About

Writer Aleta George trained as a Jepson Prairie docent in 2009. In addition to writing Bay Nature's Ear to the Ground column, she has written for Smithsonian, High Country News, and the Los Angeles Times.

Contributions

A Helping Hand for Bluebirds

April 03, 2015 by Aleta George

People come out of the woodwork to protect bluebirds.

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The View From the Blind: Hunters Take Aim for Conservation

October 14, 2014 by Aleta George

Nature and culture writer Aleta George takes hunting field trips with a noted conservationists -- and finds an extended series of lessons about the intimate and indelible connection between hunting and conservation.

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First Person: Conservation Action Award Winner Craig Anderson

April 21, 2014 by Aleta George

It's sometimes hard to tell what Craig Anderson loves more: land, people, music, outdoor adventure, or his 29-year-old Toyota pickup. That's because whatever he's doing at any particular moment, he's doing it with great passion, keen intention, and a big heart.

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Song of the Meadowlark in Solano County

January 08, 2013 by Aleta George

The Solano Land Trust's King-Swett Ranches are great destinations for Solano County hiking: amazing views and a sense of seclusion in between Benicia, Vallejo, and Fairfield.

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A docent and a dream at King-Swett Ranches

December 17, 2012 by Aleta George

Docents help bring many Bay Area parks alive to the public. No where is that more true than the King-Swett Ranches outside of Vallejo, where Jim Walsh leads tours into areas otherwise inaccessible to the public.

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Will this year’s good ocean conditions last?

November 15, 2012 by Aleta George

The first thing we heard was the exhalation of the animal,” says marine ecologist Kirsten Lindquist about the blue whale ...

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Bob Berner, Protecting Marin Farms for 28 Years

November 13, 2012 by Aleta George

Bob Berner, the founding director of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, is retiring at the end of 2012, but not before protecting fully half of West Marin's farmland.

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Deciding the Fate of Searsville Dam

November 07, 2012 by Aleta George

San Franciscans voted in a landslide against an effort to study the removal of Hetch Hetchy. A few dozen miles south, at Stanford, another campaign aims to remove the much smaller Searsville Dam, which blocks steelhead spawning while also creating wetland habitat.

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Fight for Daly City Dunes

October 26, 2012 by Aleta George

Remnant dunes in Daly City hint at the long-lost sands of San Francisco. And the folks at San Bruno Mountain Watch would like to keep it that way, despite proposals to build houses here.

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Volunteers Stick to it at Suisun Marsh

October 12, 2012 by Aleta George

On a 21-foot aluminum boat floating in Suisun Marsh, Amanda Schwabe heaves up the otter trawl as Cesar Morales coils ...

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Tesla: Offroad expansion, park, or both?

July 01, 2012 by Aleta George

The latest on a long-running debate over a possible expansion of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area into a valley near Livermore.

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River Otters on the Rebound

July 01, 2012 by Aleta George

Hungry river otters are popping up around the Bay Area in places where they haven't been seen in a while. Have fun watching them, but guard your chickens!

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Happy Plants on New Presidio Dunes

July 01, 2012 by Aleta George

Recent dune restoration at the southwestern edge of the Presidio has worked wonders for native plants.

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First-ever Solano County flora in the works

July 01, 2012 by Aleta George

Two local botanists are at work on a multi-year project to create the first-ever Solano County flora -- a record of all the native plants that grow there.

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Alameda Terns Finally Get A Refuge

July 01, 2012 by Aleta George

After years of discussion, agitation, and debate, a final deal is in the works to make a permanent Alameda Wildlife Refuge for the endangered California least terns that nest on a former naval base.

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Cargo Ships Keep Bringing Invasives to the Bay

June 07, 2012 by Aleta George

A recent study has proven the obvious: San Francisco Bay is a major conduit for invasive species. And the biggest culprit? Cargo ships and their ballast water. Environmentalists are now pushing for new treatment requirements to stem the tide of alien species.

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All Hail Hulet Hornbeck

May 09, 2012 by Aleta George

The Bay Area lost a giant of park-building with the passing of Hulet Hornbeck, who presided over the creation of 49,000 acres of parkland at the East Bay Regional Park District.

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Wanted: Sand for Endangered Butterfly

May 03, 2012 by Aleta George

The imperiled Lange’s metalmark butterfly lives only on a small stretch of remnant dunes near Antioch. Managers of the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge hope to create precious new habitat, while a captive-breeding program keeps the butterflies just short of extinction.

