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Monitor Notes: Sea-Level Rise, BART Opportunity, Drought Talk, Bike Activities, and Meatless May

Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.


Sea Changes

The League of Women Voters of North and Central San Mateo County and LWV South San Mateo County will host an online forum on April 29 at 7 p.m. on sea-level rise and flooding in Redwood City, Menlo Park, and East Palo Alto. The event is part of a series on climate risk with OneShoreline, San Mateo County’s flood and sea-level rise resiliency district. Register here and then read the Monitor’s April/May edition for an article by Robin Meadows on how shoreline communities are preparing for rising seas. She highlighted the unintended consequences some cities face regarding seawall protection and calls for cohesive planning to ensure equity. 

Speaking of the latter, the California Coastal Commission asks for the public’s input on integrating equity and environmental justice into local coastal programs. These are planning documents that guide allowable development along the coast. The survey is open through April 30. 


Take a Seat?

LWV Bay Area (LWVBA) is looking for a League member to fill a vacancy on the BART Bond Oversight Committee (Measure RR). The committee consists of five professionals in engineering, auditing, public finance, construction project management, and two members from the LWV. One of the League members is resigning by the end of the year for personal reasons. 

Committee members are responsible for assessing how bond proceeds are spent, and that work is completed in a timely, cost-effective, and quality manner. They also communicate their findings and recommendations to the public and publish an annual report. Members are asked to sign a conflict-of-interest statement and disclose any potential conflicts that may arise in their service.

Measure RR, the $3.5 billion bond measure approved in November 2016, includes projects that will strengthen BART’s infrastructure by replacing 90 miles of severely worn tracks, repair tunnels damaged by water intrusion, and upgrade the aging train control system. For more details, including how to apply, contact Alex Starr, chair of LWVBA’s transportation committee: starrpeake [at]


Dry Conditions

As California enters a drought, join the Public Policy Institute (PPIC) and state and local experts for a discussion on May 6 at 11 a.m. about reducing its impacts on the most vulnerable sectors and communities. Governor Newsom recently declared a drought emergency in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, while Marin County became the first Bay Area County to announce mandatory water-use restrictions. PPIC’s event includes a panel discussion with Sonoma County Water Agency’s general manager and professionals from UC Merced and the California State Water Resources Control Board. Soak up an April 26 blog from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to learn how dry the drought is so far and the implications of current conditions.


Keep Pedaling

The month of May is Bay Area “Bike to Wherever Days,” an alternative to the annual Bike to Work Day event. Local bike coalitions will offer activities and education as part of increased emphasis on using bicycles for transportation. The slow streets movement has spurred people of all ages to hop on their bikes for exercise and errand running during the pandemic. Find details about each county’s activities here



Hold the Meat

If you’re a frequent meat-eater, nonprofit group Acterra has a challenge for you: Try meatless May. The “less meat, more plants” pledge means making climate-friendly diet changes to include more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes. Reducing meat and dairy consumption is one of the most effective ways for people to lower their carbon footprint, according to Acterra. The average Bay Area omnivore household emits nearly 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents to the atmosphere each year — just from the food they eat. To help people make plate changes, Acterra is providing weekly recipes and tips. It’s also partnered with local restaurants offering unique menu options and rewards to meatless May participants.


Monitor Notes is produced by Cecily O’Connor. To receive it by email, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email address in the box under “RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES,” and click the red “SIGN UP” button.

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