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Alastair Bland

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Alastair Bland is a journalist based in San Francisco who writes about the environment, agriculture, science and food. He has written for SmithsonianMag.org, Yale Environment 360, NPR, and the East Bay Express, among others.

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Bottled water is routinely delivered to residents of Tombstone Territory, a cluster of homes in central Fresno County reliant on increasingly scarece groundwater. | Courtesy of the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
Article
Earth Focus

Farmers Hijack Community Water Access Despite Groundwater Act, Activists Say

SGMA could help secure safe and reliable water for disadvantaged communities dependent on groundwater, while forcing farmers to reduce their crop production. But that’s only if SGMA goes as planned, and it might not.
Less water in the Delta could negatively impact the Sacramento River | Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images salmon runs. |
Article
Earth Focus

State-Federal Water Deal Takes Bite from L.A.’s Supply

State officials quietly gave away a significant portion of Southern California’s water supply to farmers in the Central Valley as part of a deal with the Trump administration in December 2018, potentially harming California salmon and L.A. County.
Still from "Earth Focus"
Article
Earth Focus

Red Abalone: The Coveted Sea Snails of California’s Past

Once an abundant attraction off northern California's coast, red abalone and the lush kelp forests they relied on have been replaced by an overpopulation of kelp-eating purple sea urchins.
 Sign indicating buried water line from a new well to serve Allensworth. (narrow) | Carla Pineda
Article
Earth Focus

100,000 Residents In Bountiful Central Valley Still Lack Access to Clean Water

Today, roughly 100,000 people in Central Valley cannot drink the water that flows from their taps, for it is contaminated with high levels of toxins.
Great White Shark Chasing a Seal
Article
Earth Focus

Sharks Suddenly Seem to Be Everywhere – But Why?

Amid the media hype over sharks and a wealth of inconclusive data, West Coast biologists can’t seem to agree whether or not great white numbers are increasing.
Vineyards in Napa County occupy almost ten percent of the county's total land cover. | Photo: James Faulkner, some rights reserved
Article
Earth Focus

Here's How Big Wine Gets To Avoid Environmental Rules in Napa

If you're in the wine trade, Napa County officials are willing to overlook a multitude of Zins.
Golden trout on Cottonwood Creek in the High Sierra | Photo: Anthony Greco, some rights reserved
Article
Earth Focus

How Will the Salmon Survive? Fisheries in a Warming California

Three-quarters of California's salmon and trout species are in danger of extinction. What can we learn from the ones that aren't?
Photo collage: Longfin smelt and Alviso Slough | Photos Satish J,/US Bureau of Reclamation
Article
Earth Focus

Little Fish in Big Trouble: The Bay Delta's Longfin Smelt

The endangered Delta smelt gets all the attention, but the longfin smelt may be in even worse trouble — despite the wet winter.
Salmon jumping at the Ballard Locks, Washington | Photo: Ingrid Taylar, some rights reserved
Article
Tending the Wild

Klamath River Tribes in Crisis as Salmon Disappear

"Our tradition says that if we don’t catch salmon, they’ll stop coming back.”
An oyster at Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery in Netarts Bay, Oregon | Photo: Oregon State University
Article
Earth Focus

We're Making the Ocean More Acid, and That's Bad for Shellfish

Increasing acidity in our oceans is already harming coral reefs.... and a whole lot more. Oysters, for instance.
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