Meg Jordan was walking her dog along the East San Rafael shoreline this week when she caught sight of something she had never seen before — a sprawling mass of tule grass, branches and garbage floating near Spinnaker Point.
Erosion damaged miles of beaches along the West Coast more severely than ever during the powerful El Niño event that hit the Pacific a year ago, and scientists warn that even heavier erosion could hit shorelines in coming years as sea levels rise and threaten coastal communities.
Refrigerators are among the more unusual items fished out of bays and lagoons this month when days of rain, wind and high tides blasted Marin and the North Bay like a fire hose, washing all manner of hazardous junk into our waters.
Walking south along the coast of Catalina Island, the noises of bustling tourists and the crashing Pacific waves quickly give way to a steady whir. This is the sound of Southern California Edison’s energy plant that not only powers the entire island, but also provides it with potable water through its desalination system.
A year after tens of thousands of common murres, an abundant North Pacific seabird, starved and washed ashore on beaches from California to Alaska, researchers have pinned the cause to unusually warm ocean temperatures that affected the tiny fish they eat.
The World Wildlife Fund on Monday called for a complete ban on fishing in the habitat of the vaquita porpoise, noting an international committee of experts has determined that fewer than 30 of the critically endangered mammals probably remain in the upper Gulf of California, the only place they live.
A rapidly advancing crack in Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf has scientists concerned that it is getting close to a full break. The rift has accelerated this year in an area already vulnerable to warming temperatures.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Linda S. Adams and Karen L. Hathaway:
As early as next month, the State Water Resources Control Board could take up the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board’s recommendation for the maximum level of copper particulates allowed in Marina del Rey, one of the largest man-made harbors in the world.
From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in a commentary by former U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey:
On a warm evening in 1988 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, I sat with a group of women delegates from the North Coast listening to Rachel Binah — our coastal protection political and spiritual leader — who was rallying us to oppose offshore oil and support then-Rep. Barbara Boxer.
It looks as if the last oyster may finally be shucked at the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. by the end of December, judging by what both sides in the long legal fight over the future of the farm said in federal court Monday. Then again, maybe not.