Marin-sonoma

MARIN-SONOMA

Marin and Sonoma are neighboring California counties located in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area. Marin is known for its natural beauty, Sonoma for its agriculture, and particularly for its wine production. The two counties have a combined population of around 750 thousand people, with Sonoma having about two thirds of that. Sonoma and Marin are some of the richest and most expensive counties in the United States with Marin #8 on CNBC’s list of America’s richest counties. They are both extremely diverse ecologically, home to ocean beaches, salt marshes, coastal scrub, grasslands, chaparral, redwood forest, and oak and pine forests.

Due to climate change, the Bay’s sea level has increased by 8 inches in the last 100 years. In 2015-2016, El Nino storms created waves with more than 50% more energy than average, causing unprecedented beach erosion, compounding the effects of sea level rise. The Bay is also experiencing more “boom and bust” rain cycles with very wet and very dry years. Although the drought in 2015-2016 forced moisture levels down to the lowest it’s been in 1,000 years, Marin and Sonoma are still seeing extreme flooding exacerbated by storm surges, as well as sea level rise. Floods and storms are causing significant damage not just to public and private property, but to beaches, wetlands, and riparians areas already under attack by the changing climate. Storm surges have caused overflow at wastewater treatment facilities, which can spill into the sea harming people and wildlife alike. Storms and rising seas also threaten electrical grids and natural gas pipelines bringing greater socioeconomic and health inequality.

The Bay Area which Marin and Sonoma are a part of are also already experiencing a significant rise in temperature and the harmful effects that follow such a rise. Since 1950, the temperature  has risen by 1.7°F creating more energy usage, even along the traditionally cool coast. This increase in energy usage leads to adverse health effects from increased pollution and disease.

What’s more, over the past 80 years, the Bay Area has seen steadily more large fires with no end in sight. Fires are devastating to threatened upland birds, mammals and amphibians. The combination of changing rain cycles, temperatures, and fire frequency is causing animals to get out of sync with their environments, leading to population declines.

Through 2016, Marin’s Climate Action Plan created a 21% reduction of emissions below 1990 levels and continues to implement programs to lessen its carbon footprint. The county has a webpage called Drawdown: Marin providing information to county residents about Marin’s actions to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In early 2020, Marin hosted a community workshop and meeting for the Marin Climate Action Plan update, during which citizens helped identify the county’s path forward with a vision towards 2030 and beyond.

Marin County was also the first in the state to enroll all of its county and city accounts in Marin Clean Energy’s, a 100% renewable electricity program begun in October of 2018. Marin Clean Energy supplies customers with 50% to 100% renewable energy as a green alternative to PG&E. Marin Clean Energy has three energy packages so customers can choose how their energy is generated. The least sustainable plan uses 60% renewables, and the other two plans use 100% renewable energy. Marin consumes 51% of its energy in non-residential sectors and 49% in the residential sector.

Sonoma’s climate plan, Climate Action 2020 and Beyond, is focused on putting the county on a path towards a goal of emissions at 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan also provides information about local climate hazards and what Sonoma County communities can do to adapt. The plan attacks greenhouse gas emissions in a multitude of ways, focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy use, reduction of travel demand, low carbon transportation, capture of methane from landfills, recycled water use, reduced livestock emissions, sustainable agriculture, and even carbon sequestration. Sonoma’s Regional Climate Protection Authority is helping the county reach its goals by leading plan implementation and supporting local actions through grant funding, research, technical assistance, outreach, and education

87% of eligible electricity users in Sonoma use Sonoma Clean Power, a non-profit public agency based in Santa Rosa, Sonoma’s largest city, supplying them with 42% hydroelectric energy, 23% wind power, 18% geothermal, 7.6% solar, and 10% biomass combined with power from California’s main power grid. The rest of Sonoma’s residents rely on Pacific Gas and Electric’s power, which uses 78% clean energy. Sonoma’s energy goes to 57% non-residential uses and 43% residential uses

In Sonoma County, a plea for action on climate change as fires rage

CURRENT NEWS

Map shows what home insurance costs in every California ZIP code

By Kellie Hwang 05/22/24
Today we published a first-of-its-kind interactive map that allows readers to see average home insurance costs for every ZIP code in California.
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Groundbreaking Grapes: How Wineries Are Curbing Climate Change Impacts

By Trevor Felch 03/21/24
When Neal Family Vineyards owner Mark Neal explains the “dual varietal trellis system” in several of his Napa Valley vineyards, he may get a speechless response from listeners trying to picture the revolutionary idea he…
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Agriculture and Climate Conference: Adapting Today for Tomorrow’s Changes

01/17/24
The Agriculture and Climate Conference is organized by the California Land Stewardship Institute (CLSI) / Fish Friendly Farming and is funded by a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)
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Will California avalanches worsen with climate change?

