environment

Pachama, a Bay Area startup, is using technology to study forests and harness the carbon-consuming power of trees. (Courtesy Agustina Perretta/Pachama)

Local startups remove carbon from the atmosphere—but is it an effective approach?

‘The key is to decarbonize as quickly as possible’

  • Sep 22, 2021

 

The Sunset Boulevard Greenway is part of The City’s efforts to capture 1 billion gallons of stormwater using green infrastructure by the year 2050.	(Courtesy Vincent Mazzaferro/SFPUC)

Sunset Boulevard Greenway Project uses gardens to help capture stormwater

Effort exemplifies sustainable and responsible practices

 

A U.S. Department of Agriculture field manager walks along the parched ground in a pomegranate orchard at Wolfskill Experimental Orchards near Davis. (Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters)

How science hopes to transform California crops to cope with drought

The search is on for less-thirsty trees

  • Sep 15, 2021

 

It’s not uncommon to find a plastic tampon applicator washed up on the beach. <ins>(Courtesy Eva Holman)</ins>
It’s not uncommon to find a plastic tampon applicator washed up on the beach. <ins>(Courtesy Eva Holman)</ins>
Environmental groups, local governments, waste haulers and recyclers are supporting a bill that would revamp the state’s ineffective recycling system. (Jason Finn/Alamy Stock/New York Times)

California aims to ban recycling symbols on things that aren’t recyclable

‘It’s a basic truth-in-advertising concept’

  • Sep 9, 2021
Environmental groups, local governments, waste haulers and recyclers are supporting a bill that would revamp the state’s ineffective recycling system. (Jason Finn/Alamy Stock/New York Times)
A pod of three bottlenose dolphins breach the water’s surface in San Francisco Bay near the Richmond San Rafael Bridge in January 2019. (Courtesy Bill Keener/The Marine Mammal Center)

SF’s increasing porpoises, whales demonstrate how protections pay off

City should use lessons to address other environmental challenges

A pod of three bottlenose dolphins breach the water’s surface in San Francisco Bay near the Richmond San Rafael Bridge in January 2019. (Courtesy Bill Keener/The Marine Mammal Center)
Lake Tahoe is shrouded by smoke near Tahoe City, as fires this summer continue to plague the Tahoe Basin, at times creating the worst air quality in the nation. (Max Whittaker/New York Times)

Devastating fires could damage Lake Tahoe’s iconic blue waters

By Rachel Becker CalMatters Smoke and ash from wildfires near Lake Tahoe…

  • Aug 31, 2021
Lake Tahoe is shrouded by smoke near Tahoe City, as fires this summer continue to plague the Tahoe Basin, at times creating the worst air quality in the nation. (Max Whittaker/New York Times)
The Sea Change, a catamaran billed as the nation’s first hydrogen ferry, launched in Bellingham, Wash. The vessel will soon be coming to the Bay Area.<ins> (Courtesy All American Marine)</ins>

S.F. will soon roll out nation’s first hydrogen ferry

First of its kind boat will debut here soon

  • Aug 25, 2021
The Sea Change, a catamaran billed as the nation’s first hydrogen ferry, launched in Bellingham, Wash. The vessel will soon be coming to the Bay Area.<ins> (Courtesy All American Marine)</ins>
San Franciscans supporting the “Great Walkway” — who oppose the recent reopening of a portion of the Great Highway to vehicle traffic — rallied on Aug. 15. <ins>(Robyn Purchia/Special to The Examiner)</ins>

MIT study: Closing ‘Great Walkway’ is a mistake

Let’s learn lessons from the pandemic and reclaim our streets from cars

San Franciscans supporting the “Great Walkway” — who oppose the recent reopening of a portion of the Great Highway to vehicle traffic — rallied on Aug. 15. <ins>(Robyn Purchia/Special to The Examiner)</ins>
California lawmakers are considering legalizing human composting; it’s already permitted in Washington, Colorado and Oregon. (Illustration by Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters/iStock)

Dust to dust: Will California lawmakers legalize human composting?

