Audublog

News and notes about birds and conservation in California

California Condor. Photo: Scott Frier/USFWS

Legal trouble arising from Porter Ranch gas leak

Legal troubles are mounting for the utility in charge of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field that has been leaking for the last three-and-a-half months. News agencies are also calling the event the Porter Ranch gas leak, in reference to the nearby housing community. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Los Angeles County officials have charged Southern California Gas Company with misdemeanor charges stemming from the leak, which could result in massive fines for the agency. The California attorney general has also signed on to class a action lawsuit from nearby residents seeking damages. The news comes as representatives of the utility claim that the leak may be stopped in the next few days, which will come as a huge relief to the thousands of nearby residents who have been dislocated because of the spill.

As we reported earlier, the California Air Resources Board estimated in late January that the Aliso Canyon leak had emitted the equivalent of 2.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is more greenhouse gas than 440,000 cars emit in a year. The immediate impact that this will have on birds is unclear. While we know that greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to have significant long-term effects on birds, it is less clear what the pollutants are doing to birds in the here and now.

Another Waterbird Festival for the books
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Another Waterbird Festival for the books

More than 400 bird lovers attended Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary's annual event.

Taking a tour through the new channels in Sonoma Creek Enhancement site

I took a tour of our Sonoma Creek Enhancement Project with Meg Marriott, Refuge Biologist at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It's hard to tell in the video but we saw Marbled Godwits, Willets, and Long-billed Curlews.

Bring your someone special birding
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Bring your someone special birding

Spend your Valentine's Day outdoors with the one you love.

California congressman introduces bill to reduce seabird deaths
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California congressman introduces bill to reduce seabird deaths

Proposed legislation aims to reduce bycatch of critically endangered albatross and petrel species.

Meet Len Blumin
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Meet Len Blumin

The well-respected digiscoper will be leading a trip during Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary's Waterbird Festival.

More herring in the water means more birds

Here's another short clip from San Francisco Bay this weekend. The current herring run is attracting a lot of birds.

Sacramento Bee ed board: "The coastal showdown that no one can win"

Great editorial by the Sacramento Bee editorial board about the ongoing controversy at the California Coastal Commission, where pro-development commissioners are trying to oust the agency's executive director:

"Whether he stays or goes, the relationship between commissioners and staff will be beset with distrust and dysfunction. Anyone with business before the commission will have to factor in the conflict. And any replacement for him will be automatically suspect. At this point, the commissioners could hire Poseidon as executive director, and it would be assumed that he was there to turn Big Sur into the Jersey Shore."

Small fish are a big deal to seabirds

Audubon California's Anna Weinstein talks about protecting the small fish that seabirds need to survive. Your voice can make a difference right now, as fisheries managers are taking comment on new regulations that could go a long way toward protecting the food resources. Speak up today.

Celebrate herring and waterbirds in San Francisco Bay
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Celebrate herring and waterbirds in San Francisco Bay

The water and air was alive with birds at Ferry Point, Pt. Richmond, on the east shore of San Francisco Bay this past Sunday, where Pacific herring had recently spawned. In the coming three weeks, San Francisco Bay herring, its dependent wildlife, and its commercial fisheries will be celebrated in two vibrant, free, family-friendly festivals to take place in Tiburon and Sausalito.

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