Save our Tomales Bay – Part 26 Good news and great news

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Boated out to Tom’s Point on Saturday to pull ice plant and pick up trash.

The good news is I only found four grow out bags, three from Hog Island and one purse-type bag from another grower, a type I have never found loose before. Had that purse been uniquely labeled, I, and anyone else out picking up trash would know exactly whose gear it was and we could contact the owner about it. This is good news because usually I find dozens, or even hundreds of abandoned grow out bags in this area.

One reason I found so few is because the tide was high, so I was not able to pull what are usually, but not always legacy trash from many years ago.
Rather, I only scanned the shore. Still, finding only three bags is a great sign. Because fewer bags getting lost means fewer bags to become buried in the mud or plant-life, never to be seen again.

A likely reason I found only three bags can be found in the next paragraph.

The great news is I found four Hog Island workers out walking the beaches with bags in hand, picking up trash!

I was pleasantly amazed.

Spoke with two of them, shared info on where I find particular items and thanked them again and again.


Hog Island Oyster worker on trash patrol, Tom's Point - Tomales Bay

Hog Island Oyster worker on trash patrol, Tom’s Point – Tomales Bay


When I explained the large wooden rack mess left in place by the brother of Charlie Johnson (who long ago raised oysters in this area) to one of them, he said that Hog might be interested in removing the hundreds of vertical pilings from the bay. I told him that the NPS was in the process of hiring a firm to remove over 5 lineal miles of racks from Drakes Estero and that the techniques learned would likely be transferable.

These Hog guys told me they had been coming out every two weeks for a while now, which is fantastic.

Come winter time, with harsher weather, this schedule will really pay off in keeping lost gear from being entombed in the wetlands and bay bottom, or pulled out into the Pacific Ocean.

A great day indeed.

Prediction: more jobs at oyster farms as the importance of regularly patrolling the shores of the bay, as well as the lease and non-lease areas of the bay become evident.

So stoked was I, that the next nearly 3 hours was spent pulling out one of several large plots of invasive ice plant, creating a pile almost six feet high for the Audubon people that own the land.

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


Large pile of ice plant pulled out by one coastodian

Large pile of ice plant pulled out by one coastodian


Large pile of ice plant pulled out by one coastodian

Large pile of ice plant pulled out by one coastodian


View of Tomales Bay from Tom's Point

View of Tomales Bay from Tom’s Point


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 – Request for boaters to remove ice plant from Tom’s Point

Hello all,

In my travels around Tomales Bay monitoring and removing the trash (most of it new and legacy oyster farming trash), I have come across several large plots of invasive ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis) that need to be removed.

Plan to put your boat in at Nick’s Cove (AKA Miller Boat Launch) and paddle north a little over 2 miles to the southern shore of Tom’s Point.

Folks from Audubon Canyon Ranch will meet us there with bags and gloves and lunch!

We’ll spend a few hours pulling out as much of this plant as we can, break for lunch, then work a little longer to wait for the flood tide to help us back to Nick’s.

Date TBD, it will be on a weekend. Likely late June or July after the 4th.


$5 to pay for your parking permit
Clothing to wear while onshore, pulling plants
– long sleeve shirt, long pants, hat
light hiking shoes

Please write to express interest [].

Once a firm date has been selected, I’ll contact all interested parties with details.