Tags >> fish
Jul 12
2009

Drake's Estero

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , resources , recreation , politics , policy , parks , open space , ocean , nonprofit orgs , news , Marin , legislation , history , government , fish , farms , environment , Congress , coast , activism

Bruce Robinson

 The long-running debate over an historic oyster farm in Drakes Estero, within the  the Point Reyes National Seashore,  has jumped from western Marin County to Washington D.C., and shows few signs of cooling off.

Fredrick Smith, Executive Director of the Environmental Action Coalition of West Marin says that, Senator Feinstein's statements to the contrary, he fears that her legislative intervention on behalf of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company will set a bad precedent that could have wide implications.

 

The fate and future of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the Estero has been a long-running and hotly debated issue in the Point Reyes area for years. Recent developments have been chronicled by the Point Reyes Light.

The gorgeous airborne view of the estuary below was taken by Sonoma-based pilot and photographer Robert Campbell . See more of his work here .

 

 

Jul 07
2009

Sunscreen

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , news , Health , fish , environment , birds

Bruce Robinson

Slathering on sunscreen may protect your skin, but it's not healthy for the world's water supplies, or the aquatic life within them.  

 

 Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays causes increased risk of skin cancers: this medical message has been widely embraced, but the law of unexpected consequences has kicked in with regard to the increased use of sunscreen.

Sejal Choski, the program director for Baykeeper of San Francisco, also wrote about this issue here.

 

 

Jun 28
2009

Groundwater mercury

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , toxic , research , ocean , Health , food , fish , environment , coast , chemicals

Bruce Robinson

 The most harmful form of mercury is being washed into coastal waters through subsurface groundwater, a new study has found, and at rates far higher than from the air. That research was conducted at two Northern California sites, including Stinson Beach (right) in Marin County.

 

When we hear about mercury levels in fish, the actual compound is a form called mono-methyl mercury. U.C. Santa Cruz biochemist Dr. Adina Paytan (left) explains the difference, and what is known about how it gets converted.

 

Mercury washes out of the atmosphere more of less uniformly, but levels of bacteria in groundwater tend to vary widely. Dr. Paytan points to coastal areas with failing septic systems as likely sources for higher concentrations of subsurface methyl mercury.

While the biochemical conversion process can occur anywhere that mercury exists alongside the active bacteria, researcher Frank Black (standing, right) says the degree to which the methylated mercury is then carried into the ocean water depends a lot on the subsurface geology of a particular area.

Here's a source for background reading on Mercury in the Environment.

May 25
2009

Bohemia Ranch

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , West County , water , trees , timber , resources , recreation , parks , open space , fish , environment , conservation

Bruce Robinson

A little-seen watershed near Occidental, informally known as Waterfall Park, may be moving toward actually becoming a real park.

 

Conservation consultant David Katz, who is representing the property owner in talks with the Sonoma County Ag and Open Space District, says that while the waterfall there may be the most unusual aspect of Bohemia Ranch, it's really just part of a larger array of natural resources.

 

There is an element of urgency in the renewed effort to see Bohemia Ranch acquired by the county, not just because the property is already legally allowed to host six future homesites, but also, David Katz adds, because a long-term permit for logging is also in place there.

 As a representative of the current owner of Bohemia Ranch, Katz has also developed a website to market it, which features photographs and a video of the property.

The Community Clean Water Institute says about this property:

The property is on Bohemian Hwy. about four miles from Occidental and
fourteen miles from Santa Rosa. Most of the site is moderate to steep
sloping ridges covered with forest or grassy meadows. The ranch is drained
by three creeks that flow into Dutch Bill Creek, which is just off the
property. The famed waterfall is on lower Duvoul Creek.

Over the past 8 years extensive clean-up and restoration work has occurred
on the ranch. All debris has been removed, roads re-graded and resurfaced,
new roads developed, numerous erosion sites repaired, extensive biologic
evaluation and documentation accomplished, and many new water sources
developed.

A conservation easement on the ranch is held by the Sonoma Land Trust, but
the possibility of subdivision into six separate home sites still exists on
the ranch.

The property is 862 acres, with about 400 acres in fir forest with some
redwoods. The forest has an approved Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan in place, which means that it can be commercially harvested without additional approvals. As a result of quantifying this timber resource a great
opportunity exists to sell carbon credits to raise funds for supporting the
proposed park while simultaneously preventing any further cutting of trees.

The creeks that drain Bohemia Ranch flow directly into Dutch Bill Creek at
the very heart of its watershed. Bohemia Ranch cover approximately 17% of
the entire watershed of Dutch Bill Creek. Dutch Bill creek supports
federally listed endangered species coho salmon and threatened steelhead and has been the focus of considerable restoration expenditures over the past
few years.

The Dutch Bill Creek Watershed Council, the Watershed Institute at
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Westminster Woods, and the Goldridge
Resource Conservation District have supplied leadership in implementing
restoration activities on the creek. The Sonoma County Water Agency, CA
Dept. of Fish and Game, NOAA Fisheries, and the University of California
have been actively engaged in restoration on Dutch Bill Creek. Many other
organizations are also involved and are supporting the restoration work on
the creek. All of these organizations support protecting the watershed by
protecting Bohemia Ranch.

 

 

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