Tag Archives: fish

Central Arroyo Stream Restoration & Watershed Programs Halted: Hooray for CA Budget Crisis

So in case you didn’t know (I shoulda told y’all when I found out, a while back, but I was stupid busy), the Arroyo Seco–which runs from Devil’s Gate Dam, south thru Pasadena and parallel to the 110 freeway into South Pas & Highland Park, was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places (although I can’t find it in that crappy database of theirs, maybe you can). It’s also a valuable habitat for the rare and wee Arroyo Chub, a leeetle beeeety fish that dwells solely in some SoCal streams, and which is valuable not only for adding its own little fishy topping to the biodiversity pizza pie, but ‘cuz it eats mosquito larvae: hooray for the Chub!

The nice people who did all the work theyre not getting paid for.
Just a few of the nice people who did all the work they're not getting paid for.

Of course the little Chub was pretty much on its way out, along with a lot of the Arroyo Seco–edged out by pollution, junk and Avenues graffitti–until recent rehabilitation grants came in the form of The Arroyo Seco Watershed Coordination Program ($35,000) and The Central Arroyo Stream Restoration Program ($251,000). The grants were awarded to the Arroyo Seco Foundation, and they got to work asap to fix up the river. Hence the Chub-comeback. And the river’s lookin’ mighty nice, too. And some folks got some fine work out of it during a tough economic time. Until now.

Just a few days ago the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Conservation sent out orders (here & here) to cease activity on Arroyo Seco watershed management projects and–here’s the clincher–notified the river-rehabbers (who are not state employees) that the Arroyo Seco Foundation will not be paid for work already completed. WTF?!

Your tax dollars at work, ladies & gents, paying these fine folk in BallSacramento (heh) big fancy salaries to come to an agreement on the state budget. Yay!

So now how will the Arroyo Seco Foundation, a nonprofit organization, pay its workers and contractors and suppliers, who have already rendered services?

And–looking beyond the money issue–what will happen to the great progress that was being made in the Arroyo? Will the cease-and-desist-and-we’re-gonna-stop-paying-you order cause a big enough hiccup in the state & the Foundation’s paperwork & processes that the Foundation can no longer secure grants, or perhaps loses its current grants?

The full information is here at the Arroyo Seco Foundation’s site.

Sustainable Fish in LA

fisssssh.jpgI just came off the tail end of writing a story for Whole Life Times, one on the topic of sustainable fish. It’s a slippery subject (har har har). But I was able to find a few restaurants in LA where you can order pretty much anything off the menu without having a fish-induced eco-anxiety attack (click here for the list).

LA has a lot to contend with on the sustainability issue, primarily because our very favorite, most popular dishes here are all from species that have been fished to the brink of classifying the fish an endangered species: ahi, toro, salmon (the entire West Coast salmon season has been canceled due to extremely low numbers of the fish (aka biomass) in the seas), scallops, shrimp (tip: say no to Southeast Asian shrimp, and Mexican shrimp are ok–the predominance of Mexican shrimp farms are sustainable) and rock shrimp. Yeah. It sucks. But consider it an opportunity to expand your palate for sushi. Also, this web site is pretty much the final word these days on sustainability; and here is a downloadable pocket guide.

The magazine is free and is usually at health food stores & stuff, but it’s also online here. I have to give mad props to Patrick Glennon of Santa Monica Seafood. If you EVER, ever have any questions about sustainability issues, he’s your expert. As he says, “When you’re sitting at a cafe here, on PCH, overlooking the ocean…almost all of the fish on your menu are actually from the other side of the world.” Patrick is really the main reason I’m blogging this, because his passion for eco-conscious ocean stewardship is infectious, and it now informs all the choices I make when ordering seafood. I really want to spread the word about what he has to say.