Join us on January 25: Grandparenting in the Era of Climate Change with Guest Speaker Regina Pally

Join us on January 25:

Grandparenting in the Era of Climate Change

with Guest Speaker Regina Pally

On Thursday January 25,2023 Regina Pally will be interviewed by Climate Action Santa Monica’s Executive Director and Steering Committee Member Laurene Von Klan. Regina will be discussing the importance of Grandparents is in the life of their grandkids and to include her own personal experience and how the people who take care of children help kids manage the stress and anxiety of Climate Change.

Biography of Regina Pally:

Regina Pally is retired from private practice as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and currently engaged in helping the community. She is author of “The Reflective Parent: How to do less and relate more with your kids,” which emphasizes that building and maintaining a strong parent-child relationship is the single most important thing a parent can do for their child. She is Founder of Center for Reflective Communities (CRC), which provides training and educational workshops designed to help parents and other care providers build strong relationships with children by enhancing their capacity to be reflective. Reflective capacity is the uniquely human ability that enables us to make sense of what is going on inside another person and inside ourselves. Regina maintains that being reflective in our relationships with children, leads to greater empathy, understanding, and acceptance and less stress, anger, and aggression, all of which ultimately promotes healthier child development. Regina has 3 adult children, 7 grandchildren and lives with her husband in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Bay Natural History Tour | December 17

Join us Sunday, December 17 at 9am as we ride along the Santa Monica Beach bicycle trail. We will explore the natural forces and processes that have shaped and are still shaping our coastline. It is a magical science mystery tour that spans millions of years and includes stories about how geology, coastal geomorphology, weather and climate, oceanography, and human impacts have conspired to sculpt some of southern California’s most iconic landscapes.

Join author and Earth Science Professor Emeritus William Selby on this bring or rent your own bike event that should last about three hours.

We start at 9am next to Hot Dog on a Stick near the original Muscle Beach, just “south” of SM Pier. Bring friends, family, and questions to this Everything You Wanted to Know about Nature and Landscapes on the Santa Monica Coast but were Afraid to Ask adventure.  

Climate Literacy in Schools

Climate Literacy in Schools

By Nancy Sanchez

Photo from Santa Monica Daily Press of Team Marine. Credit: Santa Monica High School

On November 2nd Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Board (SMMUSD) approved a climate literacy resolution proposed by Santa Monica High School’s Team Marine. The resolution by Team Marine requested “age appropriate discussions” in elementary schools while advancing the criteria for deeper discussions of climate issues in secondary schools, as quoted by Santa Monica Daily Press. The Team Marine proposal focused on allowing District teachers to provide hands-on learning with students by having guest speakers, environmental films and various research projects. By students gaining an environmental education in school they can create their own climate actions in their lives and their community.

Past CASM Climate Corps member Maya Williams, who is also a part of  Team Marine, participated in the push for Climate Literacy. She had this to say about Climate Literacy and future plans. “I think for a long time, climate literacy has been somewhat neglected within the climate movement because of the lack of instant gratification: we can calculate and track the immediate changes in emissions when a corporation or entity shifts from fossil fuels to clean energy, for example, but it’s a bit more difficult to measure the impact of educating our students on the topic of the climate crisis and the subsequent ripple effects of their climate education. But knowledge is power, and as a member of Team Marine, I’ve consistently been able to see how students that are informed on the climate crisis tend to be more motivated to take climate action and become civically engaged citizens out of concern for their communities and their planet. Nobody is going to get involved in a cause that they know nothing about, and so if our goal is to have students and young people that are more engaged not only in the climate movement, but also in the fight to create a better world, we need to start allocating the time and resources that are necessary to make climate literacy a priority in our classrooms.”

Nancy Sanchez, one of CASM’s Climate Job Corps fellows, offers this perspective: “As an environmental anthropologist, I believe climate literacy in schools is essential for students to understand their relationship to nature by addressing hands-on learning that can be applied to the world around them. Students should have an understanding of basic climate concepts and apply them to their own lives. This is just the first step of many to educate the current and next generation to mitigate climate change.”

