I am the single most important organism in kelp forest ecosystems. So important in fact, scientists named the entire ecosystem after me. I am uniquely adapted to thriving in nearshore rocky habitat that covers much of the benthos of San Diego county’s marine areas. Something that most people do not know about me is that I am not a plant but actually an algae. I differ from plants in many ways, but most noticeably I do not have roots. I have what is known as a holdfast, which I use as an anchor to secure themselves to the seafloor. As one of the fastest growing organisms on the planet, I have been recorded growing by as much as 2 feet a day and reaching sizes of 150 feet in a single growing season. As a primary producer, I provide nourishment for the entire southern California ecosystem and facilitate San Diego counties vast biodiversity.
By Eduardo Najera and Fay Crevoshay.
The WILDCOAST team carried out an expedition to Cuba in September with a film crew from “Por el Planeta”, a national news program on Mexico’s Televisa network. The objective was to document the incredible richness of Cuba’s coral reef and mangrove ecosystems and protected areas. It is almost impossible to describe or even depict the beauty and of Cuba’s underwater and coastal treasures and their importance for the conservation of ocean biodiversity. But at places like Jardines de la Reina, one of the world’s most well preserved marine protected areas, or at Guanahacabibes National Park, the richness of the corals and mangroves give life to the ocean.
You may have seen me florescent orange, ebbing and flowing with tidal surges against the dark backdrop of the sea floor. If you have snorkeled, swam, or kayaked near La Jolla Cove (in the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve) you may have noticed me curiously pecking away at exposed sections of rocky reef in search of tidbits of food, my favorite being small invertebrates. Just like you I also have a home and at a certain age I built myself a house in order to find a mate. My mate or mates lay eggs in the rocky substrate that I maintain and fiercely protect. I have been known to aggressively attack anything swimming too close to my developing eggs… even humans! Because of my charisma and tenacity I was named the California state marine fish and was also the inspiration for Dr. Seuss’ “red fish” in the popular story of Cat in the Hat.
Why should humans care about me? [Read more…]
Last week, the U.S. State Department issued a last minute invitation for me to attend the Our Ocean Conference in Washington D.C. hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. According to Secretary Kerry, the purpose of the conference was, “To catalyze actions to protect our ocean from these threats and to empower a new generation to lead the way toward a healthy and sustainable ocean.” As the Executive Director of WILDCOAST, I have worked tirelessly with my amazing team and fishing communities, governments, and the private sector to establish safe havens in the ocean to protect key ecosystems and ocean wildlife. Areas such as Cabo Pulmo National Park are now global models for ocean conservation, with fish stocks rebounding at an incredible pace after banning fishing. And in California, our advanced and extensive system of MPAs are recovering fish populations up and down the coast. So it was great to see global leaders come together to announce new measures for ocean conservation and funding initiatives to further on the ground marine protection initiatives.
Get to know your neighbors in San Diego county media segment
In this media segment WILDCOAST would like to introduce San Diegans to some of their closest neighbors… wildlife. San Diego county and its nearshore marine areas are home to one of the most diverse and dynamic ecosystems on the planet. The interactions, both intentional and passive, between humans and wildlife create some complex issues at such an extreme urban/ natural interface. Many San Diegans are keen on issues that arise between humans and wildlife for competing space but may not understand things from a wildlife point of view. WILDCOAST is here to act as translator for local wildlife and inform human residents that wildlife residents, although voiceless, need to be heard. This segment will also act as a reminder to WiLDCOAST followers that opportunities to volunteer are plentiful.
This summer and fall, WILDCOAST is carrying out an exciting project to engage San Diego County students in the conservation of the region’s marine protected areas, or MPAs. Through our Floating Laboratory project, students from the Sycuan Teen Center, La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, San Ysidro Girl Scout Troop 5912 and Imperial Beach Junior Lifeguards are conducting real scientific research on the water to help guide MPA management decisions and enhance their ability to protect coastal and marine resources.
WILDCOAST’s 4th Annual Baja Bash was again a huge success thanks to many people, volunteers, sponsor companies, organizations and foundations that support our work to conserve our coasts and oceans.
Special thanks to all our wonderful chefs, Javier Plascencia, Drew Deckman, Flor Franco, Bianca Castro-Cerio, and Luiciano Scagliarini for making it a truly unique and delicious experience, and to Baja Food and Wine, Don Ramon Tequila and Firestone Walker Brewery for providing us amazing drinks.
The Baja Bash is this Saturday, June 25
5:00 pm – 9:00pm
at the Coronado Bay Yacht Club
1631 Strand Way, Coronado, CA 92118
Join in the fun and become part of the conservation of some of the most beautiful and pristine bays, beaches, lagoons, islands, and coral reefs in California, Mexico, and now Cuba.
Hope to see you there!
We will have a fun-filled day packed with silent auctions, music, drinks and amazing food!!: Baja Bash Schedule
WILDCOAST was thrilled to launch the Waste Tire Recycling Pilot Project in Tijuana today with project partners Secretary of Environmental Protection for the State of Baja California (SPA), GEN (Promotora Ambiental S.A. de CV) and supported by a grant from CalRecycle. This innovative, collaborative project will be carried out from May 2016-April 2017 in partnership with the State Governments of Baja California and California with WILDCOAST as the project coordinator.
What is the best way to get to the beach, use your nature based recreation areas, and enjoy your coastal trail systems? By bike of course! In celebration of National Bike Month 2016, WILDCOAST will be leading the events listed below. As part of our US-Mexico Border program, we will be promoting the use of trail systems in the Tijuana and Otay River Watersheds, connectivity of open space areas through bike planning, and coastal access for biking. Join us on Saturday May 14 in San Ysidro, Friday May 20 for a binational Bike to Work Day, and Saturday May 21 for our annual Discover Otay Valley Regional Park Day!! Be sure to wear a helmet!!
Also, check out the cool article below on our efforts in the border region to promote biking and connectivity of open space systems.
For more information contact John Holder, Border Coordinator at 619 417 8736.