Climate change and the Sanctuary was the theme of this year's Sanctuary Currents Symposium, held in March. Members of the scientific, education, and conservation communities and the public at large came together to learn how the recent El Niño and other phenomena affect us here on the Central Coast.
The plenary session featured talks on El Niño and its effects on the Sanctuary. Speakers discussed its effects on weather patterns and storm tracks over the Pacific Ocean, its impacts on California's Central Coast, a comparison of marine mammal strandings in El Niño and non El Niño years, and how squid are affected by El Niño.
The afternoon research symposium featured presentations on various climate change topics. Steve Eittreim (USGS) discussed new discoveries that seafloor mapping on the Monterey Bay Continental Shelf have revealed; Dr. Baldo Marinovic (UCSC) presented research on the impacts of El Niño on the Monterey Bay pelagic ecosystem; Marlene Noble (USGS) gave an update on recent advances in understanding shelf circulation; and Matthew Edwards (UCSC) discussed the effects of El Niño on kelp forests. A poster session (see below) and exhibits by regional educational and conservation groups and government agencies complemented the many excellent presentations.
The Ed Ricketts Memorial Lecture featured Dr. Joseph Connell, who entertained the audience with a witty recounting of his thirty years studying the dynamics of corals on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef. A Research Professor of Biology at UC Santa Barbara, Connell presented findings that discussed the extreme variability in the abundance and recruitment of reef-building corals at his study sites.
NOAA Honors "Environmental Heroes"
Rachel Saunders and Brian Baird Receive Prestigious Award
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary honored two outstanding advocates in April. Brian Baird, with the California Resources Agency, and Rachel Saunders, with S.E.A. Camp Monterey Bay, were selected as two of NOAA's Environmental Heroes for 1999 in recognition of their important and continuous contributions to the Sanctuary.
"Brian and Rachel have been highly effective in their commitment to and support for our Sanctuary," says Superintendent William J. Douros. "Both have been strong advocates for the Sanctuary and have helped us identify and resolve numerous resource management problems; the Sanctuary's first six and a half years would have been a much rougher road without their assistance."
Rachel Saunders has been an environmental advocate for seventeen years and was a leader in the citizen movement to designate the Monterey Bay and Olympic Coast Sanctuaries in the early 1990s. As the director of the Center for Marine Conservation's (CMC) Monterey Bay Field Office, she has helped forge solutions to a myriad of Sanctuary management issues, including vessel traffic. She led CMC's efforts to establish a highly effective volunteer, interpretive docent program &endash; BAY NET &endash; for the Sanctuary in the Monterey Bay region and in Cambria. She chaired the Sanctuary's Conservation Working Group for ten years, was a founding member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council, and served as Vice-Chair. Currently, Rachel is organizing a national coastal and ocean science education program called S.E.A. Camp Monterey Bay (see article, page 6).
"I was extremely honored by the recognition, especially in light of all the people I know are out there who deserve this award," Saunders says. In accepting the award, Rachel paid tribute to her mother, who instilled in her a belief in public service. "It meant most to me that my mother was able to be there, after battling a severe illness, because receiving this award was a real gift for her," she adds.
Baird and Saunders follow in the footsteps of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, recipient of the Environmental Hero award in 1998. Such recognition of community members underscores what Sanctuary management and staff have always known: it's the community that makes the Sanctuary.
Home | Introduction | Visitors | Education | Research | Protection | Calendar | Foundation | Search
For comments or question please refer to the Webmaster
Last modified on: August 6,