This crisp morning marks the start of meteorological fall. I know it’s not even Labor Day yet and many warm and summer-like days lie ahead, but much of this summer like no other has passed. For me, it is still too early to have fully sorted out what to make of this past summer, the first I have spent at home, albeit working, since my teen years. I saw more of my kids this summer than I had planned to, and the dogs sure seemed to like having me around to keep them company. All that good aside, it was a strange and disrupted summer. It was impossible to ignore the loss and pain experienced by those whose businesses suffered or who lost loved ones or were saddened by the broken bonds of friendships interrupted and family visits not taken and enjoyed.

Like many who try as best they can to cope, the staff at APCC remained focused on the work at hand. By any measure, we had a productive summer. Our focus on protecting the public from the threats posed by cyanobacteria in our ponds remained as it has been. Despite some challenges with sample collection and having to completely change course on lab space in response to the pandemic, our monitoring and reporting continued on (

We have updated our State of the Waters report and will be announcing the updated water quality grades for estuaries, ponds and public drinking water supplies at our Sept 30 virtual annual meeting (sign up to attend at Our first summer generating our own electricity, thanks to the generosity of the Tern Foundation, has resulted in a net input of power into the grid from our solar panels. Our native landscape has again proven its value in this very dry summer as it has thrived and supported pollinators and wildlife again without watering, pesticides or fertilizers. We have spoken out on alternative energy, opposed federal rollbacks of environmental protections, encouraged aggressive climate friendly policies and have promoted civic engagement as an expression of an environmental ethic.

It has been a busy summer and I would be remiss if I did not cite the generosity of our membership in providing us the critical financial support that makes our work possible. This has been a challenging year for all and our donors have been good to us, and for that we are thankful. Our Summer Appeal is, like summer itself, winding down, but it is not too late to support APCC to ensure we have the resources to do the hard work that remains ahead before the end of the year. If you like and value what we do, please help and donate on-line or by mail. Your support keeps us going.

Thank you for reading, stay safe, be well, and savor the warm days ahead for the sustaining gifts that they are.