Stop Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay Aaska – Yes to Sockeye Salmon – No Pebble Mine

Click on the words above “Stop Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay Aaska – Yes to Sockeye Salmon – No Pebble Mine” to see this entire post.

Please write the EPA now to protect this one of a kind salmon fishery in Alaska.

Tell EPA Administrator Pruitt: Protect American Jobs – Pebble Mine is the Wrong Mine in the Wrong Place

Learn more watching a trailer for The Breach – Feature Documentary Film.



We must protect wild salmon runs. Farmed salmon is NOT the answer.

The answer is to leave nature be and let her do what she’s done forever.

Learn about Marin’s endangered coho salmon and steelhead here.


Red male and darker female coho salmon spawning on Lagunitas Creek, 9 Decmber, 2012 ©Richard James


Geoduck clam cultivation in Puget Sound, is Tomales Bay next?

Click on the above words “Geoduck clam cultivation in Puget Sound, is Tomales Bay next?” to see this entire post.

I support responsible, sustainable shellfish aquaculture, practiced in the public waters by authentic stewards of the land and sea.

The recent application from San Andreas Shellfish of Dillon Beach to cultivate, among other species Geoduck Clams in Tomales Bay is cause for concern.

Read about the lease application process here.

Citizens of the Puget Sound area have for many years been working hard to protect their beautiful coastal seascape from commercial geoduck clam cultivation. This practice, quite profitable to some, pollutes far and wide, contributing significant amounts of plastic to an already toxic sea, as well as turning an otherwise sublime natural scene, into a dystopian nightmare.

The images that follow show what the practice of geoduck clam cultivation does to the environment. Do these images portray authentic stewardship?

Tomales Bay is already significantly degraded by the current and past practice of oyster, clam and mussel cultivation. Over 140 years of aquaculture have left a deep, disgraceful legacy in Tomales Bay. Before any new leases are approved, the California Fish & Game Commission and California Department of Fish & Wildlife shall clean up the tons of debris littering the bay, the Oyster Farming Legacy (OFL – rhymes with awful).

See the OFL still polluting Tomales Bay here.

If you feel strongly about protecting the unique beauty of Tomales Bay, please write the following people and let them know you want them to clean up the Oyster Farming Legacy trash blighting Tomales Bay before any new leases are approved.

Diane Windham – Southwest Regional Aquaculture Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Sacramento, CA

Randy Lovell – State Aquaculture Coordinator – ‎California Dept of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) – Sacramento, CA

Valerie Termini – Executive Director of California Fish & Game Commission (CFGC) – Sacramento, CA

Click on an image to see a larger version.

Image courtesy


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High pressure water jets are used to liquify the substrate to loosen the clam for harvest. Damaging or destroying any other organisms in the area.


Image courtesy

High pressure water jets are used to liquify the substrate to loosen the clam for harvest. Damaging or destroying any other organisms in the area.


Image courtesy

What Puget Sound looks like after harvest is complete.


Oakland’s Lake Merritt – first flush on 16 October, 2016

Click on the words above “Oakland’s Lake Merritt – first flush on 16 October, 2016” to see this entire post.


Being somewhat learned about trash, and less so about water, I called the guys at the boat store where I buy my kayaks in Oakland, California Canoe & Kayak last October just as a huge storm was bearing down on us.

“Where will I find the trash.” I asked?

“Lake Merritt!” , was the reply, without hesitation.

So off I went, cameras, umbrella and rain gear packed.

Not only does the first big rain of the year make roads slick with oil, it also scours the streets and drains of all the trash left by humans in the wrong place, carrying it to wards the sea. Or, in this case, Lake Merritt.

The inlets that bring storm drain run off from the streets of Oakland to Lake Merritt look a swirling pools of detritus.

Imagine walking 4 miles down South Beach after a storm, compressed into three-hundred square feet.

This is where much of the 8.5 million tons of plastic that we humans dump into the oceans each year (and growing) comes from.

We need to fix this. Soon.

Maybe TOTUS (Twit Of The United States) has some answers on ow to make Lake Merritt fabulous again?

Sure glad Tomales Bay looks nothing like this.


















Crab fisherman on strike for $3 a pound, should hold out for $6! Seafood tax a healthy idea.

