Jenner by the sea – Same as it ever was

Click the words above “Jenner by the sea – Same as it ever was” to see this entire post.

Once in a lifetime may we all see such beauty as Drakes Estero at dusk, surrounded by hundreds of godwits. Serenaded by a single loon. In this respect my life is complete.

On the first day of 2015 I was blessed with the beauty of Drakes Estero sans mariculture.

1 January, 2015 - Black Turnstones over Drakes Estero. ©Richard James

1 January, 2015 – Black Turnstones over Drakes Estero. ©Richard James

On the last day of 2015, I had the company of Dan Gurney, fellow boater and nature aficionado as we toured the estuary at the mouth of the Russian River.

This is a common venue for Dan and my first trip to these calm waters.

We put in at the boat ramp near the visitor center and made our way towards the mouth, careful not to venture out to the sea. Our boats and skills not suited for the crashing waves.

Besides enjoying the birds, seals and sounds, our destination was the beach north of the mouth, covered with driftwood and countless pieces of plastic, bottles and other mindless items. Inquisitive harbor seals swam close to us, noses in the air, inspecting us for food or threat, then silently sliding back beneath the cloak of the sea-surface.

We beach our boats, bags in hand we set off to the north, ready to return the scene to a more fitting state, free from out trash. Though we would later learn we had not pulled our boats far enough out of the rising waters.

Dan and I had previously met 2-3 times on Tomales Bay, he with a larger group of boaters, and I out walking the shores, filling my boat with trash, oyster farming debris and derelict drifting duck decoys. This was the first time he and I had boated and walked the shore, intent on cleaning up the place.

Instead of 10-15 minutes and back in the boat to paddle up to Penny Island for a bite to eat, we spent the next 90 minutes gathering foam bits, tennis balls, plastic and glass beverage containers and this lone steelhead.

A large meal, unnoticed by gulls, vultures and eagles. The all white gums of this fish told me it is a steelhead, chinook are all black, coho are black & white.

A large meal, unnoticed by gulls, vultures and eagles. The all white gums of this fish told me it is a steelhead, chinook gums are all black, coho gums black & white.

Perhaps the sand coating had sealed in the scent sufficiently to hide this meal from being discovered. I carried it out to the surf and the gulls and vultures quickly took notice.

Dan was a bit worried, as we had left our boats unattended for quite a while (and had not secured them very well either)

After piling up trash into caches for retrieval later, we hustled back to find our boats swirling in an eddy, off-shore, being herded by Dan’s good friend Bob. Bob boats here nearly every day and knows the land, as well as the boats. He was kind enough to push them to shore where we secured them and spent a while talking about all manner of seaside topics.

After returning to our caches to recover them, lashing everything (except one large truck tire we left up high for another caring individual to pack out), we carefully made our way to Penny Island for a late lunch.

Dan was nice enough to share his sandwich, for I had only arrived with drinks and pastries from Tomales Bakery. We devoured our meal as buffleheads and mergansers floated by.

Once the sun had dipped behind the ridge, the temp dropped and my wet wetsuit became downright chilly. (the day started out quite chilly, the drive up from Inverness was on ice-coated roads. My usual put-in along Walker Creek was occupied by Cheda’s tow truck hoisting the Hog Island Oyster delivery van from the creek, a sheepish driver pacing the shoulder)

Dan and I quickly paddled to the boat ramp to disgorge our discoveries and load boats back on to cars for the drive back.

 

See below what washes down the Russian River on a daily basis.

 

Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…

Water dissolving…and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

 

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56 tennis balls on second ever ikea bag. This one in great shape, sure to help haul hundreds of pounds of trash off many beaches.

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56 shoes, soles or footbeds

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Second syringe of the litter season.

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First ever unicorn.

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Vacation, to leave one’s brain at home

Click the words above “Vacation, to leave one’s brain at home” to see this entire post.

After a summer working in Yosemite Valley many years ago, the word vacation took on new meaning for me.

