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Caption: Chuey Cazares and his family live in the tiny coastal town of Alviso at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, Credit: Jan Sturmann
Image by: Jan Sturmann 
Chuey Cazares and his family live in the tiny coastal town of Alviso at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay 

RISE: Part III Chuey’s Story

From: Claire Schoen
Series: RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities
Length: 59:00

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Adapting to climate change will be a messy and painful business. And in the short term there will be winners and losers. Chuey Cazarez’s family is caught in this bind.

Part_3_photo_small Chuey Cazares has lived all of his 21 years in Alviso, a tiny hamlet jutting into the salt ponds at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay. Part of a close, extended Chicano family, with hundreds of relatives living in town, Chuey works as a deck hand on a shrimp boat off Alviso's shores.

His town's history — and its future — are defined by water. In the 1800's, farmers drained the aquifer, and the land sank thirteen feet below sea level. Then, the conversion of wetlands to salt ponds made the rivers back up during heavy rains and flooded Alviso. Now sea level rise from the Bay and more rain swelling the rivers threaten more frequent flooding. Chuey's family was traumatized by the last big flood in 1983, and although they fear the next one, they don't want to move anywhere else.

Meanwhile, Mendel Stuart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to save Alviso by restoring wetlands. But who is Alviso being saved for? As the flood risk lessens, property values are increasing, making housing in Alviso unaffordable for Chuey and his relatives. And the wetlands conversion has driven his boss's lucrative shrimping business out of the salt ponds.

While we must adapt to the impacts of climate change that we can no longer halt, Chuey's story dramatizes that climate change will create both winners and losers in the short term.

Piece Description

Chuey Cazares has lived all of his 21 years in Alviso, a tiny hamlet jutting into the salt ponds at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay. Part of a close, extended Chicano family, with hundreds of relatives living in town, Chuey works as a deck hand on a shrimp boat off Alviso's shores.

His town's history — and its future — are defined by water. In the 1800's, farmers drained the aquifer, and the land sank thirteen feet below sea level. Then, the conversion of wetlands to salt ponds made the rivers back up during heavy rains and flooded Alviso. Now sea level rise from the Bay and more rain swelling the rivers threaten more frequent flooding. Chuey's family was traumatized by the last big flood in 1983, and although they fear the next one, they don't want to move anywhere else.

Meanwhile, Mendel Stuart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to save Alviso by restoring wetlands. But who is Alviso being saved for? As the flood risk lessens, property values are increasing, making housing in Alviso unaffordable for Chuey and his relatives. And the wetlands conversion has driven his boss's lucrative shrimping business out of the salt ponds.

While we must adapt to the impacts of climate change that we can no longer halt, Chuey's story dramatizes that climate change will create both winners and losers in the short term.

Transcript

RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities
Part 3 - Chuey’s Story

0. Billboard
Narration:
Most of the world’s population lives along the coast. And rising waters are lapping at our shores. The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu plans to evacuate its entire population to New Zealand. The Dutch are building higher and higher defenses against the North Sea. How will we adapt to sea level rise and increasingly severe weather in Manhattan, Memphis, New Orleans? And along the San Francisco Bay.
Jose: We’ll have to get a boat, or something. [All laugh]
Chuey: A big boat (Mom: A house boat.) Noah’s Ark.
Mom: We’ll have a houseboat. [laughs]
Mendel: Many famous businesses that are located along the shoreline, Yahoo, Google, Nasa Ames Research Center, they’re actually below sea level. And they’re so important economically to the world.
Narration:
But adapting to climate change, will create winn...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

Series Title: RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities
Program Title: Chuey's Story
Total Program Length 59:00

00:00:00 Incue: (Billboard) “Most of the world’s population lives along the coast. And rising waters are lapping at our shores.”

00:01:00 Outcue: (Billboard) “RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities. After this...”

00:01:00 Incue: (News hole) Music.

00:06:00 Outcue: (News hole) Music.

00:06:00 Incue: (First half) Water. Then, “RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities. Chuey’s Story.”

00:32:53 Outcue: (First half) “It is true. People, you can ask anybody and people will tell you the same thing.”

00:32:53 Incue: (Station ID break) Music. Then, “You’re listening to RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities.”

00:33:53 Outcue: (Station ID break) Music.

00:33:53 Incue: (Second half) “Between visits from La Llorona, everyday life takes center stage for Chuey’s family. Like getting dinner on the table.”

00:59:00 Outcue: (Second half) “To hear all the stories in the RISE series and to learn about climate change in your area, please visit us online at searise.org. I’m Claire Schoen.” Then, music.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Original Music Jonathan Mitchell :00

Additional Files

Additional Credits

Associate Producer, Erica Mu. Original music by Jonathan Mitchell. Special thanks to Jan Stürmann, Stephen Most and Scott Koué.

Related Website

http://www.searise.org