California Files Lawsuit to Block Trump Administration Delta Water Rules

Source: Hall, Alexandra. “California Files Lawsuit to Block Trump Administration Delta Water Rules: KQED News.” KQED, 21 Feb. 1970,

Abstract: When Trump visited the central valley to celebrate more water being allocated to growers in the area, he was met with lawsuits that would prevent this from happening. These lawsuits were filed to ensure the safety of the delta smelt, an endangered species. California feels that moving more water to the growers will ultimately endanger other fish, such as salmon. Trump feels that this water will help California’s economy and will ultimately promote agricultural reform across the country. Although he was stopped almost instantly, he is still trying to send water in the direction of the central valley, and it is a priority of his to recognize the agriculture industry in California. 

Reaction: This article is super relevant. We talked about the smelt in class and the different ways to protect them. There are two sides to this lawsuit. The first is Trump’s side, where he is looking out for the people living in the central valley, and there is the California government, which is looking out for an endangered species. There is more to look into, but both sides have a valid point on why the water should go, or not, to the growers.

How The California Wildfires Are Impacting Tourism

Skift. (Nov 26 2020) How The California Wildfires Are Impacting Tourism. Retrieved March 9, 2020,


One of the largest environmental disasters that California has been forced to grapple with in the last few years, are the constant fires. These fires have destroyed millions of acres of california’s beautiful landscape, and this has had a profound impact on the general tourism industry. The article mostly refers to how these environmental events have messed with natural parks, the tourist favorite wine country, but mostly focuses on how these fires have destroyed the living spaces of the workers and volunteers needed to keep those tourist hot spots going. When the people who care for our national forests and other important tourist/eco-tourist hot spots aren’t able to live near their place of work, nothing gets done and tourists are turned away. 


This article provided some really interesting insight from not only the journalist’s perspective, but also included the point of view from governmental officials (our former state governor Jerry Brown) . It makes the rather simple point that tourism will continue to decline if the tourist locations continue to go up in flames, and if we don’t find housing solutions for the workers who are vital in the continued function of the ecotourism hotspots in california. I honestly would have never thought of the human aspect in the problem, so i’m really glad to have gained that perspective from this article. 


As California Forests Heat Up, Birds Are Flocking To Higher Ground

Clean Technica. ( Feb 25 2020) As California Forests Heat Up, Birds Are Flocking To Higher Ground. Retrieved March 9, 2020,


Over the course of the last decade, the territory occupied by birds in california has slowly been shrinking. The steady rise in average temperatures has been met with an equal reaction from the birds, who are progressively receding more and more into higher altitudes. It was found that birds are choosing to spend more time in higher altitude areas simply because it’s colder. Now that the birds occupy less space, the places that most of them have left are starting to feel the impact that a lack of these important animals brings to the ecosystem. It will take a few years for the effect of the lower number of birds on the ecosystem to really be seen. For one, it’s already having an impact on the birding industry. The birding industry is a big part of California’s ecotourism industry, and now people are having to go further and higher up in the mountains in order to easily find species which once were common in lower altitudes. 


I like this article, because it shows the impact that a change in the environment itself can have on the industry dedicated to it. It combines together climate change with clear data to illustrate an issue for not only the birding industry, but the ecosystem itself and it explains the positive feedback cycle that will inevitably arise from this issue. The article was well written and it’s author really seemed to try to incorporate all the different aspects and impacts of this issue. In addition, the article makes a projection for the future of this issue. 

California braces for economic fallout as coronavirus spreads

Politico. (Mar 6 2020) California braces for economic fallout as coronavirus spreads. Retrieved March 9, 2020,


While this article does not directly address ecotourism, it refers to the whole tourism industry in California at the moment, and how the Coronavirus may impact us if things get much worse. Governor Newsom halted a California bound cruise ship, full of passengers, because there were a few confirmed cases within them. In addition, there are currently movements to divert the funds that might normally go to environmental projects and the tourism industry, to the containment and control of the virus if it continues to propagate itself. There has already reportedly been a small reduction in the amount of tourists arriving in California, and if the situation continues to deteriorate Newsom says he may begin blocking more and more travel. 


Without tourists, the tourism industry dies. Regardless of whether it be ecotourism or the normal type. If the government decides to actually divert the funds intended for tourism and other governmental functions, towards the containment of this possible disease spread, then the tourism industry will be almost completely void of any support or income. It will be interesting to see whether or not this disease is nothing more than a phase, and if not, how the tourism industry will recover from such a possibly devastating blow. What comes to mind is whether or not the national parks or other natural landmarks in the US will close to the public for fear of the virus spreading. 

California Duck Days 2020: It’s specquackular!

Davis Enterprise. (Feb 16 2020) California Duck Days 2020: It’s specquackular!. Retrieved March 9, 2020,


On Saturday February 22 in South Davis, from 9 am to 4 pm, a “California Duck Festival” took place. People from all around California got together, put on their boots, and started learning and celebrating our local wildlife. The festival offered: opportunities for Boy Scouts to earn some badges as well as some hands-on activities, field-trips, workshops, and of course food.  The only fee required was a $20 parking fee. The festival was able to appeal to all ages, the activities and learning opportunities ranged from Experienced birding to owl pellet dissection. 