Watching tourons, as we called them, hacking down living trees to burn, stopping bus-sized RV’s in the middle of the road to get out and gape at a deer, hiking in 4-inch heels to vernal falls – all activities I witnessed again and again.

Imagine dealing with people like this on a daily basis and you can understand how an NPS employee might take on a misanthropic pallor.

Labor day is upon us. And so are the throngs of city dwellers eager for one last glimpse of nature. What a shame it is so many of them are unable to give nature even a sliver of respect.

While standing in line at The Bovine after plucking dozens of bottles and cans out of the dumpsters and cleaning both beaches at Drakes and Limantour, a lycra-clad fellow walked up and dumped a large paper bag FULL of bottles and cans into the trash bin by the door.

Kindly, I said “You know, there is a recycle bin right over there by your bike.”

He stopped, turned, glared and spat at me with a thick German/Austrian accent “Vye dont you mind your own fucking business!”

“Seeing as how I live out here, the state of our planet IS my fucking business. So won’t you put those recyclables in that bin over by your bike.”

He begrudgingly did, telling me “You could have said please.”

Seeing what has been left at the Limantour main trail-head, along with the above exchange, makes me think that humans have no business on this planet.

Happy holidays. Think kind thoughts for the 4 young men caught in the water at the mouth of The Estero, rescue/recovery underway as I write.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend

Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend


Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.

Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.


Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.

Dog shit, bagged by dog owner, left on beach for the rest of us to enjoy.


Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend

Items left at Drakes and Limantour beach over Labor Day Weekend


Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.

Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.


Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.

Trash and recycle bins at Limantour. A large dumpster is 80 feet away.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 17, TBOC gets after it in a big way

Click on the words above “Save our Tomales Bay – part 17, TBOC gets after it in a big way” to see this entire post.

As you may have noticed if you’ve been keeping up with the Series “Save our Tomales Bay…”, I have a big problem with people that trash the planet. Same goes for companies that those people often hide behind in the courts.

Apparently Todd and his crew at Tomales Bay Oyster Company do too!

The images below, recorded on 16 May, show the latest of a few big days where the TBOC staff made time to pick up the mess left behind by a previous oyster farmer whose lease they purchased.

Todd tells me he has removed over 3000 of the PVC pipes you see in the images. He likely has several thousand more to go. He tells me he plans to remove those soon. And I believe him.

Kudos to the TBOC crew for their efforts at being a good steward of the very bay they depend upon for their livelihood. The same bay that hundreds, perhaps thousands of species called home long before humans decided to complicate matters with all our trash.

Oyster farmers in California pay into an escrow account when they lease an area. Those funds were designed to be used to pay for cleanup under certain conditions. The problem as I see it is, that fund is inaccessible due to complicated rules. So, the cleanup that should be taking place, especially when leases change hands, never happens. Witness the messes we see in Tomlaes Bay, Drakes Estero and all along the Marin coast, thanks to Johnson’s oysters [now Drakes Bay Oyster Company].

I plan to work with the Fish & Wildlife Commission to change the language in the lease agreement so that no more of these messes get left behind. More on that later.

If the people pushing the California Shellfish Initiative want to expand oyster farming up and down the coast of California, they best get on board with lease agreements that have teeth, stopping all the finger pointing between present and past lease owners over who made the mess. Better yet, define best practices for all oyster farmers such that the mess does NOT get made in the first place.

Anyone that wants a copy of the current lease agreement in use, and is willing to help modify the language to ensure a clean California coast, send me a note and I’ll send you a copy.

As always, click on an image to see a much larger version.

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Hello Portosan, please come pickup the port-o-pottie….

Click the words above “Hello Portosan, please come pickup the port-o-pottie….” to see this entire post.

While cleaning a remote beach south of Stinson today, I came across this discarded port-o-pottie tank.

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I’ll give them a call in the morning to come pick it up.

GPS waypoints and a trail-head should be good enough.

Don’t you think?