By Rachel Becker 01/16/24
As a popular Tahoe ski resort digs out from a tragedy that killed Kenneth Kidd, a 66-year-old resident of Point Reyes Station, and buried several others, scientists say predicting how the warming planet will affect…
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Winegrowers confront climate change at upcoming conference

By Roger Coryell 01/09/24
The California Land Stewardship Institute (CLSI) in partnership with Fish Friendly Farming is set to host the Agriculture and Climate Conference on January 17, 2024, at Saralee and Richard’s Barn, Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The conference,…
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Warm, wet weather expected for Northern California winter

01/03/24
Higher than average temperatures and more precipitation than average: be prepared for a muggy, damp winter. That’s what Northern California residents can expect heading into January this year, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate…
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Napa Valley Wine Train debuts its first “clean energy” locomotive

By Jennifer Huffman 12/05/23
The Napa Valley Wine Train has gone green — with the debut of its first “clean energy” locomotive.
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First atmospheric river storm of the season heading into Northern California, bringing rain

By Paul Rogers 09/24/23
The first atmospheric river storm of the season is forecast to hit Northern California on Sunday and Monday, bringing much needed help fighting fires in remote, rugged areas near the Oregon border that have sent…
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Sonoma County Sharpens Climate Battle as It Aims for Carbon Neutrality by 2030

By Tony Ng 08/30/23
Today, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors announced their approval of the County's Municipal Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
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Napa and Sonoma 2023: Harvest forecast

By Vicki Denig 08/16/23
After years of managing the deleterious effects of climate change – drought, wildfires and beyond – winemakers across northern California have experienced much-needed relief in the form of excessive rainfall last winter and into spring…
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Ethical shopping: Sonoma stores curbing climate change

By Mia Epstein 08/15/23
“Overall, the fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global emissions, according to the UN — more than the aviation and shipping (industries) combined,” said Esme Stallard from BBC News.
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Close to Home: North Coast’s dirty little energy secret

By Geof Syphers 08/13/23
What does turning on your lights in Sonoma County or Mendocino County have to do with childhood asthma in Southern California?
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan 2030

08/20/20
San Rafael has a rich history of climate action and environmental protection. Mayor Al Boro signed on to the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement in 2006.

Climate Action 2020 and Beyond

08/20/20
Climate Action 2020 and Beyond builds on prior commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a community-wide climate action plan (CAP) for all communities in Sonoma County. The regional framework creates an efficient and consistent…

Renewable Energy

03/31/20
The County of Sonoma has adopted changes to the Zoning Code that enable the construction and use of renewable energy facilities throughout the county, while protecting sensitive resources and ensuring neighborhood compatibility. These changes became…

KEY RESOURCES

Welcome to the county climate action plan workshop

08/24/20
2019 was the second hottest year on record.

California electricity commission

08/20/20
Electricity Consumption by County.

CLIMATE CHANGE

08/20/20
Marin County is a vulnerable community when it comes to climate change, particularly due to rising sea levels, changing storm patterns, and fragile ecosystems. Marin is already experiencing the effects of extreme flooding, exacerbated by…

MCE is excited to welcome Solano County residents and businesses

04/01/20
In April 2020, MCE will become the primary electricity provider for unincorporated Solano County. We hope to meet you in person at one of our Solano Community Meetings. Options to attend meetings remotely and access…

Making a Difference in Your World

04/01/20
We’re working to solve climate change. For you. For families. For businesses. For everybody. From providing clean energy to pilot programs for energy saving technologies, we’ve got options that make a difference in your life.…

Environmental Organizations

04/01/20
CAFE is a non-profit {501(c)3} education, advocacy and research organization serving the North Coast region of California.Our primary mission is to educate, engage and empower the public regarding sustainability and the environment.

SUSTAINABLE MARIN

04/01/20
Sustainable Marin is a non-profit organization of volunteers who advocate and educate about sustainability at the County level in Marin.

