August 26, 2013 |
Fertilizer runoff has led to a global decline in seagrass meadows, which provide crucial habitat for fish. But thanks to sea otters, these meadows are flourishing in Elkhorn Slough, a major estuary in Monterey Bay, scientists say. Fertilizer from farms in Salinas flows into Elkhorn Slough, carrying phosphates and other nutrients that fuel the growth of algae on seagrass leaves. As the algae blooms, it shades the seagrass from the sunlight it needs to grow. In fact, nutrient levels are so high in Elkhorn Slough that scientists wouldn't expect seagrasses to survive there.
August 4, 2013
Re "No-otter zone is sought by lawsuit," Aug. 2 I was the chief negotiated for affected fishermen before Congress established the "otter-free zone" off the Southern California coast in 1986. But in 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abandoned that program. Before the passage of Public Law 99-625 in 1986, our legal counsel at the time, the Pacific Legal Foundation, determined that the proposal to translocate sea otters to San Nicolas Island violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Attorneys for the Interior Department agreed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2013 |
Commercial fishermen have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for abandoning a program to create an "otter-free zone" in Southern California coastal waters that sustain shellfish industries. The lawsuit, filed this week by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of harvesters of sea urchin, abalone and lobster south of Point Conception, accuses the agency of illegally terminating the program without congressional approval or authorization.
July 11, 2013 |
Three North America river otters have turned up in San Francisco, but not in the bay. Shasta, Tubbs and Wildcat swim and slide through a new exhibit called "Otters: Watershed Ambassadors" that opened last month at the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39. The otters, smaller and sleeker than their ocean counterparts, are named for Bay Area watersheds. Why? Because the aquarium wants visitors smitten with the adorable otters and their playful demeanor to care about their habitat too. “The protection and conservation of the watershed is crucial, and this new exhibit gives us the perfect opportunity to engage our guests and share this message with them,” said John Frawley, president and chief executive of Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute . The $1.3-million expansion that opened June 28 includes habitat with dry land and freshwater pools filled with minnows and crayfish.
February 21, 2013 |
Meet Eddie the sea otter. If you're truly a sports fan, he's about to become your favorite creature, because Eddie can dunk a basketball on a hoop in his pool at the Oregon Zoo. That's right. Check out the video above. Eddie, who was a rescue from the coast of California, rises out of the water clutching a miniature basketball and dunks it through the hoop. As Dick Vitale might say, "Awesome, baby!" And if you don't think it's awesome, take the advice of Neil Everett of ESPN and "take some awesome lessons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2012 |
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to allow sea otters to roam freely down the Southern California coastline, abandoning its program to relocate the voracious shellfish eaters from waters reserved for fishermen. Federal officials determined that their sea otter trans-location program had failed after 25 years and thus they were terminating it, according to a decision published in the Federal Register on Wednesday. "As a result, it allows sea otters to expand their range naturally into Southern California," the notice said.