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River of Words, Home to Roost at Saint Mary’s

April 16, 2012 by Aleta George

Poet Robert Hass awakened a lifelong love of nature while a student at Saint Mary’s College. Now, River of Words, the art and poetry program he cofounded, has found a home at the college.

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Good News for the Carmel River

April 09, 2012 by Aleta George

After 130 years of tough times, the Carmel River is finally catching a break from a few big restoration projects.

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Taking Care of Baby Salmon

January 23, 2012 by Aleta George

Proponents of the Yolo Bypass Floodplain Fishery Enhancement Project are starting small but thinking big. During the first year of the pilot project, scientists will test whether raising juvenile chinook salmon on flooded rice fields in the Yolo Bypass will help the fish get stronger and bigger before being flushed down to San Francisco Bay and out to the Pacific.

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Deadline Looms for Solano’s Rockville Trails

January 10, 2012 by Aleta George

With the clock ticking toward a February deadline, the nonprofit Solano Land Trust is working to purchase 1,500 acres of land known as Rockville Trails in Solano County. Recently, a lawsuit put a stop to development plans and allowed the land trust to buy 330 acres of the property, with an option to purchase the remaining 1,170 acres for $15.5 million by February 28, 2012.

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Bay Area Conservancy Turns 15, but Running Out of Funds

January 01, 2012 by Aleta George

The Bay Area program of the California Coastal Conservancy has been protecting critical open space landscapes and wetlands around the region for 15 years now. However, the program's anniversary is bittersweet: The sense of accomplishment from having played a central role in conserving 80,500 acres of valuable habitats and recreational open space is tempered by the knowledge that the program could soon run out of money.

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Containing an Invasive Weed at Thornewood Preserve

January 01, 2012 by Aleta George

Thornewood Open Space Preserve above the town of Woodside isn't easy to find--unless you're a weed. This area is the only site in California where the plant has been found, but this invasive perennial bunchgrass native to Eurasia and North Africa has infested 10,000 acres in Oregon. A project from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District aims to make sure that doesn’t happen here.

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Killer Algae on Sonoma Coast

January 01, 2012 by Aleta George

In late August, environmental scientist Laura Rogers-Bennett was driving back to Bodega Bay after conducting ocean surveys in Mendocino when she saw "dark-coffee-colored water" north of Salt Point State Park. Within days, dead sea stars, abalones, urchins, and chitons were piling up on area beaches.

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Remembering David Yearsley, Champion of the Petaluma River

January 01, 2012 by Aleta George

Bay Nature mourns the untimely passing of David Yearsley, the founder and executive director of the Friends of the Petaluma River, in September 2011.

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Bay Area Nature 100 Years Ago, Through the Eyes of Painter William Keith

October 17, 2011 by Aleta George

The Saint Mary's College Museum of Art is honoring California landscape painter William Keith a century after his death with 150 paintings from the college's permanent collection. "The Comprehensive Keith: A Centennial Tribute," on view through December 18, 2011, includes dozens of Bay Area views, from Pacheco Pass to San Anselmo. Some are startlingly familiar. Others are lost to roads and subdivisions. All will help you see local nature with new eyes.

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In Half Moon Bay, Three More Miles for Coastal Trail

October 01, 2011 by Aleta George

The Peninsula Open Space Trust has opened three more miles of the California Coastal Trail, which someday may run the entire 1,200-mile length of the coast. For now, there’s a great hike to be had between ocean cliffs and farm fields south of Half Moon Bay.

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Marsh Restoration Running Aground Under Power Lines

October 01, 2011 by Aleta George

A substantial wetlands restoration project over at Hill Slough in Solano County is the latest such effort to clash with federal regulations about power lines and sailboats.

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State of the Birds: People Are a Threat, and Promise

October 01, 2011 by Aleta George

A new report on the state of bird populations shows mixed results for Bay Area populations. People continue to be the biggest threat, with habitat loss and other pressures, and the biggest hope, in the form of major and minor restoration projects all around the Bay.

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Trawling for Plastic in SF Bay

October 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Researchers plan to head out this winter looking for micro-plastic in the Bay. Their first-ever trawl last winter turned up concentrations that actually weren’t as bad as some recorded in other waterways. But that might just mean we’re sending more plastic to the Pacific.