Energy and Sustainability

04/01/20
The Energy and Sustainability Division is part of the General Services Department of the County of Sonoma. This division is responsible for planning, evaluating and administering the County-wide Energy Management and Sustainability Program.

Sonoma County Commits To Becoming The First 100% Sustainable Wine Region In The Nation In 2019

04/01/20
In January 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers announced it would become the nation’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region. The Sonoma County Sustainability Program helps to preserve agriculture and multi-generational family farms. Sonoma County is largely…

MORE NEWS

Poll shows too little support for climate resiliency tax measure; Sonoma County pols go back to the drawing board

By Mary Callahan   07/24/23  
Members of the Regional Climate Protection Authority are going back to the drawing board to determine how best to fund carbon reduction and climate mitigation after a recent poll showed insufficient support for a tax…
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Sonoma County Regional Parks seeks community feedback on climate

07/21/23  
To promote community wellbeing and a vibrant, resilient parks system Sonoma County Regional Parks is creating a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP) and seeks public input on future climate-related priorities and projects. The comprehensive…
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Sonoma County Regional Parks seeks community feedback on climate

07/21/23  
To promote community wellbeing and a vibrant, resilient parks system Sonoma County Regional Parks is creating a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP) and seeks public input on future climate-related priorities and projects. The comprehensive…
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Planned hydropower project on Sonoma Coast blindsides locals

By John Ramos   07/18/23  
With the State steering away from fossil fuels, the push to go all-electric is creating a huge demand for carbon-free power. But in Sonoma County, even staunch environmentalists are shocked by a proposal to turn…
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Community Matters: Local group threatens county’s green energy projects

By John Burns   07/06/23  
Sonoma County is poised to join a statewide initiative to eliminate California’s dependence on fossil-fueled power plants spewing large volumes of carbon into the atmosphere which accelerates global climate change.
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Climate Action and Resiliency Division

07/04/23  
The Climate Action and Resiliency Division (CARD) within the County Administrator’s Office is dedicated to helping the County and the community to address the climate crisis and achieve climate-related goals and objectives. CARD leads projects,…
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Napa County, cities face costs of climate action plan

By Barry Eberling   06/09/23  
Napa County and its five cities may be tested in their resolve to create a regional climate action plan if they have to foot the bill themselves.
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Napa Climate Change Conference

By Barry Eberling   05/24/23  
Napa City Councilmember Beth Painter and St. Helena City Councilmember Anna Chouteau were co-coordinators of Wednesday's Napa Climate Summit at Napa Valley College. The event was hosted by Napa Climate NOW! and sponsored by Pacific…
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Napa To No Longer Hold Fourth Of July Firework Show

By Maggie Fusek   05/22/23  
The City of Napa announced plans to celebrate the Fourth of July this year with a day filled with family-friendly activities but with no fireworks.
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Bolinas Lagoon wetlands project gets another $325K in county funding

By Richard Halstead   05/01/23  
A project that will aim to restore wetlands at the north end of Bolinas Lagoon and reduce the chance of flooding on the only road leading to Bolinas has reached its final design stage.
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Sonoma County residents explore climate resiliency plans; look toward potential public funding effort

By Jeremy Hay   04/19/23  
Make initiatives to reduce the impacts of human-caused climate change more feasible for people with fewer financial resources. Focus climate resiliency efforts around existing sectors of Sonoma County’s social, economic and natural landscape.
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How climate change is affecting Napa Valley vineyards

04/17/23  
Climate change is throwing off the grape balance after years of droughts, wildfires and floods in Napa Valley, Calif. NBC News’ Niala Charles looks at the challenges the vineyard industry is facing.
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Napa’s first zero-emission vineyard faces heavy opposition. Here’s why

By Jess Lander   04/11/23  
After a nine-year proposal process, Napa County has tentatively approved the development of what’s believed to be the region’s first zero-emission vineyard. But despite this unprecedented environmental commitment, the development is facing intense opposition from…
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‘We have to lead the charge’: North Bay winemakers take on climate change

By Austin Murphy   04/07/23  
In the face of years of severe drought, more and more winemakers are turning to regenerative farming and other methods to adapt to — and get ahead of — climate change
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Napa grants tentative approval to Le Colline vineyard

By Barry Eberling   03/18/23  
Vintner Dave DiCesaris has won Napa County permission to plant a smaller version of his proposed Le Colline vineyard, though it’s still too big for some opponents concerned about an adjacent nature preserve.
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The Bay Area is going electric for furnaces and water heaters

