The Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association is also encouraging folks from coastal California to participate in several last-chance review planning sessions for the Gulf of the Farallones, Monterey Bay, and the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. Since 2001, the sanctuaries have convened working groups consisting of advisory councils, local agencies, stakeholders, and members of the public to evaluate specific management plans for each of the three California sanctuaries. Topics considered in past meetings include water quality, education, and the effects of coastal development and fishing on marine wildlife. After discussing the problem of introduced species within the sanctuaries, past working groups recommended that the management plans be changed to regulate dumping in sanctuary waters, require inventories of nonnative species, and create outreach efforts to inform the public about invasive species brought in by aquarium dumping and the emptying of ships’ ballast water. For more information on the June, September, and December public meetings, visit www.farallones.noaa.gov and click on “Advisory Council.”
You can benefit the Farallones Marine Sanctuary while getting out on the water. On April 24 Blue Waters Kayaking will lead kayakers on a Tomales Bay tour, which offers a chance to see harbor seals and the thriving tule elk population that was reintroduced to the Point Reyes National Seashore in 1978. A May 16 tour will go through the secluded Estero Americano, which flows to the Pacific at the border of Sonoma and Marin Counties and provides habitat to myriad wildlife. Trips start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Twenty percent of the trip fee goes to support the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. Call Blue Waters Kayaking at (415)669-2600 to make reservations; don’t forget to mention the sanctuary when you do!