Effective Drought Solutions

submission by brittsheflin
Effective Drought Solutions

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Individual submitter

Organization(s) website(s):

www.allhale.net

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

@brittsheflin

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

www.facebook.com/allhaleblog

Organization(s) instagram handle(s):

@thehikingchef

Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):

www.facebook.com/allhaleblog

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization

Government

Other (please specify below):

:

Individual

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.

:

I am a private chef that has experience designing a zero-waste kitchen that feeds 50 people daily with all leftovers going directly to the homeless of Skid Row and the Downtown Women’s shelter. I create simple, scaleable solutions to tough problems.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.

:

Strategically reintroduce native beaver populations back into the dwindling watersheds around LA County, using modern techniques where beaver are "trained" to engineer dams where we want them to, yet leave our infrastructure intact. Beavers are proven to be highly effective at mitigating drought, flash floods, and erosion. As the first major metropolitan area to embrace this cost-effective solution, we would be ensuring a lasting, positive impact on the economy and ecology of our whole region.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA

Westside

South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)

LAUSD

Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.

:

“Any city smarter than a beaver can keep a beaver!”
-martinezbeavers.org motto

Drought. It’s punishing, relentless, and impacts our daily lives in countless ways. From raging wildfires, to soil erosion, and rapidly increasing temperatures, the drought has had a tremendous impact on California. To support tourism, agriculture, and an ever-growing population, the state that’s ranked as the world’s eighth-largest economy must begin to explore efficient and cost-effective solutions to this long-term problem.

Fortunately, there is a tried and true solution to persistent drought; reintroduction of native beaver species. Similar programs have been successfully implemented everywhere from arctic Canada to the deserts of Nevada, and even in parts of California, one of the states hit hardest by drought. However, being the first major metropolitan area to embrace beaver reintroduction only reinforces Los Angeles’ reputation as progressive and forward-thinking. It is a simple solution that is also cost-effective, has a quick implementation-to-results timetable, and has innumerable benefits to our environment as well as creating positive change in the lives of millions of Angelenos.

I propose that we reintroduce the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) to key areas where we need to control drought, flash floods, and further loss of fish and wildlife habitat. Modern techniques will guide these ultimate hydro-engineers to do the work for us. By reintroducing this keystone species on our terms, we can lock our aquatic ecosystem into a healthy equilibrium. From this foundation we have the ability to create community gardens, more urban natural space, food forests, and increase important wildlife habitat.

Additional advantages of reintroducing beavers into their natural habitat include: intensive water filtration, drought “savings accounts” created by the deep, topographically varied ponds, and naturally rich soil that is dispersed throughout regions where beaver reside. Fish and wildlife populations flourish wherever there are beaver, not only because of the additional water they store in their environment, but because they share their dens with a host of other beneficial creatures.

Beavers are capable of turning a tiny trickle into a massive pond. We need more clean surface water, they can provide it. They are malleable to our agenda if one applies the techniques that encourage them to build where you want them to.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

:

Weekly, monthly and yearly data will be collected on water volume, soil health, and wildlife populations at each beaver site. As soon as one colony is established and proven effective, another one can be introduced, tracked, and monitored. This method will ensure that beaver are being kept in areas that will be most beneficial to humans.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)

Education/training

Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

Discussion
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Sound great, except the beavers won't necessarily stay where you want them too. They will eat fences, doors, house siding, fell trees, and dig burrows in flood control levees. Introducing various species into environments where they do not exist does not have a good track record.

by Buss
5 months ago

I'm so excited to spread the word about this AMAZING proposal. I even sat my boyfriend down and handed him the laptop and said here, read and vote! Lol

But on a serious note: I would love to participate in any way when you are given this grant. This is an opportunity to pave our future for this generation and generations to come. Using natural remedies is what Mother Nature intended.

by Dahlia2011
5 months ago

I want to be absolutely clear that we are not proposing to throw beavers willy nilly into the LA river. The process would begin in the mountains in a controlled environment. Each beaver family would be closely monitored, and regular data on water retention, soil quality, and biodiversity would be collected. Only after suitably positive results were confirmed would we continue reintroducing and monitoring subsequent families. Flow devices and beaver deceivers would be used to protect infrastructure and prevent flooding in key areas.

-Britt Sheflin

by brittsheflin
5 months ago

I work with Britt in the no-waste kitchen, and I am so excited to see her vision here! This is an amazingly well thought out plan that is desperately needed in our current environmental state. In nearly 10 years of working with Britt, I can say without a doubt that she is strong, smart, and unbelievably driven; and I want nothing more that to help her get this grant, because she will make this thing happen, and leave a better California for us and our descendants. If we set an example and fix drought issues in a responsible, inexpensive, and sustainable way in Southern California, then this will work all over the country.

by alikatrose
5 months ago

This is a great solution! what better way to help prevent or minimize future drought problems in California than with an animal in its natural habitat. Water is life, lets do this!

