Washington State oyster growers still want to spray poison in Willapa Bay & Grays Harbor

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Last year the Washington State Department of Ecology did the right thing by denying a permit to the oyster growers of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor to spray poison into the ocean. Details found here.

Instead of using their brains to grow oysters without using poison (done all over the world), these growers are stuck in the ignorant past and demand a permit to spray a neurotoxin to kill native shrimp in order to make millions of dollars growing non-native oysters. Maybe their brains have been damaged by exposure to Carbaryl, the other poison they sprayed on these bays for 50 years.

HB 1037 text found here

Read what The Audubon Society knows about imidacloprid here.

Keep up on Washington State environmental protection issues here.

When oyster growers of Tomales Bay are prohibited from harvesting local oysters (due to heavy rains washing feces and other unpleasantries into Tomales Bay), they import oysters from other areas, including Washington State. Let’s hope local growers NEVER purchase oysters from growers who want to spray poison into the ocean.

One thing I’ve learned from 5+ years of looking into commercial aquaculture as I clean up after commercial aquaculture, there is lots of BS to go around. Bovine and otherwise.

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Fur seal release at Drakes Beach

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The storms have brought much trash to our south facing beaches at Point Reyes.

Today I went out again to grab as much as I could of the new arrival of human trash that washed up. Also, to enjoy the spectacle of a large group of male northern elephant seals lounging, lumbering, fighting and posing on the sand and almost in the parking lot.

As a bonus I got to watch four northern fur seal pups being released after several weeks of rehabilitation at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

Over six years ago on this same beach a couple hundred feet away I came upon a lone and malnourished northern fur seal. I called the Marine Mammal Center and they came and picked her up. pictures and video of that day here.


Marine Mammal Center staff prepare to release four fur seals
Dappled light caresses Drakes Bay, Chimney Rock sulks in background
Puffy clouds over Inverness Ridge

Street trash washed into Lake Merritt, Oakland CA 21 November, 2018

Click the words above “Street trash washed into Lake Merritt…” to see this entire post.

The day before Thanksgiving was the first big rain of 2018.

People who study rivers, urban blight as well as surfers call this first big rain the “First Flush”.

The rain rinses the smog, plastic, cigarette butts, urine, oil, feces and all manner of other items off the streets of our cities into creeks, rivers, storm drains and eventually the ocean. The same ocean that has been feeding us for millenia

The same ocean we are destroying with our trash.

For three years now I’ve made sure to be at Lake Merritt in Oakland CA for the first flush.

Why?

Because I learned that it is where at least 62 storm drain pipes, fed by hundreds (thousands?) of storm drains feed water and what it washes from the streets, into Lake Merritt. Actually Estuary Merritt, since it is connected to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean and the world’s oceans.

For the past decade I’ve been packing trash off the beaches of Point Reyes Seashore. Among all the other garbage I pick up are needles. Syringes. Sharps.

I’ve picked up perhaps 150 during that time. Enough that I no longer walk barefoot on beaches.

For a couple years, when I saw families out to enjoy the beach in the winter (when the needles usually show up), I would sometimes quietly explain to parents on Drakes or Limantour Beach that they might want to be careful and keep an eye on their children, as I find hypodermic syringes on this beach in the winter.

This suggestion was usually met with wide eyes and thanks.

More than several times, after their eyes got wide, their faced screwed down tight as they berated me for ruining their only time to get out to the beach with their children.

I no longer warn parents about the needles.

If you’d like to educate yourself about one of the major causes of the opioid crisis depicted below in images, read the following articles:

Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows

Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused

Investigation: The DEA slowed enforcement while the opioid epidemic grew out of control

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

Full Coverage: Oxycontin Investigation

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Below are images showing what I collected on 21 November over a few hours from one pipe in particular.

You can see what I found in 2017 and 2016 too.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version. Please contact me if you wish to use any of my images in any way. All images ©Richard James – coastodian.org

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Yellow pollen washed off the streets paints an oddly beautiful sheen on the surface, pocked with garbage from humans.

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Shortly after I arrived in the morning, this was how much debris had arrived.

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A pair of hungry snowy egrets perches atop the oil containment boom installed twenty years ago. Imagine if when you went to the market to shop for food, the vegetable section was littered with garbage, bags of feces and syringes.

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As the rain kept falling, washing more debris from the streets of Oakland, the debris piled up.