Click on the text above “Crab fisherman on strike for $3 a pound…” to see this entire post.

Another crab season is upon us, like last year it is far from “normal”. But then again, with respect to the global environment, normal is undergoing radical changes.

Last year the season was delayed for months due to toxic levels of domoic acid in crab flesh (along with many other sea creatures).

This year the agency tasked with regulating crab fishing, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife has sequentially opened small regions of the California Coast to fishing as domoic acid levels drop below safe thresholds.

Instead of one price negotiation at the beginning of the season, wholesale buyers have decided to hold new talks for each region that opens up for fishing.

Bodega Bay fisherman are none too happy about this and have gone on strike. Fisherman want $3 a pound, buyers are offering $2.75 a pound.

Crab fishing is a boom and bust proposition, a few good years followed by a few not so good years. Fisherman try to offset these declines with a good salmon season, though “good salmon season” is a bit of a contradiction in terms of late.

Humans have for decades damned rivers, denying these ancient fish the spawning grounds they need, diverted water from rivers to give farmers water so they can grow almonds, cotton, pistachios and other high margin crops in what was originally the California desert. Pesticide and Herbicide use, clear-cut logging and creek-side construction have further degraded the environment to the point of near extinction for many historically huge salmon runs.

Both Salmon runs and crab populations are under attack, by humans!

Instead of asking for $3 a pound, I advocate crab fisherman hold out for $6.

Give fisherman $3 for each pound and put the other $3 into a fund used to undo the damage we humans inflict on the sea with our insatiable appetite for, well, damn near everything.

Think of it like a carbon tax. The new crab tax.

Set aside money for people like myself and the legions of others that walk our beaches picking up the mess of plastic ropes, plastic bait jars, plastic foam floats, crab traps left on our beaches each crab season to be ground in to a plastic soup by wave action. A soup that becomes part of the food chain of the planet See this post from two years ago for images of what crab fishing does to Point Reyes National Seashore each year.

Human trash collected from Point Reyes beaches during six visits

Research on how to collect crabs without endangering whales could be funded with this crab tax.

Humpback Whale entangled in crab fishing gear Photo: E. Lyman/HWS and NOAA

Humpback Whale entangled in crab fishing gear

Thankfully California has for the first time enacted a law that allows crab fisherman to collect abandoned gear after the season closes to reduce these horrible entanglements (and often deaths) caused to whales and other sea-life.

Reports of recent entanglements:

After huge blue whale gets tangled in crab lines, Californians struggle with elaborate rescue mission

Daring rescue of whale off Farallones

While we are thinking clearly and proposing that human harvesting activities pay the true cost to the planet, let’s double the price of salmon and oysters, clams and mussels. Set aside money to be used to clean up the messes we have made, and then figure out how to stop making new messes as we feed ourselves.

Four damns are soon to come down on the Klammath River, opening up over 300 miles of historic spawning grounds to a salmon run completely wiped out 80 years ago. Let’s restore the natural river habitat that nature found worked, instead of trying to use science to build fast growing salmon.
Another view of this troubling news here.

In a few months the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife will be holding a meeting to discuss Best Management Practices (BMP) for oyster growers in California. A long needed set of common sense rules for an industry that has historically been operated in a “wild west” sense, with lax or little oversight. Please watch this space for an announcement on where and when that meeting takes place so you can voice your support for common sense rules in all leases for use of public lands/waters to profit by private companies. Send me your email address if you’d like to be notified.

Let’s make sure that Tomales Bay looks more like this

Great and snowy egrets in flight. Tomales Bay, mouth of Walker Creek.


Instead of this

abandoned plastic trays


Welcome China, please listen up.

Please click the above words “Welcome China, please listen up” to see this entire post.

Welcome China!

Lately my website logs show a huge increase in visits from readers in your country (as well as many other countries around the globe) to my post about Wang Jiuliangs’ film “Plastic Kingdom“. Or this page about a screening of the latest cut of his film.

I met Jiuliang a few years back while he was filming this important and disturbing documentary showing the environmental damage done by the horrible recycling practices of your country.

Prior to this increased interest in my post about Wang’s film, virtually every visit from your country was from someone trying to hack my website in order to conduct nefarious business.

