Ocean Currents

Donate Today

Ocean Currents

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

//

6
Comments

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Jeopardizes the Golden Beaches of Our Golden State

Posted On May 21, 2015 by

When oil began flowing from a ruptured pipeline along the wild and scenic shoreline up the coast from Santa Barbara, California, the community’s coastal life flashed before its eyes:  thriving fisheries, popular and pristine beaches, teeming populations of whales and marine mammals, and a new network of protected areas set up to safeguard these coastal treasures.  The awful images of oiled beaches and sea life are appearing on our screens at a time when visitors are flocking to the coast for Memorial Day weekend.

Recreational and commercial fishing have been ordered closed in the wake of the spill. Fishing grounds along the rural coast west of Santa Barbara support a good deal of the harvest of some of California’s highest-value fisheries. Spiny lobster, red sea urchin and market squid are harvested along this coastline, and are among the top five commercial fisheries in California, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue from the sale of fish and providing healthy seafood for local and distant consumers. Recreational fishermen ply these waters for calico bass, white seabass and halibut while enjoying the scenic surroundings and spending dollars locally. Surfers, scuba divers, beachgoers and whale watchers explore, play and spend in even greater numbers.

Continue reading »

1
Comment

Sanctuary’s 20th Anniversary a Great Reminder of Long Road to Lasting Protection

Posted On October 9, 2012 by

Credit: NOAA

The evening was picture-perfect, a California postcard. There I stood, glass of wine in hand, on a deck at the Santa Cruz Yacht harbor gazing out over a glassy Pacific Ocean.

About 40 local activists from around the Monterey Bay region, including myself, had come together to commemorate and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

For those who have lived along California’s Central Coast for many years, the genesis story of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary is familiar. It has taken on a mythological aspect over time – complete with heroes and villains, plot twists and 11th hour political wheeling and dealing.

Following a classic story arc, the history of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary starts with a terrible disaster, progresses through ups and downs, and culminates with a victorious, happy ending.

Continue reading »