By Maxine Joselow and Vanessa Montalbano   03/16/23  
Bay Area officials voted to adopt landmark rules phasing out gas appliances. Yesterday, officials in the San Francisco Bay Area approved the nation’s first rules phasing out new natural-gas-powered water heaters and furnaces.
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Sonoma County Bans New Retail Gas Stations In Unincorporated Areas

By Maggie Fusek   03/15/23  
"We need to shift away from fossil fuels if we're going to make a dent in climate change."
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Marin County battery storage project sparks early opposition

By Will Houston   03/14/23  
A renewable energy company is proposing to build the largest battery storage facility in Marin County to advance the state's clean energy goals and provide reliability during outages.
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Sonoma County approves $1.5 million to fix latest Moscow Road washout ahead of FEMA funds

By Martin Espinoza   03/14/23  
Sonoma County Supervisors on Tuesday authorized urgent funding to repair two major washouts on Moscow Road in Monte Rio.
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Napa City Council to consider first Napa Pipe subdivision, discuss climate action

By Edward Booth   03/08/23  
The first stage of development at the Napa Pipe property, planned to include 79 homes across three blocks, will go before the Napa City Council for approval Tuesday afternoon.
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What Sonoma County can do about the climate crisis

By Jerry Bernhaut   03/06/23  
The international summit on climate change, COP27, resulted in an agreement to create a fund to support the developing countries coping with the impacts of climate disasters. There was no agreement to phase out the…
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3 new-tech geothermal plans to be considered for boosting power at The Geysers

By Jeff Quackenbush   02/24/23  
Three cutting-edge technologies that could give California a big boost in always-generating emission-free electricity are being eyed for pilot projects in and around massive geothermal field straddling Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties.
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Sonoma supes to hold special meeting over potential water rate hikes

02/24/23  
Sonoma County will be hosting a special public meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Monday to discuss water infrastructure and climate change challenges as well as possible water rate hikes.
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Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry aims to become state’s first electric short-run ferry

By Will Houston   02/23/23  
Marin County’s family-owned Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co. may soon become California’s first all-electric short-run ferry service.
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Parched California Misses a Chance to Store More Rain Underground

By Raymond Zhong   02/21/23  
Torrential rains could have helped to replenish depleted aquifers, but some say state bureaucracy, designed to distribute water fairly, has stood in the way....
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US’s first solar panels over canals pilot will deploy iron flow batteries

By Michelle Lewis   02/14/23  
Project Nexus is a $20 million pilot in California’s Turlock Irrigation District that launched in October of last year. The project team is exploring solar over canal design, deployment, and co-benefits using canal infrastructure and…
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How Climate Change Threatens California Wine

By Mark Schapiro   02/14/23  
Ten years ago I met a lepidopterist, a fanatic for butterflies. During butterfly season, Stuart Weiss, who has a background in conservation ecology and a PhD from Stanford University, would go clambering through the Santa…
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California North Coast agencies wonder what to do with all the wood waste

By Jeff Quackenbush   02/10/23  
As California ramps up attempts to reduce woodland fuels for destructive wildfires a parallel effort has been emerging to both keep that woody waste out of landfills and perhaps help with the state’s need for…
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Agencies Announce Commitment To Create Climate-Resilient Highway 37

By Maggie Fusek   02/08/23  
State and local agencies announced a partnership agreement Wednesday and a suite of commitments to implement near-term improvements to the San Francisco Bay Area’s state Highway 37 while pursuing long-term projects to create a more…
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Ground zero: Rain brings little relief to California’s depleted groundwater

By Alastair Bland   02/07/23  
Communities, largely home to low-income Latino residents, still have dry wells. Restoring groundwater takes decades, with costly, long-term replenishment projects — and ultimately, much less pumping.
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Sonoma’s new Climate Action Commission meet for first time to address Draft Climate Action Plan

By Rebecca Wolff   02/06/23  
The commission will advise the council on issues related to reducing greenhouse gasses from the city’s municipal, residential, commercial and industrial sectors and on adapting to climate change within the city’s jurisdiction.
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Harnessing the Earth’s Thermal Potential for Energy

01/24/23  
On Jan. 6, 2023, Silicon Valley Power (SVP) and the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) signed a set of long-term Power Purchase Agreements with the Geysers Power Company, LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Calpine Corporation,…
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Healdsburg floating solar—a good idea then and now

