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  • SeaBirds
    they may be attacked or killed Repeated disturbance may result in total colony abandonment Significant seabird populations nest along the north central California coast This area including the Farallon Islands supports the largest concentrations of breeding seabirds in the contiguous United States Seabirds are indicator species of the overall health of the marine ecosystem just off our shore They have long lives and low reproductive rates To breed successfully and maintain populations seabirds have evolved to nest in areas such as offshore rocks islands and steep mainland cliffs that are inaccessible to most land predators Potential to harm or disturb breeding seabirds can come from popular coastal activities including kayaking boating and coastal hiking flying planes and helicopters water based ecotourism such as diving or surfing and fishing operations In 1998 the tanker vessel Command left San Francisco Bay bound for Panama As it traveled in the southbound traffic lane off San Francisco and San Mateo County coasts it released an estimated 3 000 gallons of fuel oil The spill killed more than 1 500 sea birds and scattered tarballs over 15 miles of beaches mainly in San Mateo County The Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary s Seabird Colony Protection Program aims to restore seabird populations that were affected by the Command Oil Spill The successful prosecution of the Command and the recovery of natural resource damages mark the first time a tanker vessel has been held accountable for illegally dumping oil in California Common Murres and Marbled Murrelets were among the seabirds most affected by the spill and many miles of beaches between Año Nuevo and Pacifica were oiled The Farallon Islands are breeding seabird hotspots that were also affected by the Command spill The goal of the Seabird Colony Protection Program is to improve the survival and

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-02/SeaBirds.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Winter
    a dynamic time in the Sanctuary says Farallones Visitor Center Naturalist Peter Winch It provides a great arena for the unexpected Last January we had a pod of resident orcas from the Pacific Northwest visit us This year on the 26th of January we will be heading out to the Farallon Islands on a whale watching trip Our Changing Beaches With the heavy winter storms California beaches are particularly active Waves pounding the shore are constantly shifting and moving sand On the California coastline most beach sand comes from river and stream runoff not from cliff erosion When rivers flood after big storms a great deal of sand and sediment flows to the ocean Around 80 to 95 percent of beach sand is river derived Once sand arrives at the shoreline waves and wave induced currents move it onto the beaches and along the shore The alongshore movement of sand or littoral drift depends on the direction of the wind and waves During winter storms generally come from the northwest so there is a southward shift of sand down the coast of California In some low lying parts of the coast after sand has washed onto beaches it slowly moves inland with the onshore flow of winds In these areas sand dunes will occur If there are steep cliffs on the coastline preventing sand from moving inland sand will continue drifting south Most of this sand eventually funnels into deep submarine canyons Numerous underwater canyons such as the La Jolla and Monterey Canyon extend out from the California coastline As sand drifts southwards it eventually drops into these deep basins and washes away from the shore Hence the beaches in California are not growing larger The majority of coastal erosion occurs when heavy storms coincide with high tides and rains

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-01/Winter.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • OceanFilm2008
    to another and pretty soon I was on my way to Papua New Guinea LH Were there any particular members of this community who inspired the film or made an impression on you personally JP I have a great respect for the entire community They were gracious and generous hosts who welcomed me into their homes and helped make this film possible In particular the efforts of Manuai Matawai were inspiring Manuai initiated the research and conservation efforts in his community This story is his story and it s largely because of his efforts that the conservation there is as successful as it is It s also because of his assistance and support that I was able to make this film He drove our team around fished for our sustenance and was my inspiration LH I was moved by the unabashed democracy of the Titans What was it like to live among the Titans JP Yes I was inspired by how the entire village was involved in the decision making process The villages are very remote no toilets or vehicles and no electricity people used kerosene lamps or candles There are no roads simply dirt paths connecting one village to the next We basically lived on Manuai s boat a 30 foot outrigger Many of the villagers are musicians and at night music fills the air The sum of those jam sessions became the soundtrack for my film LH Tell us about the monitoring project to count the reef fish Who came up with the idea to monitor Do the counts continue JP Manuai working with the Nature Conservancy and his team set transects on the coral reef and regularly count fish They continue to monitor the fish populations and are seeing the fish numbers increase dramatically in the areas

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-01/OceanFilm2008.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Mavericks2008
    nearly 10 000 dollars in their pocket It was a gorgeous sunny day with gentle winds and though the waves were a bit inconsistent some big 20 plus foot sets rambled in It wasn t huge by Mavericks standards but during the finals one massive set did arrive and Greg Long rode a perfect 10 to solidify the crown On the whole the 2008 surf contest ran much smoother than in past years The high tide kept viewers from trampling over the rocky intertidal zone and marsh areas Two years ago a low tide during the event allowed people to disturb the delicate tidal area This year the contest went well says Sarah Lenz a park ranger at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve There was no litter on the beach on Sunday when I did a post survey of the event Monitoring the Event With the primary mission of resource protection FMSA and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary implemented tactics that will give a snap shot of the days events From a conservational perspective there were fewer incidents than previous years The Beach Watch program implemented surveys pre and post contest In an effort to document resource use monitors

