NRDC Golden State Newsletter November 2014, Vol 1, Issue 80
NRDC's Annie Notthoff, Joel Reynolds

Winning with 67 percent of the vote in almost 80 percent of California counties, the victory of Prop 1 is a welcome reminder of the breadth of Californians' support for sound environmental policy here in the Golden State. Thanks to the efforts of a broad bipartisan coalition, Governor Brown's leadership, activists like you, and NRDC's Action Fund for a terrific team effort. Beyond California, in Congress, the new leadership has already laid out an aggressive anti-environment agenda, at odds with public opinion. You can be sure that NRDC will be working to protect bedrock environmental and public health protections, but don't expect it to be easy.


Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director
Joel Reynolds, Western Director

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Pinto Abalone


This month NRDC and the Center for Biological Diversity announced intent to sue the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Services for delaying Endangered Species Act protection for the pinto abalone, following a petition to list the pinto abalone as "endangered" in June 2013. Close monitoring of the population has shown the species has declined by 80-99 percent along the Pacific coast due to ocean acidification, ocean warming and other climate change impacts, as well as overharvesting, illegal poaching and other harms. After a year of inaction by the agency, NRDC is taking the necessary steps to protect this member of one of the west coast's iconic animal families, and recover pinto abalone populations inhabiting coastal waters from Baja California to Alaska.

NRDC Makes a Splash at SXSWEco 2014


SXSWEco is a three-day event in Austin, Texas, focused on bringing together media, industry, government, and nonprofit change-makers to address the most critical challenges facing our planet and society. NRDC led four panel discussions at this year's conference, and hosted a sustainable water systems discussion at the taproom of one of our "Brewers for Clean Water" campaign partners, Hops & Grain. NRDC also led the conversation at the tech-forward conference on social media, with five of the top 10 tweets, and two of the top six videos. But the absolute highlight for all was a cameo appearance at Joel Reynolds' "Deafening Oceans" panel from keynote speaker and oceanic champion, "her deepness," Sylvia Earle.

Report Maps California Communities Most Vulnerable Due To Oil & Gas Activity


NRDC's public health team here in California just released Drilling in California: Who's at Risk?, a report about the local health impacts of fracking for oil and gas. This timely report analyzes state environmental health data to identify the people who are already -- or will likely be -- most impacted by drilling, if the oil and gas industry succeeds in expanding fracking and other controversial extraction techniques around the state.

Among the main findings was the fact that 5.4 million Californians live within one mile of an oil or gas well -- 1.8 million of whom are already living in some of the state's most polluted communities where more than 90 percent are people of color.

NRDC Scientist Takes Out the Toxics

Veena Singla

Staff scientist Veena Singla arrived at NRDC's San Francisco office in January motivated by a concern for the impact chemicals can have on the global environment. After graduating from both UC Berkeley and Stanford, Veena worked with the Green Science Policy Institute, communicating relevant research on industry chemical use. Since arriving at NRDC, Veena has worked on myriad health issues, including the health program's recent victory when Governor Brown signed the first-in-the-nation law mandating the disclosure of flame retardant chemicals in furniture labels beginning in January 2015 -- a bill co-sponsored by NRDC earlier this year. With the hope that California's label law will have a similar impact on the market Veena has said, "I think that more transparency in the marketplace is good for consumers and good for business -- now that the information will be available, consumers can make informed choices and businesses can respond to market signals and consumer demand."

© 2014 Natural Resources Defense Council

Photo Credits: Banner - Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Yosemite National Park, Justin Adams/