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Toni was out for a jog this rainy day. After she learned what I was doing, she asked if she could help. Of course I said, explaining she had to BE VERY CAREFUL.
She used a second litter-grabber I had, got on hands and knees and plucked out 15-20 needles. Stopping only when she was shivering too much. She thanked me for caring (I thanked her too) then jogged off in the rain.

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45 minutes later, warmed from her run, she starting plucking needles out again, stopping only when she again started shivering too much to be able to hold the grabber. THANK YOU Toni!

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A passerby told me the orange sandals are issued to inmates at Santa Rita jail.

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Blue and pink plastic vials of sterile water or saline (called bullets on the street) are given to IV drug users by needle exchange programs to mix with whatever it is they plan to inject themselves with. It would appear the needle exchange model is not working given all these lost needles endangering our community and ocean.

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This sleeping bag weighed over 100 pounds when I carefully pulled it out of the water to drip dry. There were six needles on or in it, good thing I know what to expect when dealing with trash around the East Bay.

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Dungeness Crab Season is here – How do I know?

Click on the words above “Dungeness Crab Season is here – How do I know?” to see this entire post

You might think I know it is crab season from all the fresh crab for sale in the market.

 

More poignantly, I know it is crab season because of all the ropes, buoys, broken bits of buoys, bait jars, bleach jugs, crab traps and other trash put in the sea by crab fishermen that washes up on beaches all along the coast in California.

 

All the trash deposited on our beaches and in the sea as they extract profit from the ocean.

And none of them will help clean it up.

And the California Fish & Game Commission and California Department of Fish & Wildlife does what to correct this behavior?

 

The silence is deafening.

Just like we need a carbon tax (fee)

We need a seafood fee.

 

Crab should cost twice what it does, with half going towards cleaning up the mess made by the fishermen catching it.

Same for oysters, salmon, all seafood.

 

Everybody wants cheap everything, yet nobody gives a damn about the health of the planet that provides everything.

 

Instead of throwing science at the problems we’ve created.

How about we get out of the way and let nature solve it?

 
From Drakes Beach on 22 November, 2018

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From other walks along the beach

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Human trash collected from Point Reyes beaches during six visits

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Commercial crab fishing – why so much trash in the sea?

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

Impact of homeless camps and illegal dumping in Berkeley CA – March/October 2018

Click the words above “Impact of homeless camps and illegal dumping in Berkeley CA…” to see this entire post.

Below images show the areas along West Frontage Road near University and Ashby Avenues

Click on an image to see a larger version, then click on the dimensions above image name to see it full sized.

If you’d like to educate yourself about one of the major causes of the opioid crisis depicted below in images, read the following articles:

Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows

Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused

Investigation: The DEA slowed enforcement while the opioid epidemic grew out of control

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

Full Coverage: Oxycontin Investigation

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Human feces in gutter before being washed into SF Bay

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Human feces in gutter before being washed into SF Bay

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Parents bring small children to run barefoot on this small beach. The same beach I find needles, condoms and bags of human feces on

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Debris inside foliage

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Debris inside foliage

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Illegal dumping

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Debris inside foliage

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Illegal dumping

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Impact of homeless camps and illegal dumping in Oakland CA – June/July 2018

Click the words above “Impact of homeless camps and illegal dumping in Oakland CA…” to see this entire post.

Below images show the area known as “The Village” at East 12th Street and 23rd Avenue

If you’d like to educate yourself about one of the major causes of the opioid crisis depicted below in images, read the following articles:

Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows

Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused

Investigation: The DEA slowed enforcement while the opioid epidemic grew out of control

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

Full Coverage: Oxycontin Investigation

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Blaming one person is not the path forward

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Below images show illegal dumping on Rockport street near East Creek Slough

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Below images show area around Lake Merritt

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This syringe was not very far from a little girl feeding geese and other children playing on the grass

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Impact of homeless camps around Lake Merritt – March/April 2018

Click the words above “Impact of homeless camps…” to see this entire post.

Below are images showing the huge impact on our environment from homeless living around Lake Merritt.

Most everything you see debris-wise in Oakland, I find washed up on the beaches of Marin, Point Reyes Seashore and elsewhere.