UPDATE: After sending the company that owns this garbage a note containing pictures, maps and the exact location, asking for them to come pick it up, (Nicole, how come you never called me back?), I have heard nothing. This huge mess is likely still laying on the beach near Stinson Beach, being ground into fine yellow plastic fish food by the surf and rocks.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 16 Weekly pickup after TBOC – preview

Click the words above “Save our Tomales Bay – part 16 Weekly pickup after TBOC – preview” to see this entire post.

I had hoped to publish this weekend images of the garbage I picked up near Tomales Bay Oyster Company over the past four months. Shooting images and fiddling with a video editing program makes for slow going.

So here are three images showing a subset of what I picked up on three different occasion.

I’ll get the entire set of images up as soon as I can.

The gray disk in the image is 35 and 3/4 inches across.

I have been in touch with Todd at Tomales Bay Oyster Company. He assures me that he is taking serious the issues my images of his trash in Tomales Bay bring up. He told me he pulled out 1700 PVC pipes from the area I visit often. I stopped by this weekend to see how it looked, the tide, swell and murky water prevented me from seeing the fruits of his labors. I’ll check next weekend and report back.

25 zip-ties, black plastic from oyster bag, oyster bag bits, and yes, that is a disposable diaper found on the shore of Tomales Bay.

25 zip-ties, black plastic from oyster bag, oyster bag bits, and yes, that is a disposable diaper found on the shore of Tomales Bay.


click image to see an enormous version

Workers cut the zip-tie securing the bag to the anchoring rope during harvest and simply let the plastic go into the bay. Sounds like they went to the Charlie Johnson school of oyster farming. Thankfully that school is now closed.

Workers cut the zip-tie securing the bag to the anchoring rope during harvest and simply let the plastic go into the bay.
Sounds like they went to the Charlie Johnson school of oyster farming.
Thankfully that school is now closed.


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Oyster worker gloves, oyster bag tags, copper wire used to tie oyster bags closed, broken glass, blue foam from oyster bags, brown foam from work platforms, shot shell, shot shell wads and the ubiquitous tennis ball.

Oyster worker gloves, oyster bag tags, copper wire used to tie oyster bags closed, broken glass, blue foam from oyster bags, brown foam from work platforms, shot shell, shot shell wads and the ubiquitous tennis ball.

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 12 (Millerton style)

Click on the words above “Save our Tomales Bay…” to see this post as it was meant to be seen.

This past weekend we experienced King Tides, exceptionally high (and low) tides that happen this time of year.

To see some even higher tides, go here.

The water was so high I was able to launch my boat from the bridge at Chicken Ranch.

My goal was to head south into some formerly diked off areas to the east that only flood deep enough to get into during high tides. With the added benefit of the high water floating all the human-made plastic for easy finding and retrieval.

Down near Bivalve I recovered a second swim area buoy that had gotten loose and drifted far from its’ usual spot. I found the first one last year, a few hundred meters south of this one.

Paddling back I ran into Dan from Sebastopol, we’d met a few weeks prior a bit north of here. We visited briefly as we recounted how we each enjoyed the high tides. I had to split off to pick up some trash I had cached. Dan was with a large group of paddlers from Petaluma. My plan was to pick up my cache, then stop by Millerton (where they had put in) and visit on my way back as they pulled their boats to the car. As we parted, Dan shouted that he found another duck decoy just then. He found one as well on our first meeting. I too have a pair of found plastic ducks, one pintail and one mallard.

Yet, there was too much trash to pick up and I missed him by moments.

I still stopped at Millerton, a place I had not visited on the water in all my travels in Tomales Bay.

As I approached the shore I began counting tires, one, two three. Large ones. Tractor tires. All within 200 feet of the where the trail hits the water. I was nonplused. All these years I had been out to remote areas of Point Reyes Seashore gathering trash likely never to be seen except by divers or other intrepid adventurers, and here these tires lay in the mud. On the shore for what appears to be decades by the looks of them, not 200 feet from the cars bringing all the dog owners to this busy beach.

I may have missed Dan, I was not going to miss the opportunity to clear the Bay of these huge tires.

Tires all over the shore, and this in the parking lot, two days running. Is this status quo for Millerton?