by Tucha
5 months ago

I can imagine a city in which beaver families are managed all the way down the watershed as a part of parks and green space. It could be an incredible learning tool to bring school kids to the beaver dams to observe and learn about nature, with full time biologists who would use what we know about beaver behavior to make sure they are building where we want them to. Thus creating a gorgeous green space holding water in the city, providing space for life to flourish. I know this wouldn't be immediate, but can you imagine if it we could break up the concrete slab of the LA river and allow the beavers to bioremediate the area?! It would be a beautiful transformation of this city and so inspiring! With our water problems, it really should be priority number one in this county. I hope this proposal wins, but if it doesn't, I'm sure the idea will continue to grow and gain momentum!

by Hollisdoherty
6 months ago

Thank you for attempting to save our earth.

by Lorrainr
6 months ago

It seems counter intuitive ("Wha? Beavers make rain?") but the more you learn about the formation of WATERSHED the more beavers make sense! Hats off to this truly unique LA 2050 concept.

by FiveFtJen
6 months ago

I love this idea!! My favorite part is that it doesn't disrupt and/or destroy the planet. I see hope for the future.

by Sophiamh
6 months ago

Can't wait to share this proposal with my students!!

by trudi.forristal
6 months ago

What a great idea, using a natural medium instead of trying to engineer everything. Good luck!

by Ilobead
6 months ago

We had beavers in a pond right next to our field research station. They were so fun to watch as they went about their business. There's a reason they are busy beavers!

by Ilobead
6 months ago

Believe in the Beav!

by madelyn.doe
6 months ago

This is the most constructive, illuminating and exciting proposal I've seen, and I truly hope that it wins! I have lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, and with the drought crisis and upcoming flood concerns, it would be of great relief to know that such wholistic and effective solutions are being put into action.

by JFeathers
6 months ago

I think this is the best proposal I've read! As a lifetime resident of Los Angeles, I full support this idea for the reintroduction of the native beaver species. It's a fantastic idea.

by mler
6 months ago

As a resident of Los Angeles, I support this plan enthusiastically. It's a great idea.

by aland
6 months ago

As a resident of Los Angeles, I endorse this plan enthusiastically. It's a great idea.

by aland
6 months ago

Best dam grant proposal I've seen!! Hope LA county will realise how wise a plan it is! B*)=

by abob
6 months ago

A smart idea whose time has definitely come! Urban beavers can create real differences in the watershed, changing the populations of fish and birds and everything that depends on them. There are easy ways to manage behavior and control flooding, which we've seen work here in my city for nearly a decade. Not to mention, the first quote of this proposal is outstanding! ;-)

Heidi Perryman, Ph.D.
Worth A Dam
martinezbeavers.org

by hdshrnkr
6 months ago

Best of luck from Scotland... we have had a small population of Beavers busying themselves for the last 10 years or so. Scotland had been Beaver free for 400 years or so. Wishing you every success.

by ScotBeaver
6 months ago

I believe in the beaver!

by Jwilsack
6 months ago

Let's bring back beavers!!

by misskittiecat
6 months ago

Addressing drought and re-introducing the beav is a win win for everyone

by danielissexy
6 months ago

Genius idea. I'm a beaver believer!

by Monet
6 months ago

What a wonderful idea!! We need smart solutions that are sustainable, ecological and affordable. Let's live in harmony with our environment and the animals that are crucial parts of the fabric of our lives!!!

by kimweinglass
6 months ago

What a great idea! Nature to the rescue, of course.

by JulianneLotz
6 months ago

Awesome idea! Hope you win!

by orellith
6 months ago

Great idea. I hope this can happen, and soon!

by heidimcmaster
6 months ago

This is awesome! Let's make this happen!!!

by craigergreaer
6 months ago

Smartest idea I've seen in a long time.

by Maranda1010
6 months ago

great idea! good luck.
-a true beavliever

by cmanning
6 months ago

As a Canadian I strongly agree with using my national animal to help America. Go beavers!

by Designerstud
6 months ago

This is such a good solution for a drought that has no end. Symbiotic relationship with the earth. Natures probiotics.

by sirikhalsa
6 months ago

this is SO GOOD, dear! My only caveat is thinking we know better than beavers where to build dams-- they've already proven they know so much more than we do.

by SheWhoFlys
6 months ago

Buss, thank you for your comments! All of the issues you pointed out can now be successfully dealt with by utilizing modern beaver management techniques, which is what I am proposing. The Dept of US Fish and Wildlife has an excellent manual on modern beaver management, I'd be happy to send it your way. From flow devices to "beaver deceivers", to tree protection, there are simple and very affordable techniques to deal with all of the issues mentioned above. To quote Heidi Perryman of Martinez, CA "Any city smarter than a beaver can keep a beaver". She ought to know, considering her city has successfully kept beaver since 2006! There are countless other successful reintroductions and management systems in place across the USA and Canada. I have a huge resource list if you'd like to learn more. Lastly, I would like to point out that beaver are in fact native to all of North America from northern Mexico to arctic Canada, so it is not an introduction, but rather a reintroduction. We'd still have beaver everywhere if they hadn't been trapped out in the 1850's. All I'm asking for is the opportunity to collect data on the benefits vs potential issues that may arise. Beaver are easily tagged, monitored, and relocated if necessary. I don't think starting with 1-2 families to conduct research poses much of a threat, in any case. All current evidence points to positive results, so I'd love to see people keep an open mind about ways to repair our current water issues. Unless you have a better idea?