Theodore Payne Foundation

Theodore Payne Foundation

By Nancy Sanchez -Environmental Anthropologist

On October 21st Climate Action Santa Monica’s Climate Jobs Corps (CJC) members went on a tour of the Theodore Payne Foundation to learn more about the native plants of California. During this tour Diego Blanco introduced the CJC to the ecological benefits of the California native plants in their native plant nursery and demonstration gardens. The CJCs observed the Foundation’s seed collection and storage facility, where seeds harvested from the wild are used to propagate native plants.  This is known as their seed regeneration program used to offer unique native species for sale and  also protect and restore wild plant populations (Seed & Bulb Program | Theodore Payne Foundation). 

One of the native plants that grabbed the attention of CJC member Isis Haynes was the Dudleya edulis, commonly known as the Fingertips or Ladyfingers. Dudleya edulis are cactus/succulent plants flowering between the months of May to July having natural habitats on soil, rocky slopes, and ledges that are below 4,300 feet. CJC members were also encouraged to engage with the plants by scratching and sniffing those that were fragrant, like sages..

After the tour CJC member Jasmine Contreras had this to say, “Theodore Payne Foundation is a lovely escape from the city. Truly a hidden gem. Staff is also super knowledgeable and were happy to answer all my questions.” 

With this experience CASM and its CJC members are glad to gain more exposure to native plants in their backyards. 


Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding, preservation, and use of California native wildflowers and plants. 

To learn more about the Theodore Payne Foundation visit their website at:

Theodore Payne Foundation 

#CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps

The #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps is a program to bring together youth across the state to help address urgent challenges in California’s communities. Participants will be paid a living wage while learning key job skills, developing career pathways, and engaging in their community.

We hope you are as excited as we are about the #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps.

RECORDING: Understanding the Santa Monica Beach Dunes Adaption Project Presentation

Understanding the Santa Monica Beach Dunes Adaption Project Presentation

November’s SAMOCAN is shore to bring excitement!

On Thursday, November 16th, the Santa Monica Climate Action Network welcomed Featured Speaker, Alexandra Tower, Coastal Adaptation Director for The Bay Foundation.  Alex discussed the success of the Beach Dunes Restoration pilot project and proposals to create additional wildlife habitat and protection from rising seas.  Nico Predock (Sustainability Analyst) from the City of Santa Monica, provided the City’s perspective and plans.  Jasmine Contreras, one of CASM’s Climate Fellows, spoke about beach grooming and provide ideas and information for adapting the way we manage the beach.

More About the Featured Speaker:

Alex was born and raised in a southern Californian coastal community, which may explain why she is a life-long advocate of the ocean and coastal environments. With a Master’s degree in Marine Ecology and a PhD in Coastal Dune Plant Physiological Ecology from UCLA, Alex has a keen interest in applying the breadth of her expertise to current environmental issues. Alex works at the interface of education, ecological research and hands-on ecological restoration. She has served in leadership positions for several institutions, and currently serves as a Commissioner on the City of Santa Monica’s Commission on Sustainability, Environmental Justice and the Environment. Alex lives in Santa Monica with her husband and teenage son.

RECORDING: SAMOCAN EVENT What Have our Climate Job Corps Members Been Doing?

RECORDING: SAMOCAN EVENT What Have our Climate Job Corps Members Been Doing?

As a part of CASM’s CJC Nancy Sanchez and Mario Melgarejo have been working on two projects structured around their interests in sustainability by collecting data to document how to move forward. Nancy’s project focused on Zero Waste and the 2019 Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance which seeks to encourage food establishments to have marine degradable food service ware. Mario’s project focused on the trends of different modes of transportation taken by the SAMOHI students.

Share your comments on the Broadway Protected Bike Lane Project!

The City of Santa Monica wants your input! The City has created a simple, interactive tool to collect feedback about improvements to Broadway. The comment period is open from October 17 to November 27, 2023. Use the following link Broadway Protected Bike Lane Project – Feedback Map to submit your input.

This project will see improvements to the bike lanes on Broadway between 5th and 26th streets. It is included in the 2020 Bike Action Plan Amendment’s five-year vision, and intersects with many other protected bikeways included in the plan.

CASM recognizes the importance of safe and extensive bike infrastructure, as well as any measures that helps make the city less dependent on automobiles. The city’s 2022 greenhouse gas inventory showed that 68.5% of carbon emissions in Santa Monica come from vehicles. While total vehicle emissions fell by 19% between 2019 and 2022, the City still has a long way to go to achieve an 80% reduction (below 1990 levels) in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as outlined in the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. As of 2022, the city has achieved a 48 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels.

