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SSV's WET Talk series kicked off with 
California
water deity Felicia Marcus explaining
pretty much everything about water in California.

Dear Friend of SSV,

SSV is pleased to share some positive news and project updates. The sustainability and environmental movements are forging new frontiers and shifting perspectives. Recently, Menlo Park became the first U.S. city to set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Meanwhile, organizations like the Sierra Club are re-examining their history in the context of Black Lives Matter and exploring shifting funds to expand their racial justice work. And the bi-partisan(!) Great American Outdoors Act, which would make important investments in our National Park System and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), passed both the House and Senate and awaits a Sharpie signature on the Resolute Desk

Meanwhile, SSV is continuing our good work. This month we initiated SSV’s WET (Water Environment & Technology) Talk series to a packed webinar crowd with the incomparable Felicia Marcus. Thank you Felicia for an engaging kick-off!

SSV is advancing on the Air Quality and Mobility front with our Optimizing Urban Traffic (OUT) project in Menlo Park and the SmartTA (Traffic Analytics) White Paper on East Palo Alto. We also continuing to work with the Fossil Free Building Coalition, which saw the City of Burlingame become the 31st jurisdiction in California to adopt a REACH code. Lastly, there is much activity going on behind the scenes on our hush-hush Sustainable Life program, launching soon in a Bay Area near you.

Live Sustainability,
Keep Your Distance
& Wear a Mask, 

   Jennifer Thompson & Dennis Murphy

Current SSV Projects

 

SSV WET (Water, Environment, Technology) Talks feature fascinating speakers presenting provocative ideas with extensive time reserved for Q&A. Our first event featured former State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. We will soon be announcing WET Talk #2.
 

In partnership with CITY/COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS OF SAN MATEO COUNTY (C/CAG) and City of Menlo Park, SSV is excited to begin the Optimizing Urban Traffic (OUT) project. Leveraging emerging communication (V2I)  and AI/machine learning, a new layer of traffic management will provide individual drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians with real-time traffic information via smartphone apps. This will provide test drivers in the Menlo Park area a first-of-a-kind traffic light assistance (TLA), essentially a prediction of the timing of a green light for each traffic light that they approach. The TLA apps should allow drivers to move more efficiently, with increased ease and peace of mind, while saving fuel and reducing emissions. 
 

The linkage between traffic, air quality, and human health is becoming stronger with new reports emphasizing it appearing daily. The City of East Palo Alto is positioned to encounter the worst of this pollution because one of the main corridors for traffic to get from the East Bay to Silicon Valley and back is situated in the middle of East Palo Alto. SmartTA will make air quality and traffic measurements in the area to identify any links and communicate these results to the community and local governments so that they can become active and well-informed partners to identify and evaluate policies that will reduce air pollution and exposure to harmful emissions.  
 

SSV’s Water(Round)Table framework takes deep dives into some of the tough issues around wise water use & reuse, dedicated to the premise that wider-spread understanding makes for problem-solving stakeholders. Satelite treatment system architecture, public & private system interconnections, intergovernmental issues, sensible stormwater management are some of the topics in store.
 

SSV is part of the Fossil Free Building Coalition along with Menlo Spark, 350 Silicon Valley, Acterra, Carbon Free Silicon Valley, and many others working hard to advance REACH Codes, amendments above and beyond standard building codes designed to drastically lower carbon emissions and improve air quality in buildings. Menlo Park was one of the first cities to pass a REACH code and the City of Burlingame recently became the 31st jurisdiction in California to adopt a REACH code, adding major rebuilds (more than 50% of building value) for existing building remodels.

 
  NEWS
Kate Bradshaw/The Almanac
 

Menlo Park Becomes First U.S. City to Set Goal to be Carbon Neutral by 2030

The new climate action plan would call on Menlo Park to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% of 2005 levels by 2030, to about 34,900 tons down from 349,000 tons in 2005. This would be done by dramatically cutting the amount of greenhouse gases being generated from vehicles, natural gas and waste, and completely eliminating the amount of greenhouse gases from generating electricity.

Read more
The Guardian
 

Great American Outdoors Act Passes Congress

Congress shed its partisan colors to pass a bill, named the Great American Outdoors Act, that will invest nearly a billion dollars a year to create new local, state and national parks and natural areas where families can safely get outside together. It will also finally fix up thousands of run-down roads, trails and visitor facilities that are being loved to death through heavy and growing use of our public lands.

Read more
Green Caltrain
 

Caltrain Considers Unprecedented Commitments to Equity and Connectivity

Caltrain has historically been run in the US tradition of commuter rail, which has historically been whiter and wealthier than the community it traverses, and has been managed as a single-purpose, standalone service intended to move suburban white-collar commuters from their homes in affluent suburbs to jobs in the urban downtown.

Read more
Streetsblog SF
 

“A Better Caltrain is One That Exists”

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors punted making a decision on Caltrain’s sales tax funding proposal on Tuesday.

One of the issues: questions about the legality of a modified version of the bill that’s now being floated by San Francisco Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Shamann Walton that aims to wrestle more control of how the money is spent away from SamTrans, which manages Caltrain.

Read more
San Jose Spotlight
 

San Jose Produces Less Waste under COVID-19. But it is  Not All Good News

COVID-19 has produced more complications for professionals in local waste and recycling collection.

While the job has become all the more important with greater waste generation in residential areas of San Jose, waste hauling companies have felt the financial squeeze of suspended and terminated pickups by businesses plus a lapse in recycling etiquette from locals.

Read more
NY Times
 

The Great Climate Migration


Scientists have learned to project such changes around the world with surprising precision, but — until recently — little has been known about the human consequences of those changes. As their land fails them, hundreds of millions of people from Central America to Sudan to the Mekong Delta will be forced to choose between flight or death. The result will almost certainly be the greatest wave of global migration the world has seen.

Read more
Sierra Club
 

Pulling Down Our Monuments

The Sierra Club is a 128-year-old organization with a complex history, some of which has caused significant and immeasurable harm. As defenders of Black life pull down Confederate monuments across the country, we must also take this moment to reexamine our past and our substantial role in perpetuating white supremacy.

Read more

East Bay Express
 

A Toxic Relationship

California should begin gradually reducing output from its oil refineries in order to avoid climate catastrophe and to make the transition to clean energy as equitable as possible. That's the conclusion of a major new report released July 6 by Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), endorsed by more than 40 environmental and social justice organizations.

Read more
 
  EVENTS
Ice911
 

Tues, July 28th 
NASA Scientists Present “Why Our Future Depends on the Arctic”

Join SSV Board Member Dr. Anthony Strawa and Dr. Steve Zornetzer for an inspirational discussion about the Arctic and why it's key to the survival of every living thing on our planet.  

Register
Stanford Alumni
 

Wed, July 29th 
Energy, Climate and Sustainability: The Defining Issue of the 21st Century

The energy sector is undergoing a once-in-a-century shift to chart a sustainable course. Will this happen sufficiently fast to address climate change? This presentation is by Dr. Arun Majumdar, the Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University.

Register
 
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Jennifer Thompson
Executive Director
jthompson@sustainablesv.org
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