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A Container Caper in Monterey Bay

October 01, 2011 by Aleta George

On a stormy winter night in 2004, as the merchant ship Med Taipei plowed southbound off the coast of Monterey in 20- to 30-foot swells, 15 shipping containers slid into the sea. Such occurrences aren't especially newsworthy--an estimated 10,000 containers are lost every year worldwide. But these containers are now part of an important research project.

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Big Solar Coming to East Bay?

October 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Alameda County is facing tough decisions that have until now been mostly debated in distant desert landscapes. The county is developing new regulations covering large-scale solar. Native plant advocates and farmers and ranchers aim to make sure the policies protect sensitive habitats and high-value ag lands.

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First Day of Ocean Research Tour Finds Red Tide Rather Than Whales

September 27, 2011 by Aleta George

Marine scientists gathering data off the Golden Gate have zeroed in on a number of hotspots of biodiversity, including transects north and south of the Farallon Islands. Turns out, though, that even hot spots aren't so hot when a toxic red tide rolls in.

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Jenner Headlands to be Run by Land Trusts

July 01, 2011 by Aleta George

When the Sonoma Land Trust acquired the Jenner Headlands, the best guess was that it would become a state park. Instead, the land trust will work with the Southern California-based Wildlands Conservancy to manage the large parcel, which includes a spot hawk watchers have staked out as a new “Hawk Hill north.”

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Living Landscape Lives Large in South Bay

July 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Even with state park closure looming, South Bay land trusts and philanthropists are thinking big with a major new initiative to protect 80,000 acres from San Benito County to San Francisco.

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Private Land, Public Access in Sonoma County

July 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Sonoma County’s 832-acre Bohemia Ranch has been eyed as a potential public park since the 1990s. With park funding hard to find, it seemed like access was a long way off until the land’s owners decided to partner with the nonprofit LandPaths to open the land to the public.

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Restoring Aramburu Island

July 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Aramburu Island sounds like it might be in the South Pacific, and until recently, it was about as noticed locally as some distant atoll. But then in 2007, in the wake of an oil spill, folks from Tiburon Audubon discovered that this humble island in Richardson Bay was a major refuge for injured birds. Now, they’re hoping to make it good habitat for healthy birds and other wildlife too.

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Watch Out for Invading Sea Lavender

July 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Advocates for native plants and wetlands say now is the time to worry about Algerian sea lavender, an invasive plant that barely has a toehold at the moment. If it spreads, it could become a major problem. But for now, it’s a test case for the Bay Area Early Detection Network, which aims to help eradicate invasives before they become intractable.

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In with the Oaks at Bouverie Preserve

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

When Caltrans had to make good for destroying some woodlands along a road, they wanted to plant a few trees at Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen. Preserve staff suggested a holistic restoration instead, and now high school students are pitching in.

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Making up for a Bigger Dam at Los Vaqueros

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

The Contra Costa Water District is enlarging Los Vaqueros Reservoir, inundating 340 acres of land that was supposed to be permanently protected. To make up for it, they’re going on a land-buying spree.

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Restoration at Redwood Park in Los Altos

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Redwood Grove Park near downtown Los Altos has the fingerprints (and footprints) of volunteers all over it. Palo Alto-based nonprofit Acterra is leading restoration at this 5.9-acre park.

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SF Bay in Goods Hands (Thousands of Them)

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

In December 2010, Kay Kerr died at 99 years old. Kerr, along with Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick, founded the Save San Francisco Bay Association. Now, Save the Bay is turning 50 and turning out as many volunteers as ever. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory marks 30 years of its critical work banding and studying birds.

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The Laguna Gets Its Due

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

On this year's World Wetlands Day 2011, Sonoma County's Laguna de Santa Rosa officially became a Wetland of International Importance according to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

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Vernal Splendor

April 01, 2011 by Aleta George

The vernal pools of Jepson Prairie are transformed by winter rains and spring blooms: The dry plain gives way to muddy ponds, then concentric rings of colorful wildflowers. Don’t miss the show!

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Geography of Hope Returns

January 01, 2011 by Aleta George

After a one-year hiatus, the organizers behind the popular Geography of Hope conference in Point Reyes Station are back with a new topic. Event organizers honored Wallace Stegner at the inaugural conference in 2008 and celebrated sustainable farming in 2009. This year's theme will be "Reflections on Water."

