Saturday, May 30, 2009

Healthy Beaches, Desal Plant and Closing State Parks

Living on the coast makes one more fully aware and appreciative of the cycles of nature and the interconnectedness of life. So, here, I would like to share with you some of the recent news topics about life on the coast and beyond.

1. State of the beaches: a report that grades the health of coastal beaches. There is some good news (SC beaches are clean) and some irksome news; run-off from various business endeavors continues to contaminate ocean water along the coast.


2. San Diego Desalination Plant: the largest such project in the world. In my mind a necessary evil. My biggest concern: Pipes will suck in 100 million gallons (!!!) of sea water a day. What kind of filtering system do they have? Can it filter out even half of the microscopic life forms it will suck in? In a previous post I show a photo of the Pacific Seahorse. It lives in the San Diego area. The babies are tiny. Can the life cycle of local inhabitants maintain a healthy community if they are losing x% of their offspring?


3. Marine Science Institute: one of the coolest things I have ever done. I was offered the opportunity to tag along on the boat with a college-level marine biology class. We pulled water samples, put them under a microscope and viewed contents on a large screen. A drop of water held an abundance of life. We used nets to gently catch critters such as leopard sharks and released them and we learned about temperature stratification and the effect on life in the bay. It was fascinating and I highly recommend taking the trip.


4. Potential State Park Closings: The Gov was on about this a few months, with fewer parks listed and no conclusion. With the results of the special election indicating that voters don't want to shoulder any more of the budget shortfall responsibility, it's been mentioned again. The list of parks due to close is unfathomable. I don't believe it will really happen as currently reported but some action will likely occur. Here is a list of the parks listed for closing. I'm going to have to protest this somehow. Will post news as it arises. Photo: Lookout on Wilder Ridge Loop Trail at Wilder Ranch, about 3 miles round trip.

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