Environment

‘It’s just a beautiful experience’: Community groups plant trees to make Verde school greener.

For years, even on hot mornings and afternoons, Verde Elementary School students have spent heir recess and physical education periods on a cracked and sun-drenched blacktop — a wide open space with colored lines drawing volleyball courts and soccer fields, a running track along the edge. But the school will soon live up to its colorful name, with green scenery to cover the blacktop and shade the kids. Last month, volunteers from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and 100K…

People of Richmond: What do you love about your city?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: What do you like most about living in Richmond? “I love being right on the water, I love that wherever I go I’m close to the water. I do the Bay Trail a lot, I live on the Bay Trail. I love watching the wildlife change through the seasons and I love…

In ‘Use it or lose it!’ ride, cyclists show support for ‘underused’ bike lane on bridge.

More than 100 cyclists pedaled across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge on Sunday to celebrate the third anniversary of the structure’s dedicated bike lane. But their  joy was mixed with concern, which the event’s slogan explained:  “Use it or lose it!” “This year, we’re fighting to keep the to keep this bike trail that we’ve advocated for,” said Najari Smith, founder and executive director of Rich City Rides, a Richmond nonprofit that promotes cycling. The Richmond-San Rafael bridge is 5.5 miles…

Electric bike borrowing program coming to Richmond

Richmond residents may soon be able to rent electric bikes with ease, after the city received a $3 million grant from the California Strategic Growth Council last month to implement its E-bike Lending Library Program.  Heralded by local bicycle cooperative and nonprofit Rich City Rides, a co-applicant for the grant, the project intends to make cycling more accessible for many would-be riders inhibited by physical ability or other barriers that make riding traditional bikes difficult. “We wanted to add a…

People of Richmond: What’s your biggest environmental concern?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: What is your greatest environmental concern in Richmond? “My greatest concern is Chevron and air pollution. The air is not good here and causes diseases, and Chevron is the greatest cause. They have to find a solution for that because our lives matter.” (Hector Maguna, mechanic) “The other day we had a game…

Chevron settles for $200,500 with county and state over 2021 diesel spill in San Francisco Bay

The Contra Costa County district attorney’s office announced Friday that it and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have reached a settlement with the Chevron Richmond Refinery over a 2021 pipe rupture that dumped nearly 800 gallons of diesel into San Francisco Bay. Under the agreement, approved Monday in Contra Costa County Superior Court, Chevron will cover cleanup costs of $130,543.26 and will pay $70,000 in civil penalties to the state and county. “Corporations must be held strictly liable for…

Bay fishers still reeling from summer’s red tide, which could make a fall return

As dozens of dead fish pile along the shoreline, rotting under the baking sun, the stench is a minor inconvenience to the local anglers who are struggling with the financial burdens brought on by the recent algae bloom. In late July, the San Francisco Bay Area witnessed the largest Heterosigma akashiwo bloom in recorded history. Notoriously dubbed the red tide, this environmental tragedy resulted in a mass fish kill that ravaged the marine life in the bay, decimating over tens…

Remembering Richmond native and environmental leader Henry Clark: ‘a soldier on the battlefield, making things happen’

Family, friends, co-workers and community members gathered at Lucky A’s North Richmond Baseball Field on Saturday to celebrate the life and legacy of Henry Arthur Clark, a pioneer of the environmental justice movement in Richmond and beyond. Clark passed away on June 2, at 77 years old.  To a gathering of more than 50 people, speakers recounted the leadership that would be a hallmark of Clark’s life. He grew up in the shadow of the Chevron Refinery and Richmond’s industrial…

Cleanup Day volunteers rid the Richmond shoreline of bags, bottles and other debris

Bright and early, in the Saturday morning chill, roughly a dozen Boy Scouts  arrived at Shimada Friendship Park ready to clear the Richmond shoreline of washed up trash. They eagerly raced up and down the trail, competing to see who could retrieve the most unusual waste lodged in the rocks. Each scout filled buckets with disposable masks, Styrofoam, miscellaneous plastics, water bottles, straws, plastic hangers, and driftwood. The Boy Scouts joined Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia and dozens of other volunteers for…