|Winter 2011||Protecting Our Ocean Wilderness Through Public Stewardship www.farallones.org|
IN THIS ISSUE
America's Cup Comes to SF
Killer Whales Hunting in the GFNMS
LiMPETS Students Present Research
Sanctuary in the Sea
Mar 26 -Teachers! Looking for new ways to make science come alive in your classroom? Teacher Workshop Series '10-'11 LiMPETS Introduction to Sandy Beach Monitoring
May 12 - Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting will be held at the Red Barn Classroom, Pt. Reyes, cA
Mar 12, Apr 9 & May 14
Feb 26 & Apr 23
May 21 & 22
Marine Science Private Event for Children
Our Visitor Center Naturalist will lead your group of children in a catch and release fishing exploration of crabs from our pier classroom as well as a guided tour of the Gulf of the Farallones Visitor Center (including a special feeding of the animals!) This unique program includes the use of our pier classroom for your private group. We offer a limited number of these extraordinary events.
Registration required by contacting: Peter Winch (415) 561-6625 x310
America's Cup Comes to San Francisco
If you’ve followed sailing news of late, you may have heard that the 34th America’s Cup Sailboat Race is coming to San Francisco in 2013. But, unless you are an avid racing sailor, you might not know what that means for our city, or what opportunities it might bring the National Marine Sanctuary System.
The America’s Cup is the oldest active trophy in international sport, and is the hardware that is won in a race between two yachts of different clubs. This tradition started back in 1851 when the New Your Yacht Club’s schooner “America” won Britain’s Royal Yacht Squadron’s race around the Isle of Wight and took the trophy home. The event captures a worldwide media audience surpassed only by Soccer’s World Cup and the Olympics.
That exposure, coupled with the unique venue of San Francisco Bay and a mandate from the America’s Cup agreement with the City to leverage the event’s exposure to highlight ocean conservation, is why this America’s Cup event has such potential for Sanctuaries and ocean health as a whole. The SF Bay venue will be the first time that spectators from shore can watch live racing first hand in an America’s Cup.
Exciting for Sanctuaries, however, are the ocean conservation initiatives being highlighted during the lead-up and actual events. The contractual agreement with the City, and the entire focus of the Event Authority, is putting on an America’s Cup that is not only in itself “green” and sustainable/responsible – but serves as a platform by which advocacy and messaging around critical ocean conservation issues, such as the support of marine reserves, Sanctuaries, and other protected ocean areas is woven into all aspects of the event.
GFNMS and FMSA are actively engaged in dialogue with the America’s Cup Event Authority, and are working to ensure that public education about the presence and importance of our three world-class Sanctuaries just outside the Golden Gate are a part of the world’s America’s Cup experience. It is a tremendous opportunity for Sanctuaries.
Killer Whales Hunting in the GFNMS
The pod of orca whales scouring the San Francisco coastal waters for prey has been identified as residents of the Puget Sound off the coast of Seattle, Mary Jane Schramm, spokeswoman with the Gulf of The Farallones Marine Sanctuary, said.
The group has been seen three separate times since Feb 9th, according to Schramm. The whales were spotted twice by sight-seeing tours about halfway between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Farallon Islands.
Another sighting occurred on Feb 11th near Moss Landing when Ken Balcomb, senior scientist at the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, Wash., which monitors the whales in the Puget Sound, found the pod and identified them as “L” pod.
The L Pod, as of December 11th when a calf was born, now numbers less than 100. Their population was decimated by captures for marine theme parks, and further damaged by pollution and decreasing numbers of salmon, their primary food.
Balcomb thinks the whales are in search of Chinook salmon. He said the “L” pod has as many as 41 orcas that travel south for food. Schramm said the whales could continue to be spotted again as they continue to hunt for fish.
“It’s nice they’re showing up, but it’s too bad there’s not enough food for them up north,” Schramm said. The whales could stick around until April or May. The whales were listed as Endangered by the U.S. and Canada in 2005.
LiMPETS Students Present Research
Two groups of LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program & Experiential Training for Students) students presented poster sessions at the Fall 2010 American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. The Branson School and the California Academy of Sciences have both been participating in LiMPETS for a number of years, and the students were presenting results of their long-term data collection.
Teacher Kathy Soave and her marine biology class at Branson School in Ross gather data at Duxbury Reef in Bolinas multiple times a year using LiMPETS rocky intertidal monitoring protocols. For their poster, the students examined shifts in the vertical distributions of turban snails, aggregating anemones, and rockweeds over time. They found that these species appear to be moving lower in the intertidal, potentially due to environmental and/or climatic conditions.
The California Academy of Sciences’ “Careers in Science” interns have been monitoring mole crab populations on Ocean Beach in San Francisco every summer since 2002 with the LiMPETS sandy beach program. Their poster, titled “Emerita analoga (Stimpson) recruit populations and correlations with sea surface temperature,” examined a possible link between mole crab recruitment events and offshore sea surface temperatures. Of note were the large recruitment events in 2003 and again in 2010, with little to no recruitment in the intermediate years. However, the Cal Academy interns did not find a correlation to sea surface temperature.
These two groups were given this opportunity through the American Geophysical Union’s Bright STaRS (Bright Students Training as Research Scientists) program. This program provides a dedicated forum for approximately 50 high school students to present their own research results to the scientific community and learn about exciting research, education, and career opportunities in the geosciences. Following the poster session, the students went to a lunchtime talk where they heard from post-doc at Stanford who was the first person in her family to go to college, as well as from Mike McPhaden, the president of the American Geophysical Union.
LiMPETS is an environmental monitoring and education program for students, educators, and volunteer groups. This hands-on program was developed to monitor the ocean and coastal ecosystems of California’s National Marine Sanctuaries to increase awareness and stewardship of these important areas. Two distinct monitoring programs make up the core of the LiMPETS network: the Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Program and the Sandy Beach Monitoring Program. Both programs are designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience the scientific process firsthand. Through research-based monitoring and standardized protocols, students develop their problem solving skills, gain experience using tools and methods employed by field scientists, and learn to analyze data. To find out more about the LiMPETS program visit: www.limpetsmonitoring.org.
Sanctuary in the Sea - a Gulf of the Farallones Experience
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