This is a really good example of a local community, getting together and organizing an event that tipped the interest of many different groups, whether they were local or not. I like how they only made those who drove and parked there pay because it’s clearly a ploy to reduce CO2 emissions. These people got together for a good cause and did seemingly everything in their power to improve the knowledge of the general population, and create good memories and mental association of nature in younger kids. In addition, they brought live raptors for everyone to interact with, solidifying the connection between man and bird. 

Over 200 Gray Whales Passed By Point Reyes Over the Weekend.

SFIST. (Mar 9 2020) Over 200 Gray Whales Passed By Point Reyes Over the Weekend.

Retrieved March 9, 2020,


Every year, Gray Whales make the long and arduous journey from Baja California to Alaska. Humpback Whales also make a similar journey, though their destinations are often slightly different. Every year, when the Whales make their way past the Californian coast an entire tourist industry comes to life. Whale watching tours, boat, and Kayak rentals increase exponentially at around this time. This year, there has been an impressive number of Whales recorded during their migration. This is welcome news after multiple whales have washed up on beaches, dead from malnutrition and ship contact. 


In my opinion, it’s very great news that so many Whales have passed through. There have clearly been some complications in the Whales environments, seen through how many have died in the last year from Malnutrition. This is a clear example of how a healthy environment goes hand in hand with a healthy local economy/ tourism industry. Without the Whales, many different businesses along the path of their migration would have to shut down. Whale watching is, in my opinion, a generally inoffensive form of tourism. They is rarely ever direct contact or interference between human and animal, and the experience is based on the appreciation and learning of these great animals. 

Scoones, Ian. “Economic Chaos Is Causing a Food Security and Humanitarian Crisis in Zimbabwe.” The Conversation, 29 Jan. 2020,

In this article it talks about the economic chaos in Zimbabwe. 5.5 million people are estimated to be at risk of hunger. Researchers are exploring how people have fared since getting land, asking who is doing well and not so well, and why. Some of our key findings include: The food insecurities are more complex. Crop production is higher in the land reform areas compared to the communal lands. Farmed by younger people without independent homes. Zimbabwean economy continues to decline. Economic and infrastructural collapse is threatening food security in Zimbabwe. 

This article is related to Environmental Science because the food insecurity is more complex than headlines and many people are starving because of this. Zimbabwe’s food economy has been transformed over the past 19 years. This article is important because it brings the attention to society that millions of people are at risk of hunger. There was no production in Zimbabwe this year and its people are barely surviving from this situation. 


Muller, Mike. “Not All Droughts Are the Same: Here’s What’s Different about Them.” The Conversation, 27 Jan. 2020,

In this article it talks about how there’s a growing concern in South Africa about what’s being portrayed as a “national drought disaster”. There are suggestions that this drought could see many cities and towns facing their “Day Zero”. People don’t understand South Africa’s climate, or how it affects the way the country’s water supply systems work. For example, the article talks about how dry periods can devastate agriculture without necessarily affecting water supplies to cities and industries. The Plants in fields and livestock grazing on natural pasture depend on moisture in the top layers of the soil. Cities and towns either have large reserves of water in dams or tap it from aquifers, which are effectively underground reservoirs.

This article is related to Environmental Science because some parts of the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape are officially in drought conditions. This means that officials acknowledge that the dry conditions are now seriously threatening farming activities. Therefore,  many farmers are battling to stay in business. 


JH Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Food Distribution.” Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 4 Aug. 2016,

In this article, it talks about Food Distributors. Many large businesses, supermarkets, food service providers for schools, hospitals, chain restaurants, and other institutions rely on food distributors to help acquire the foods and ingredients they need. A distributor brings together goods from many different producers and processors so that they can be sold. Food Distributors also one of the main reasons on how foods are transported long distances. 

This article is related to Environmental Science because the food distribution chain includes several stages involving storage, transport, and handling, where food is often exposed to varying temperatures. Since temperature is one of the most important environmental factors that influence quality attributes in foods, it is critical to know the temperature exposure of a food delivered to someone during storage and distribution. I think this article is important because I didn’t realize how important food distributors were until I read this article and how much of an impact it has. 


Kalaba, Mmatlou, et al. “South Africa’s Carbon Tax Matters — for the Economy and Tackling Climate Change.” The Conversation, 19 Aug. 2019,

In this article, it talks about how carbon tax is likely to be an effective way of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, which leads to climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions come from human activities such as Carbon Dioxide which gets trapped in the atmosphere. This results in increasing our global temperatures and bad weather. This is referred to climate change, and has led to many mortifying conclusions such as droughts, heatwaves, flooding, and wildfires. The carbon tax is a tax on energy as most of South Africa’s carbon emissions are from energy generation and the industrial use of energy.  The carbon tax has an impact because it will be good for jobs and production in the agriculture and food sectors. The carbon tax is important for human life as well as the environment for the South African economy. Another betterment, could be better air and water quality. 