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2008-01/Mavericks2008.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Lessons from the Spill
    clearly need to provide all container ships with tug escorts and we need to seriously consider a single centralized state of the art loading terminal for the mammoth oil tankers entering and leaving our bay so that hazardous shipping is not heading in all directions at once as it is today We can also ensure an immediate full scale response to future spills enhanced by pre trained volunteers This spill was bad enough but next time the mess could well be a lot bigger We could easily need skimmers and containment booms deployed on the water from Monterey to Mendocino and we are simply not ready Dedicated workers who have persevered through the heart breaking task of hand cleaning oiled seabirds deserve our sincere thanks but next time they may need to accommodate larger numbers of patients Next time damaged seabirds could easily number into the many thousands even into the tens of thousands We have fragile estuaries and bays containing nurseries for our marine life spread out all along our coast each facing the open ocean and with no present capability in place for deploying protective oil spill containment booms We know that any oil spilled into those pristine estuarine environments can continue to poison marine life for decades even for a century or more An oil spill of significant scale that reached the Carquinez Strait could also cripple the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta paralyzing agriculture and vital water supplies for millions of Californians We can also expand the small area of permanent protection from offshore drilling rigs provided within our existing national marine sanctuaries by extending their boundaries farther northward to shelter more of our coast from the potential for exponentially bigger spills from drilling operations A bipartisan bill ensuring this needs to be passed by Congress

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2007-12/LessonsfromtheSpill.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • FishForever
    that are really important to the chefs and consumers that I deal with on a daily basis Bay area chefs and consumers are highly educated intelligent and thoughtful the questions they ve asked me time and again through the years form the heart of the book LH Have you noticed a change in the availability of local Bay Area seafood PJ When I first started in the seafood business 90 of the fish I sold was local and 10 was from elsewhere Today I think those figures have come close to turning upside down 10 local and 90 elsewhere Air freight has made seafood a global commodity on the one hand this is not good for the environment but on the other it has made our choices much more interesting and diverse More importantly what this change represents is the depletion of local fisheries and the disappearance of the small boat fishermen Much of the blame for this can be attributed to poor fishery management policies throughout the 1980 s and 90 s Fortunately we have moved into an era of improved management unfortunately many of our fishermen are paying for the sins of the past One of the most important things for me is to support small boat artisan fishermen and local seasonal fisheries LH We are so fortunate to have so many excellent food choices and so many wonderful chefs who get it when it comes to using local organic ingredients as well as sustainable seafood Do you think this message is being heard in other cities around the country or around the world PJ Yes but not to the same extent as in the Bay Area Bay area chefs and consumers are the most aware concerned and well educated in the world The questions they ask the

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2007-12/FishForever.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Beach Watch Cleans Up
    is healthy robust and thriving This was news to the people who live there but there was no dataset that would have shown what the natives knew to be true that the Exxon Valdez oil spill s effects are lasting far longer than expected and that shoreline habitats and wildlife may take decades to recover That s why monitoring programs such as Beach Watch are so important Normally Beach Watch volunteers survey their beaches every two to four weeks along the central California coast between Bodega Head in Sonoma County and Año Nuevo State Reserve on the San Mateo Santa Cruz county line Survey methods along each beach segment include live bird and marine mammal enumeration visitor dog activity notation dead vertebrate documentation general wrack and invertebrate assessment oil tarball documentation and streams and lagoons status After last week s spill Beach Watch volunteers were notified through an emergency phone tree They have been conducting wildlife reconnaissance surveys on beaches spanning the Sanctuary each day at dawn Not only did Beach Watch volunteers record data on dead and alive wildlife but they also collected dead oiled animals to reduce the risk of scavengers becoming oiled and to be used as evidence hence the morgue in our garage The stories from our volunteers on the front lines are inspiring and at times heartbreaking As of this morning 804 live birds have been received at the Oiled Wildlife Care Network of which 244 have been washed 590 have died Most of these have been Surf Scoters and Grebes although many other species have been oiled or killed We won t know the full extent of the seabird mortality for some time The birds captured on the shoreline and taken to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network for treatment and the numbers of dead

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2007-11/BeachWatchCleansUp.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Crab Season Delayed
    rescuing all marine life and most importantly protecting the public health Schwarzenegger said The order will take place immediately but the Department of Fish and Game will be deciding exactly which areas will be closed In a meeting at Fishermen s Wharf in San Francisco crabbers acknowledged the legitimate health concerns and potential liability issues of the spill Fishermen agreed to request the delay until the oil is cleaned up and fishermen can be sure that there will be no effects on the crabs said Zeke Grader of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen s Association Some sport fishing boat operators were less happy with the vote They rely on the Dungeness crab season to support them through the winter months and an indefinite closure will have a devastating impact on their families The timing of the spill could not have been worse for local fishermen as Dungeness crab during Thanksgiving is an important Bay Area tradition and an important market for crab fishermen That is why the crab season opens up two weeks earlier in the San Francisco Bay region than in other parts of California The Port of San Francisco did hire 22 fishing boats many of them

    Original URL path: http://www.farallones.org/e_newsletter/2007-11/CrabSeason.htm (2016-02-13)
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