California’s Focus on Environmental Justice Creates Model for Other States

California’s Focus on Environmental Justice Creates Model for Other States

by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Since 2018, Californians have benefited from a new addition to the state government: the Bureau of Environmental Justice. Launched by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the bureau is focused on protecting communities disproportionately harmed by pollution and contamination. The environmental justice bureau is the first of its kind, with six […]

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Global Warming has Pushed Western States into a “Forever Drought”

Global Warming has Pushed Western States into a “Forever Drought”

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Water experts say that worsening drought conditions across the nation may be here to stay. Extreme drought conditions in western states like Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico were once a semi-centennial occurrence, happening every 50 years. Now, these droughts are a common occurrence that disproportionately burdens low-income communities. […]

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More Money, More Pro-Environment Policy for California

More Money, More Pro-Environment Policy for California

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer After being forced to make major cuts to California’s environmental programs just eight months ago, last week, Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a $227 billion budget deal that would bolster a set of environmental initiatives. The proposal designates $4.1 billion to fight forest fires, reduce smog, and increase the […]

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The Forest Loses its Trees

The Forest Loses its Trees

by Ashira Morris, ODP Contributing Writer California’s iconic giant sequoias, Joshua trees, and coast redwoods had resiliently survived centuries, weathering fires and droughts. They are among the oldest living things on earth. But this year’s massive wildfires, fueled by the climate crisis, burned four million acres of California and many of its majestic trees. About […]

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Farmers and Conservationists Work Together to Bring Back California’s Water Birds

Farmers and Conservationists Work Together to Bring Back California’s Water Birds

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer California’s Central Valley was once home to egrets, sandhill cranes, and other water birds who wintered in the region’s wetlands. However, agriculture and urban development have taken over 95 percent of these former wetlands, replacing them with crops like wine grapes, olives, almonds and other “permanent crops” that are […]

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Addressing the Sources of PFAS Contamination

Addressing the Sources of PFAS Contamination

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer On Tuesday, September 29, Gavin Newsom signed into law a measure that bans a class of over 4,000 toxic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from firefighting foams due to their impacts on human health. This ban came weeks before a  peer-reviewed study by scientists at the […]

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