atmospheric river

The Beauty of an Atmospheric River

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The forecast calls for big rain this weekend from an “atmospheric river,” a plume of moisture stretching thousands of miles across the Pacific and splashing onto land right smack on the Northern California coast.

The Napa River Through Time

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There’s a lot more to the Napa Valley than wineries and fancy food. Look closely and the landscape reveals clues to a past full of greater ecological complexity, from beaver ponds to vast freshwater marshes. New research into that history may point the way to a more biodiverse future.

Bringing Light to Dragonfly Creek

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Workers at the Presidio are working to restore a stretch of creek that’s been buried for nearly a century. Soon enough, Dragonfly Creek should, once again, be alive with its namesake insects.

Making up for a Bigger Dam at Los Vaqueros

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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.

Road vs. Stream in Niles Canyon

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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.

The Rainy Day Barrel Contest

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With a few good storms already this fall, we have some reason to hope for good rains this season. That will be good news for salmon, and good news for the young rain harvesters at work in Marin County, where the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network is putting on a rainwater harvesting and community art contest.

Alameda Creek Dam Policies Could Decide Frogs’ Future

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Sarah Kupferberg, a research scientist at UC Berkeley, is fascinated by foothill yellow-legged frogs, once common but now scarce in Alameda Creek. The SF Public Utilities Commission is rebuilding the Calavares Dam, and the way that dam gets managed may well determine the fate of these rare frogs.