Tires all over the shore, and this in the parking lot, two days running.
Is this status quo for Millerton?

I had to dig them out of the mud, stand them up, scoop 20-30 pounds of mud out of them and roll them to the hill that leads to the parking lot. As I rolled the first one along the bumpy shore, A man out with his family picnicking got up and walked over to me,

“Do you need some help?” he asked.

“That would be great” was my reply.

“But you are going to get very muddy.” I offered.

“No problem.” was Armando’s response.

Together we rolled it, wobbly, up the hill. He took it the rest of the way to the parking lot. I was off to get another.

“If you get more, my sons and I can help.”

Armando from Berkeley told me he loves to come to this beach with his family. When he saw me struggling with the huge tire, he became inspired.

He and I rolled a second tire, as big as the first up to the lot. I was not sure I was up to a third so I suggested he enjoy the new year day with his family and thanked him for his help.

As I neared my boat, I was drawn to a third tire, laying in the shallow water, filled with mud. This one required a lever and fulcrum to pull it out of the mud. Fiddling with sticks and logs to make my mechanical advantage, Kevin “KC” form Inverness Park saw me and he too asked if he could help. He was dressed even nicer than Armando was. I explained the mud and he would not be deterred. He stripped off his jacket and came right over to help. Together we got another large tire up the hill and out of the Bay.

His wife snapped these photos of us.

KC and I roll a tractor tire out of Tomales Bay to the parking lot for removal.

KC and I roll a tractor tire out of Tomales Bay to the parking lot for removal.


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Afterwards he then offered me a cold beer (which I gladly accepted) and he opened it for me, as my hands were still coated with thick black mud, bleeding profusely from where the barnacles had sliced them.

Thank you KC.

I plucked a fourth tire, this one a tiny 18-wheeler that was on dry ground and rolled it up the hill solo.

This makes fifteen tires pulled from the bay so far.

There are still at least 2-3 more here, as well as a large rear axle from some ancient vehicle of some sort laying in the tiny creek nearby.

I placed the swim buoy in with them. Later I called the state dispatcher for parks and the folks from Samuel Taylor had them taken care of by that evening.

This six cylinder GM engine in the water earlier sure looked out of place. Clearly left by some lazy SOB that had backed his truck up to the cliff next to route 1 and pushed it over, saving a trip over the hill to the recycler. His problem was now everyone’s problem. This is the third block I have found in Tomales Bay. The other two are likely remnants of boat wrecks, both on the west shore.

Just what every body of water needs - NOT.

Just what every body of water needs – NOT.


Oyster grow-out bag filled with bottles and cans. My first toaster and fourth TV.

Oyster grow-out bag filled with bottles and cans. My first toaster and fourth TV.


Four tires, a buoy and two oyster grow-out bags.

Four tires, a buoy and two oyster grow-out bags.

A few days later I paid a visit to Hog Island Oysters, having been invited to come talk about my clean-up efforts and the goals of Hog Island in terms of reducing the amount of plastic the oyster farms inject into the environment.

John Finger explained that in the past, a yearly cleanup had taken place to pick up oyster gear from around the bay.

Hog Island is committed to running a clean operation, reducing plastic loss and recovering as much as possible that is lost.

After seeing what I was digging out of the wrack on a regular basis, he decided that once a year was not enough. So he plans to work with the other growers to make a concerted effort four times per year. If I can, I’ll go out before the planned cleanup to see what is there to get, as well as to visit after the cleanup to see if the participants are actually recovering their gear.

I am going to reduce the number of “Save our Tomales Bay” reports for a while. A wait and see approach, if you will.

Let us hope that all the Tomales Bay Oyster growers step up and help manage the mess that their operations are creating, hopefully figuring out how to prevent the mess in the first place.

I’ll still be out there picking up stuff and photographing it.

In the meantime, enjoy this green heron I drifted by on christmas day.

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Now this is what I expect to see in a Bay as gorgeous as Tomales!

Coming soon, we’ll pay a visit to Drakes Estero to see what a “sustainable oyster operation” looks like under the surface.