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Help for the Sparrows of Golden Gate Park

January 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Every September, people flock to Golden Gate Park's Sharon Meadow to enjoy the arias sung during Opera in the Park. But there is another free concert at the other end of the park: the song of the Nuttall's white-crowned sparrow. A new restoration project aims to help the sparrows sing a bit louder.

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In Search of Mountain Plovers

January 01, 2011 by Aleta George

Ninety percent of the world population of 8,000 to 10,000 mountain plovers winter in California after traveling from their breeding grounds in Montana and Colorado. Mountain plovers, now listed as one of California's species of greatest concern, numbered around 300,000 in 1975.

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Raptors and Windmills in an Era of Climate Action

January 01, 2011 by Aleta George

In November, California voters decisively defeated Proposition 23, a measure that would have suspended our landmark law to curb greenhouse gas emissions. That was a genuine victory for the environment, but not an uncomplicated one. For better and worse, it likely means more wind turbines. And that means more dead raptors.

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Road vs. Stream in Niles Canyon

January 01, 2011 by Aleta George

State Route 84 twists and turns along Alameda Creek through Niles Canyon between Fremont and Sunol. An effort by Caltrans to make the road safer has hit a roadblock: Environmental groups, local citizens, and the City of Fremont claim that widening and straightening the road will simply encourage drivers to go faster while harming a creek that has been the focus of steelhead trout restoration efforts.

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“New Farm” Threatens Tassajara Valley

October 01, 2010 by Aleta George

In San Ramon, a November ballot measure related to a proposed housing development in the Tassajara Valley threatens open space and San Ramon’s urban limit line. Meanwhile, voters in Petaluma and Santa Rosa will have a chance to strengthen their cities’ limits on urban sprawl.

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Fall Hawk Watch, Open During Construction

October 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Every year for more than a quarter century, the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory has presided over fall hawk watch in the Marin Headlands, when thousands of raptors migrate by, and thousands of people gather to watch. This year, road construction has the hawk watchers shifting slightly, but still out in force.

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New Efforts to Track and Predict Harmful Marine Algae

October 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Nearly every year for a decade, scientists have detected harmful algae blooms in Monterey Bay. These threaten birds and marine mammals alike, and now researchers have funding to develop new methods of predicting the outbreaks.

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Prop 21 Promises New Day for State Parks

October 01, 2010 by Aleta George

On November 2, voters will decide if California should do something it has never done before: provide dedicated funding for its state parks. Beyond curing the parks’ seemingly endless maintenance backlog, the new funding promises increased public access and educational programs.

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Saving the Bay’s Sharks

October 01, 2010 by Aleta George

October 2010 is the second-annual Sharktoberfest--time to celebrate and learn about these critical predators of the Bay: sevengill cowsharks, leopard sharks, spiny dogfish, and more.

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Best of Times, Worst of Times for Contra Costa Preservation

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

The new Habitat Conservation Plan in East Contra Costa County has been short on money, but land prices almost couldn’t be better.

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Jack Laws on Loving Nature

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Naturalist and artist Jack Laws throws his whole body and soul into inspiring people to love, and understand, the natural world around them. His field guides are amazing, but have you seen his impersonation of a jumping spider? Not to be missed...

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Tarantula Trekking

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Come fall, the male tarantulas get restless and go looking for a mate. Look carefully, and you just might see some of the action.

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The Long, Slow Spill of the Luckenbach

July 01, 2010 by Aleta George

We don’t even have a word for an oil spill that drags out over five decades, but that’s just what happened with one ship that sank off the Golden Gate. Now, funds are flowing to help mend the damage.

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Counting Butterflies

April 01, 2010 by Aleta George

On June 7, butterfly lovers in San Francisco will be out taking a count, and you can help.

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Gambling on Grass at Point Molate

April 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Native plant advocates charge that the studies done for the proposed casino at Richmond’s Point Molate ignore the site’s rare collection of native grasses.

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Touring Native Gardens

April 01, 2010 by Aleta George

All over the Bay Area in spring, native plant gardeners throw open their yards during several public tours. Chances are, there are some great gardens right near you.

