Bay Nature stories about the Pacific Ocean.

A Container Caper in Monterey Bay

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On a stormy winter night in 2004, as the merchant ship Med Taipei plowed southbound off the coast of Monterey in 20- to 30-foot swells, 15 shipping containers slid into the sea. Such occurrences aren’t especially newsworthy–an estimated 10,000 containers are lost every year worldwide. But these containers are now part of an important research project.

Sea Level Rise Could Wipe Out Ocean Beach

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A new study finds flooding and episodic storm events could result in an estimated $20 million in damages by 2100. And accelerated landward erosion from an estimated 1.4-meter rise in sea-level by 2100 could result in $540 million in damages. Along the way, we’d lose habitat for plovers and bank swallows and a favorite recreation spot for millions of people.

Protecting the Little Fish, Food for Many

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They’re the little guys. Small, silver, nondescript fish that are so hard to tell apart that many people simply call them “baitfish.” But though they don’t command the attention of a breaching humpback whale or trophy tuna, these humble creatures–from anchovies to squid–play a starring role in local marine ecosystems. New legislation aims to force fisheries managers to consider that role when writing plans for the state’s commercial fishing fleet.

“Washed Ashore” Exhibit Turns Ocean Plastic into Monumental Sculptures

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The 16 giant plastic sea creature sculptures on display at the Marine Mammal Center arose from artist Angela Pozzi’s desire to find solace in the ocean: “I went to the ocean to look for healing, but I found that the ocean needed healing before it could heal me.” Her new exhibit, Washed Ashore, is on display through October 15, 2011.

Support Your Local Ocean!

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June 8 is World Oceans Day, but what’s the big deal with celebrating our oceans? Well, generally, we’ve polluted, over-fished, and taken these vastly unexplored bodies of water for granted, and it’s only fair that we take a day to recognize all they do for us! Starting June 4, local groups stand ready to help you help the oceans, and learn a lot and have fun while you’re at it.

Of Mice and Birds at the Farallones

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials extended to June 10 the deadline for accepting public comments on a controversial proposal to eradicate nonnative house mice on the Southeast Farallon Islands. Opponents cite concerns that the poisons will endanger a range of wildlife on or near the islands, while proponents say the project will help threatened seabirds and the island ecosystem.

Kids Clean Up and Make Art at Ocean Beach

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How do you get 500-plus kids to sit still on the beach? Tell them a helicopter is about to fly overhead and take their collective photograph, and that by the way, they’ll also be on television. It happened at Ocean Beach, and all in the name of ocean conservation.

Tracking an Extreme Mammal: Elephant Seals

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They can plunge to depths of more than a mile and stay submerged for 90 minutes without coming up for air. They can swim up to 14,000 miles a year. The males can weigh over two and a half tons. You could say elephant seals are “Extreme Mammals,” record-holders in several categories, including deepest divers. And with new tracking methods, we’re learning more than ever about these amazing creatures.

Toothy Charisma and More at SF Ocean Film Festival

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A film festival about the ocean doesn’t have to look far for charisma: certain toothy creatures and wave-riding daredevils will easily draw audiences. But the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, now in its eighth year, aspires to do more than just fill seats. Be inspired and learn what you can do to help — March 9-13.