The National Wildlife Federation has certified Los Angeles as a “biodiversity haven,” making it the largest city in the nation to be so designated. To accomplish this required the concerted effort of residents, organizations, and schools. Participants had to garden with native plants, reduce or eliminate pesticide use, or design wildlife-supporting green spaces. Over a thousand residential yards, 34 schools, and 140 common areas are all now also registered as havens. City Councilmember Paul Koretz, instrumental in setting up the city’s biodivesity and wildlife corridor programs, said the certification celebrates the work of city agencies and local environmental groups “to redirect the trajectory of Los Angeles from a city of concrete and conspicuous consumption toward a model urban city successfully co-existing and inextricably linked to the environmental health of its wildlife and natural areas.”
Hawaii is about to become the first state in the nation to declare a climate emergency. The bill, to be adopted soon by the State Senate, “acknowledges that an existential climate emergency threatens humanity and the natural world.” Similar declarations have been made by 144 US towns and cities, and more than 1,900 jurisdictions worldwide, including all of the EU, New Zealand, and Japan. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and over 380 environmental groups have recently called for a national declaration, which would give the president enormous new authority to act on climate change.
While we’ve been critical of the LA Times for inadequate coverage of national and international environmental news, they’ve done a terrific job in recent years with local and state issues. We would recommend especially the work of Sammy Roth. A recent two-part series on DDT dumping between Point Fermin and Catalina Island was also superb. It showed that the number of barrels dropped there was enormously larger than previously thought, over 25,000! The series has led to further media coverage, including by the PBS Newshour and KPCC’s Air Talk.