Religious concerns could stall a bill to add an after-death option to burial or cremation

  • Aug 10, 2021
California lawmakers are considering legalizing human composting; it’s already permitted in Washington, Colorado and Oregon. (Illustration by Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters/iStock)
A coalition of community members dedicated to improving The City’s tree canopy recently planted saplings in the Mission. 
Courtesy Ben 
Carlson/Friends of the Urban Forest

Mission residents go out on a limb to welcome 150 new trees

A community greening effort in the Mission is taking root. Last Thursday,…

A coalition of community members dedicated to improving The City’s tree canopy recently planted saplings in the Mission. 
Courtesy Ben 
Carlson/Friends of the Urban Forest
Despite Californians’ efforts to stop using plastic, bags, straws and other items continue to pollute the landscape. (Shutterstock)

Time to dump harmful plastic production

Policymakers, legislators must reduce the product at source

Despite Californians’ efforts to stop using plastic, bags, straws and other items continue to pollute the landscape. (Shutterstock)
Data shows that San Francisco’s Chinatown, which has a largely non-white population, has 5 percent tree cover compared to 32.8 percent in Presidio, where more white people reside and incomes are higher. (Shutterstock)

SF has lost thousands of trees—and it affects communities of color

The hottest day recorded in San Francisco was on Sept. 1, 2017…

Data shows that San Francisco’s Chinatown, which has a largely non-white population, has 5 percent tree cover compared to 32.8 percent in Presidio, where more white people reside and incomes are higher. (Shutterstock)
Owners of Levi’s Plaza on The Embarcadero say gas boilers on the property will be replaced by electric and solar sources in the next few years. (Shutterstock)

Big plans for clean power at Levi’s Plaza

Transition to net zero carbon in step with S.F.’s environmental goals

Owners of Levi’s Plaza on The Embarcadero say gas boilers on the property will be replaced by electric and solar sources in the next few years. (Shutterstock)
Cyclists and pedestrians enjoyed the car-free Great Highway between Sloat Boulevard and Lincoln Way. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner/2020)

Debate over Great Highway’s closure represents a much larger San Francisco problem

Last month, a sign appeared in the window of the popular Outer…

Cyclists and pedestrians enjoyed the car-free Great Highway between Sloat Boulevard and Lincoln Way. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner/2020)
Researchers have identified the microscopic algae, Pseudo-nitzschi, which was responsible for the closure of California’s Dungeness crab season in 2015. (Courtesy C.J. Wingert, San Francisco State University)

A microscopic killer lives in SF’s waters

Researchers find ocean acidification threatens local fisheries

Researchers have identified the microscopic algae, Pseudo-nitzschi, which was responsible for the closure of California’s Dungeness crab season in 2015. (Courtesy C.J. Wingert, San Francisco State University)
International Bird Rescue helped save Bay Area birds that were contaminated by mysterious goo in 2015. <ins>(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)</ins>

International Bird Rescue marks 50 years of wildlife protection

Group established in wake of massive oil spill continues essential rehabilitation, research

International Bird Rescue helped save Bay Area birds that were contaminated by mysterious goo in 2015. <ins>(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)</ins>
San Franciscans mourned the loss of a Monterey Cypress tree in the median along Geary Boulevard that was removed to accommodate a transit project.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

Now is a good time to hug a city tree

Nature shouldn’t be regarded as something separate from humans

San Franciscans mourned the loss of a Monterey Cypress tree in the median along Geary Boulevard that was removed to accommodate a transit project.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
The documentary “Seaspiracy” is an exposé about the fishing industry and a call for veganism. <ins>(Courtesy Ali Tabrizi/Netflix)</ins>

‘Seaspiracy’ worth watching, even if its message needs calibration

Documentary’s view of veganism as a war against capitalism, environmental calamities is jolting

The documentary “Seaspiracy” is an exposé about the fishing industry and a call for veganism. <ins>(Courtesy Ali Tabrizi/Netflix)</ins>
Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite, which supplies water to San Francisco, is among the concerns of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is undergoing a change of leadership. (Courtesy SFPUC)

SFPUC asks irrigation customers to reduce water use by 10 percent amid dry weather

In light of dry weather conditions throughout California, the San Francisco Public…

Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite, which supplies water to San Francisco, is among the concerns of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is undergoing a change of leadership. (Courtesy SFPUC)