News Article | October 26, 2016
CALIFORNIA’S Sierra Nevada mountains used to be reliable natural water towers. Winter storms would coat them with a thick blanket of snow, which would melt as temperatures rose through spring and summer. Gravity carried meltwater down to cities for free. But climate change means water managers can no longer rely on the melt flow. Drought is the new normal, and snow falls less often and tends to come in bursts. In an attempt to take control of the state’s water cycle, a project called SierraNet is covering California’s mountains with networks of sensors. It will report snow and water conditions in unprecedented resolution, and allow monitoring of the unpredictable watersheds. The data will help California to manage its water and the hydroelectric dams that depend on it. “We’ve operated our water systems by the seat of our pants for the past century,” says Roger Bales, a civil engineer at the University of California, Merced, who jointly leads the project. “We’ve operated with very little information, because there was plenty of water and not that many people.” SierraNet distributes a mesh network of sensor packages that measure snow depth, humidity and air temperature, as well as solar radiation, soil temperature and soil moisture content. These sensor packs use a low-powered radio to relay the data they gather back through the mesh to a higher-powered base station. This makes sure readings get through even if one link fails, says Steven Glaser, an engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, and the other co-leader of the SierraNet scheme. “With a mesh you’re guaranteed that the data gets back.” Glaser says he is working out a deal with Placer County Water Agency that would fund ongoing maintenance of the network, with Placer using SierraNet’s data to help manage its water supplies. The lack of water and its unpredictable supply can play havoc with hydroelectric power. The Feather river in the Sierra Nevada is usually flush with snowmelt in April and is relied on by hydroelectric dams. In 2015, it was practically dry. “We’ve operated our water systems by the seat of our pants for the past century“ “It was the lowest hydro production on record, probably,” says Kevin Richards, an engineer at Pacific Gas and Electric, an energy company that manages 360 megawatts of hydroelectric power on the river, one of the largest hydro projects in California. “Let’s just say very, very, very low.” Over the last few months, PG&E has worked with SierraNet to carpet its Feather river watershed with sensors. It wants to use the new stream of data to help manage its dams. If the company knows how much water is sitting in the mountains, it can plan ahead and produce energy when the market most needs it. This is becoming increasingly important as California adds more solar panels and wind turbines to the grid – predictable and controllable electricity supplies are needed to fill lulls in renewable production. California’s drought and the accompanying drop in hydroelectric generation is costly both for the economy and the environment, according to an analysis by Peter Gleick at the Pacific Institute think tank in Oakland, California. In the four years to September 2015, hydropower was down so much that it cost Californian ratepayers about $2 billion more over that period for their electricity, Gleick writes. “The additional combustion of fossil fuels for electric generation also led to a 10 per cent increase in the release of carbon dioxide from California power plants.” Richards says gathering better data from watersheds is a must-do for dam managers, because climate change means that many of their models for flow no longer work. “The statistical models are having less and less utility,” he says. What it boils down to is that the available water needs to be used more cleverly. “We need to start managing the whole watershed, from headwater to groundwater,” says Bales. This article appeared in print under the headline “Sierra sensing”
News Article | February 16, 2017
Just two years ago, Lake Oroville was so dry that submerged archaeological artifacts were starting to resurface. That was in the middle of California’s epic drought — the worst in more than a millennium. And then the rains came. This winter is on track to become Northern California’s soggiest on record. A key precipitation index is running more than a month ahead of the previous record pace, set in the winter of 1982–1983 (records go back to 1895). Lake Oroville is so full that it spilled over for the first time, spurring evacuations downstream. California’s climate has always been extreme (even before humans got seriously involved), but what’s happening right now is just ridiculous. We are witnessing the effects of climate change play out, in real time. Lake Oroville is as full as it has ever been, and remains vulnerable: We’re still in the peak of the rainy season, and more rain is on the way. On