News Briefs 4-20-2023

Written by Sullivan

April 23, 2023

Helicopter To Make Low-Level Flights Over Los Osos

Flyover of a helicopter performing an Airborne Electromagnetic Survey. Photo courtesy of SLO County 

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR), Sustainable Groundwater Management Office is conducting airborne electromagnetic (AEM) geophysical in Los Osos. The surveys will be conducted in groundwater subbasins within portions of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties over several days in April. Start date and the flight period provided in this notification may be extended or delayed by several weeks due to weather, wildfires, or equipment issues. 

As of press time Los Osos is scheduled for April 21-23. To check survey schedule go to under Survey Area 9.

AEM data are collected from a large hoop towed beneath a helicopter. The method is safe, and surveys have already successfully been conducted in several locations throughout California. Surveys will only be conducted during daylight hours and the helicopter will not fly over business, homes, other inhabitable structures, or confined animal feeding operations. The helicopter operator follows all established Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations, and their highest priority is public safety. 

The surveys are used to improve the understanding of groundwater resources and support the local and state goal of improved groundwater management and the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Funding is through voter approved Proposition 68 and there is no additional cost to locals. 

For more information about the surveys, visit DWR’s AEM project website, For questions, email 

Suicide Prevention Walk April 29

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Joining the thousands of people who are gathering in towns across the United States to promote suicide prevention. The first annual San Luis Obispo Out of the Darkness Campus Walk hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health, and Cuesta Community College, takes place Saturday, April 29 at 11 a.m. with check-in and event activities beginning at 10 a.m. on the Cal Poly campus. For more information, and to register, go to 

The event supports the AFSP’s education, research and survivor support programs. In addition to raising awareness and funds to fight suicide, the walks give those who attend a chance to connect with others and know they are not alone, whether they walk in memory or in support of a loved one or in honor of their own mental health journey. 

“Suicide touches one in five American families,” said Louisa Rocque, executive director, AFSP Greater Los Angeles & Central Coast Chapter. “We hope that by connecting with one another, we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.”  

The San Luis Obispo Out of the Darkness Campus Walk is one of hundreds of events being held nationwide this year. The event is free, and open to the public. 

Cal Poly Soil Judging Team Wins Second Place 

A flight delay and missed day of practice didn’t stop the Cal Poly Soil Judging Team from beating out 21 other teams to take second place at the National Collegiate Soils Contest at Oklahoma State University.

The competition held in March in Woodward, Oklahoma, included 23 teams from colleges and universities throughout the nation. The 10-person Cal Poly team advanced to the competition after a first-place finish at the regional contest held in November 2022 in Sonora, California. 

The Cal Poly team, coached by Professor Gordon Rees of the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Department, is comprised of students majoring in environmental earth and soil sciences and environmental management and protection. They were narrowly edged out of first place by the University of Maryland with a point margin of 2428-2422. 

Each year the National Collegiate Soils Contest is held at different host institutions throughout the nation to expose students to different terrains. Teams must correctly identify, evaluate, classify and describe the four soil profiles at various soil pits as a professional soil scientist would, under a time constraint.  

Students only had three days in northwestern Oklahoma to familiarize themselves with the area’s soils prior to the two-day competition. A flight delay meant the team missed their first day of practice, but they started working upon arrival.

New Planning Commissioner Appointed to Represent District 2

San Luis Obispo County Supervisors recently approved the appointment of Anne Wyatt as District 2 representative to the County Planning Commission. She will replace Michael Multari, who is retiring from that position after six years of service. 

“I’m honored and looking forward to this opportunity to re-enter the housing policy arena after several years working on program implementation, operations, and project development.” said Wyatt. “Effective housing solutions rely on effective projects, programs and policy.”

Wyatt is a resident of San Luis Obispo and business owner in Cambria. She is also the executive director of Smart Share Housing Solutions, a local non-profit organization that promotes innovative approaches to attaining sustainable, affordable housing. Wyatt previously served on the Planning Commission from 2007 to 2009, when important decisions were made on significant projects like the Los Osos Wastewater Project in 2009. 

District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson says he is thrilled she is rejoining the commission. “Her experience, knowledge and thoughtful consideration of planning issues will be a great benefit to the county as we confront today’s challenging issues. Her expertise in housing will be especially helpful and I appreciate the creative and committed work she has done with Smart Share Housing Solutions.” 

Supervisor Gibson also thanked Multari for his years of service to the county. 

“His exceptionally deep knowledge and experience in land use planning has been invaluable and his thoughtful leadership and thorough consideration of complex plans and projects has benefited all of us,” Gibson said. 

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