Native Landscaping Prepares Businesses for Drought or Drench

California’s unprecedented drought has motivated many businesses and homeowners to rethink their gardens, replacing thirsty lawns with beautiful native plants, and other smart landscape designs more attune to our arid climate. These changes have helped California’s urban residents slash outdoor water use, provide habitat for pollinators, and reduce overall urban water consumption by up to 31% statewide. The benefits of native and smart outdoor landscaping, however, won’t stop with the rain.

As the seasons change and El Niño rains set in, the same smart outdoor landscapes that helped Californians weather the summer in style will go to work filtering and slowing the flow of rainwater. Heavy rains will bring short-term drought relief, but they also wash pollutants from land into our rivers and ocean. Hard surfaces like concrete prevent rain from seeping into the ground where it can recharge our aquifers. Garden features like basins and bioswales help clean stormwater and allow it to soak into the ground. Rain barrels and cisterns also reduce polluted runoff, and capture water for later use.

To promote smart landscapes that work for clean water rain or shine California Coastkeeper Alliance and the Blue Business Council are teaming up with 1% for the Planet to launch the #Drought2Drench campaign. The campaign will showcase plants and garden features that help to capture and clean stormwater. Businesses like Healdsburg SHED, with a savvy rain garden attached to a creek, are helping demonstrate that investing in water wise gardens pay year-round dividends.

California Preparing for King Tides

This holiday season some of the year’s highest tides will hit California shorelines, providing a glimpse of what the state can expect as sea-level rises. These ultra-high or “king tides” will occur on November 24-25, December 22-24, and January 21-12. California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) is a organizing partner of the California King Tides Initiative to help educate state decision-makers and the general public about sea level rise. Building on six seasons of sea-level rise outreach, the Project utilizes citizen scientists, including students and local residents, to photograph these ultra-high tides, which highlight the way homes, harbors, and other infrastructure, as well as beaches, wetlands, and public access to the coast may be affected by sea level rise in the future. Municipal officials and climate change researchers use these images to validate sea level rise models and to build a hyperlocal catalogue of flood vulnerability data for use in community planning projects.

Along with educating the public about rising tides, CCKA also provides legal expertise to the California Coastal Commission on its newly adopted Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance. The Guidance predicts up to 66 inches of rise by 2100 in some parts of the state. The guidance is designed to assist local planners and others in addressing sea-level rise in Commission planning efforts. CCKA is advocating for more emphasis on nature-based strategies like wetland buffers and "living shorelines" that involve replanting coastal habitat.

Watch the King Tides video podcast here.

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  • Help Channelkeeper Document King Tides

    To document the potential impacts of rising sea levels, our Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is calling on citizens to take king tides photos during upcoming exceptionally high winter tides. Photographing the phenomenon, as part of the California King Tides Initiative, helps catalog coastal areas vulnerable to sea level rise, and promotes climate change mitigation and adaptation. King tides are expected this November 24-26, December 22-24, and January 21-22. Click here for more information on how to participate.

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  • Klamath Riverkeeper Takes Action Against Pipeline

    Klamath River keeper has launched an online petition to urge decision-makers to block approval for a 230-mile fracked gas pipeline crossing under the Klamath River, which you can read and sign here. Together with activists from the Hoopa, Yurok and Karuk Tribes, our Klamath Riverkeeper joined to protest against the Jordan Cove Energy Project, which would include the fracking pipeline, with an additional 400 stream crossings along its route.

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  • CCKA Welcomes New LA Waterkeeper

    undefinedCalifornia Coastkeeper Alliance is proud to announce Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s new Executive Director Bruce Reznik. A Los Angeles native, Reznik brings twenty years of experience in the environmental arena, including 11 successful years at our San Diego Coastkeeper. Under his direction, SD Coastkeeper grew into the region’s largest and most effective voice for clean water. CCKA is excited to support Reznik and Los Angeles Waterkeeper efforts to ensure that all Angelenos enjoy safe, healthy waterways. Welcome back!    

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