Tuesday and Wednesday, crews at the beleaguered dam worked around the clock to stabilize and reinforce the emergency spillway in anticipation of a fresh torrent of rainfall. But the scale of action — truck after truck of giant boulders dumping 1,200 tons of rock per hour — was small in comparison to the immense scale of erosion that has already taken place. There’s a real risk that the lake could spill over the top a second time. And it’s not just Oroville. Major reservoirs ring the Central Valley, and nearly every one is full, or nearly so, as the Sacramento Bee reported earlier this week. Several levees statewide are seeping, and workers intentionally breached one along the Mokelumne River in Northern California over the weekend to relieve pressure. The levee system was simply not designed to be this stressed for extended periods of time. Five successive waves of storms in the coming week could bring another foot of rainfall. The graphic below shows the amount of rain (and liquid-equivalent snow) on the way over the next seven days — enough to prompt renewed warnings from the National Weather Service. Climate science and basic physics suggest we are already seeing a shift in the delicate rainfall patterns of the West Coast. A key to understanding how California’s rainy season is changing lies in understanding what meteorologists call “atmospheric rivers,” thin, intense ribbons of moisture that stream northeastward from the tropical Pacific Ocean and provide California with up to half of its annual rainfall. Exactly how atmospheric rivers will change depends on greenhouse gas emissions and science that’s still being worked out. Atmospheric rivers are already responsible for roughly 80 percent of California’s flooding events — including the one at Lake Oroville — and there’s reason to believe they are changing in character. Since warmer air can hold more water vapor, atmospheric rivers in a warming climate are expected to become more intense, bringing perhaps a doubling or tripling in frequency of heavy downpours. What’s more, as temperatures increase, more moisture will fall as rain instead of snow, increasing the pressure on dams and waterways during the peak of the rainy season. There’s even new evidence that especially warm atmospheric rivers can erode away existing snowpack. Peter Gleick, chief scientist of the Pacific Institute and frequent visitor to the Oroville area, is clear about what the drama at Oroville represents. “We’re seeing evidence of more extremes,” he says. “To ignore that would be a mistake.” We’ve built dams based on old weather patterns, not for the extremes we’re now seeing. A clear problem emerges when we manage society for how things were, not how things are. In many ways, we are planning for the future with the expectation that the weather will be more or less the same as in the past. It won’t be. The acting director of the California Department of Water Resources, Bill Croyle, made a telling statement earlier this week when asked why the infrastructure at Oroville seemed so fragile. “I’m not sure anything went wrong,” Croyle said. “This was a new, never-happened-before event.” If we don’t start imagining and preparing for more “new, never-happened-before events,” more people will be put in danger — like they are right now in Oroville. The near-disaster at Oroville has prompted another broad discussion about our country’s decrepit infrastructure, which arrives in the context of the Trump Administration’s plans to boost infrastructure spending. But this is about more than just spending money to fix up our aging dams. The entirety of our country’s infrastructure needs to be reevaluated with the understanding that we have a unique opportunity to reimagine our shared future. If things are rapidly changing anyway, we might as well build a future consistent with our new weather reality. At a place like Lake Oroville, that might mean leaving more space in the reservoir for flooding than has been done in the past. That wouldn’t be popular, because it would reduce the reservoir’s capacity, even as rising temperatures spur demand for more water. It may also mean increased resources for counseling services in coastal and riverine communities, as flooding events become more frequent and families consider whether to relocate. The state is already on a good start: Earlier this week, the California Department of Water Resources released a draft resolution for a comprehensive response to climate change, including dam operation. After the current storms pass, California will still have two months left in its rainy season. It seems likely that 2016–2017 will become the wettest rainy season in state history. That means the danger at Lake Oroville won’t completely pass until this summer. “They’re going to have to run the main spillway all spring in order to prevent additional flooding,” Gleick said. “I think people are going to be a little nervous for the next few months.”