If you’d like to educate yourself about one of the major causes of the opioid crisis depicted below in images, read the following articles:

Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows

Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused

Investigation: The DEA slowed enforcement while the opioid epidemic grew out of control

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

Full Coverage: Oxycontin Investigation

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Children’s Fairyland across the way, not so fairy-like in foreground

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt, Oakland CA 16 November, 2017

Click the words above “Street trash washed into Lake Merritt…” to see this entire post.

Having learned that it is much more useful to stop the flow of trash into the ocean than it is to walk the shore picking up after everyone else, I’ve been visiting Lake Merritt in Oakland the past few years to try to turn off that trash tap.

If you’ve ever visited Oakland, you’ve seen, among other things, people living everywhere – on sidewalks, under bridges, in bushes along the roads, all around Lake Merritt. You’ve also seen streets and waterways filled with trash – EVERYWHERE.

I learned what happens during the first big rain event of each season, as well as that there are 62 storm drains carrying water (and everything else) from the streets of downtown Oakland into Lake Merritt (actually an estuary, connected to SF Bay). See what I saw on my first visit in October of 2016 here.

People play, boat, swim, defecate, urinate, bath, shave in Lake Merritt. Birds and fish live and feed in Lake Merritt. A very sad situation.

Today I read in a local paper of the latest effort to help these people living in horrid conditions off the street and into permanent housing. Read about that here.

Instead of chasing homeless people from camp to camp, city to city, it seems to me to make more sense that all the different cities, Caltrans, BART, Union Pacific etc. work together, share the cost and make a long term commitment to help these folks find a safer place to live that is not so damaging to the environment.

At the rate we are destroying our oceans with our plastic and other trash, WE MUST stop polluting the sea. This problem will not go away simply by pushing it in to some other person’s view.

I am working to connect the above mentioned groups and encourage them to work together to develop a long-term, regional solution.

Below you can see what Lake Merritt looked like on the “first flush” of 2017.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version. Please contact me if you wish to use any of my images in any way.

If you’d like to educate yourself about one of the major causes of the opioid crisis depicted below in images, read the following articles:

Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin’s Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows

Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused

Investigation: The DEA slowed enforcement while the opioid epidemic grew out of control

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

Full Coverage: Oxycontin Investigation

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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How many needles can you count?

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Ducks feed in Lake Merritt, amongst so much trash and human feces.

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Coots feeding amongst street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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How many needles can you count?

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Cormorants feed in Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Coots feeding amongst street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Commercial crab fishing – why so much trash in the sea?

Click the above text “Commercial crab fishing – why so much trash in the sea?” to see this entire post.

For the past decade I’ve picked up many thousands of crab trap buoys off the beaches of the Marin coast. Many times that of broken bits and pieces of the same buoys. Miles (and hundreds of pounds) of plastic rope, untangled from piles of bull kelp, colied and packed miles off the beaches. Hundreds of plastic bait containers and gallon bleach jugs and other bits and pieces of toxic trash lost or dumped by the commercial (and sport) crab fishing fleet that works the waters off the nutrient rich waters north of the Golden Gate.

While all crab fishermen lose gear each year, some more than others. Not all of them are ignorant of the problem all this plastic poses to the very sea they attempt to make a living from. I know one fellow in particular who does his very best to not lose any gear, as well as to educate his fellow fishermen on how to be a steward of the sea.

I’ve asked him if he could get the fishermen to walk the local beaches as I do and help pick up all the garbage their efforts curse the sea and coast with. “I’ve asked the fishermen’s association to do beach cleanups Richard, more than once. And you know what they say to me? No.”

Is this the attitude of a steward?

What if consumers said no to crab?

The Department of Fish & Wildlife appears to oversee more than one group that feels entitled to exploit public waters for profit, and often make a mess in the process. Then expect the public to clean up after them.

Will DFW ever work as hard protecting the environment from their lessees as they do in promoting extractive (destructive) industries?

I urge the fishermen of California (and Oregon) who work the magnificent waters off our shore to re-double their efforts in becoming authentic stewards of the sea as they harvest their bounty.

At the current rate of more than 8 million metric tons of plastic dumped into the ocean globally each year (and growing), by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean (by mass) than fish. We can and MUST do a better job of protecting our planet.

Below are some images showing a tiny fraction of the crab gear I have packed off Marin beaches.

As always, click on the image to see a larger version.
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More crab gear removed from beaches in years gone by

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Click on image for bigger picture – Should the price of crab reflect the cost to the planet?

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