Week #3: Giant Kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera

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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. 

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The Magic of Cuba’s Coastal and Underwater Treasures

Brown Bowl Sponge (Cribochalina vasculum), Guanahacabibes Peninsula National Park, Pinar del Rio Province, western Cuba, September

Brown Bowl Sponge (Cribochalina vasculum), Guanahacabibes Peninsula National Park, Pinar del Rio Province, western Cuba. Por Claudio Contreras.

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.

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Get to Know Your Neighbors, Week #2: The Garibaldi Fish

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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…]

Get to Know your Neighbors!

Get to know your neighbors in San Diego county media segment

Photo by Octavio Abuerto

Photo by Octavio Aburto

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.

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WILDCOAST’s Floating Laboratories are Helping to Conserve our Marine Protected Areas

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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.

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The Baja Bash is this Saturday!

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

BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY!


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.

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Hope to see you there!

We will have a fun-filled day packed with silent auctions, music, drinks and amazing food!!: Baja Bash Schedule

 

 

Join WILDCOAST for National Bike Month 2016!!

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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.

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/05/us-mexico-border-bike-lane/481515/

For more information contact John Holder, Border Coordinator at 619 417 8736.

What do mangroves, rock and roll and big wave surfers have in common?

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Well if you ask rock band Linkin Park, pro surfers Koa Smith and Koa Rothman, and the people of Bahia Magdalena, the answer is simple. They know that mangroves are life.
They are the most productive and biologically important plants on the planet, for wildlife and people.  They protect coastal communities. They give us fish. They provide us with the air we breath in and store the air we breath out (CO2). Without them, sea turtles would have nothing to eat and many birds would have no where to live or rest. The desert mangrove forests of Bahia Magdalena are some of the most important plant species on Earth. (See March 28 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

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Cabo Pulmo National Park Expedition 2016

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In April WILDCOAST brought friends and supporters to the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, one of the world’s most successful marine protected areas and a cornerstone for wildlife and ecosystems in the Sea of Cortez, to see our conservation work in action.

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How ocean pollution affects humans [Infographic]

Our returning guest blogger Andrew Dilevics from DIVE.in, a scuba diving online magazine, recently created a powerful infographic that shows the effects that ocean pollution has on humans. 

“The world is covered up to 72% in Ocean and it is these oceans that are the reason for life on earth. They provide over 70% of the oxygen that we breathe as well as 97% of the world’s water supply. Without them, we would not exist.

However, everyday the oceans come under attack from pollution, which is causing severe damage to the biggest ecosystem on the planet. Did you know that every year, over 8 million tons of plastic is being dumped into the ocean on purpose? Plastic is one of the largest factors of pollution and is threatening to wipe out many marine species. It is frightening to think that 50% of the plastics that we buy only get used once, such as plastic carrier bags and water bottles, which inevitably end up in the ocean once we dispose of them.

If you would like to know more about ocean pollution and how it affects marine life as well as life on earth, take a look at the fascinating infographic below, created by the team at divein.com.

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