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Open Space Council Turns 20

January 04, 2010 by Aleta George

The Bay Area has dozens of great open space agencies. Two decades ago, during a down economy, they got together to create an Open Space Council. It turned out to be a very good idea indeed.

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Environmental Education Off the Grid

January 01, 2010 by Aleta George

San Francisco’s first fully off-the-grid building comes to Bayview-Hunters Point, thanks to the nonprofit Literacy for Environmental Justice. The new EcoCenter is a working model of sustainability in a neighborhood that knows firsthand the costs of conventional waste management and power generation.

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Getting Closer to the Water in Petaluma

January 01, 2010 by Aleta George

River advocate David Yearsley continues his quest to connect people of all ages to the Petaluma River, now with a Petaluma River Heritage Center that focuses on boating, boatbuilding, and wetland restoration.

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Restoring Two Creeks for Coho

January 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Restoration work along Marin County’s Redwood Creek is making this watershed more habitable for the state's southernmost run of coho salmon, while activists push for new protections in the Lagunitas watershed, home to California's largest remaining runs of these once-plentiful fish.

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Studying Underwater Mountains in Monterey Bay

January 01, 2010 by Aleta George

The remarkable Davidson Sea Mount has gained new protections as part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This and other nearby seamounts attract spectacularly diverse sea life.

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Ballot Measure to Save State Parks

January 01, 2010 by Aleta George

Park advocates aim for a ballot measure in November 2010.

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Cattails: A Wetlands Supermarket

October 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Cattails are hard to miss, yet often dismissed. Whether in solitary clumps in a ditch or spread out in marshy fields, the burnt umber rockets hovering above dark-green blades add texture and familiarity to the landscape. They also turn out to be quite useful, with pollen that can be used as flour and roots that might help wetlands cope with sea level rise.

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Closing the Loop at Carquinez

October 01, 2009 by Aleta George

From the top of Dillon Point in Benicia State Recreation Area, you can trace the route of the Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail, a 50-mile route that will, when finished, ring the strait.

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Land Trusts Face Bondless Future

October 01, 2009 by Aleta George

State budget problems mean that local land trusts are holding onto land they planned to hand over to the state, and facing tough times in the absence of bond funding.

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Local Artists Paint for Diablo

October 01, 2009 by Aleta George

The BayWood artists’ October 2009 show will feature new works of Mount Diablo, and proceeds benefit Save Mount Diablo, which is working to raise funds for a critical new purchase by March 3, 2010.

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No Normal for Coastal Waters

October 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Nesting failures for cormorants on the Farallones and Alcatraz are just the most obvious expression of unprecedented, and confusing, conditions faced by wildlife in the waters off our shores.

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Planning for the Pond Turtle’s Protection

October 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Scientists are working on the first draft of a conservation strategy for California’s only native freshwater turtle, the western pond ...

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Counting Gulls, with Protective Gear

July 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Clad in bike helmets and ratty clothes, staff and volunteers with the San Francisco Bird Observatory brave the South Bay's raucous seagull nesting colonies, where the explosion of breeding gulls threatens to push aside less aggressive species.

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Exotic Jellies in the Bay

July 01, 2009 by Aleta George

On a hot July afternoon last year, UC Davis graduate students Alpa Wintzer and Mariah Meek dipped glass jars and nets into Suisun Slough at Suisun City's public dock in Solano County. They were capturing small gelatinous creatures that look and act like jellyfish. These jelly look-alikes seemed to be everywhere and are beautiful to watch. But they're also a problem...

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New Home for the Marine Mammal Center

July 01, 2009 by Aleta George

The Marine Mammal Center, one of the foremost wildlife rescue organizations on the West Coast, has a new home where you can see a lot more of what the center's staff and volunteers do to care for and study injured and ill seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals.

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Remembering Brian O’Neill

July 01, 2009 by Aleta George

In May 2009, the Bay Area--and the nation--lost one of its most eloquent and effective advocates for open space preservation and access. Brian O'Neill, superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) since 1986, died of complications from heart surgery...

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Seeking Creeks, Confronting Sea Level Rise

July 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Kids take the Creek Seeker Express to Martinez to learn about the creeks that run through our neighborhoods, while a new juried exhibit shows off designers' ideas for confronting sea level rise.

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Development and Open Space at Concord Naval Station

April 01, 2009 by Aleta George

After several years of planning, many hours of meetings, and spirited community involvement, the Concord City Council voted on January ...

