Eco News

Science Spotlight: Santa Cruz Sandhills

Zayante sand soil from the Santa Margarita sandstone formation covers some trails near Henry Cowell State Park. Photo by Emma Hiolski.

The Santa Cruz sandhills, a unique, fragmented habitat within the Santa Cruz Mountains, hosts seven kinds of plants, animals and insects found nowhere else in the world.

Science Spotlight: Beach Erosion

During the 1983 El Niño winter, Twin Lakes State Beach lost over 10 feet of sand, as shown above. Gary Griggs photo.

Beaches initially form where waves and currents move sand deposited by coastal streams. The shape of a shoreline and human structures like harbors and jetties influence where sand piles up.

Science Spotlight: Schooling & Flocking

A beautiful display of schooling behavior in sardines.  Klaus Steifel photo CC BY-SA 2.0

Schooling fish, such as the tight bunches of anchovies and sardines found in Monterey Bay, uniformly dart away from predators, make hairpin turns, and accelerate or stop without colliding.

Science Spotlight: Marbled Murrelets

Marbled murrelets, small and plump seabirds with short necks, stubby tails, and webbed feet, nest silently in old-growth forests. Robin Corcoran, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

They sneak silently into their nests an hour before sunrise, after spending a day and a night hunting at sea. Hundreds of feet off the ground, they settle into the highest branches of old-growth trees.

Big Blue Dream

Maybe THEY will save the world ... Photo by Jasper Lyons.

O'Neill Sea Odyssey nears a major milestone: 100,000 students served.

The Elephant Seals of Ano Nuevo State Park

Science Spotlight: Domoic Acid

Colored image of a diatom seen through an electron microscope. Photo by ZEISS Microscopy.

A potent neurotoxin, domoic acid comes from Pseudo-nitzschia, a genus of diatoms found along the Pacific coast.

Science Spotlight: Offshore Faults

A map of offshore fault lines across Monterey Bay reveals where future earthquakes might happen. Courtesy Gary Greene/Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

The waters of Monterey Bay may obscure potential dangers. Far below the surface are seismically active faults that could be the site of offshore earthquakes in the bay.

Cotoni–Coast Dairies National Monument: A Good Thing

Hilltromper photo

The campaign to create the Cotoni–Coast Dairies National Monument came to a storybook ending on Jan. 12 when Pres. Barack Obama issued the proclamation three days before Martin Luther King’s birthday.

J. Nichols: National Monument a ‘No-Brainer’

J. Nichols' Blue Marble movement has distributed more than a million little reminders  that life on earth is precious and fragile.

The North Coast scientist, author and ocean advocate calls for designation of Coast Dairies as a national monument.

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