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  • Woolsey
    the entire Sonoma County Coast as well as the southern coast of Mendocino County This would provide enough protected area to guard the region s abundant marine life including endangered salmon from pollution by industries such as oil exploration and drilling while helping protect thousands of local jobs that depend on a clean and healthy environment As you all are well aware the incredible beauty and bio diversity of this coast makes it a special body of water that truly deserves sanctuary designation While the proposed expansion is a relatively small area of our coast it s a uniquely important area filled with the richness of the sea As a matter of fact this coastline is within one of only four coastal areas in the world that comprise 1 percent of the ocean s surface but 20 percent of its fish And we can never forget that this legislation is about more than preserving our region s beauty it s also about protecting our region s jobs Whether it s the commercial fishing or tourism industries thousands of jobs depend on these waters and these jobs will be protected once this legislation becomes law But I didn t write this letter so that we could pat ourselves on the back or to remind you all of what you already know that this is an area worth fighting for No I ve come to you in this forum to thank you for the support that you have already shown and to ask for your continued support as H R 1187 now heads to the Senate and hopefully gets sent to President Bush for his signature There s a lot going on between now and November However what you might not realize is that we are approaching a narrow window for the

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-04/Woolsey.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • SpermWhale
    Marine Mammal Center TMMC California Academy of Sciences NOAA and the National Park Service Accompanying Ray Bandar of Cal Academy was Beach Watch volunteer Keary Sorensen Dr Frances Gulland Director of Veterinary Science at TMMC and also a Beach Watch volunteer conducted the necropsy The sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus is a toothed whale found world wide in deep ocean waters It formerly was hunted for its spermaceti a high quality oil stored in the snout It is this reservoir which gives sperm whales their distinctive large squarish heads They also were prized for ambergris which was once a primary ingredient in the manufacture of expensive perfumes Although large scale hunting of sperm whales was halted in 1979 Dr Gulland s necropsy showed that other human actions are still threatening these magnificent animals In the stomach of the Pt Reyes sperm whale the necropsy team found a huge mass of fishing net This wad measured over 6 feet by 9 feet 2m x 3m and weighed 440 pounds 200kg In her message to TMMC volunteers Dr Gulland described it as a mixture of monofilament line 2 inch net and braided rope Wrapped within this accumulation were assorted bits of plastic waste including a child s comb and plastic bags One bag was still full of the garbage it had contained when it was dumped Sperm whales food of choice is squid including the deep water giant squid Perhaps in the search for this food sperm whales may forage close enough to the sea bottom to ingest such non food items as this lethal mass of netting In her press release on this event Dr Sarah Allen of Pt Reyes National Seashore describes a 2004 beaching of a sperm whale at Pt Reyes also with a stomach full of fish net Aside

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-04/SpermWhale.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • SalmonGone
    system of pumps and canals Rivers such as the McCloud River above Shasta Dam whose year round cold water once supported four runs of Chinook are now irrevocably cut off from spawning salmon Add to that 150 years of poor land use practices including hydraulic gold mining during the Gold Rush and a myriad of other factors pollution invasive species unscreened diversions and the remaining habitat is not nearly as productive as it once was Along with the loss of spawning habitat around 95 and degradation to the remaining habitat has been a corresponding loss in salmon abundance Salmon runs largely supported by hatcheries at the base of dams throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin River system had stabilized to an average annual abundance ranging from half a million to over a million fish by the end of the 20th century Additionally because of hydrological changes to the river system the most abundant run is now the fall run historically the smallest run and least favored by native fishermen and early European fishermen because of its lower fat content During the winter run and spring run Chinook salmon s numbers are so low that they are now protected under the Endangered Species Act Despite all of these losses the California Central Valley salmon still support a sustainable fishery valued at 100 million a year that has been the lifeblood for coastal fishing communities from Santa Barbara to central Oregon 60 of the commercial and recreational catch originates from the Central Valley However this year s returns of Central Valley salmon were drastically lower than expected Fishermen were the first to notice that salmon abundance was lower than expected as they spent long hours trolling the coast along their favorite tacks with few salmon to show for their effort Many fishermen

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2007-12/SalmonGone.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • EarthHour
    went dark Weddings took place by candlelight The rest of the world took notice This year dozens of major global cities are joining in Earth Hour turning a symbolic event into a global movement From Sydney to Copenhagen Bangkok to Tel Aviv and Dublin to Chicago cities across the world are getting involved In a rolling wave from one time zone to the next cities will turn off their lights for an hour Vancouver and San Francisco will be the final cities to go dark On March 11th San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom held a press conference to discuss the city s participation in Earth Hour as a component of his administration s continuing initiatives on climate change If you or your business would like to get involved click here The global event is both symbolic and practical The ultimate goal is to get us to reduce the amount of energy we use and to lessen our impact on global warming Yet even in an hour a great deal of energy can be saved According to Earth Hour organizers if the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney Central Business District during Earth Hour was sustained for a year it would be equivalent to taking 48 616 cars off the road for a year Of course cities won t be turning off their lights continuously for a year but Sydney is only a single town If every city across the globe turned off their lights for an hour the effect would be thousands of times greater And this could be done multiple times a year Last year in Sydney Earth Hour achieved a C02 reduction of 10 2 However the main aim of the campaign is for people to be energy efficient beyond Earth Hour making small actions everyday to reduce

