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New study reveals extreme levels of microplastics in San Francisco Bay

A study carried out over three years in the San Francisco Bay revealed high levels of microplastics in stormwater, treated wastewater, surface water, and sediment. The report discovered an important previously unknown source of pollution: degrading tires. It also found that stormwater has particularly high microplastic levels, suggesting the need for better infrastructure to filter stormwater.

Homesteading organization shows Oaklanders the rewards of urban gardening

It’s chock full of collard greens. And figs. And chickens. On Saturday, visitors meandered through the bushy rows of produce in the community garden at the corner of 33rd and West Streets, in the expansive lot belonging to Hoover Elementary School. Between the vegetation, visitors could see pops of color from mosaics and decorative wooden poles with glittery streamers floating in the soft breeze. Volunteers picked at a ten-foot-high mulch pile, filling loads into a wheelbarrow before spreading them across…

HIV rates rise among Latinx men who have sex with men

When Oakland resident Eddie Velasquez was growing up, he was frequently taunted by his peers for being gay. They called him derogatory slurs and told him to be a “real man.” He was raised in a traditional Latino household, and his cultural identity made little room for homosexuality. To stop the bullying, Velasquez even dated a woman for a short period of time, but he knew he wasn’t being honest with himself, he said. Velasquez’s experience is representative of the…

Western monarch butterflies could disappear

Each year, thousands of monarch butterflies from across the west make their way to the California coast where they spend their winter, including making migratory stops at East Bay parks. For the past two decades, volunteer citizen scientists have been counting them during the Annual Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, organized by the Xerces Society. Christina Garcia, a naturalist at the East Bay Regional Park District, has been counting butterflies at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont for over 20 years. This…

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