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Archive for the ‘Coast Guard’ Category

By John Earl
OC Voice

(Part 1 of a series on desalination)

Poseidon Resources Inc. and the four Huntington Beach city council members who voted in 2006 to approve the company’s request to build a desalination plant in the city’s southeast section promised that the project would be paid for with private funds-at no cost to the city’s taxpayers.

L-R: Huntington Beach Councilmembers Don Hansen, (Mayor) Keith Bohr, Gil Coerper, Cathy Green.

L-R: Huntington Beach Councilmembers Don Hansen, (Mayor) Keith Bohr, Gil Coerper, Cathy Green.

But Poseidon, a multi-national equity investor and developer of privatized water systems, currently controlled by “zombie” bank, Citigroup (which is being bailed out by federal tax funds), could directly and indirectly benefit from $1 billion in public funds, about 70 percent of that courtesy of taxpayers in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties and the rest paid for by taxpayers across America through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed into law recently by President Barack Obama.

The subsidies would also be directed at a nearly identical Poseidon desalination plant in the city of Carlsbad and would help ensure but not guarantee that both plants are cost effective for Poseidon to build and to operate. Under the city approved plan, Poseidon would build the desalination plant in Huntington Beach next to the AES power generating station at Beach and Newland streets. Poseidon’s plant would suck in 127 million gallons of seawater per day through existing AES cooling pipes to create 50 million gallons of per day or 56,000 acre feet of drinking water each year.

Poseidon would sell 3.2 million gallons of converted seawater per day to the city, a small fraction of its total daily water usage from other source, at five percent less than it pays the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) for water. The other 47.8 million gallons per day would go to MWDOC’s member districts at government subsidized prices. Jobs would be created by the building and operation of the plant and the city’s tax base would go up, according to predictions made by Poseidon and city staff. (more…)

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From a press release by the Pacific Institute

IMPACTS OF SEA-LEVEL RISE THREATEN CALIFORNIA COAST:

New Report Assesses Risks to 480,000 People

OAKLAND, CALIF. – March 11, 2009 – In an analysis prepared for three California state agencies, the Pacific Institute estimates that 480,000 people; a wide range of critical infrastructure, such as roads, hospitals, schools, and emergency facilities; vast areas of wetlands and other natural ecosystems; and nearly $100 billion in property along the California coast are at increased risk from flooding from a 1.4-meter

Newport Beach affected areas

Newport Beach affected areas

sea-level rise – if no adaptation actions are taken. Commissioned by the Ocean Protection Council, the Public Interest Research Program of the California Energy Commission, and the California Department of Transportation, this comprehensive assessment of the impacts of sea-level rise puts California in the lead in trying to understand and adapt to the possible consequences of climate change.

Over the past century, mean sea level has risen nearly eight inches at the Golden Gate in San Francisco according to NOAA oceanographers, and under a medium-to-medium-high greenhouse-gas emissions scenario, mean sea level is projected to rise from 1.0 to 1.4 meters (or 4-5 feet) by the year 2100.

The Pacific Institute report, The Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on the California Coast, concludes that sea-level rise will inevitably change the character of the California coast, and that adaptation strategies must be evaluated, tested, and implemented if the risks identified in the report are to be reduced or avoided. (more…)

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By Christine Neilson
Special to the OC Voice

Are Californians desperate enough for oil to overcome their deep-seated aversion to offshore drilling?

Will a new Democratic or Republican president and Congress lift the national moratorium on offshore drilling for oil instituted by former president George R. Bush, Sr., as requested by his son and current president, George W. Bush?

wikipedia.org

OIL SPILL VICTIM: Even during an economic slump Californians care about the environment, according to a survey. Photo: wikipedia.org

California’s offshore oil industry stretches back more than a century. The world’s first offshore well was drilled in 1897 at the end of a wharf in Summerland, just east of Santa Barbara.

The waters between Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands still hold most of California’s operating oil platforms.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service controls oil leases in federal waters, which start 3 miles off the California coast. Most of the state’s known oil fields lie not far from shore, in an arc stretching from Santa Maria to Long Beach.

A 1969 blowout at a rig near Santa Barbara spewed crude oil into the sea, coating or contaminating 30 miles of shoreline. The spill helped forge the modern environmental movement and led to state and federal moratoriums on new offshore drilling.

