Tags >> fish
Mar 01
2009

Petaluma River

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , waste , volunteer , transportation , tourism , resources , recreation , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , history , government , fish , environment , education , conservation , community , birds , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Petaluma River has a long and interesting history, and some new Friends who want to make that history better known.

 

David Yearsley is a co-founder and  Executive Director of the Friends of the Petaluma River, which has the following mission and goals:

Mission: To promote stewardship of the Petaluma River. We work throughout its watershed; providing access opportunities, educational materials, and conservation programs. We also provide a voice for the River's inhabitants and resources in public affairs.


Goals: Access, Education, and Conservation

  • To establish a permanent presence in the watershed; becoming the first non-government organization to work fulltime for the betterment of the Petaluma River and its inhabitants
  • To pursue outreach and educational activities that will foster enthusiasm and commitment in the watershed for long term sustainable stewardship.
  • To monitor conditions and engage in activities that will reduce or prevent pollution and lessen other harmful impacts on the River and its wetlands.
  • To create a River Heritage Center as a community resource. A place to archive information, host events, administer programs, and coordinate river related activities
The Friends have also produced this promotional video explaining their organization and its plans:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzK8v6diRv0 300x300] 

For people who want to get a close-up look at the Petaluma River,  Dolphin Charters will again offer their 3 hr. River tours on April 5th, 6th, 11th & 12th aboard the Delphinus (seen at left). To learn more about them, visit Dolphin Charters’ website.

Feb 25
2009

Dutch Bill Creek

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , technology , Sonoma , Science , Russian River , resources , policy , nonprofit orgs , Health , fish , environment , conservation

Bruce Robinson

With rainfall again filling our area's creeks and rivers, it is possible to conduct precise measurements of the changes in water quality in those streams.

Dutch Bill Creek is relatively short, beginning in the hills above Occidental, and flowing northerly downslope through Camp Meeker and on to the Russian River. This is the waterway that was dammed to create the old Camp Meeker swimming area many years ago. Here's a map of the entire Dutch Bill Creek watershed.

 The close up map below shows the locations where the Community Clean WaterInstitute has set up water sample collection points along Dutch Bill Creek (DBC).  DBC 005 is closest to the creek's outfall into the Russian River, while DBC 060 is near the stream's beginning.

 

The water quality testing conducted in Dutch Bill Creek is done primarily by local volunteers, with training ad assistance from CCWI staff. Find out more about volunteering here.

Feb 02
2009

Drought

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , tourism , Sonoma , resources , recreation , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , media , Marin , legislation , jobs , government , food , fish , environment , economy , conservation , community , climate change , business , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

 

 

It's official.  The drought is back, and mandatory cutbacks in water consumption are imminent.

 

Water reserves are at or approaching historic lows in both Lake Mendocino (see at right) and Lake Sonoma. With seasonal rainfall totals  for the year also running well below normal, the outlook is not encouraging.To monitor how conditions are progressing--or not-- you can use this like to see the Sonoma County Water Agency's  graphs of declining water supplies   in Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma(pdf).

 

 

 

Amidst all the agricultural and economic impacts of the drought, Dick Butler of the National Marine Fisheries Service pointed out the obvious--that it is also bad news for fish.

 

To help get a jump on the rationing that is almost certainly coming our way, here are the Sonoma County Water Agency's

Top 10 Water Conservation Tips:

  • Reduce outdoor watering by one day a week
  • Find and repair leaks now
  • Inspect and tune-up your sprinkler system monthly
  • Water between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to reduce water loss from evaporation and wind
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean your driveway, deck or patio
  • Use a bucket and a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle when you wash the car, or take your car to a carwash that recycles
  • Cover pools and hot-tubs to reduce evaporation
  • Use front-load washing machines
  • Run the dishwasher and clothes washer with full loads only
  • Prevent and report water waste
Find more water saving suggestions here.

 

Jan 27
2009

Mercury

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , speaker , Science , resources , public safety , policy , ocean , medicine , healthcare , food , fish , environment , education , author

Bruce Robinson

From courts to consumers, mercury levels in tuna and other seafood remains a hotly debated subject.

 

Jane M. Hightower, M.D., author of Diagnosis Mercury,  is a board certified internal medicine physician in San Francisco, California. She published a landmark study that brought the issue of mercury in seafood to national attention. She continues to publish scientific papers and give lectures on the subject.

Research on the risks and safe exposure levels for mercury is fragmentary and inconsistent, as are the recommended tolerances from different governmental watchdog bodies. You can see a comparison chart here. For a history of mercury and fish, click here.

 Of course, not all kinds of tuna carry the same levels of mercury and associated risk, nor are those concerns limited to tuna, as Hightower explains.

 

 

All of these concerns are dismissed by the Center for Consumer Freedom, an industry-funded advocacy group which has created an extensive website to debunk claims that mercury in fish is harmful to human health. You can access their fish/mercury safety calculator here.

 

David Martosko, the Center's Research Director, contends the question of warning labels on tuna cans should have been settled by the outcome of the original court case back in 2006.

 

Established with funding from tobacco giant Phillip Morris, the Center for Consumer Freedom has regularly unleashed broad attacks on a wide range of public advocacy groups, including the federal Centers for Disease Control, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. A lengthy expose from ConsumerDeception.com is posted here. The Center for Media and Democracy has posted its analysis here , and the Center for Science in the Public Interest details its own battles with CCF here.

 

 

 

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