After months of trying to stop this nonsense, I gave up and decided to block nearly all of China from visiting my blog.

This decision did not come easily, as I am well aware that much of the cheap plastic garbage that shows up on the western shore of North America comes from China. Denying access to the maker of so much single-use stuff that ends up being tossed seemed wrong. But every time I left access open to China, your citizens continued trying to hack my blog for their own interests. My simple blog is one of millions of WordPress blogs under siege every day.

With the election of our new president (please note: I had nothing to do with Mr. Trump becoming president), as well as the increased interest in the film “Plastic Kingdom”, I decided to temporarily allow China access, given The Donald’s yuuuuuuge fascination with China (especially Formosa, err I mean Taiwan).

With this newfound access to my most important blog, I ask that you please stop trying to peddle porn, store illicit software or otherwise compromise what I pay for to share my thoughts with my fellow global citizens over the free Internet.

Further, I ask that you:

please treat your people fairly

have a free press

leave Tibet alone

acknowledge and accept his holiness the Dalai Llama

stop producing cheap plastic single-use items (garbage) to export

Thank you.

Please vote yes on proposition 67 and vote no on proposition 65

The video below shows a Camel Gastrolith photographed by chris jordan.

There are 500+ plastic bags in this mass pulled from the gut of a dead camel.

Don’t let the manufacturers of plastic bags stop the ban of these needless toxins in California.


Read what Chris Jordan (creator of the above video) has to say about this piece here.

See a much larger version of this video here.

Vote yes on prop. 67 Vote no on Prop. 65

Everyone please vote yes on Proposition 67 to keep the statewide ban on plastic bags in place.

Please vote no on Proposition 65, a red herring put forth by the manufacturers of plastic bags to confuse you.

Share this message NOW!

Wouldn’t you rather see the feathers of these stunning White Pelicans blowing in the breeze than a bunch of plastic bags?


White Pelicans over Tomales Bay

White Pelicans over Tomales Bay

More info…

Competing revenue provisions

Proposition 67 and Proposition 65 contain conflicting provisions regarding how revenue from the state-mandated sale of carryout bags would be distributed. Proposition 67 would allocate revenue from the sales to the stores themselves, permitting them to use the revenue in three ways:[5]

(1) To cover costs associated with complying with Proposition 67.
(2) To cover the costs of providing the recycled paper or reusable bags.
(3) To provide educational materials encouraging the use of reusable bags.

Proposition 65 would allocate the revenue into a new state fund, the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund, which could be expended to support drought mitigation, clean drinking water supplies, recycling, litter removal, wildlife habitat restoration, beach cleanup, and state, regional, and local parks. Stores would not keep the revenue from a state-mandated sale of carryout bags.

Should Proposition 67 pass and Proposition 65 be defeated, then revenue from the state-mandated sale of carryout bags would go to stores to be used for covering costs and education.

Should Proposition 67 be defeated and Proposition 65 pass, then there would be no single-use bag ban. Furthermore, should California legislate a bag ban, all revenue from that ban would be allocated to an environmental fund.

Should both propositions pass, but Proposition 67 by a larger margin, then revenue would go to stores.

Should both propositions pass, but Proposition 65 by a larger margin, then a statewide single-use bag ban would go into effect and the revenue would go into an environmental fund. The Legislative Analyst’s Office also notes that Proposition 65 might prevent Proposition 67’s bag ban depending on how court’s interpret the propositions.

Should both propositions be defeated, then there would be no single-use bag ban, nor a requirement for how revenue be distributed should California legislate a ban in the future.

More information here and here if interested:

Action Alert – Transparent, honest coastal protection under attack – write now!

The California coast bears no resemblance to Atlantic City, thankfully.

For good reason.

To keep it this way you need to write governor Brown and chair Gonzalez NOW, see below for details.

For over 40 years, the California Coastal Commission has been tirelessly working to protect this priceless gem from selfish development.

Earlier this year State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced SB-1190 to prohibit private, off-the-record communications with Coastal Commissioners that could influence decision-making.

This important and needed piece of legislation has been shelved by way of some political BS-ery.

