Environment

Judge rules on Point Molate development; housing to be built, but no casino

After almost eight years of grinding litigation that has brought proposals to develop Richmond’s controversial Point Molate area to a halt, the city and the developer who sued it over a plan to build a casino have finally reached a settlement. This means 13 years of political fighting since Richmond officially acquired the 270-acre parcel of land and former fuel depot from the Navy in 2003 may finally give way to a unified plan to make economic use of the…

Climate change and land subsidence pose threat for coastal Bay Area

The Bay Area is sinking and climate change is speeding things up, according to a new study published in Science Advances this month. The study was conducted over the span of two years by researchers Manoocher Shirzaei and Roland Burgmann, who used satellite images to evaluate regions of the Bay Area, such as Treasure Island, which are experiencing sea level rise because of the accelerated melting of polar ice. Shirzaei is a former UC Berkeley post-doctoral student, and Burgmann is…

Researchers team up to solve a ‘50-year old murder mystery’: What’s killing sharks in the San Francisco Bay?

Spirits were low in McCovey Cove as the San Francisco Giants played a discouraging game against the Kansas City Royals. The visitors were on track to win, holding on to an 8-1 lead for several innings. The atmosphere was buoyed, however, when a cameraman spotted an unlikely supporter in the cove: a leopard shark swimming along the surface of the water. Giants player Jeff Samardzija’s nickname is “Shark,” and fans seemed to interpret the animal as a good omen. The…