This article is related to Environmental Science because Climate Change is a huge topic that is discussed between everyone and it is studied in the Environmental Science department. I think this article is important because climate change affects us humans, our agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, and energy. The carbon tax would be a great opportunity because it would apply to all producers and sellers. One way to adjust is to reduce food wastage. South Africans waste approximately 10 million tons of food per year, which is one third of all food produced in the country. 


Caputo, Silvio. “Three Ways Cities Can Help Feed the World, without Costing the Earth.” The Conversation, 28 Aug. 2019,


In this article, it explains to us that 25% of the global carbon emissions comes from food production. This causes weather change, and more frequent extreme weather events which not only does it result in climate change but it also puts the world’s supplies of food at risk. Food Production causes deforestation, which means there are fewer trees to absorb carbon dioxide, which leads to the greenhouse effect. one third of this food is wasted because of distorted supply systems, unjust food distribution and unhealthy and unsustainable diets. Urban agriculture and sustainable cities recommended three main areas where effective changes can be made. Recycling food waste, urban farming, and changing diets. 


This article is related to Environmental Science and is important because it refers to climate change and the greenhouse effect. It teaches our society that we all need to contribute to these three changes, more effective policies for food justice and dominance can establish fairer food supply chains and more just distribution of food around the world.


Student maps Niagara’s invasive species

Pressé, M. (2019). Student maps Niagara’s invasive species. Retrieved 13 March 2020, from


As a part of a senior thesis at Brock University, Lyn Brown created the Niagara Region Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Control Database. The map collects and lists all activities managing invasive species in Niagara. The thesis includes an interactive map (found at ) that displays all of the locations of control efforts and program information. Brown writes that, “The overarching goal of this database was to make a resource that could be an information and networking tool for organizations in the Niagara region”. The majority of entries in the database are foreign plants, with the most common being phragmites transported from Eurasia. Another significant menace to the Niagara region is the Zebra mussel. The native Russian is almost globally invasive since the 1980’s. The Zebra mussel can clog pipes, power plants, and other infrastructure. Brown’s database highlights the Ontario Power Generation’s Dreissena Mussel Program, which details treatment designs and infrastructure maintenance. 

Brown’s control database is a great platform to help organizations and agencies manage invasive species. As the Brock University site points out, “the database permits organizations to contact one another to collaborate in terms of sharing resources; prioritizing sites/invasives to manage; and finding and addressing gaps in where invasives are not being managed”. By creating such a big picture map of invasive species management, Brown allows for a more comprehensive approach to biosecurity in the Niagara area.

A million people’s help urged on invasive species

A million people’s help urged on invasive species. (2019). Retrieved 13 March 2020, from


The UK’s Environmental Audit Committee reports that 36 to 48 invasive species will become established in the next two decades. These populations are threatening the future of the natural landscape throughout the UK. The EAC’s report emphasizes a need to slow the rate of arrival at the border. The New Zealand branch states that it will train 1.3 million people in biosecurity by 2025, while the central UK is planning on establishing a dedicated border force by 2020. These plans will help prevent invasive species from even entering the UK and establishing populations. Ms Creagh, a Labour MP, made the statement that, “Inns [invasive non-native species] is one of the UK’s top five threats to the natural environment. If we’re to beat this, we need people power, with an army of volunteers trained to spot and stop an invasive species before it becomes established”. The EAC and Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs both focus on the additional economic impact of non-native species, with invasive damage costing around £15bn each year. 

I appreciate the amount of funding the UK has funneled towards biosecurity and invasive species prevention. I think that its focus on public awareness and volunteer training makes the biosecurity programs easier to implement than comparable programs in the US and California in particular. Rather than having to inspect each imported good, NNS border forces can partially rely on accounts from the public. However, I think the EAC has overestimated its abilities to train and prepare a sufficient biosecurity system within six years.


Invasive species are displacing native birds in Israel, study confirms

Rinat, Z. (2020). Invasive species are displacing native birds in Israel, study confirms. Retrieved 12 March 2020, from


A new study  from Technicon, the Israel Institute of Technology, supports the long held belief that invasive birds have driven out native Israeli birds. The study demonstrates a drastic increase in exotic populations over two decades while native populations dwindle. This pattern heightened in urban areas, where the invasive common myna and the rose-ringed parakeet have thrived. According to Technicon’s Assaf Shwartz, “The myna population soared 843 percent over the past 15 years, while the rose-ringed parakeet population jumped 250 percent.” However the study also demonstrated that invasive species have yet to become significantly established in protected areas and nature reserves throughout Israel. Since limited resources have pushed out these native species, Ornithologists and conservation groups are beginning to propose and encourage the hunting of harmful invasive birds. 

I believe these large scale studies are an integral step in implementing native rehabilitation programs. Without these data sets, it’s difficult to receive funding and demonstrate progress. I also think it’s interesting that these invasive birds have thrived in urban centers, rather than rural areas. This could be a result of released or abandoned domestic birds establishing populations in urban parks. It would be interesting to see how these invasive populations have affected their surrounding environment.