Exploring Possibilities for Alternative Transportation Options at Samohi

Exploring Possibilities for Alternative Transportation Options at Samohi

In August 2023, Climate Action Santa Monica engaged over 500 Samohi students and parents at back-to-school registration to spread valuable information about biking, carpooling, and taking transit to school. With the help of CASM team members, students, parents, and community members, we successfully gathered data about student travel patterns and preferences, and collected comments and feedback on current conditions. This four-day outreach event helped identify recurring concerns among students and parents regarding commutes to school, and revealed opportunities for encouraging climate friendlier transportation modes.

To get a sense of existing travel patterns, we performed a survey using a board and colored stickers. We asked students “How are you getting to school on the first day?” and asked them to place the corresponding sticker to a transportation mode on the board. This question was asked because first day habits (e.g. new job, new school year) tend to be highly predictive of long-term habits. The following is a recap of responses:

  • Car: 46%
  • Carpool: 16%
  • Walk: 15%
  • Bus: 13%
  • Bike: 9%
  • Train: 1%

Through written and oral comments, students and parents expressed a need for safer bike lanes, better bus service along key routes, and a desire for improving congestion from drop-offs and pick-ups. Nearly 50% of students expressed being open to using another form of transportation other than the one they’re currently using, except for bicyclists, who overwhelmingly expressed a preference for biking. 

Acknowledging these issues and encouraging dialogue is important, as this four-day event has proved. Several students have asked to be involved in future outreach relating to transportation, and some parents have asked how they can get involved or who they should contact about a particular concern (e.g. one parent contacted Big Blue Bus to ask why Route 18 doesn’t have more frequent service around school start times). CASM will continue to engage and receive inclusive input from students, parents, and community members on school commuting to help identify opportunities for expanding and improving alternatives, alleviate congestion, improve air quality, and address much needed changes to our biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions (transportation).

Samohi bike racks at full capacity on October 10, 2023

One would be forgiven for thinking this picture is from one of Santa Monica High School’s Bike It! Walk It! Bus It! events or the former Bike to School event. The truth, however, is that this is just an ordinary Tuesday morning. A morning where the set of bike racks on the North Eastern side of campus are at full capacity, which is a testament to the success of the many bike infrastructure improvements made in the past decade serving Santa Monica High School and surrounding areas. One wonders now if this infrastructure can be expanded even further, to provide even more students the ability to choose this self-powered vehicle as an option to get to class. 

Getting more students to bike has a wide range of benefits for both students and the community. When used as a substitute for car travel, biking reduces vehicle miles traveled which leads to reduced levels of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and congestion on our roadways. Students benefit from the increased physical activity, and studies have shown that biking can help boost mental health leading to better academic performance. We should continue to encourage more biking (and walking) to school, for healthier students, a healthier planet, and a healthier community. 

RECORDING: SAMOCAN with Dana Nuccitelli from Citizen’s Climate Lobby

RECORDING: SAMOCAN with Dana Nuccitelli from Citizen’s Climate Lobby

On October 19, 2023, SAMOCAN hosted Dana Nuccitelli, the Research Coordinator for Citizens Climate Lobby.  Dana is an environmental scientist and climate journalist with a Master’s Degree in physics. He has written about climate change since 2010 for Skeptical Science, for The Guardian from 2013 to 2018, and since 2018 for Yale Climate Connections. In 2015 he published the book ‘Climatology versus Pseudoscience’, and he has also authored ten peer-reviewed climate studies, including a 2013 paper that found a 97% consensus among peer-reviewed climate science research that humans are the primary cause of global warming. With Dana’s experience he will be discussing what National Permitting Reform is and why it will help us reach our climate goals.

More about the speaker:

Dana joined CCL’s staff in 2021 after 9 years as a volunteer with its Sacramento chapter. During that time, he gave dozens of presentations all around California about climate change impacts like wildfires and droughts, and policy solutions like carbon fee and dividend. Dana has also led CCL’s Science Policy Team since 2017. In his free time, Dana enjoys playing tennis and spending time with his dogs. In recognition of his climate journalism and education work, Dana won the prestigious SEAL Environmental Journalism Award in 2022 and the National Center for Science Education Friend of the Planet Award in 2016.