Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day EcoFest, the honored southern (aka California) sea otter

Pacifica Tribune/Jean Bartlett Features Correspondent 4/20/16.  "Otters highlight Earth Day Events."

Image result for southern sea otter picture
Nice day, got my drift
Image result for southern sea otter picture
Wrapped in kelp, no drift
Running from 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., the EcoFest offerings include: music, booths, food, activities, the juggling magical storytelling “Earth Saving” EarthCapades, and speaker Lilian Carswell, Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Marine Conservation Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who will discuss the event honoree, the sea otter. This year’s slogan is: “Healthy Waters, Healthy Otters.” There are 13 species of otters. ...  with a focus on the southern sea otter, one of three subspecies of the sea otter.

“The sea otter is an apex predator and is considered a keystone species,” she said. ... Sea otters do not have blubber but instead keep warm by meticulously maintaining their fur and by eating approximately one quarter of their body weight each day. That means they can be a powerful force in the environment.” 

In the ecological effect known as the “trophic cascade,” sea otter predation reduces the number of sea urchins. This in turn promotes “lush kelp beds that provide habitat and food for a multitude of other species.” “An even more complex relationship was discovered recently, whereby sea otters promote seagrass resilience, even in the face of human-caused nutrient pollution,” Carswell said. “Like kelp, seagrass is extremely important ecologically, providing food, habitat, and nursery areas for numerous species. 

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Our gang sleeping, no drift
Pacifica Beach Coaltion’s Earth Day of Action, Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m.-11:00 a.m., and EcoFest (Linda Mar State Beach South Lot), 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Free parking at Cabrillo School. Shuttle from Crespi Drive to the main Linda Mar parking lot (pick up in front of Cabrillo). Bike corral at EcoFest. Bring buckets and gloves."   Read article.

Related, Southern Sea Otter - US Fish and Wildlife Service/Ventura. "Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. Reduced range and population size..  Monterey Bay Aquarium/natural history. "A member of the weasel family, the sea otter is the smallest marine mammal in North America. The southern, or California, sea otter ranges along the coast from San Mateo County southward through Monterey County and down to Santa Barbara County." Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, "Seal, Sea Lion and Sea Otters." "Usually found in or near kelp forests, sea otters dine on invertebrates such as snails, crabs, octopuses, urchins, and abalone, often using small rocks to crack open hard-shelled prey. Lacking blubber, they burn calories quickly and eat up to 25 percent of their body weight a day. Sea otters rest by wrapping themselves in kelp to keep from drifting away. To keep their thick fur waterproof, they spend hours grooming. Females give birth to one pup, usually between January and March. Pups stay with their mothers for about six months. Sea otters were hunted to near-extinction for their fur in the 1700s and 1800s. Their population has grown slowly over the years and is still threatened by oil spills, pollution and disease."

Note southern sea otter photographs.  Los Padres ForestWatch,: Our gang, caption "Sea otters will form a “raft” to prevent them from drifting out to sea while sleeping" by Michael Jay; individual by Ron Wolf. Two Otters from the related Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Deirdre finnegan Martin city council candidate got a reserved parking space to attend the event. Was this to promote her city council race? A freebie?? Anyone see if she had a featured role on the stage?

Anonymous said...

She was working her ass off just like she does every earth day, and nothing glamorous either, her primary role for the last several years is to weigh all the trash that has been collected.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm Deirdre Martin weighing trash. Does that qualify one for city council? Although looking at some of the current council residents, gotta wonder..

Anonymous said...

Well Pete sat around city hall drinking taxpayer coffee while waiting from the 3x weekly calls from John "the master of puppets" Curtis.

Nostrildamus said...

Deidre Martin, per my view of her site on facebook, has a squeaky clean image, which complements her trash weighing. She has a very cute baby, who could be a Gerber poster child and I think many Pacifica mothers will want to vote for her because of the baby. She has a great logo and branding designed by Mr. Leone. The four issues she seems to want to champion are "salient" (rent control, anti-widening, trust and transparency) and she has a chance of making a dent against Nihart and Ervin. If either of them do not run, the well organized Vreeland-Campbell-Keener machine with voices such as Butler, Lancelle and other greenies will work well on her behalf. Ideally if former pro-business candidates ran against incumbants, those incumbents would have their voting base diluted, much like Ruchames, who was expected to win, was diluted by the other "pro-business" candidates in 2014, helping Martin to get in with pro-chamber/pro-realtor candidate over-abundance. Nihart's diminishing attendance and absence from community events make me doubt her chances or even if she will run. I am expecting a pro-ecology economy council in 2017.