former Pacific Institute Advisory Board Member, nominated Gordon along with business manager Victor Uno from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595, who was also confirmed.

“The future survival and growth of the Port absolutely hinges on its ability to get ahead of the green economic development curve,” said Swati Prakash, Pacific Institute Program Director. “Margaret represents that knowledge better than anyone. To me she is the best example of what we mean we we say ‘economy, environment, and equity.'”

Related news:



  Institute and BSR Release Water Trends Report

JMorrisonThe Pacific Institute and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) recently released a new trends report that focuses on corporate water strategy.The joint publication, “At the Crest of a Wave: A Proactive Approach to Corporate Water Strategy,” explains the drivers behind water trends, their implications for business and, most importantly, how to prepare for them.”Today’s corporations need a water strategy that goes well beyond tracking inputs and outputs,” said Jason Morrison, Program Director for the Pacific Institute. “‘At the Crest of a Wave’ can help corporations design and implement a comprehensive approach to managing water risks and opportunities.”Click here to access At the Crest of a Wave(PDF).

Water Trends Impact Business


PGleickThe August ruling by a federal judge to curtail the amount of water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in order to save the endangered delta smelt has already spawned the predictable cries of economic collapse, unprecedented water rationing, and impending doom.While the delta decision acknowledges that we have run up against the limits of our water supplies, it is not a surprise, nor does it have to be a disaster. To read Gleick’s commentary, which originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, click here.

 Turning the Delta Ruling Into Opportunity
Gleick Comments on Delta Decision


Institute Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Marks Generation of Successes


Anniverary logoWine, words of praise, and jazz filled the Oakland Museum of California last Thursday as over 180 people gathered to celebrate the Pacific Institute’s 20th Anniversary.

In addition to food and drink, the event included access to the Museum’s exhibit The Edge: Where California Culture, Critters, and Environment Collide, a water taste test, and music provided by Sonoma County’s In Black.

The evening also featured a short program featuring Gigi Coe, Institute Board Chair, Margaret Gordon, Co-director and Co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, representatives from Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Mayor Ron Dellus, and Peter Gleick, Institute President and Co-founder.

Many noteworthy individuals sent their congratulations. “Your contributions have been superb, and the strength of  your analysis and advocacy continue to impress,” wrote Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation.

“From Oakland to the United Nations, your efforts have been an immense benefit to the peoples of the world,” wrote Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “On behalf of all Californians, I thank you for your tremendous accomplishments and wish you even greater successes over the next twenty years.”


In Brief

Prakash, Gordon Present to Society of Environmental Journalists
Oakland, Calif.
On Sept. 6, Swati Prakash and Margaret Gordon addressed 40 members of the Society of Environmental Journalists during their tour of West Oakland and the Port of Oakland. In addition to participating on a panel, Prakash and Gordon helped lead the tour.

Cohen Participates on Water Panel

Santa Fe, N.M.

Michael Cohen participated on a panel at the Water Education Foundation’s biannual Colorado River Symposium on Sept. 20.

Cooley Discusses Desalination in California
Napa, Calif.
On Sept. 24, Heather Cooley discussed the advantages and disadvantages of seawater desalination at the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy’s Roundtable Conference, which focused on California’s Water Supply – Forging Opportunity in the Face of Crisis.

Prakash Presents at CAPA Annual Conference
San Jose, Calif.
On Oct.1, Swati Prakash presented as part of the “Land Use for the People: Planning for Health and Social Justice in Oakland” panel at the California American Planners Association annual conference. Her presentation can be accessed here (PPT).