Tag Archives: Pollution

CDFW Celebrates Earth Day

Monday, April 22 is the 49th annual Earth Day and the 2019 theme is “Protect Our Species.” The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) works to protect our state’s native species every day of every year.

CDFW performs and oversees wildlife habitat conservation and restoration to maintain healthy ecosystems throughout the state. No matter where a native plant, fish or animal lives—in a marine, brackish or fresh water environment, on land, in trees or underground—all living things need clean, healthy habitats.

Some people see a wetland, grassland, desert or any undeveloped landscape and think, “There’s nothing there.” But there are numerous plant, animal and fish species living there, hidden underwater, underground, under rocks and in rock crevices. Those “unused” spaces are home to many species that are part of the elaborate web of life on which all living things depend.

In the past, people thought natural resources—like fresh, potable water—were unlimited. We know better now, yet still produce millions of tons of garbage each year and often dispose of it in ways that harm wildlife. With more than seven billion people on the planet, such a careless lifestyle causes irreparable damage to the very ecosystems all forms of life need to live.

It’s easy to reduce, reuse and recycle the products we use each day. And when we do, our behavior benefits wildlife as much as it does ourselves.

Californians have been celebrating Earth Day with festivals, learning opportunities, and activities such as trail and habitat clean-up and restoration since 1970. It’s a day to think about how each of us affects our world’s limited natural resources, and what we can do as individuals or as groups to tread lightly on the Earth, make up for past damage and restore what we can.

For links to environmentally healthy living suggestions, Earth Day festivals and other activities throughout California, please visit CalRecycle’s Earth Day webpage.

CDFW staff will participate in Earth Day activities around the state, and would be pleased to discuss ways we can conserve wildlife with you at any of these events.

Saturday, April 20
Newport Beach: Upper Newport Bay Earth Day event, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center. CDFW ecological reserve Science Discovery booth.

Fresno: Earth Day festival in Radio Park. Booth with animal mounts and information about CDFW and volunteering. Live music, green vendors, EV test drives, food, kids’ activities.

April 22 and 23
Rancho Cordova: The Nimbus Hatchery preschool story time program, Tot Time, will feature an Earth Day theme.

Sunday, April 28
Sacramento: Earth Day Festival at Southside Park. CDFW will have hands-on children’s activities and the Salmon Wheel of Fortune.

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Media Contact:
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW and Partners Raid Santa Cruz County Marijuana Grow

Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and other agencies arrested two suspects, cut down marijuana plants and removed hazardous materials from a Santa Cruz county waterway on July 15.

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Acting on an anonymous tip on the CalTIP line, wildlife officers — with assistance from CAL FIRE, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department and Santa Cruz County Code Enforcement — raided an illegal marijuana cultivation site in the upper reaches of the south fork of Vicente Creek off Robles Drive near Bonny Doon. The site had been set up on private property without the landowner’s permission and was diverting water from the creek.

Officers arrested two male suspects and cut down and removed 180 fully mature marijuana plants with an approximate value of $360,000. Officers also found and removed several pounds of hashish, fertilizer, dozens of butane canisters used to manufacture concentrated cannabis, and other harmful materials that cause direct damage to the environment of Vicente Creek. CDFW officers conducted a full reclamation of the site.

“These marijuana cultivation sites are not only illegal but the trash left behind causes tremendous damage to the environment,” said CDFW Assistant Chief Brian Naslund. “Our officers are working hard around the state to find and remove these cultivation sites, keep harmful chemicals from entering state waters and ensure public safety.”

Marijuana cultivation is becoming an increasing problem in California as the historic drought wears on.

“Illegal marijuana growers steal substantial amounts of water, exacerbating our severe drought conditions,” said Naslund. “Marijuana plants use six to eight gallons of water per plant, per day, and are a direct hazard to wildlife that eats the plants.”

Law enforcement officials are also concerned that that hikers and walkers could be in danger if they accidentally come across a marijuana cultivation site. Illegal growers often carry weapons.

The suspects were taken into custody and will be charged with multiple violations including streambed alteration, pollution and placement of hazardous materials on the property of another.

The lower Vicente Creek is the southernmost salmon stream in California. It is a historic waterway that supports both anadromous steelhead and endangered Central Coast Coho salmon.

CalTIP (Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters) is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide CDFW with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. If you witness a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, or have information about such a violation, please call 1-888-DFG-CALTIP (888-334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Media Contact:
Lt. John Nores, CDFW Enforcement, (408) 591-5174
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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CDFW Director Makes Statement on Legal Victory

Media Contact: Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham made the following statement after Judge William Orrick of the U.S District Court, Northern District dismissed a case regarding CDFW’s fish stocking program:

“In an era in which some prefer to litigate instead of pursue decision-making through the public process, I’m encouraged by this legal victory. Though we expect an appeal that could jeopardize our legacy statewide fish stocking program, it’s a big win for today.”

The court found that CDFW’s practice of stocking fish into lakes in California does not amount to adding a pollutant to the water in violation of the Clean Water Act, as alleged by two nongovernmental organizations, one from Montana and one from Oregon.

The dismissal order can be found at www.courthousenews.com/2013/11/08/fish.pdf.

CDFW Responding to Cold Creek Spill

MEDIA ADVISORY                                           

 Contact:
Alexia Retallack: (cell) 916-952-3317

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is responding to a tanker truck crash that spilled gasoline and diesel on State Route 38 near Cold Creek in San Bernardino County. CDFW personnel are currently assessing damage and wildlife impacts.

For incident updates, visit Facebook.com/CalSpillWatch and Twitter at @Calspillwatch

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United States and California File Civil Lawsuit Against Greka Oil and Gas, Inc., for Oil Spills in Santa Barbara County

Contact:
DOJ (202) 514-2007,  TDD (202) 514-1888, http://www.JUSTICE.GOV

DFG (916) 445-3153 or (916) 327-9948

WASHINGTON – The United States and the State of California have filed a civil complaint in federal court against Greka Oil & Gas, Inc. (now known as HVI Cat Canyon, Inc.) alleging that the company violated federal and state water laws. The plaintiffs include the Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Coast Region), and the California Department of Fish and Game.

According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Greka illegally discharged crude oil and produced water from its oil and gas production facilities in Santa Barbara County during 21 spills between June 2005 and December 2010.  The spills resulted from ruptured storage tanks, corroded pipelines, and overflowing injection ponds. Oil from each of the spills flowed into nearby waterways.

The complaint also alleges that at 12 facilities, Greka failed to prepare plans and implement measures required by the Clean Water Act to prevent, contain, and respond to spills.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Greka to take all appropriate action to prevent future spills, and to fully implement the oil pollution prevention requirements of the Clean Water Act.  The United States and the State of California also seek civil penalties up to the maximum amount authorized by law.

In addition, the United States seeks the recovery of $2.4 million in costs incurred responding to and directing the cleanup of Greka’s spills.  The California Department of Fish and Game also seeks the recovery of its unpaid response costs and damages for harm caused to natural resources by the spills.
In May 2011, Greka changed its name to HVI Cat Canyon, Inc.  The company is a privately held Colorado corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Greka Integrated, Inc.