News Article | February 17, 2017
Lake Oroville and its dam in Northern California are critical components in California's complex water-delivery system. Damage to spillways that are used to drop water levels in the lake and relieve pressure on the dam prompted evacuation orders covering nearly 200,000 people. Here's a look at Lake Oroville and its place in California's water system Lake Oroville is the starting point for California's State Water Project, which provides drinking water to 23 million of the state's 39 million people and irrigates 750,000 acres of farms. It is the largest reservoir in the system, which was built in the 1960s and early 1970s to carry rain and snowpack from the Sierra Nevada mountains to parts of the San Francisco Bay area, Central Valley and Southern California. Lake Oroville, completed in 1967, is a cornerstone of the system of 34 reservoirs, lakes and storage facilities, built and operated by California's Department of Water Resources. It feeds into the Feather River - about 70 miles north of Sacramento - as well as the Sacramento River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. From there it travels south on the 444-mile California Aqueduct. Oroville's storage capacity of 3.5 million acre-feet of water is enough to supply urban California for up to six months, said Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute, a water research organization based in Oakland, California. "The risk of losing Oroville is very, very low" he said. "The consequences would be catastrophic." When reservoirs get too full, their operators release extra water down long channels, or spillways, designed to carry it downstream in a safe, controlled way. Oroville Dam has a main concrete spillway that normally is used to release floodwaters into the Feather River downstream. A second spillway mainly made of earth serves as an emergency backup. It also was supposed to be able to handle high flows from the dam, but it had never been used before Saturday. The force of water siphoned from the lake has damaged both spillways. After five years of drought, a wet winter has strained the system at Lake Oroville, which is receiving runoff from melting snow in the Sierra Nevada as well as from the latest in a series of heavy storms. Dam operators noticed chunks of concrete in the main spillway on Feb. 7. When workers stopped releasing water to investigate, they found that concrete patches the size of football fields had washed out of the channel. With the reservoir nearing the top of the 770-foot-high dam, dam operators were forced to keep using the main spillway despite increasing damage to it from the rushing water. The dam reached capacity Saturday, sending water surging over the second, emergency spillway. Operators on Sunday noticed water was gouging a hole in the earthen emergency spillway as well. Fearing that the emergency spillway could fail and send torrents of water rushing downstream uncontrolled, authorities ordered the evacuation Sunday evening. The Central Valley Project, operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, irrigates more than 3 million acres of farms and provides enough drinking water for more than 1 million people. The system of 22 reservoirs was built from 1937 to the 1950s, extending about 400 miles from the Cascade Mountains near Redding to the Tehachapi Mountains near Bakersfield. It includes Shasta Lake, the only reservoir in California that's larger than Oroville. The Colorado River supplies 19 million urban dwellers in Southern California through a 242-mile aqueduct from Lake Havasu, Arizona, to the state's coastal regions that was completed by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in 1941. The Colorado also farms California's Imperial Valley - a major source of the nation's winter vegetables - through the 80-mile All-American Canal that hugs the state's border with Mexico. Other significant pieces of the state system include the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which carries water from Mono Lake to the city of Los Angeles, and the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park, which supplies the San Francisco Bay area. You Might Also Like
News Article | February 20, 2017
The evacuation of nearly 200,000 people near Oroville Dam is the kind of event that makes climate change personal. A co-worker of mine was forced out of his home for several days by the emergency evacuation, and another friend was visiting Lake Oroville and happened to leave 15 minutes before the evacuation order was issued. Like many extreme events, the Oroville emergency is a combination of natural weather likely intensified by climate change. California regularly sees “atmospheric rivers” that deluge the state with rainfall, but in a hotter world, scientists anticipate that they’ll be amplified by an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Northern California is in the midst of its wettest rainy season on record – twice as wet as the 20th century average, and 35% wetter than the previous record year. It proved to be almost too much for America’s tallest dam to handle. Water managers were forced to use Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway for the first time ever, which then began to erode, posing the threat of a failure and catastrophic flooding of nearby towns. While studies haven’t yet connected this extreme wetness to climate change (there are still several months remaining in California’s rainy season), what we’re seeing is consistent with climate scientists’ expectations of a hotter world. Dams in the United States were built 50 years ago, on average. Since then, the Earth’s surface temperature has warmed about 0.75°C, and there’s now more than 5% more water vapor in the atmosphere as a result, which intensifies storms. With hotter temperatures, more precipitation falls as rain and less as snow, and California’s Sierra snowpack also melts earlier in the year. Climate change stresses California’s water infrastructure through all of these mechanisms. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute has been researching the impact of climate change on the water cycle since the 1986, when his dissertation was the first research to conclude that the Sierra snowpack would be at risk due to rising temperatures from global warming. He also found that this would lead to increased winter runoff and flood risks, which is exactly what we’re now seeing. As Gleick told me: Gleick warned 30 years ago that this increased runoff would add stress to California’s water infrastructure, also noting that in a hotter world, more precipitation would fall as rain and less as snow. Gleick’s words now seem prescient. Research has shown that conditions that create both wet years and hot dry years in California are becoming more frequent. California’s intensely wet 2017 is a prime example of weather whiplash, as the state is just now emerging from a 5-year drought that was its most intense in more than 1200 years. Studies have found that global warming intensified that drought by about 15–35% through factors like increased evaporation and water demand, pushing it into the realm of record-shattering intensity. As Gleick recently wrote, extreme weather is battering California: Environmental groups warned the state about Oroville Dam in 2005, noting that in an intensely wet year like we’ve seen in 2017, its emergency spillway could erode, and thus should be coated with concrete. State agencies concluded that the cost of this project couldn’t be justified given the low probability of such a wet season, but climate change increases the likelihood and intensity of extreme precipitation events. The environmental groups were proven right. These are some of the many hidden costs of climate change. Intense droughts and floods exert extra stress on aging water management systems, farms, and other infrastructure. Lives are put in danger, as my friends’ were. On the other side of the world, Australia is in the midst of a record-breaking heatwave, with temperatures reaching 44°C (111°F), 12°C (22°F) above normal. Such dangerous heatwaves are now twice as likely to occur because of human-caused global warming. It’s becoming more and more difficult to deny the reality and dangerous consequences of human-caused climate change, and more costly to do so.