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New Marine Life Management and Protections

April 01, 2009 by Aleta George

The Pacific Coast is home to more than 50 species of rockfish, including Pacific snapper. Rockfish and other groundfish were ...

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Protecting Plovers

April 01, 2009 by Aleta George

On a gray September day, I walked north on Ocean Beach from Sloat Boulevard to the Cliff House. It was ...

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Sudden Oak Death Blitz

April 01, 2009 by Aleta George

The deadly plant disease known as sudden oak death (SOD) has spread to 14 coastal counties, and according to UC ...

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Yerba Buena Island Habitat Restoration

April 01, 2009 by Aleta George

In a scorching Indian summer day in 1886, three to four thousand people climbed the steep goat trails to the ...

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A Good Big Year

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

December 31, 2008, marked the end of the 2008 Endangered Species Big Year in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area ...

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Geography of Hope

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

Family farmer David Mas Masumoto likes to start shaping his 3,000 peach and nectarine trees in the fall when the ...

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Jenner Headlands Preserved

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

I’m told that on a clear day you can see as far as Point Reyes and Mount Diablo from Jenner ...

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Kayaks and Breeding Birds at Alcatraz

January 01, 2009 by Aleta George

The nearly vertical cliffs on the western side of Alcatraz Island serve as a nursery for several species of seabirds. ...

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Bay Area Environment on the November Ballot

October 01, 2008 by Aleta George

You can also support our open spaces and natural resources when you vote this November. Residents in Alameda and Contra ...

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License Plates to Support Bay Area Open Space

October 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Now there’s a new way to support wildlife habitat, farmland, and public recreation in the Bay Area. The Nature Within ...

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MALT’s Dolcini Ranch Purchase

October 01, 2008 by Aleta George

In West Marin, the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) has purchased an agricultural conservation easement on the 585-acre Dolcini Ranch, ...

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Mindego Ranch Hikes

October 01, 2008 by Aleta George

On the Ridge Trail at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve near La Honda, face east and you can see from ...

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Point Reyes Mycoblitz

October 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Scientists and fire ecologists will be studying the cause and effects of these fires for years, and that includes taking ...

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Wildfire in California

October 01, 2008 by Aleta George

On the first day of summer, a thunderstorm crackled across much of California. Eight thousand lightning strikes ignited over 2,000 ...

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Greenbelt Alliance Turns 50

July 01, 2008 by Aleta George

The Warm Springs Unit, like many other relatively small protected areas throughout the region, may not look like much compared ...

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Marine Protected Areas

July 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Seaflow would like to see vessel no-traffic zones and ocean noise pollution regulations included in the redesign of the state’s ...

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Mole Crab Decline

July 01, 2008 by Aleta George

On sandy beaches from Alaska to Baja, you’ve likely seen plovers, sanderlings, willets, and other shorebirds foraging for food in ...

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Monterey Birding Festival

July 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Summer in the Bay Area can last well into late September, but by then many birds that overwinter here have ...

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Ocean Noise Pollution

July 01, 2008 by Aleta George

We hadn’t yet reached the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, but we were far enough outside the Golden ...

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Warm Springs Unit Expansion

July 01, 2008 by Aleta George

With no April showers, the largest vernal pool in the Warm Springs Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay ...

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Flocking to the Island of Angels

July 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Cut off from land for thousands of years, the Bay’s largest island is a natural and cultural gem just a ferry ride or paddle away from city life.

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2007-2008 Salmon Decline

April 01, 2008 by Aleta George

During the 2004-2005 winter salmon spawning season in Redwood Creek, which passes through Muir Woods National Monument before reaching the ...

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Concord Naval Weapons Station Redevelopment

April 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Driving east on Highway 4 toward Pittsburg, I notice the man-made dirt bunkers on the right that look like giant ...

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Ecocity World Summit

April 01, 2008 by Aleta George

While development plans for the weapons station are being honed, shaped, and scrutinized, innovative thinkers and planners are crossing the ...

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Invasion of the New Zealand Mud Snail

April 01, 2008 by Aleta George

The scientists and volunteers with the Coho and Steelhead Monitoring Program don’t yet have to deal with New Zealand mud ...

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Proposed State Park Closures

April 01, 2008 by Aleta George

In 1953, Sada Coe gave her family ranch to the public, with the stipulation that it become parkland and that ...