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 9

Click on the words above “Save our Tomales Bay…” to see this post as it was meant to be seen.

The boat you see in the banner above had been blown off its mooring (for a second time) and drifted south nearly two miles to the spot you see.

Moorings in Tomales Bay, as I understand it consist of very heavy things, dropped into the bay, to which one ties their boat.

Speaking one day with a gentleman who works at Hog Island Oyster Company, I mentioned the garbage you see in the two images seen below during a discussion we were having about all the oyster farming trash I find washed ashore.

Location -  38.128490° N   -122.864172° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.128490° N -122.864172° W Datum WGS84


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Location -   38.125753° N   -122.862869° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.125753° N -122.862869° W Datum WGS84

He mentioned all the moorings in the bay, implying that if you think oyster farming debris is trash, what about all the engine blocks littering the bottom of the bay?

He also mentioned a specific tire, stuck in the mud for many, many years just off Bivalve that can be seen from the road.

I replied that I had seen that tire several times, even photographed it. He asked me if I had packed it out. I replied no, I had been out that day to take photos, not pack out trash as I often do. He quickly shot back “Everyone has an excuse.” A few days later, I emailed him a picture of a tire, asking if this indeed was the tire in question. I also sent a picture of nine tires I had pulled out of the mud, drug ashore and packed to the trailhead.

I’ve not heard back from George.

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Even though you are about to see many pictures of trash I have picked up in the vicinity of the Tomales Bay Oyster Company, I want to say that I think they are making an effort to pick up after themselves.

Thank you Tomales Bay Oyster Company. Or whoever it is that is picking up the beaches near your business that are usually covered in plastic from your operation.

What you see below I had to really go trekking to find. Whoever is picking it up is getting the low hanging fruit, the stuff in the wrack. Which is great.

I am having to go further away from the wrack, up into the pickleweed to get the plastic that was washed up during very high tides in the past.

If these oyster farm operations sent people out more often, I suggest once a week, or at least every other week. There would be less chance of high tides pushing it further inland, or worse, pulling it out to sea, where it becomes deadly for birds, mammals and other sea life.

In an upcoming post, I’ll share more findings along the Tomales Bay shore in the vicinity of Hog Island Oysters, as well as other growers that have thousands upon thousands of bags of oysters laying in the mud or on racks.

Find out the unvarnished truth about sustainable oyster farming, West Marin Style™.


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this blue foam is wrapped in plastic and tied to the oyster bags for flotation. - I find chunks of this stuff EVERYWHERE. - If the growers regularly policed their growing areas [as I do], the sun would not degrade the plastic and this stuff would not be strewn about.

this blue foam is wrapped in plastic and tied to the oyster bags for flotation.

I find chunks of this stuff EVERYWHERE.

If the growers regularly policed their growing areas [as I do], the sun would not degrade the plastic and this stuff would not be strewn about.


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Tags from oyster bags shipped from Washing State to Marin. Do you know your farmer? Call them at the number you see on the tags above.

Tags from oyster bags shipped from Washing State to Marin.
Do you know your farmer? Call them at the number you see on the tags above.


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The purplish lines show locations where I gathered litter from that you see in  this post. - The yellow lines show where I walked inland to find "older" trash left by the business owner. - The business site is the bright white area.

The purplish lines show locations where I gathered litter from that you see in this post.

The yellow lines show where I walked inland to find “older” trash left by the business owner.

The business site is the bright white area.


A work area used by the busniess, one of two that I know of where tools and trash are left at all times.

A work area used by the busniess, one of two that I know of where tools and trash are left at all times.


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A clean wrack. What it should always look like!

A clean wrack. What it should always look like!


Plastic free eel grass! - Yes please

Plastic free eel grass!

Yes please


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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 8

Click on the words above “Save our Tomales Bay…” to see this post as it was meant to be seen.

This past weekend the weather was superb. Nearly zero wind, flat water and perfect temperatures made for a sublime day on the bay.

I’ve several posts from days gone by to publish, but time is sparse and they need more than I have just now, so this will have to do for now.