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-03/EarthHour.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Grade
    the often hilarious anti environmental antics of his own Interior Secretary James Watt tried relentlessly to push drilling rigs here again only to be thwarted yet again this time unintentionally initiating the national backlash of an annual bipartisan legislative coastal drilling ban that has since been renewed by Congress every single year for the past 27 years A new Secretary of Interior Donald Hodel in 1985 solemnly promised to protect the Mendocino and Sonoma coasts forever negotiating a clever deal with Congress that would allow Big Oil to instead drill off of Humboldt Bay but Hodel inexplicably reneged on his own agreement only three months after making it The mid 1980 s precipitated the largest public hearing in the history of California held in Ft Bragg and lasting over 26 hours After two continuous days of heartfelt hearing testimony the exhausted Interior Department officials gave up and fled back to Washington when they learned that over 700 people were still lined up outside to testify in favor of protecting their coast permanently In 1991 the tide turned when the first President Bush George H W Bush decided to leave the Northern California coast alone and acted to set it off limits to drilling at least until 2002 President Clinton subsequently extended this executive protection until 2012 Now in 2008 this widely held California dream is finally well on its way to becoming a reality A bill HR 1187 would extend the permanent protection from offshore drilling afforded by our present national marine sanctuaries and expand its coverage northward up to Pt Arena from the current boundaries near Bodega Bay Representatives Lynn Woolsey and Mike Thompson have now been joined by 51 of their colleagues in the House of Representatives as co sponsors of the bill This bill has finally made

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-03/Grade.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Limpets
    important to the Sanctuary in the event of an oil spill like the large spill that occurred in the San Francisco Bay on November 7th By monitoring students provide important baseline data that the Sanctuary can use to determine the extent of environmental impact or damage that spilled oil has on our sandy beach habitats The program also has great value because it is a hands on scientific experience that connects students with the ocean Students take their work seriously and collect data carefully because they know they are involved in a real scientific endeavor I think it s cool that our data is actually going to be used in a real study says student Eliana Pera Beyond the data collection students gain a new sense of wonder and awe of the natural world I didn t realize just how much fun the entire trip would be I never thought I would get so excited when I caught a sand crab says a student from Lick Wilmerding High School Sarah Roach Over one thousand students from Bodega Bay to Los Angeles have been monitoring mole crabs on beaches since the inception of the program in 2001 The data collected by these hard working student scientists have revealed a trend Pacific mole crabs are decreasing in abundance along many Bay Area beaches Teacher Dai Own and his oceanography class at Marin Academy have monitored mole crabs on Stinson Beach since 2001 Their data has shown a continued decline in abundance since 2002 These findings are by no means minor and represent a 90 decrease in abundance between 2002 and 2007 High School interns at the California Academy of Sciences have been monitoring Ocean Beach in San Francisco since 2002 They too have found record lows in the numbers of sand crabs

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-03/LiMPETS.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • VisitorCenter
    redwood The renovation is aimed at encouraging the tens of thousands of annual visitors to learn more about why their marine sanctuary is such a wondrous place In addition it allowed us to spruce up the center for the thousands of Bay Area school children who are served by our lively hands on marine science programs All of us on the Sanctuary Visitor Center renovation team have our favorite new additions We might disagree whether the gorgeous artwork on the printed blinds packs more of a visual punch than the video of a white shark feeding on a dead whale However the one thing we can agree on is that now that the renovation is complete we would love to have you join us to share in the celebration Come Celebrate With Us Join us for our informal Sanctuary Visitor Center Open House Celebration on Saturday March 22nd from 1 pm 4 pm Rub elbows with the designers educators sanctuary staff and visitor center volunteers who have helped make the Sanctuary Visitor Center renovation a success Check out the hypnotically looping footage of swarming krill the gorgeous maps and exhibit panels and of course the improved shark tooth hunt The

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-02/VisitorCenter.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • NaturalOil
    were closed to visitors As the huge tar patties washed to shore beachgoers immediately feared the heavy storms had brought back more of the Cosco Busan oil Beach Watch volunteers reported tarballs numbering in the hundreds that were the size of cow patties stated Shannon Lyday Beach Watch Manager However it turned out that the tarballs were unrelated to the November oil spill The oil was from a natural seep on the ocean floor typed to the Monterey Formation near Point Conception Natural oil seeps are not uncommon in the area especially during heavy winter storms when onshore winds and tides wash the oil ashore The natural seepage is minimal and usually occurs in January or February Some scientists speculate that the massive storms in January may have opened a natural fissure in the ocean floor All week tarballs were reported from Monterey to San Francisco and clean up crews in yellow jumpsuits gloves and booties were scouring San Mateo rocks and beaches with putty knives sieves and plastic tools Tarball samples were sent to Department of Fish and Game labs in Rancho Cordova where chemical analyses revealed the tarballs didn t match the oil from the Cosco Busan spill

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