August 2008   



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The freshwater crisis is a global problem that to be solved will require a truly global approach. In an effort to unite and guide those working for the proper use and stewardship of our freshwater resources, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Pacific Institute, and the Water Stewardship Initiative (WSI) have combined efforts to create the Alliance for Water Stewardship–an entity that will facilitate a collaborated and unified approach to solving freshwater sustainability problems.

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Visit Circle of Blue’s WaterNews desk. From breaking headlines and the latest research to emerging trends and success stories and challenges, WaterNews is the go-to source for comprehensive, engaging freshwater coverage.

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 Community Rallies Port for Good Jobs and Clean Air

Port’s Broken Trucking Industry Impacts Oakland




The Oakland-based Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports held a march and rally on July 22 Rally Crowdto draw attention to the broken Port of Oakland trucking industry–an industry that has old, dirty trucks moving cargo to and from the Port and that creates poor-quality, low-wage jobs for Port truck drivers.

More than 1,000 labor leaders, port drivers, environmentalists, clergy, and concerned community members participated, urging the Port of Oakland to create good jobs and clean air by developing concession agreements with truck companies, requiring clean trucks, and providing quality jobs for employee drivers.

The Pacific Institute’s Swati Prakash, who sits on the Steering Committee of the Coalition, marched at the head of the rally and later introduced Port Commissioner Victor Uno.

Rally speakers included Attorney General Jerry Brown, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Teamsters General President James Hoffa, and Port Commissioner and West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project Co-director Margaret Gordon.

Click here for more information on the health impacts of frieght transport.

(Photo credit: Brooke Anderson)







 Salton Sea Restoration Bill Reaches Assembly
Bill Aims to Set Sea on Road to Recovery


Having passed a key legislative committee last Thursday, a bill that would allow spending $47 million on much-needed restoration efforts for the Salton Sea will be heard before the full Assembly this week.

SB 187, if enacted, would jump-start Phase I of the state’s proposed restoration plan­-action that is widely supported by farmers, water agencies, local governments, and environmentalists to address the public health and ecological crises developing around south-eastern California’s long-neglected Salton Sea.

The shrinking of the Salton Sea, which is home to over 400 bird species, not only threatens local ecosystems and bird migration, but exposes the seabed, which can create dust storms that would severely threaten public health.

“The legislature should enact SB 187 and set the Sea on the road to recovery, protecting public health and enabling stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and get to work on resolving the Sea’s long-term future,” said Michael Cohen, Pacific Institute senior research associate and member of the Salton Sea Coalition.

Click here for more information on the Salton Sea.





Richmond, San Pablo Parks Found Neglected

Richmond, San Pablo Parks Found Neglected


This past month, local youth surveyed park conditions in all of the 57 parks in San Pablo, Richmond, and North Richmond and found that poor maintenance, old equipment, lack of sufficient infrastructure, and litter plague parks throughout West County.

The youth, aged 15-22, who were part of RichmondWORKS Summer Youth Employment Programs, were trained to audit the parks by the Pacific Institute and the Neighborhood House of North Richmond.Park Survey

A part of the Pacific Institute’s West County Indicator’s Project, the survey results will be used to advocate for park improvements in low-income areas. Students will collect and use data to analyze and present factual assessment of their communities’ needs to Parks and Recreation, City Councils, Neighborhood Councils, and more.

For more information on the Institute’s Indicator Projects, click here.

Related News





 Institute to Release New Agricultural Analysis

Report to Focus on Cal. Agricultural Water Use


Next month, the Pacific Institute will release a report that explores California’s potential for agricultural water conservation and efficiency, with a special focus on reducing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta withdrawals.

If you would like to recieve an electronic version of the report upon release, email Courtney Smith.


In Brief

Prakash Participates on National Port Leadership Summit Panels
Institute Program Director Swati Prakash spoke on two panels at a national leadership summit organized by the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports. The summit brought together the labor, community, interfaith, and environmental organizations that comprise the local coalitions working for similar clean truck and good job standards in five Port communities across the nation: southern California, Seattle/Tacoma, New Jersey/New York, Miami, and Oakland. Prakash spoke on the plenary panel “Making Labor and Environmental Justice Coalitions Work” and facilitated a workshop discussion on “Environmental Justice Organizing.”

Morrison Speaks on Water Stewardship in Private SectorJason Morrison presentation
Jason Morrison, director of the Institute’s Globalization Program, provided a keynote address entitled “Water Stewardship in the Private Sector: Challenges and Practices” at the water symposium hosted by Georgia State University’s Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility. Held July 17 at the Atlanta Aquarium and attended by 100 representatives of the Atlanta business community, the symposium was part a summer executive series focusing on sustainability issues.

Cooley Participates in CUWC Steering Committee Retreat
Institute Senior Research Associate Heather Cooley participated in the California Urban Water Conservation Council Steering Committee Retreat in Sacramento on August 6 and 7. The Council was created to increase efficient water use statewide through partnerships among urban water agencies, public interest organizations, and private entities.

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