By Merrilyn Joyce   01/23/23  
“When the City of Healdsburg unveiled our floating solar project in 2021, it was the largest floating solar project in the United States, generating about 8% of the City’s electricity needs. Not only did our…
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To Kalon: Napa Valley’s star vineyard gets organic certification

By Stacy Slinkard   01/20/23  
To Kalon, a vineyard regarded as California’s crown jewel thanks to its enduring renown for producing world-class, top-scoring Cabernet Sauvignon, has secured its legendary status with organic certification.
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npr

California storms bring more heavy rain, flooding and power outages

By Emma Bowman   01/15/23  
Rounds of heavy rain, wind and snow are battering California once again, prompting flood alerts and power outages in several regions.
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Climate change in Sonoma County: Who’s doing what about it?

By Connie Madden   01/04/23  
Many people avoid talking about climate change, scared of its dire consequences and not aware of positive actions across the world, the country and in Sonoma County. We make a difference.
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Sonoma County adopts updated state building codes with local amendments

12/08/22  
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted this week to adopt the California Model Building Codes, which includes requiring the use of electric appliances exclusively in most new residential construction.
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Marin, Sonoma clean power providers gearing up for rate hikes in 2023

By Susan Wood   12/08/22  
The North Bay’s two primary sources of clean energy plan to raise rates starting next year.
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The befouling of Point Reyes National Seashore

By Peter Byrne   11/16/22  
It’s an October morning at Point Reyes National Seashore and I’m scooting under barbed wire fences, wary of sliding into cow pies. 
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Napa Valley’s Frank Family Vineyards Furthers “Green to Our Roots” Ethos with a 100% Renewable Energy-Powered Winery

By Press Release   11/03/22  
Frank Family Vineyards, a part of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) family of brands, is proud to announce it has recently enrolled in Marin Clean Energy’s (MCE) Deep Green Program. This impactful program allows the winery…
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Drought impact on Russian River watershed challenging fish survival

By Wilson Walker   11/03/22  
As Northern California finds itself between two desperately needed rounds of rain, compounding years of drought have taken a toll across the state and particularly on our watersheds
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To fight climate change, compost it

By Travis Wagner   11/01/22  
The City of Sonoma has launched its Compost It Sonoma! program, distributing small kitchen pails for residents to collect their food scraps. The handy pails can then be emptied into the large green organics bins…
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How grape farmers could slow the impact of climate change on Northern California’s wine industry

By Heather Waldman   10/28/22  
California’s climate has always been one with extremes. Cool mornings regularly give way to sizzling afternoons during the summer growing season. That’s a weather challenge that farmers here have adapted to.
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Sonoma congressmember calls for immediate climate action on a local level

By Tom Vacar   10/25/22  
At Sonoma Clean Power's technology showroom, Congressman Mike Thompson brought many North Bay groups together to show how implementing the GREEN Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act must take place at the local level everywhere.…
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County allocates nearly $4.4 million to support climate resiliency projects

10/25/22  
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today approved $4.38 million for a variety of local climate resiliency projects ranging from building up local government electric vehicle infrastructure to a fare-free transit program for youth on…
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Marin County moving to require new construction be all-electric

By Richard Halstead   10/18/22  
Marin supervisors said this week that they will support an ordinance that would require that new residential and commercial construction in Marin be all-electric beginning Jan. 1.The ordinance, which will return to the board for…
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Sonoma County’s first electric police cruiser unveiled in Cotati

By Irene Hilsendager   09/23/22  
The City of Cotati unveiled their new electric police Cruiser, a Tesla Model Y, last Thursday at La Plaza Park. This is the first in the planned electrification of the entire municipal fleet. This car…
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Board of Supervisors approves Climate Resilient Lands Strategy

09/13/22  
Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors today approved the Climate Resilient Lands Strategy, a document designed to provide structure and guidance to climate-related efforts throughout the county, with a focus on natural and working lands. The…
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County of Sonoma to take inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for all county operations

08/09/22  
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today authorized the creation of an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions from all county government facilities and operations. The inventory will be used as a baseline to help the…
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Sonoma Clean Power pivots to helping consumers go green across many aspects of their lives

By Bill Swindell   07/02/22  
Nearing a decade since it was created, Sonoma Clean Power has made tremendous strides in its quest to curb carbon emissions in the North Coast. Here are the basics: The nonprofit public agency supplies 87%…
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