Get to know your neighbors: Western Sand Dollar

Photo courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium

I am the western sand dollar, scientifically known as Dendraster excentricus. Contrary to popular belief, I am neither a rock nor a shell but an actual living animal! I am probably what comes to mind when you picture a sand dollar but just like many organisms, we come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. My fish friends never believe me when I say that I am a flattened sea urchin. I know that my spines are not as big but we are both echinoids!

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Stand Up for Clean Water Now!

ACTION ALERT!

Calling All San Diego County Residents, Stand Up for Water Quality and Working Families!

For decades, South San Diego beaches have been pummeled by cross-border sewage infested pollution, causing hard working families and children to get sick from playing in dirty water. For many, the beach is one of very few free recreational opportunities available.

For years, federal agencies like the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) has stood by and done next to nothing. Meanwhile, the problem keeps getting worse and kids keep getting sick. The City of Imperial Beach, California has had enough and they are taking legal action against International Boundary and Water Commission. We need the rest of San Diego County’s cities to come together in support of working families and we need YOU to help get them on board.

CALL your Port Commissioner and County Supervisor and demand they join the fight for clean water. Ask them to join City of IB’s lawsuit!

Sample talking points:

“Hi my name is ________, I live in San Diego County, I’d like to ask the Port Commissioner to join City of IB’s lawsuit against IBWC, thank you for your time.”

“Hi my name is ________, I live in San Diego County, I’d like to ask the County Supervisor to join City of IB’s lawsuit against IBWC, thank you for your time.”

Port Commissioner Robert Valderrama 619-686-7296

County Board of Supervisors
District 1 Supervisor Cox: 619.531.5511
District 2 Supervisor Jacobs 619.531.5522
District 3 Supervisor Gaspar 619.531.5533
District 4 Supervisor Roberts 619.531.5544
District 5 Supervisor Horn 858.694.3900

To learn more about this ongoing issue, check out this latest news story: http://www.foxnews.com/…/millions-gallons-mexican-waste-thr…

#CleanWaterNow!

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Responsible Whale Shark Tourism in Mexico

Ralph Lee Hopkins

The whale shark (Rhinocodon typus) is an extremely large, slow-moving, filter feeding, carpet shark and the world’s second largest fish. Despite their size (equivalent to a school bus when fully mature), whale sharks’ diet consists mainly of planktonic organisms, to which they open their large mouths and filter the tiny organisms floating through the water column.

The whale shark is listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The most significant threat to whale sharks is human activity particularly hunting.

Whale sharks are found in the open waters of tropical oceans and prefer water temperatures above 72°F.  They spend a majority of their time swimming at the ocean’s surface, make them vulnerable to poor fishing practices, boat-strikes and greater susceptibility to plastics ingestion.

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Learning About Marine Ecology First-Hand.

By Allie Welch, student from Mar Vista High School’s Poseidon Academy.

Earlier this month, I was part of a small group from Mar Vista’s Poseidon Academy, that took part in WILDCOAST’s Floating Laboratories off the coast of La Jolla.  Upon arrival, students are broken up into three groups; water, plankton, and fish identification. Once we were split off into separate groups we began taking data and analyzing the species and environment they inhabit.

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Meet the New WILDCOAST Team Members!

We are excited to announce that the WILDCOAST family is growing! We introduce you to our newest team members that will be working to conserve some of the most beautiful places in Mexico and the United States.  

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5 Reasons to Protect Coral Reef Ecosystems

Coral reefs, also known as “the rainforests of the sea”, are well known for their beauty and vibrant colors, but apart from that, they are extremely important, both ecologically and economically. However, coral reefs are deteriorating and dying at an alarming rate due to human and natural pressures that range from overfishing and degradation to ocean acidification and climate change. Scientists have estimated that 75% of the world’s corals are at risk and at least 10% have already died.

So why are coral reefs so important?

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Casa Puesta del Sol, a Piece of Paradise.

BAJA BASH is around the corner, and we have some really cool items for our auction! Now imagine you, your friends/family, a margarita and THAT VIEW! Join us for the BAJA BASH, Saturday, June 10 to help us conserve Mexico’s beautiful natural resources, and for a chance to vacation in paradise as well.

Casa Puesta del Sol, a Piece of Paradise:

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Help Save Our Valuable Wetlands!

Coastal lagoon, Cabo Pulmo National Park, Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California), Mexico, November

Wetlands are ecosystems that are partially or permanently flooded with fresh, saline or brackish water. They provide us with a number of important services such as sources for food and water security, as well as for adaptation and mitigation for the impacts of climate change.

Wetlands act as natural sponges, absorbing and storing excess water and thus reducing flooding caused by rain, storms, hurricanes, or tsunamis. During the dry season they release stored water, delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages.


Its great economic importance is also due to its high productivity and biological diversity. Wetlands provide a refuge and nursery habitat to many marine species, especially migratory birds. [Read more…]

WILDCOAST Women in Conservation

Today we are celebrating and honoring International Women’s Day by recognizing the women at WILDCOAST behind the conservation of some of the most beautiful places in the world!

These women have fought large corporations and stopped big developments in the Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve; they have collaborated with indigenous communities along the coast of Oaxaca to help protect endangered sea turtles; they have swam with Great White Sharks in order to bring awareness to their protection and importance.

Learn More About Them:

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FACTS about the “Largest Sewage Spill in a Decade”

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You probably already have seen it on the news, or on your Facebook/Twitter feed but here are some important facts you need to know about this MASSIVE SPILL!

Between February 6 and February 23, over 143 million gallons of raw sewage was sent into the Tijuana River, in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. This sewage reached the Pacific Ocean heavily polluting beaches from Rosarito, Baja California to Coronado, California and potentially further, impacting over 25 miles of coastline.

Here are some other facts and things you should be aware of:

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