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Allen’s Hummingbirds in Town

January 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Starting in February in coastal areas, keep an eye out for a change in your local hummingbirds. Our resident Anna’s ...

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Martinez Beavers

January 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Standing in the first light of dawn at the corner of Castro and Escobar streets in downtown Martinez, I searched ...

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Plastics in the Ocean

January 01, 2008 by Aleta George

Nurdles bobble but they don’t go down. Nurdles are industrial-grade plastic pellets that get melted to make all manner of ...

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River of Words, 2008

January 01, 2008 by Aleta George

When teacher Linda Cover walks into a classroom, she steps onto fertile soil, knowing that her students have a cumulative ...

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Sudden Oak Death Still With Us

January 01, 2008 by Aleta George

A mountain biker flew down Patrick Ridge in Marin County’s China Camp State Park. He was focusing on the rocky ...

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Drakes Bay Oyster Farm

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In Schooner Bay, Drakes Bay Oyster Farm grows oysters and clams, producing 85 percent of the shellfish raised in Marin ...

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Elfin Butterfly

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

To us, the San Bruno elfin butterfly, with its one-inch wingspan, seems small, but to the ants that protected it ...

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Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Forty miles northwest of San Francisco, the San Andreas Fault slips into the Pacific Ocean, creating Tomales Bay, the outlet ...

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Mercury Clean-Up in San Francisco Bay

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In July, the State Water Resources Control Board approved a plan to clean up mercury in San Francisco Bay, fulfilling ...

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North Richmond Shoreline Academy

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

San Francisco Bay is also home to eelgrass beds, two-thirds of them in the shallow waters off the North Richmond ...

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Artificial Reefs for Oysters

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In our October-December 2004 issue, Bay Nature reported on efforts to restore once-thriving Bay populations of the West Coast oyster, ...

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Bay Area Ridge Trail

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

The Bay Area is home to several regional trails, from the Bay Trail near the water’s edge up to the ...

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Bay Trail Birding, Surf Scoter Decline

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Winter is high time for birding on the Bay, and now the San Francisco Bay Trail has become the area’s ...

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Grunion

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Most summers, cold northerly winds off the Pacific Coast drive warm surface waters away from the shoreline and churn up ...

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Mary Bowerman Memorial

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In 1930, UC Berkeley botany student Mary Bowerman accepted a professor’s assignment to identify all the flowers on Mount Diablo. ...

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Napa Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area Restoration

October 01, 2007 by Aleta George

At the northern edge of San Pablo Bay, a salt marsh harvest mouse hides beneath the protective cover of a ...

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Concord Naval Weapons Station

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

It’s rare for a Bay Area city to be in the position of deciding what to do with a windfall ...

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Dam Removal for Steelhead

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In what ought to be a landmark action to restore steelhead trout runs in the region, two dams are slated ...

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Nature Podcasts

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Those of us behind the technological times may bristle at the convergence of computers and nature. What, you might ask, ...

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Record Spring Rain, 2006

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

All that springtime rain may seem a distant memory now, but the record still holds: San Francisco had the rainiest ...

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San Francisco Natural Areas Program

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program is in the final stages of hammering out a plan to guide the management and ...

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Black Rock Abalone Endangered

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

A favorite food of the southern sea otter is black abalone, a marine mollusk that has historically put down roots ...

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Least Terns at Alameda Naval Air Station

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

In late spring, a thumb-size least tern chick emerges from its egg on Alameda Point. The chick’s eyes are open ...

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Native Patwin Grinding Rocks/Conservation in Solano County

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Two grinding rocks once used by the native Patwin people at Lynch Canyon Open Space in Solano County are perfectly ...

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Otters at Elkhorn Slough

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

At the Moss Landing Marina halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey, I slip into a kayak and paddle toward Elkhorn ...

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Rare Species in Contra Costa County Protected from Development

July 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Across San Pablo Bay, Contra Costa County is also trying to manage growth wisely. The population here is expected to ...

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Farallon Island Fur Seals

April 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Two hundred years ago, the captain of a 280-ton whaling vessel reported seeing a bounty of fur seals on the ...

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Forrest Deaner Native Plant Garden

April 01, 2007 by Aleta George

The newly fledged Forrest Deaner Native Plant Garden in the Benicia State Recreation Area has the distinction of being the ...