News Article | December 12, 2016
Donald Trump scolded military jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin on for “out of control” costs on Monday, sending the defence contractor’s stock plummeting. “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th,” when he will officially take office, the president-elect wrote on Twitter. The subsequent share price drop cut $4bn from the company’s value and is the latest of a series of attacks on businesses made by Trump. The Lockheed-Martin F-35 fighter jet is the most expensive military hardware program in history and is scheduled to quadruple production during Trump’s administration. Each jet currently costs $100m. Trump’s tweet sent the price falling from Friday’s close of $259.53 to $246 – a loss of about $28.6m per character tweeted. Trump had mentioned his displeasure with the F-35 program in an interview with Chris Wallace the day previous on Fox News Sunday. It is unclear why Trump targeted Lockheed Martin or how or if he intends to save money on the program. Jeff Babione, the F-35’s general manager, said Lockheed-Martin “understand the importance of affordability and that’s what the F-35 has been about” in an emailed statement. “Whoever has it will have the most advanced air force in the world, and that’s why we’re building the F-35,” Babione wrote. “That’s why it’s important that the US and our partners, like the Israeli air force, have this aircraft. It’s a great value and we look forward to any questions the president-elect may have.” Lockheed has defended the joint strike fighter program as job-creating. The firm uses facilities in 45 of 50 US states and says the F-35 program is “responsible for more than 146,000 direct and indirect US jobs”, according to the company’s website. The salvo against Lockheed is only Trump’s latest: on Tuesday the president-elect attacked Lockheed competitor Boeing, again for “out of control” prices for Air Force One, the president’s private jet. Those comments sent the contractor’s share price into a similar tailspin. “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Lockheed-Martin doesn’t manufacture the F-35 alone. The stakeholders form a complex geopolitical web – one reason it has been allowed to grow so costly. UK defense hardware firm BAE Systems makes the airplane’s aft section; Californian company Northrop Grumman makes the plane’s center fuselages, as does Ankara’s Turkish Aerospace Industries. The F-35 will be for use by US and allied military forces, Turkey and the UK among them. Trump was broadly critical of American military support for its allies during his campaign, criticizing it as too expensive. Trump has previously commented on the F-35, but never to criticize. In 2014 he quoted a follower’s criticism of the Affordable Care Act website, saying the US “could have bought 50 F35 fighters or 5 Aircraft Carriers but we got a worthless website”. In 2012, Trump linked to a story about the suspected theft of F-35 plans by Chinese spies on a blog called Asia Security Watch, run by a think tank called the New Pacific Institute.
Gleick P.H.,Pacific Institute
Weather, Climate, and Society | Year: 2014
The devastating civil war that began in Syria in March 2011 is the result of complex interrelated factors. The focus of the conflict is regime change, but the triggers include a broad set of religious and sociopolitical factors, the erosion of the economic health of the country, a wave of political reform sweeping over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Levant region, and challenges associated with climate variability and change and the availability and use of freshwater. As described here, water and climatic conditions have played a direct role in the deterioration of Syria's economic conditions. There is a long history of conflicts over water in these regions because of the natural water scarcity, the early development of irrigated agriculture, and complex religious and ethnic diversity. In recent years, there has been an increase in incidences of water-related violence around the world at the subnational level attributable to the role that water plays in development disputes and economic activities. Because conflicts are rarely, if ever, attributable to single causes, conflict analysis and concomitant efforts at reducing the risks of conflict must consider a multitude of complex relationships and contributing factors. This paper assesses the complicated connections between water and conflict in Syria, looks more broadly at future climate-related risks for water systems, and offers some water management strategies for reducing those risks. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.