On Feb. 7, 1990, the steam tanker American Trader spilled an estimated 416,598 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean off of Huntington Beach. (more…)

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By John Earl and Lisa Wells
OC Voice

“The last thing George said to me, ‘Rock,’ he said, ‘Sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.'” Ronald Reagan speaking in the 1940 movie “Knute Rockne, All American.”

Ronald Reagan as the Gipper

Ronald Reagan as the Gipper

In 1971, California Gov. Ronald Reagan dedicated 3,000-acres of land belonging to the U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton as a nature preserve known now as San Onofre State Park. Speaking like a Native American, Reagan referred to the intrinsic value of the land. “One of the greatest legacies we can leave to future generations is the heritage of our land,” he said, “But unless we can preserve and protect the unspoiled areas which God has given us, we will have nothing to leave them.”

What Reagan left us is now the 5th most visited park within the the state’s 278-park system. Besides boasting the cleanest watershed in the region, it also houses endangered species like the Pacific pocket mouse, the arroyo toad, the southern steelhead trout, the California gnatcatcher, the tidewater goby and the least Bell’s vireo as well as the archaeological site, Panhe, a 4,000-year-old Juaneño Indian village. Popular campgrounds and world-renowned surfing spots such as Trestles are also part of San Onofre’s appeal.

But like the “Crying Indian” in the 1971 television commercial asking the public to stop pollution, Reagan might also shed a tear if he knew what was happening at his cherished park. (more…)

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Coast Watch

By Serge Dedina
OC Voice Columnist

California offshore oil rig

California offshore oil rig

On Jan. 29, 1969, a Union Oil platform located 6 miles off of the coast of Santa Barbara experienced a major blowout. Over 3.6 million gallons of crude oil leaked into the ocean over an 11-day period resulting in an 800-square mile oil slick and devastating more than 35 miles of coastline from Rincon to Goleta. The disaster, one of the worst in U.S. history, resulted in the deaths of thousands of sea birds and marine mammals.

The Santa Barbara oil spill was so devastating and its impact so far and wide along what is considered one of the world’s most beautiful and economically valuable coastlines, that President Richard Nixon declared that, “The Santa Barbara incident has, frankly, touched the conscience of the American people.”

The public response to the disaster was immediate and overwhelming. Thousands of volunteers, surfers, society matrons, students and people from every walk of life helped clean up oil-slickened beaches and rescue injured sea birds and marine mammals. (more…)

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By Serge Dedina
Special to the OC Voice

Abuelita,” the eager grom asked his gray-haired grandmother as they saw around the campfire at San Mateo Campground after a long day surfing a late-season southern hemi at Uppers. “Tell me again about how you saved Trestles. Tell me about Big Wednesday.”

The abuelita smiled. She could still see the thousands of people at Wyland Hall. Still feel the tug of the hand of her youngest daughter as they watched the crowd with awe. She could still hear the excited voices and screams of joy as the Coastal Commissioners overwhelmingly voted to protect San Onofre State Beach Park and Trestles. It was one of the best days of her long and joy-filled life.

In the annals of surfing history, there has never been another day quite like Feb. 6, 2008. That is the day when more than 3,000 surfing pioneers, media celebrities, politicians, bureaucrats, biologists, bird-lovers, Native Americans, surf-moms, grommets, pro-surfers, surf industry CEOs and abuelitas from East L.A. Came together at Wyland Hall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to stop what Mark Massara, the Sierra Club’s Coastal Program Director, calls “the devil child of all coastal development projects.” (more…)

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By Dr. Amer El-Ahraf
Special to the OC Voice

Amid the controversial problem of global warming and its potential impact on human health, there is a rush to fix the blame-either on human activities or natural weather cycles. But the issue is too important for that. We must develop rational strategies to fix the problem rather than fixing the blame.

Over  600 international scientists conclude that human activities that create carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and chlorofluorocarbons-known as greenhouse gasses-are likely to cause an atypical increase in Earth’s temperature, which, in turn, creates a sequence of ecological changes that are harmful to human health and wellbeing.

A scientific study by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that the Earth’s average surface temperature has increased beyond normal range since1861.

While the exact impact of global warming is uncertain, scientists agree that it will vary according to the severity of the environmental changes it causes and the vulnerability of a certain populations, based on age, nutritional status, health standards, economic development and their use of technology. (more…)

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