It is raining hard as I write this, the lights have flickered twice which means the salmon and steelhead are about to make their return journey to natal streams whence they emerged into being 3-4 years ago. As I paddle across the shallow Tomales Bay, with each dip of the blade into water, I look down and think of the thousands of miles these fish have traveled since they left as 100 mm smolts 1100 days ago.

Today with water so flat and tide so high, I venture to the east shore of the bay to have a look and see how the shore is being treated by local commerce. Oyster farmers in particular.

I’ve been pretty forthcoming about what I see as their shortcomings in terms of policing up the tools of the trade they have chosen. It is with pleasure I report that they seem to have gotten the message (unlike other oyster farmers in the area, see here for more on that) and are picking up after themselves.

In the past I’ve found dozens, hundreds of grow out bags littering the shore and inter-tidal region. Along with dozens of the tags from the bags they buy from Washington State and have shipped down to resell.

Hey California, call your oyster farmer. The numbers are right there on the tags. As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

Hey California, call your oyster farmer. The numbers are right there on the tags.
As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

That trip I only found a few bags and 8 tags. And I had to look hard for them too. Seems someone (TBOC?) is out picking up their trash. Thank you to whoever is getting it. If you do this regularly, I won’t be finding stuff washed way up high in the bushes and buried by plants for years. Or worse, it won’t be washing out to sea where it harms animals, and eventually is ingested by animals, including humans that eat said animals.

So here I am on this gorgeous day, thinking I am not going to find much mariculture debris littering the shore. I take advantage of the high tide and ride the incoming tide into an area I later learn is known by some as Tomasini Lagoon. It is a triangular shaped region just below route 1, separated from Tomales Bay by a dike.

Once inside I begin to paddle close to shore in a counter-clockwise fashion, letting the tide push me along. Suddenly the silence is broken by a shriek I know. I look overhead and a peregrine is soaring above me, letting me know whose lagoon this is. As I make my way along one side of this watery triangle, the first grow-out bag comes into view and I must beach the boat and go get it. This is repeated over and over again as I pass one vertice and begin to traverse the second side.

Soon I am greeted by a couple in a canoe. I’ve not seen them before and their first words to me as they look at my garbage covered kayak are “Thank you for doing this. We were out last friday doing the same thing up north of here.” I learn they are Bridger and Katherine and they have boated the area for years. After a brief visit, they head on their way and I continue on mine. Later, I see them outside the triangle on-shore with something. When I get close I see they’ve discovered and propped up 2 grow out bags I had missed so that I can get them on my way out, which I do.

Here you can see my path inside the lagoon and the locations of the 22 bags I found and two bags found by B&K.


24 oyster grow out bags left abandoned on Tomales Bay. Click image to see a larger version.

24 oyster grow out bags left abandoned on Tomales Bay.
Click image to see a larger version.


Here is a device I have never before seen. It looks expensive. Who can tell me what it is? Or whose it is and why they left it here?

Tell me whose it is and I'll tell you where you can go get it. Click image for a larger version

Tell me whose it is and I’ll tell you where you can go get it.
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Tell me whose it is and I'll tell you where you can go get it. Click image for a larger version

Tell me whose it is and I’ll tell you where you can go get it.
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The rest of the images show some of the garbage I picked up on my paddle through nature.

On my way back, I met another fellow, Dan, also out for a paddle on this perfect day. He too thanked me for my efforts and then paid a visit to this blog. You can read about his day on the water here. He teaches kindergarten in Sonoma and loves to get out on the water whenever he can.

The last image below, as well as the header image show the beach where I placed all the oyster gear I found. It is at Tomales Bay Oyster Company. There is little doubt where this trash came from. Have a look at the google earth image above and you can see how close to the retail operation the triangle lagoon is.

It was a busy day there, yet only a couple people came down to ask me what this stuff was and why I was dumping it on the beach. You can be sure that I explained in detail what it was and where I had found it.

Both people asked me if I worked for the oyster place. No, was my reply. Do they pay you? Again, no was my reply. One asked me why the oyster place did not pick up the trash. I don’t know was my reply, raising one hand and rubbing two fingers and my thumb together as I said so.