Gleick P.H.,Pacific Institute
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010
The management of water resources in arid and semiarid areas has long been a challenge, from ancient Mesopotamia to the modern southwestern United States. As our understanding of the hydrological and climatological cycles has improved, and our ability to manipulate the hydrologic cycle has increased, so too have the challenges associated with managing a limited natural resource for a growing population. Modern civilization has made remarkable progress in water management in the past few centuries. Burgeoning cities now survive in desert regions, relying on a mix of simple and complex technologies and management systems to bring adequate water and remove wastewater. These systems have permitted agricultural production and urban concentrations to expand in regions previously thought to have inadequate moisture. However, evidence is also mounting that our current management and use of water is unsustainable. Physical, economic, and ecological limits constrain the development of new supplies and additional water withdrawals, even in regions not previously thought vulnerable to water constraints. New kinds of limits are forcing water managers and policy makers to rethink previous assumptions about population, technology, regional planning, and forms of development. In addition, new threats, especially the challenges posed by climatic changes, are now apparent. Sustainably managing and using water in arid and semiarid regions such as the southwestern United States will require new thinking about water in an interdisciplinary and integrated way. The good news is that a wide range of options suggest a roadmap for sustainable water management and use in the coming decades.
News Article | January 27, 2016
Drones are more than just toys with cameras that people are into nowadays. California residents have started using them to track the effects of El Niño, providing experts with a first-hand look at the changes coasts are undergoing as a result of the El Niño phenomenon. Nature Conservancy, an American charitable environmental organization based in Virginia, has asked the participation of citizens to capture photos of coastal erosion and flooding brought by the irregular climate and weather pattern. It is characterized by a complex series of climate changes that causes California to have a very wet winter. Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to take high-resolution 3D photos, which are useful in helping scientists identify the extent of coastal flooding. Scientists use these photos to tell if their predictive models are accurate. "We use these projected models and they don't quite look right, but we're lacking any empirical evidence," Matt Merrifield, the organization's chief technology officer, said. In a way, the project determines if the models are true. California faces climate change problems that add to the possibility that many of its beaches could disappear. In a study conducted by the Pacific Institute in 2009, the researchers stated that about 500,000 people and about $100 billion worth of properties such as schools, roadways and power plants are at risk of devastation as sea levels continue to rise every year. "When you get [a] big winter storm surge like they want to document, you tend to lose a lot of beach," William Patzert, a climatologist for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said. He added that the project looks like a documentary on what the future holds and will show how beaches will look like in a century. Organizers of the project have not given specific instructions to participants, but they might ask for specific requests. If the users can send photos of about 10 to 15 percent of the coastlines, the project can be dubbed a success. In the meantime, they partnered with a start-up company, DroneDeploy, which will issue a free app to participating drone owners across California.
