To state the obvious: Climate change threatens all aspects of life as we know it. Consequences of particular concern to Humboldt include ocean acidification, which is already dissolving the shells of tiny sea snails off the West Coast and could destroy the dear-to-our-economy thriving shellfish aquaculture industries in Humboldt Bay.
The good news to come out of all this bad news is that more of our elected officials, at least in coastal states, are taking this seriously. U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced a bill to create an ocean acidification prize to reward anyone who finds a practical solution for controlling it. California’s Ocean Science Trust has put a team of scientists on it.
From fifth generation oyster farmers Taylor Shellfish out of Washington:
In addition to damaging ocean habitats, we’re also fishing the hell out of certain species. Menhaden, high in Omega-3 oils, hold the sad distinction of being the first fishery to collapse, all the way back in 1880. A century-plus later, fishing quotas were established and appear to be working.
Also helpful, the debunking of the “fish-oil” craze in recent studies. Note that taking fish oil supplements doesn’t reduce heart disease, but it does reduce the most important fish in the sea.
A particularly effective tool preventing overfishing is a marine protected area. California led the way by adopting a statewide network of protected areas back in 2012 and now Oregon is beginning to follow suit, setting aside a 38-square-mile network of protected waters.
Let’s switch gears to the fun stuff. Go ahead and discover which sea creature you most resemble and then make your plans to take part in any of the inspiring events coming up.
This Saturday, meet at Pacific Outfitters and help PacOut Green Team tackle trash on the Samoa peninsula.
Then from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the North Coast Learning Academy’s second annual Run/Walk Carnival takes place at the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area on Bunker Road. In addition to a 10 a.m. beach cleanup, the carnival offers horseback rides, clowns, a jump house, games, prizes, food and much more.
HSU’s Aquatic Center offers a Weekly Family Fun Day on the Bay every Sunday at 11 a.m.
Next month’s Ocean Night features Redwood Coast Montessori School in a special Coastal Stewardship extravaganza that includes a showing of Disneynature’s Oceans. (Please note that Ocean Night happens on Friday, June 6 instead of the usual first Thursday!)
Jennifer Savage is the Northcoast Environmental Center‘s Coastal Programs Director and chair of Humboldt Surfrider.