Among other features, this issue’s articles include a report on the discovery of the pathogen responsible for sea star wasting syndrome, the potential of “carbon farming” with compost to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a discussion of photosynthesis in the ocean, and a review of Elizabeth Kolbert’s important book, “The Sixth Extinction”.
Click the link below to view or download the December, 2014 issue of “Between the Tides”. Between the Tides – December, 2014.
An Amazing Legacy of Environmental Stewardship
Bob Breen, who served as Fitzgerald Marine Reserve’s first Supervising Ranger from the Reserve’s founding in 1969 to his retirement in 2004, died of a massive heart attack on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 at the age of 73.
Bob was a soft-spoken man with a ready smile, warm manner, and gentle sense of humor. He was a patient teacher and an extraordinarily good listener.
During his years of employment at FMR, Bob touched the lives of thousands of schoolchildren and other visitors, leading tours of the tidepools and teaching people how to observe nature and care for the environment. He was instrumental in creating the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and served on FFMR’s Board of Directors until his death.
Over the decades he taught hundreds of volunteers to become naturalists. He launched many young people into ocean science careers by running summer Junior Ranger camps at the reserve. Bob also started the marine science program at Half Moon Bay High School and taught there from 1995-2008. In 2001, the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve began awarding the Bob Breen Science Scholarship to a HMBHS graduate in Bob’s honor, expanded in 2008 to give a $1000 scholarship to each of two graduating students.Read More»
The harbor seal pups are being born at the Reserve, and it’s up to visitors to help keep them safe. If you see orange cones, avoid those areas since seals and pups may be hauled out there to get warm. If you see a seal pup on its own, leave it alone. If you think a harbor seal is in distress, call the Rangers or the Marine Mammal Center at the phone numbers below.
The March, 2013 issue of FFMR’s newsletter, “Between the Tides” reports: During the spring at FMR Rangers and Naturalists keep an eye out for harbor seal pups. Some of the pups can arrive early in the year, but peak pupping season is late April to early May. By the end of January this year we already had 2 newborn harbor seals.
This is a vulnerable time for harbor seals who are nursing their young. Recently there have been reports of flushing (return of seals to the water due to disturbance) both at Nye’s Rocks and at the haulout area at Cypress Point. Too few orange cones (indicating areas to stay away from) have been put out and it is sometimes difficult for visitors to understand which areas are designated as restricted. And seals blend in so well with the rocky reefs and beaches that some visitors have not noticed they are approaching a seal until they are too close.
Please do your utmost to aid these creatures who faithfully honor our Reserve with their presence. We can all act as good stewards by helping to educate the public about safe distances from which to observe the seals in all sea- sons. By doing our part we can keep Fitzgerald a safe place where seals can thrive and use the protected coves as nurseries for their young.
Please report any disturbance of harbor seals to Park Rangers. Above all, don’t attempt to rescue a seemingly abandoned pup. The mother may be out foraging for food. To report sick or abandoned pups please contact:
Park Rangers: 650-728-3594
Marine Mammal Center: 415-289-7350
The December, 2012 issue of “Between the Tides” is now available! This issue describes an extension to the California Coastal Trail along the Dardanelle Trail through the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. Improvements to the existing trail that winds through the magical cypress forest on the bluffs overlooking the Reef include: a new bridge over San Vicente Creek; and widening the trail and finishing it with fresh gravel over a special geotextile fabric underlayment.
This issue also contains articles on the mussel clump habitat, visiting the tide pools at Carmel Point, and scenes from the Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue. Enjoy!
Former FMR Supervising Ranger Bob Breen was one of the experts interviewed in a short news segment about climate change impacts in the Bay Area. In this video Bob is seen walking the beach at FMR with Doug McConnell as he talked about the changes he saw as the water warmed, and the sweeping changes he expected to witness as the trend continued.
The segment first aired on December 9, 2011.
At FMR, the relatively small (under 150 lbs) and shy harbor seals rule the beach when they come ashore to rest during low tides. Due to their federally protected status as marine mammals, humans are required to stay at least 100 yards away from their resting areas. Depending on where seals opt to haul out, large swaths of the tidepools may be inaccessible to visitors.Read More»