Tags >> ocean
Jun 25

Hands Across The Sand

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Sonoma County , resources , recreation , politics , parks , ocean , nonprofit orgs , Marin , legislation , government , fish , environment , current events , conservation , Congress , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

Offshore oil drilling has never been embraced here on California’s north coast, but recent events in the Gulf Coast have bolstered that view elsewhere. Hands Across the Sand, a coordinated series of demonstrations across the country, including one near Bodega Bay, will try to reinforce those changing attitudes on June 26th.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s Marine Sanctuary Expansion Bill (HR 223) and its identical Senate counterpart would build on existing protections and expand them to cover the entire Marin and Sonoma coastlines. Tom Roth, the congresswoman’s senior policy aide, offers details.

But Roth also notes that the partisan political climate in Washington has become increasingly hostile toward anything that sets out to restrict American oil development.

Regardless of what happens to Woolsey’s bill, Coastwalk Executive Director Una Glass points out that there is another, statewide, obstacle to coastal oil drilling, one that is already in place, even if it is not widely known.



Jun 23

Revisiting the Running Fence

Posted by Bruce Robinson in West County , Sonoma County , Sonoma , recreation , politics , planning , ocean , media , land rights , journalism , history , farms , families , events , environment , design , coast , California , art , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Thirty-four years after Christo’s  Running Fence snaked across the North Bay’s coastal landscape into the Pacific, the unique and short-lived artwork is still fondly recalled by most of those who played a part in its creation.

The large and unexpected projects envisioned and executed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude may not fit some conventional definitions of art, says documentary filmmaker Wolfram Hissen, but they certainly strike a chord with a huge number of people.

Some of the friendships that developed during the Running Fence project proved to be deep and enduring, Hissen discovered, despite the broad differences between the artists and the ranchers.

After the Running Fence was taken down, each landowner got to keep the materials that had been part of it. Some used the poles and  hardware in other construction projects, while the thousands of yards of while canvass was generally harder to reuse. One exception ot that was this jacket, made by Amelia Bruhn, and shown at the 33 year anniversary gathering in 2009 that became a substantial part of Wolfram Hissen's new documentary. See the trailer for the film below:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBVpgN4JAsE 360x240]

In addition to the showing tonight in Occidental, The Running Fence Revisited will also be screened on the evenings of June 24 and 25 at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.


May 24

Gray Whales

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Science , policy , ocean , nonprofit orgs , international , environment , education , current events , coast , climate change , California , animals , activism

Bruce Robinson

Once there were four types of Gray whales in the world’s oceans. Today, only the California Gray Whale survives in sustainable numbers, and its future is looking grim.

Gray whales are not just some of the largest creatures on the planet, says Sue Arnold, CEO of the Gray Whale Coalition, as a species they are also among the oldest.

Protecting the whales is not just an ecological and environmental issue, Arnold says, but there is an economic concern for California, too.

The whale hunting quota of 140 killed in each of the next ten years is now proposed in a “draft compromise” before the International Whaling Commission. But Arnold says the only current gray whale killing is happening in a remote area of Siberia.

Changing conditions in the arctic waters of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia/

Mar 02

Ailing Pelicans

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , weather , water , Science , rescue , ocean , nonprofit orgs , fish , environment , California , birds , animals

Bruce Robinson

The formerly endangered California Brown Pelican appears to be facing some new challenges this winter, as hundreds of the birds have been taken to bird rescue facilities from here to Long Beach.

Paul Kelway, a spokesman for the International Bird Rescue Research Center, says that after several days of feeding and cleaning, many of the bedraggled birds have been successful released into the wild again.

The IBRRC website maintains updated counts of the pelicans that have successfully been treated and released.

Despite their name, California Brown Pelicans can also be gray, white or combinations of all three colors. Nor is their natural range confined to the Golden State. In fact, as Paul Kelway explains, they migrate up and down much of the Pacific coast, which is part of the reason they’ve had problems recently.

These birds, the smallest of all pelican species, were placed on the Endangered Species list because exposure to DDT resulted in thinner shells for their eggs, which led to fewer birds hatching, and reduced birth rates. Since the pesticide was banned, the pelican population has been gradually rebounding. The group seen at right are regaining their strength at the IBRRC facility in Cordelia, near Fairfield.







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