Speaking up for Hetch Hetchy Valley

December 2, 2010 § 3 Comments

What do you tell a major, environmentally and socially progressive metropolitan area that drowns Yosemite’s twin valley for its water and electricity?

NBC interview with Restore Hetch Hetchy Board Chair Mark Cederborg and Executive Director Mike Marshall.

Restore Hetch Hetchy!

That’s right, San Francisco gets its water from the Hetch-Hetchy Valley, part of the Yosemite Park System. Legislation was passed that enabled a dam to be built on National Park land early in the 1900s. But San Francisco can manage its water supply without this dam. In the same way that most Angelenos don’t know where their water comes from, or the impact it has on those places, most San Franciscans don’t know their water comes from Hetchy Hetchy either. They don’t know that John Muir’s heart broke when he lost the political battle over the valley, or that today Senator Feinstein could be a game changer for its fate…but isn’t interested. And I’m guessing that most folks in the Bay Area don’t know that when you look at the residential water use outside of San Francisco County (with an admirable per capita consumption rate of 68 gallons per person/day), you find veritable water hogs on a par with or even exceeding Los Angeles, viz. San Bruno: 95.4 gpp/d; Stanford University: 107 gpp/d; Redwood City: 130.5 gpp/d; Palo Alto: 203.8 gpp/d; Menlo Park: 338.9 gpp/d! (Follow this Sierra Club link to page 5 for a list.)

Advocates from Restore Hetch Hetchy came down to LA and brought a film festival together at AFI two weeks ago. They noted that Los Angeles responded to statewide public pressure (and litigation) and pulled together to save Mono Lake, and that we’ve successfully held steady our total water consumption rates despite population growth. Thanks for the nod, Bay Area peeps! They are hoping that Angelenos will take an interest and step up public opinion to remove the dam at Hetch Hetchy – and after being ribbed over the years about how LA is “stealing all the water” how many times? I’m sure we’re willing to oblige for a good cause.

News and Events – 19 April 2010

April 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

Round-up of Creek Freak News:

>In an exclusive, dated April 1st 2010, the L.A. Eastside blog reports on a highly secretive plan underway for the Army Corps of Engineers to radically alter the course of the Los Angeles River. The project will once-and-for-all settle the question of whether Echo Park is located in L.A.’s “eastside.”  

>The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports on weed abatement and progress on the new 24-acre San Gabriel River park at the Duck Farm property – along the 605 Freeway between the 10 Freeway and 60 Freeways – across the river from South El Monte.  

>Harvesting rainwater is happening all over. Read accounts by Sherri Akers and Andy Lipkis about their home rainwater harvesting experiences. Did you know that rainwater makes for better homebrew beer, too?

Historic Creeks of San Francisco - via SF Streetsblog and the Oakland Museum of California

>San Francisco Streetsblog ran an excellent three-part series (links: one, two, three) on daylighting urban creeks, focused on quite a bit of the history of what’s been done in the bay area, and throughout the world. It also covers some exciting daylighting projects underway and proposed for San Francisco. Maybe L.A. Streetsblog (one of my favorite local blogs) will do some coverage here too? 

>Los Angeles State Historic Park hosted an Earth Day tree planting last Saturday (s0rry I didn’t get to promoting this event in advance.) The planting plans look extensive – focused at the north end of the park. Overall, though, it seems like we’re enhancing the temporary park and retreating from the bigger master planning process – on hold due to state budget crises. Maybe that’s a good thing, for now?

>Bid for your chance to have lunch with movie star Daphne Zuniga and support the cause of the Los Angeles River Revitalizaion Corportation (RRC.)

> We’ve added two new creeky blogs to our blogroll. Check out Peter Bennet’s photography (which we’ve run before) at Citizen of the Planet, and track the Friends of Ballona Wetlands via their new Ballona Blog

>The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is honoring me, Joe Linton, one-third of L.A. Creek Freak, with its Green Leadership Award. They’re also honoring the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council for work on their Elmer Avenue watershed management project in Sun Valley (which we’ll cover one of these days.) Read the county’s press release, and if you want, come the supervisor’s meeting tomorrow morning where they’ll be giving out the awards.

Upcoming Events of Interest to Creek Freaks:

>Urban Photo Adventures photographer Ken Haber’s L.A. River photos are featured in the Annenberg Space for Photography’s exhbition Water: Our Thirsty World – open now through June 13th.

>The Army Corps of Engineers is hosting a community input workshop this Saturday April 24th for feedback on future plans for habitat and recreation in the Sepulveda Basin. The meeting will be from 10am to 12:30pm at the Sepulveda Garden Center at 16633 Magnolia Blvd. in Encino 91406.

>The L.A. River boating expedition documentary Rock the Boat will screen at Los Angeles Eco-Village on Saturday May 8th 2010. Basic info here, more details coming soon.

>Friends of the Los Angeles River’s annual Great Los Angeles River Clean-up takes place Saturday May 8th!

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