by brittsheflin
5 months ago

Than you so much for your support! I'm glad to connect with people who understand the importance of our water future. Please keep in touch with me and fellow beaver believers on our new Facebook page: Bring Back the Beaver. I plan on doing a field trip to Martinez, CA soon to check out their beaver habitat.

by brittsheflin
5 months ago

Ali, thanks for your kind words! You know better than anyone how I work and what responsible methods I would use to make this proposal come to life.

by brittsheflin
5 months ago

Thanks for your support! It is a wonderful thing that beavers do. And even more wonderful that we now have the tools available to live a mutually beneficial existence, even in urban and suburban areas.

by brittsheflin
5 months ago

I love your big picture vision. The beautiful thing about this plan, is by using slow, methodical methods of reintroduction we can in turn design 10, 20, & 50 year plans that look like your description. By moving forward intentionally we can ensure that the reintroduction is beneficial for humans, beavers, and our changing landscape.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

There has never been a simpler solution to fixing some of the damage done by climate change. If we're no longer going to have snowpack in our mountains, we need beavers more than ever. They create healthy water "savings accounts" of clean, filtered H20. We could certainly use more of that around here.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support! The best part of this proposal, in my opinion, is that it has already been proven to work everywhere it has been implemented. With all of the modern devices at our disposal, a mutually beneficial relationship and healthy watershed has never been so close at hand. Martinez, California for example, has had great success with beavers in their city the last 10 years. They even host a beaver festival!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support! It's true, being a keystone species, beavers do provide a host of benefits to humans as well as other flora and fauna. Our plan includes reintegrating beaver in a very methodical manner so that humans in our area have time to develop a positive relationship with these industrious hydro engineers. Once they reap the benefits, I'm confident humans will be on board in the most expeditious manner.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

I highly recommend you show them the PBS documentary "Leave it to Beavers". It can be found on youtube, amazon prime and via the PBS website. It is less than an hour long, but is very informative while simultaneously being adorable.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Occam's Razor all the way.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

They are far more industrious than we are! Just imagine how much more efficient & affordable it will be to utilize their work ethic. Busy beavers indeed!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Your support is very much appreciated! Please check out our Facebook page "Bring Back The Beaver" to see all of the latest beaver news from as far away as Scotland to as close as Martinez, California.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thank you for your enthusiastic support! The drought and its side-effects are truly concerning. Especially when you take into account an ever-growing population. Luckily, real, provable solutions are at hand!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thank you! I hope we get the opportunity to prove the effectiveness of the solution. Our future depends on it.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thank you! I hope we get the opportunity to make it a reality.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thank you! I hope we get the opportunity to make it a reality.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support! I hope so too.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Heidi, your support means a great deal! It's so wonderful to have trailblazers like you who have done the hard work to PROVE that beavers are not only beneficial, but that we can coexist happily with them, even in urban environments. Your work exemplifies "Be the change you want to see in the world".

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thank you so much for your support! I have been following the Scotland reintroduction with great interest. I hope to se it for myself one day!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Reintroducing this keystone species is hugely important to our water future!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks, Monet!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support, Kim! Symbiotic relationships are key across the animal kingdom.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Crazy concept, huh? Living symbiotically with creatures that help us thrive. Thanks for your support, Julianne!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thank you! Your support is greatly appreciated.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support! The sooner, the better.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Yes, let's!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support, Maranda!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thank you!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Having been raised in "The Beaver State" I can relate!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

I remember that there were (hopefully still are!) beaver ponds near the Girdwood airport. It was my secret swimming area because the ponds were small enough to get warm, but large enough to be crystal clear, clean water.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

I'm glad you agree! Not only is it a win/win, but it is affordable, sustainable and easy to implement.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Nature's probiotics. Very well put, since beaver do contribute to healthy bacteria and filter out the bad stuff!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

I agree 100%. However, in an urban setting, in order to create a symbiotic relationship, we do need to prevent them from damming up culverts and other human-made infrastructure. The techniques used to do this don't prevent beaver from doing their work at all, it merely suggests to them a slightly different location (I'm talking a few feet away) that is beneficial to all. Thanks so much for your support and your thoughtful comment!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

The Beavers are healthy here! In the most northerly rainforest, wouldn't you know!

by Jwilsack
6 months ago

They are so industrious. Rainforest, or otherwise!

Just imagine the gnarly flash floods Gwood would have if beaver weren't present for 100+ years. That's what we're experiencing here in Southern California.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support!

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

Thanks for your support! I know Alaska still has some beavers left, doing their good deeds.

by brittsheflin
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$100,000
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015