They took a sip of their beer and returned to the festivities.


Dead loon in the wrack

Dead loon in the wrack


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I found a kayak! OK, not the whole thing, only the label.

I found a kayak! OK, not the whole thing, only the label.


Tags from bags of shellfish, shipped from Washington State to Marin.  All found on 17 November, 2013 along the shore near Tomales Bay Oyster Company. Check out the dates on those tags... Click image for a larger version. Know your farmer, call them up!

Tags from bags of shellfish, shipped from Washington State to Marin.
All found on 17 November, 2013 along the shore near Tomales Bay Oyster Company. Check out the dates on those tags…
Click image for a larger version. Know your farmer, call them up!


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The earth is not so very different from the gallon wine jug with grass growing inside it.
A limited amount of space in which to grow.

When will humans figure out that we have to take good care of this vessel on which we live?

Damn it, shut the gadgets off and get outside with someone you love, look at this place we call home.

Before it is gone.


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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.

America’s Cup continues to deliver – Marine Debris

As the spectacle that are AC72 boat races continue inside SF Bay, the pieces of Larry Ellison’s big-boy toy that pitch-poled last October keep washing ashore on the beaches of Point Reyes.

This piece had been laying out on the sand so long, spiders have been using it for nest building.

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Go Larry!

Go out and pick up after yourself that is.

Save our Tomales Bay – part 3

Click on the words “Save our Tomales Bay” above to see this post as it was intended to be seen.

For the many thousands of you that wait on the edge of your recliner for my next batch of images showcasing the worrisome ways in which humans lay waste to the watersheds of the world, I apologize.

Today while visiting the shore of Tomales Bay, as I have the past few weeks in search of debris to remove from the shore and water, I found that much of it had been removed.

Woo hoo!

Last week I opined that with the volume of oyster grow-out bags still littering the shore (hundreds), either the people that put them there would need to pack them out, or I’d need lots of help.

I’m, not sure who did it, but thank you!

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The above bundle of bags is gone, Hopefully retrieved and no longer poised to explode and spread plastic all over the bay. Thank you.

Today the tide was higher and I was on land, not in my boat. So I had no easy way to see if the piles of iron and dozens of submerged, gravel filled bags buried in the bottom have been removed. I hope they were. I’ll come back again to see.

I did find fewer than ten bags on shore and only a few in the water.

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Location -     38.119608° N   -122.864715° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.119608° N -122.864715° W Datum WGS84

This work site still had the fifteen or so bags laying about I saw weeks ago. I left them then, and I left them today. The wind can easily take these bags into the water where the tides can carry them out to sea. Surely this work area can be kept cleaner!

Location -  38.128490° N   -122.864172° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.128490° N -122.864172° W Datum WGS84

Location -  38.128490° N   -122.864172° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.128490° N -122.864172° W Datum WGS84

The sad new discovery was the anchors shown in the banner image and again above. Ten to twelve large plastic trash cans or barrels filled with concrete. Who left these here? This is 2013, not 1950. We have known for a long time that we can’t simply extract resources and leave our mess behind for others to deal with. Our planet is buckling under the damage caused by that out-dated thinking.

Who amongst you has an idea on how to get this blight out of Tomales Bay?

Location -   38.125753° N   -122.862869° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.125753° N -122.862869° W Datum WGS84

I could have had a V8!

Location -    38.125670° N   -122.862855° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.125670° N -122.862855° W Datum WGS84

Still more rusty oyster infrastructure from days gone by, littering the bay.

Location -    38.125670° N   -122.862855° W   Datum WGS84

Location – 38.125670° N -122.862855° W Datum WGS84

Next I plan to visit the area around Walker Creek and Preston Point to see what sort of monuments to the human madness are mired in the mud up that way.

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Here are a few images showing what a healthy shoreline looks like, plastic free!

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Next related post may be found here.

Previous related post may be found here.

See the first post in this series “Save our Tomales Bay” here.