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Ocean Awareness Campaign

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As thousands of monarchs return to the protection of the California State Park system, a coalition of marine conservation organizations wants to remind Americans that less than one percent of the world’s ocean waters benefit from such government-administered refuges. The … Read more

State of the Estuary

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The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of scientific studies of the San Francisco Bay estuary, vastly improving our understanding of its natural history and ecology. Every two years the San Francisco Estuary Project brings together researchers, government officials, … Read more

Stavocet/Avostilt

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While you’re exploring the Bay Area this fall, keep your eyes open for the new bird on the Bay. Ten years after Jim Rosso’s initial sighting, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory Intern Biologist Robin Dakin and photographer David Cardinal recently … Read more

Life on Black Mountain

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Q: Getting permission to live in a cabin on Black Mountain Ranch (in the hills east of Palo Alto) in 1975 must have been pretty exciting for a graduate student with a young family. A: I was working on a … Read more

Peninsula Treasure

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This former home of Italian winemakers, a ’70s commune, and a recluse named Indian Joe saw its share of history before being acquired by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Now it boasts its fair share of easily accessible geological anomalies, diverse wildlife, and spectacular views.

The Essential Tree

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It’s almost impossible to imagine the California landscape without oak woodlands. But this most familiar and prolific habitat faces a number of serious threats, including unchecked suburban development and Sudden Oak Death. Fortunately, many parks in the Bay Area, including those of the East Bay Regional Parks, offer welcome refuge for a variety of oak woodlands.

Four Threats to a Healthy Bay

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Habitat Loss On the fringes of the Bay lie the varied wetlands that feed and shelter the Bay’s wildlife. Chinook salmon, white croaker, and northern pintails feed in the shallow water as it fluctuates with the tides. Topsmelt, Pacific staghorn … Read more

Update: Sea Otter Census Numbers Rise

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Since our story went to press, there’s been some good news for the Southern Sea Otter: census numbers for the California population soared by 17 percent since last year. More than 2,500 otters were counted off our coast this spring, … Read more

Books about the Ocean

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While we’re out at the ocean, let’s review several recent books that will make the visit more rewarding. Foghorn Outdoors has just released the third edition of California Beaches: The Best Places to Swim, Play, Eat, and Stay on the … Read more