News Article | January 25, 2016
LONG BEACH, CA (AP) — Forget about selfies. In California, residents are using smartphones and drones to document the coastline's changing face. Starting this month, The Nature Conservancy is asking tech junkies to capture the flooding and coastal erosion that come with El Nino, a weather pattern that's bringing California its wettest winter in years — and all in the name of science. The idea is that crowd-sourced, geotagged images of storm surges and flooded beaches will give scientists a brief window into what the future holds as sea levels rise from global warming, a sort of a crystal ball for climate change. Images from the latest drones, which can produce high-resolution 3-D maps, will be particularly useful and will help scientists determine if predictive models about coastal flooding are accurate, said Matt Merrifield, the organization's chief technology officer. "We use these projected models and they don't quite look right, but we're lacking any empirical evidence," he said. "This is essentially a way of 'ground truthing' those models." Experts on climate change agreed that El Nino-fueled storms offer a sneak peak of the future and said the project was a novel way to raise public awareness. Because of its crowd-sourced nature, however, they cautioned the experiment might not yield all the results organizers hoped for, although any additional information is useful. "It's not the answer, but it's a part of the answer," said Lesley Ewing, senior coastal engineer with the California Coastal Commission. "It's a piece of the puzzle." In California, nearly a half-million people, $100 billion in property and critical infrastructure such as schools, power plants and highways will be at risk of inundation during a major storm if sea level rises another 4.6 feet — a figure that could become a reality by 2100, according to a 2009 Pacific Institute study commissioned by three state agencies. Beaches that Californians take for granted will become much smaller or disappear altogether and El Nino-fueled storms will have a similar effect, if only temporarily, said William Patzert, a climatologist for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "When you get big winter storm surge like they want to document, you tend to lose a lot of beach," he said. "In a way, it's like doing a documentary on the future. It'll show you what your beaches will look like in 100 years." What the mapping won't be able to predict is exactly which beaches will disappear and which bluffs will crumble — all things that will affect how flooding impacts coastal populations, said Ewing, the California Coastal Commission engineer. "We're not going to capture that change," she said. "We're going to capture where the water could go to with this current landscape and that's still a very important thing to understand because it gets at those hot spots." So far, project organizers aren't giving assignments to participants, although they may send out specific requests as the winter unfolds, said Merrifield. If users wind up mapping real-time flooding events along 10 or 15 percent of California's 840-mile-long coastline the project will be a success, he said. A realistic goal is a "curated selection" of 3D maps showing flooding up and down the coast at different dates and times. The Nature Conservancy has partnered with a San Francisco-area startup called DroneDeploy that will provide a free app to drone owners for consistency. The app will provide automated flight patterns at the touch of a screen while cloud-based technology will make managing so much data feasible, said Ian Smith, a business developer for the company. Trent Lukaczyk heard about the experiment from a posting in a Facebook group dedicated to drone enthusiasts. For the aerospace engineer, who has already used drones to map coral reefs in American Samoa, the volunteer work was appealing. "It's a really exciting application. It's not just something to take a selfie with," he said, before heading out to collect images of beach erosion after a storm in Pacifica, CA. Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
News Article | December 15, 2016
Just in time for the holiday season, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey has added a new member to its kitchen. A native of Tokyo, Mie Chisaki has worked in the hotel industry for over 12 years. Most recently, she oversaw seasonal events and wedding cake creation at The Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour, Miami. Chisaki has spent a majority of her career on the East Coast, working in numerous Florida hotels and resorts such as: The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach from 2013 to 2014 and the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach from 2003 to 2013. “Mie will bring to our kitchen a diversity of international flavors,” says Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz, adding: “We are excited to showcase her creativity.” With a culture-rich resume, Chisaki began her educational journey in Japan at the Akenohoshi Women’s Junior College in Saitama, Japan, earning a degree in English. It wasn’t until 16 years later did she begin to pursue a culinary career at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier at the Ritz Paris. Later, she went on to study at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, Canada and earned a certificate of wedding cake arts at the Notter School of Pastry Arts in Orlando, Florida. Some of Chisaki’s accomplishments include: supplying desserts for the Embassy of Portugal Tokyo Reception and creating traditional Danish cakes for a wedding reception in Denmark, as well as crafting a menu that consisted of Italian, French and Portuguese dishes for a reception in Japan. Fluent in Japanese, Chisaki also speaks English, Portuguese, French and Danish. About The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey Minutes from LAX, Venice Beach, Playa Vista and Santa Monica, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey offers a peaceful retreat that draws on the soothing elements of the surrounding ocean. Guests can admire the exceptional scenery from each of the recently renovated 304 guest rooms and suites, featuring private balconies; the farm-to-table restaurant, highlighting locally sourced ingredients; LA’s only waterfront pool or the luxury spa. The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey offers a desirable venue for weddings and events, with more than 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space. Whether visitors are seeking a few days of self-reflection, a relaxing beach weekend, an unforgettable wedding venue or a quintessential California dining experience, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey offers the perfect destination. About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, MD., currently operates more than 90 hotels in over 30 countries and territories. More than 40 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is proud to offer The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® in which members can link accounts with Marriott Rewards® and Starwood Preferred Guest® for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information or reservations, visit the company web site at http://www.ritzcarlton.com, for the latest company updates, visit news.ritzcarlton.com and to join the live conversation, use #RCMemories. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR).