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  • Splash
    Fisheries Service and many other national and international research groups The report represents one of the largest international collaborative studies of any whale population ever conducted SPLASH was designed to determine the abundance trends movements and population structure of humpback whales and to examine human impacts on this population This study combined existing data and incorporated new data from throughout the North Pacific Basin into a unified integrated database The resulting SPLASH 2008 estimate of nearly 20 000 whales is consistent with a moderate rate of recovery for a depleted population While the overall humpback whale abundance and trends in the North Pacific are encouraging some areas give cause for concern especially Asia Abundance estimates in this area are low below historical levels based on the number taken in this region and whales along the Asian coast appear to be subject to a high level of incidental mortality In the Eastern Pacific in 1986 the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary initiated research on humpback whales in the Gulf region by funding the first three critical years of research by Cascadia Research Collective This seed grant laid the foundation for a decades long ongoing study Systematic photo identification and other research gradually evolved a picture of local populations which John Calambokidis Cascadia s Principal Investigator for this study later expanded to central and southern California and beyond to Central America This is one of the populations showing a healthy rate of increase Despite this encouraging news a caution the ocean is changing and these changes will be reflected throughout all levels of the food web Krill found in greatest quantity offshore at the Continental Shelf break has long been a staple food of humpbacks in the Gulf of the Farallones region Starting in 2005 for three consecutive years because

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-12/Splash.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Beachwatch15d
    but at Drake s Beach I know this shore with each season in and out In the winter 6 to 8 feet of sand gets stripped away The neat thing is when the soft sand stone is eroded by the ocean a hard rock is exposed creating puddles and pools in the rock You only see this once a year for a short period of time It is so beautiful and always different but always there in the winter season The seasonal restoration the spit everytime it is different The sand and water interaction is mysterious and wonderful in so many ways What has made you continue with the program for 15 years I have been doing this with Kate Carolan as a way to experience nature I fell in love with the Pacific coast Kate and I started with Muir Beach and she still continues surveying Muir About eight years ago we took over Drakes Beach It is a special place I like to work with the folks at the Sanctuary I have worked with a lot of groups but I particularly like the folks at the Sanctuary they treat me well It gives me a sense that I contribute to a long term dataset which is extremely valuable to scientists Any interesting stories about your life I am not that mysterious But I will say that I received the 2008 Environmental Leader of Marin Award by the Environmental Education Council of Marin for my advocacy work There was also a documentary about my work shown at the Mill Valley Film Festival this year I am proud of this because of the work that went into saving Bolinas Lagoon About ten years ago when there was pressure to dredge Bolinas Lagoon I became convinced that this was bad science

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-12/BeachWatch15d.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Sanctuary
    it ran aground in the Senate What happened Memories of last summer s gasoline prices are the first clue When gas prices climbed well above the 4 mark they met the heated presidential election campaign and the politics became volatile In mid June Republican candidate Senator John McCain called for renewed drilling for oil off US shores It became a key issue for his campaign and drill baby drill became a familiar chant at his rallies McCain spoke out against drilling in wildlife refuges but not off shore although national marine sanctuaries are also refuges The Democrats resisted the lure of the drill chant for some time Later in June Senator Barack Obama belittled drilling as a solution for high gasoline prices and instead urged oil producers to utilize the dormant oil leases they already possessed In July he was still opposed to off shore exploration although the drill baby drill chant continued Then later in the summer he told reporters in Florida that although he was still skeptical about the value of drilling in coastal waters he could see room for compromise on the issue Meanwhile in the Senate Richard Charter who follows these things as closely as anyone provides a chronology HR 1187 has become a Senate bill S 2635 It goes through committee and gets marked up that is cleared to be sent to the floor of the Senate for a vote Supporters of Sanctuary expansion happily await the outcome Then Senator Tom Coburn R Oklahoma steps in He is well known in the Senate for offering numerous amendments to other Senators bills frequently to reduce spending amounts and for placing Holds on submitted bills In the US Senate any member can notify the Majority Leader of the Senate of his objection to it this is a

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-11/Sanctuary.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • 3DModel
    approx 3 5 ft long by 2ft wide by 3 5ft tall It is constructed out of wood chicken wire and paper maché and is populated by animals made out of clay and plastic The top section shows the islands above the water with seabirds like Common Murre and Tufted Puffin and Harbor Seals resting on the kelp covered rocks The middle section portrays the shallow water rocky intertidal ecosystem Rockfish hide in seaweed and sunflower sea stars and abalone scour the rocks for food A humpback whale and calf rest near the surface and sea nettle jellies drift past a sunfish The bottom section of the island shows the shelf and the ocean depths A sperm whale cruises for squid while the skeletal remains of a baleen whale is scavenged by hagfish The model was developed and constructed by Visitor Center naturalist Peter Winch to help illustrate marine science themes like bathymetry upwelling and organism adaptations The Visitor Center teaches K through 6th grade and many of the younger grades are challenged by maps and pictorial diagrams The model helps students visualize the sanctuary in three dimensions and is used in the introduction of each program to highlight the

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-11/3DModel.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Beachwatch15c
    float The other thing I find most interesting is the beach art I found a piece of bull whip kelp with a face painted on it For a while someone was carving a huge mermaid into the cliff but the artist never finished her head And I am always looking for beach glass Tell us about your interest in marine conservation I want to pass the interest and concern for conservation on to the next generation Everyday is beach clean up day for me Any day I go to the beach I pick up trash I currently work for the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District RCD Much of our work is water conservation A majority of our projects deal with enhancing water quality in creeks We work with farmers to help them make improvements to their land to reduce erosion and sediment run off in creeks We have also helped some to install roof run off systems to collect rainwater We are also conducting a study to determine the source of fecal contamination in Pillar Point Harbor One of the projects I am working on and am excited about is the Watershed Discovery Workshop We teach 5th graders about watersheds what impacts they have on water quality even if they don t live near the ocean and what they can do to take care of the watershed they live in The program is about increasing awareness in young children about the importance of water What has made you continue with the program for 15 years It s not just a walk on the beach Every sense is on heightened alert And I love Montara Beach it s one my favorite places on Earth Beach Watch is always like an Easter egg hunt I never know what I am going

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-11/BeachWatch15c.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • OrcaWale
    every three years by a team of scientists who examine abundance and distribution as well as human caused mortality e g fisheries bycatch In 2008 the ORCAWALE Oregon California and Washington Line transect and Ecosystem cetacean surveys are currently underway aboard the NOAA vessel McArthur II This five month research cruise is surveying waters along designated transect lines which run from the Canada border to the Mexico border and out to 300 nautical miles off of the west coast Although the primary objective of ORCAWALE is to estimate the abundance and to understand the distribution of cetaceans the cruise also characterizes the open ocean ecosystem through physical and biological oceanographic sampling studies of mid trophic level organisms and seabird research To survey marine mammals a team of six observers rotates through three positions Two observers constantly scan the waters through big eyes which are mounted 25 150 binoculars The third observer records data as well as scans the water close to the ship through hand held binoculars When mammals are sighted the group stops to identify the species and obtain group size estimates NFMS has permits to approach cetaceans to obtain photographs and biopsy samples These techniques allow the team to identify individual animals which help determine population structure track migration and distinguish sub populations Individual animals can be identified with photographs for example humpback whales have unique patterns on their flukes Skin and blubber samples are collected for genetic analysis using a biopsy dart In addition to observing from the flying bridge there are two acousticians aboard that tow an acoustic array behind the boat constantly listening for whales and dolphins Cetaceans use sound to communicate and to echolocate especially the odontocetes toothed whales Using acoustics helps the team detect and locate ceteaceans for example sperm whales vocalize approximately

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-10/OrcaWale.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • MLPA
    can be useful for management of some resident fish stocks No take areas for fish that spend most of their life in one locale or use a single locale for spawning allows for the growth of larger older fish that often produce more offspring than the younger smaller female fish Wildlife Observation Finally MPAs create a kind of underwater park providing an area where divers may observe fish and other sea life free of fishing and other activities that may interfere with their enjoyment of the marine environment The first area of the state to be analyzed and decided upon was the South Central coast from Pigeon Point south to Cambria The process took from 2004 to 2007 A series of reserves were established and can be found here The next area was the North Central Coast study region that extended from Pigeon Point north to Point Arena and included the Farallon Islands The process began in May 2007 with the establishment of the North Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group NCCRSG The NCCRSG was comprised of 45 individuals representing a wide diversity of interests such as conservation commercial fishing recreational fishing governments native tribes divers recreation and the like During the process data and information about the region and the resources were compiled After 10 months of negotiations an Integrated Preferred Alternative proposal IPA was created The IPA proposes 21 MPAs three marine managed areas and six special closures The area covers approximately 153 square miles or about 20 percent of state waters within the region The MPAs have different proposed restrictions with many prohibiting take of all living marine resources some allowing take of salmon and some take of abalone What was new to this region s approach was the consideration of Special Closure Areas SCAs as a resource tool This concept was championed by GFNMS primarily for the protection of seabirds Scientific studies have shown that if seabirds are disturbed in their nesting areas they can abandon their nests and other birds may refuse to nest there Rather than establish traditional marine reserves and prohibit fishing activities only a SCA can prohibit all entry including recreational boating low flying aircraft and persons approaching on foot There are six SCAs proposed The restrictions vary from prohibiting activity from 300 feet for some areas to 1 000 foot restrictions The first is at the Pt Reyes Headlands where there are more than 40 000 nesting birds The next is south on the Marin Coast at Pt Resistance with a bird colony size of 16 000 The next area is Stormy Stack near Double Point at Pt Reyes that also has a colony size of 16 000 The next mainland site is at Devil s Slide to protect the Murre restoration site on egg rock Of course everyone realized that the Farallon Islands were special Some of the largest Marine Reserves were established there The basis was to protect forage fish for seabirds and marine mammals In addition some special closures

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-10/MLPA.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Beachwatch15b
    of stupid things in my life Now it is all about the pay back I am not proud of some things I did in my life and now I have another chance I enjoy what I am doing I also collect teddy bears I have a whole room with over 200 from all over the world Most of them are made in China Is it true that you created the first Bar Code I didn t actually create the Bar Code I merely figured out another use for it I worked in the distribution and packaging industry At that time large freight shipped by railcars had a code tracking id system throughout the rail system I had become frustrated with store inventory systems and saw that a similar system of coding could be used if miniaturized At a packaging convention I suggested the idea of a new use of the technology by miniaturizing the code system This was developed for the grocery industry It had a huge impact on shelving ordering and inventory This allowed me to retire comfortably Do you volunteer for other organizations Yes I have a busy week I lead meetings at the VA Substance Day Hospital I cook meals for the Most Holy Redeemer Homeless Program Jack Mona and I work with GGNRA as volunteers cleaning up weeds from the parking lot to the beach We helped them re grade the stairs at Lands End now known as Mile Rock Beach Now there are 307 steps matched perfectly to my stride a football player stride I always help with CA Coastal Clean up Day We call ourselves the DASOB Daughters and Sons of a Beach Tell us about your most unusual beach find I believe I have the distinction in Beach Watch to have found the

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-10/BeachWatch15b.htm (2016-02-13)
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