The single-track trail along the creek looks quite inviting: just wide enough for hiking, with no fallen limbs or nasty briars sticking out, a canopy overhead. It all seems so natural. But Melvin Johnson knows better. As operations coordinator for the East Bay Conservation Corps, he oversees a dozen crews that maintain trails in the […]
Plate Tectonics And Earthquakes National Earthquake Information Center USGS website providing current data on earthquakes worldwide. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/?source=sitenav USGS Earthquake Hazards Program-Northern California Website providing general and latest quake information, hazard maps, sources of preparedness information, synthesis of current research, and resources. http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/index.html This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics by W. Jacqueline Kious and […]
On April 18, 1906, a massive earthquake centered just west of San Francisco ruptured the earth from Humboldt to San Juan Bautista. While the more dramatic traces of this 7.8 temblor may be hard to find one hundred years later, the tectonic forces that moved the earth that day are still relentlessly shaping our young and active landscape, carrying us towards another cataclysm in the near future.
All of the familiar landforms we see here in the Bay Area—ridges, cliffs, lakes, and even San Francisco Bay itself—are products of the same titanic encounters between tectonic plates that produce our frequent quakes. Through a geologist's trained eye, we learn to interpret the signs these forces have left on the land around us.
I was working at my computer at the Bay Nature office in Berkeley the other day when I was interrupted by a short, sharp jolt. I looked around at the others working in the office: “Did you just feel that?” It turns out there had been a 3.4 quake centered two miles southwest of Orinda. […]
Trails are the main way we access most of the Bay Area's diverse and abundant open space. Despite that, it's easy to forget that trails have to be planned and built by someone. However, for the East Bay Regional Park District, which has over 1,000 miles of trails, this is a full-time job. At places like the newly-opened Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, trail planners must balance people's desire for access with the needs of native plants and animals.
Not many people get to visit Año Nuevo Island—you need a rubber boat, a strong stomach, and a research permit. But sea lions haul out here in droves, and hundreds of seabirds—including rhinoceros auklets—come to breed on its few wind-swept acres. Today, erosion is threatening the auklets' deep burrows, so researchers are working to restore this critical breeding site for these strange-looking seabirds.
Thriving in cold, dark waters 4,265 feet below sea level, communities of large, ancient, and colorful corals grace the peaks of Davidson Seamount, a 7,546-foot inactive volcano 75 miles southwest of Monterey. Courtesy 2006 MBARI/NOAA, www.mbari.org “Coral reefs are charismatic and deepwater corals are even more surprising. When you’re in the deep, dark sea, you […]
The North Bay is having a bit of an environmental building boom. PRBO Conservation Science, the noted research organization based in West Marin for over 30 years, will open a new facility next to Shollenberger Park, a popular birding spot on the Petaluma River. PRBO’s San Francisco Bay Research Center and Headquarters will provide researchers, […]
After flying flags at half-mast for 22 days throughout the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), the district’s board members joined fellow board member Jean Siri’s family and nearly 350 other people to celebrate the life of the longtime activist, who died at age 85 on January 20, 2006. The memorial service took place at […]
The Bay Area has a rich history of women speaking out to protect lands we know and love. At the turn of the last century, when a forest fire broke out in the Santa Cruz Mountains, writer Josephine Clifford McCrackin helped start a campaign that led to the formation of the Sempervirens Club, which has […]
On April 18, 1906, a massive earthquake centered just west of San Francisco ruptured the earth from Humboldt to San Juan Bautista. While the more dramatic traces of this 7.8 temblor may be hard to find one hundred years later, the tectonic forces that moved the earth that day are still relentlessly shaping our young […]
In late December 2005, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) reaffirmed the threatened status of Central California Coast steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), including steelhead in Bay Area streams. NMFS added that the Central Coast steelhead population—first listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997—is “likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.” Courtesy […]
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