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Video: Eel River—Reconnecting Salmon and People

By Sarah Bardeen, Cameron Nielsen

The Eel River once hosted one of California’s great salmon runs, but a combination of factors decimated those populations. Now, planned dam removals might help restore salmon—but how will these changes affect river communities? Filmmaker Cameron Nielsen spoke to people on all sides of the issue in this visually arresting short documentary

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Stewarding California’s Wet Years

California has made great strides in preparing for a drier, hotter future, but it remains a challenge to harness the bounty of wet years while also reducing flood risk. How did California’s water sector manage the unusually wet conditions of the 2023 water year—and what lessons can we glean for the future? We speak with three panels of experts to find out.

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Priorities for California’s Water

By Jeffrey Mount, Letitia Grenier, Ellen Hanak, Caitlin Peterson ...

California has made great strides in preparing for a drier, hotter future, but it remains a challenge to harness the bounty of wet years while also reducing flood risk. How did California’s water sector manage the unusually wet 2023 water year—and what lessons can we glean for the future?

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Climate Resilience Expert Letitia Grenier to Lead the PPIC Water Policy Center

By Ellen Hanak, Tani Cantil-Sakauye

We are thrilled to announce that senior scientist and climate resilience expert Letitia Grenier will join PPIC as the next director of the Water Policy Center. Letitia is currently the Resilient Landscapes Program director at the San Francisco Estuary Institute. She will assume her new role on September 25, 2023.

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From Litigation to Collaboration on the San Joaquin River

By Molly Peterson, Sarah Bardeen

The San Joaquin Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, and much of its success comes from the waters of the San Joaquin River. Today, the challenge is how to undo some of the damage done to the river’s ecosystems—and how to reconnect the river to its many communities.

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Defining Community Is Slippery on the Eel River

By Cameron Nielsen, Sarah Bardeen

On paper, California’s Eel River is a prime candidate for restoration. So why is it so hard to get done? The answer lies partly in the dam’s history—but in large part, the challenge lies in the complexities of who exactly constitutes the river’s community. Finding a solution has implications not just for the state but for the nation.

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Saving Steelhead—and Stitching a Community Back Together

By Francisco Martínezcuello, Sarah Bardeen

Near the small town of San Juan Capistrano in Southern California, a small creek is about to undergo a major transformation. The creek is known as Trabuco—and it just might hold the key to the survival of California’s endangered Southern steelhead.

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Restoring Rivers, Restoring Community

By Sarah Bardeen, Gokce Sencan

At the PPIC Water Policy Center, we’ve studied ecosystem restoration issues such as the importance of restoring more natural flow patterns, improving permitting, and storing water for the environment. This year, we brought in three CalTrout Ecosystem Fellows to look at another major challenge in river restoration: community engagement. This is the first of four posts on the topic!

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Introducing the 2022–23 PPIC CalTrout Ecosystem Fellows

By Sarah Bardeen

Each year, our PPIC CalTrout Ecosystem fellows help turn science into action by improving water management in California. This year, we’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen three journalists to report on community involvement in restoration efforts on a trio of critical but under-reported rivers: the Eel, the San Joaquin, and Trabuco Creek. Join us in welcoming this year’s fellows!

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