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Heron and Egret Atlas for the Bay Area

April 01, 2007 by Aleta George

No matter where you live in the Bay Area, you’ve likely noticed the sinewy, graceful forms of great blue herons ...

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Native Plant Garden Tours

April 01, 2007 by Aleta George

It’s no longer a secret to readers of this magazine that native plant gardens can look as beautiful as those ...

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Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program

April 01, 2007 by Aleta George

From November to February this past winter, biologists scoured lower Russian River tributaries in search of spawning coho salmon. The ...

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A Working Pond for a Working Ranch

April 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Walnut grower Craig McNamara often gets asked about his father, Robert McNamara, former U.S. secretary of defense (1961—68) and World ...

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Ballot Measure Results

January 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Last November, the Bay Area electorate headed to the polls to help decide the fate of several important land-use issues. ...

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Bay Area Migrations

January 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Thanks to our mild climate and productive ecosystems, many species of animals (including people) migrate to and through the Bay ...

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Dredging the Port of Sonoma

January 01, 2007 by Aleta George

At first glance, the wide-open stretch of Highway 37 along San Pablo Bay between Vallejo and Novato may look like ...

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Lake Merritt Improvements

January 01, 2007 by Aleta George

On the first rain-soaked day of the season, I walked around Oakland’s Lake Merritt to try to envision its coming ...

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Lead Poisoning in California Condors

January 01, 2007 by Aleta George

When California condor number 307 saw biologists capturing other condors at Pinnacles National Monument last summer, she apparently spooked and ...

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Purchase of Coast Dairies Land

January 01, 2007 by Aleta George

Over the years, local surfers, picnicking families, and even ravers have used the seven beaches on former dairy farm land ...

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Ballot Initiatives for Open Space

October 01, 2006 by Aleta George

Not so very long ago, two counties on opposite corners of the Bay competed to grow the best stone fruits ...

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Christmas Bird Count

October 01, 2006 by Aleta George

Rain or shine, Bay Area birders participate in their own Christmas tradition when they grab a pair of binoculars and ...

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Delisting of the Brown Pelican

October 01, 2006 by Aleta George

While you’re heading to the polls this November, California brown pelicans will be returning to breeding grounds that range from ...

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The Invasive Yellow Star Thistle

October 01, 2006 by Aleta George

When yellow star thistle hitched a ride to California on alfalfa seed in the mid-1800s, it found fertile soil, a ...

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Deep Water Corals in Monterey Bay

April 01, 2006 by Aleta George

Thriving in cold, dark waters 4,265 feet below sea level, communities of large, ancient, and colorful corals grace the peaks ...

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Environmental Building Boom

April 01, 2006 by Aleta George

The North Bay is having a bit of an environmental building boom. PRBO Conservation Science, the noted research organization based ...

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Jean Siri Memorial

April 01, 2006 by Aleta George

After flying flags at half-mast for 22 days throughout the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), the district’s board members ...

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Sempervirens Fund Purchase

April 01, 2006 by Aleta George

The Bay Area has a rich history of women speaking out to protect lands we know and love. At the ...

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Threatened Steelhead

April 01, 2006 by Aleta George

In late December 2005, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) reaffirmed the threatened status of Central California Coast steelhead trout ...

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Poolside Beauties

April 01, 2006 by Aleta George

Vernal pools are havens for specialized species, including the endangered Contra Costa goldfield and the native solitary bee that pollinates it.

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Altering the ESA

January 01, 2006 by Aleta George

In October 2005 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that, if approved by the Senate and signed into ...

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Breuner Marsh Stewardship

January 01, 2006 by Aleta George

Some people inherit china, but Whitney Dotson has inherited a marsh. He doesn’t actually own Breuner Marsh, the 238-acre tidal ...

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Marin County Nonmotorized Transit Pilot Program

January 01, 2006 by Aleta George

Marin County is already home to many spectacular trails for recreational cyclists, hikers, and walkers, but there’s a new trail ...

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New Golf Course in Menlo Park

January 01, 2006 by Aleta George

After hearing testimony from 89 speakers, bleary-eyed Menlo Park city council members voted 3 to 2 on November 1 to ...

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Restoration of Dutch Slough

January 01, 2006 by Aleta George

In the city of Oakley, Dutch Slough has one foot on the reed-covered banks of the Delta in northeastern Contra ...

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