Please write Governor Jerry Brown and committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez and tell them you want:

– SB-1190 to be passed

– A ban on ex-parte discussions between anyone and Coastal Commissioners

– Transparency on all Coastal Commission matters


Governor Jerry Brown Phone: (916) 445-2841

Chair Lorena Gonzalez Phone: (916) 319-2080
Twitter: @LorenaAD80 with #saveyourcoast

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon Phone: (916) 319-2063

Please act now!

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If you want the California coast to look like this, do nothing:

Used under Creative Commons license, photo by Bob Jagendorf

Used under Creative Commons license, photo by Bob Jagendorf

If you want the California coast to look more like this, ACT NOW! It won’t protect itself.

Read more about this important matter in the LA Times.


Save our planet – Stop Nestlé from taking our water and wrapping it in plastic

Dear Readers,

Nestlé thinks it can buy its way to a positive public image. So the corporation is mounting a major misinformation campaign in Southern California. From billboards to newspaper spots to ads on popular local websites, Nestlé is scrambling to convince the people of California that it’s a good steward of the environment. But with your help, we can fight back with educational ads of our own, ensuring people know the truth: Nestlé needs to be stopped for the public good.

Our campaign against Nestlé is already making waves. On April 25th, I’ll be representing the more than one million members of the Story of Stuff Community in a federal courtroom as our lawsuit to hold Nestlé accountable for its unpermitted withdrawal of water from the San Bernardino National Forest goes before a judge. Along with with our partners Courage Campaign and Center for Biological Diversity, we’ll argue that the U.S. Forest Service should turn off the spigot on Nestlé’s continuing, illegal extraction of water from these drought-ravaged public lands.

But we know Nestlé won’t go away quietly, which is why we’re asking you to help us fund a full-page ad in the San Bernardino Sun newspaper to raise publicity about Nestlé’s illegal actions, and help more people get engaged.

Help us show Nestlé and the U.S. Forest Service that the public wants our water to stay in the mountains, not in Nestlé’s bottles.

Nestlé knows that the public support behind the Story of Stuff Project and our partners has the potential to put an end to its bad behavior, which is why Nestlé spends millions of dollars on vague advertisements claiming it has a strong environmental record. But the facts couldn’t be further from the truth. The water level in the stream from which Nestlé is taking water in San Bernardino is at 10% of a 90-year historic average, and similar abuses are occurring worldwide.

Nestlé’s ability to suppress public debate is powerful. In fact, a billboard company that operates near the San Bernardino National Forest refused to do business with us in part because they fear losing out on Nestlé’s advertising dollars. So we’re buying a full-page ad in the San Bernardino Sun that will reach tens of thousands of local residents to set the record straight.

It’s time to show both Nestlé and the public that citizens around the world stand in solidarity with local efforts to protect the forest and its water. Please help us fund our full-page ad.

Donate to help us fight back against Nestlé’s misleading advertisements with a newspaper placement calling out their abuses and explaining how people can join our campaign.

Our lawsuit and your pressure have already had a significant impact, persuading the Forest Service to begin reviewing Nestlé’s expired permit for the first time in almost three decades. As the date of our hearing approaches, our opportunity to curtail Nestlé’s illegal water grab in San Bernardino is at an all-time high. We know that millions of people around the world support our efforts, and we want to bring that message directly to San Bernardino, where Nestlé employees AND Forest Service officials charged with protecting this forest will see it.

With your help we can deliver our message in the most commonly read newspaper in San Bernardino. With enough funds, we’ll buy more strategic ad space elsewhere in the region. It’s time to set the record straight and let local folks how they can get involved in our global campaign to hold Nestlé accountable.

Preview the ad text on our donation page, and contribute to make it a reality!

Together we can show Nestlé that our planet’s people and ecosystems aren’t for sale. With the water level in the National Forest’s Strawberry Creek now far below historic averages, the plant and animal life that depend on the water don’t have time to spare.

Thanks to your support our campaign is growing, and we’re starting to see Nestlé react. We know that if we keep the pressure up, amazing change is possible!
Are you in?

Yes, I’ll pledge $10

Yes, I’ll pledge $25

Yes, I’ll pledge $50

Yes, I’ll pledge $100

Yes, I will pledge another amount

In Solidarity,

Michael O’Heaney
Executive Director
The Story of Stuff