The Coastal Post - October, 1995

Low Rockfish Count

Scientists returning from a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research cruise off the coast of central California have observed the lowest numbers of juvenile rockfishes since surveys began in 1986. Rockfish, commonly called rockcod by fishermen or Pacific red snapper by local markets, comprise a multi-species group of fishes that together constitute a major resource utilized by both sport and commercial fishermen along the Pacific coast.

"Three of the last four years have been very poor reproduction years for rockfish last year was a record low, and now we find that 1995 is even lower," said chief scientist Dr. Steve Ralston of Southwest Fisheries Center in Tiburon.

The research cruise, conducted form May 17 to June 19 off San Francisco between Monterey and Bodega Bays out to a distance of 35 miles, was designed to identify factors contributing to variability in annual spawning success. Over the past decade, scientists have observed three high rockfish production years, three average, and four poor years.

Scientists suggest that poor survival may be due to warm sea temperatures during the winter months. Warm conditions delay and reduce ocean productivity and seem to adversely impact larval survival.

For further information, contact Fishery Biologist Dr. Steve Ralston at 435-3149 ext. 229.

Solar Workshops

The Northern California Solar Energy Association is offering two workshops this fall on Passive Solar Design Strategies for homes. The first workshop will be held October 28 in Santa Rosa, and the second will be October 30 in Santa Maria. To receive registration materials, call (510) 869-2759 and leave your name and address.

Liberalist Book Available

Naked Hearts: The Voice of the People is a fast-paced, non-fiction book with populist appeal. Written by an ex-U.S. Navy officer and network TV writer, the book tells of the concerns social, political and intimate of people from across the nation, offers a vision to help counter the destructive codicils of the Contract with America, and encourages readers to challenge ultra-conservative nuts like Gingrich who are using scare tactics.

Contact A Possible World Press, 20 Sunnyside, Suite 179, Mill Valley 94941, or call/fax 485-5953 for more information.

Job Help For Older Workers

If you are a Marin County resident with low income, 55 years or older and seeking employment, the YWCA Mature Worker program may be able to help you at no cost.

Employment and training services include resume writing, individual counseling, skills assessment, training and job leads.

The Y is located at 1000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo. Call 456-0782.

Grand Jurors Sought

Interested applicants are invited to apply for the 1996 Marin County Civil Grand Jury, an independent investigative body which monitors local governments and makes recommendations for their improvement.

The Jury is composed of 19 persons who agree to serve for one year, spending a minimum of 12 hours a week on jury work. The 1996 Jury will begin its term January 1. A civil grand juror must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older and a Marin County resident.

Civic grand jurors receive $10 for each day of service and reimbursement for auto mileage to and from the courthouse.

The deadline for submission of applications is Wednesday, October 5. An application may be obtained by written request to Civic Grand Jury, Room 255, Hall of Justice, San Rafael 94903, by picking one up at the office, or by calling Irene Mariani at 499-6072.

Whale-Marine Life Trips Offered

This fall Oceanic Society Expeditions, a non-profit environmental education and research group, will offer three special deep-sea voyages off the edge of the Continental Shelf into the realm of sperm whales, beaked whales, blue whales, humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Risso's dolphins, Dall's porpoise, fur seals and huge leatherback sea turtles. Seabirds like albatross, skuas, jaegers, shearwaters, and petrels, puffins and auklets frequent these waters. These 12-hour trips, aboard the 56-ft. motor vessel Salty Lady, will leave at 6:30 a.m. from Ft. Mason Center in San Francisco's Marina District on September 3, September 17 and October 14. Oceanic Society's expert naturalists will lead each trip to locate whales and provide information on the marinelife and ocean dynamics of the area. Cost is $98 per person; advance registration is needed and is limited to 40 people per trip.

Depending on sightings and sea conditions, the trips will visit either Pioneer Seamount, 53 miles southwest of San Francisco; or Cordell Bank, the northernmost seamount on the western North American continental shelf, 23 miles west of Point Reyes. Fall sea conditions are the most favorable of the year for observing offshore marine life: generally flat sea conditions aid in wildlife sightings and passenger comfort. On the return, participants will stop at the Farallon Islands to view island wildlife from aboard the vessel.

Reservations are required. Contact Oceanic Society Expeditions for reservations and information: Ft. Mason Center, Blvd. E, San Francisco, CA 94123, 474-3385. Whale Hotline, 474-0488 gives a recorded update of recent wildlife sightings.

Forestry Grants Available

Grant funds in the amount of $98,000 are available through the U.S. Forest Service's National Urban Forestry Program. Sixty-nine thousand dollars is available for projects in three categories: Tree Advisory Boards, Tree-Care Programs and Volunteer Development. Twenty-nine thousand is available for projects that develop a strategic plan for a community's urban forest. These projects must have the support and approval of the city or county's governing body.

Application deadline is October 17 and award decision will be announced on December 1. Grant recipients will have until December 2, 1996, to complete their projects. Funding requests can range from $500 to $5,000.

For a copy of the grant guidelines, contact Felix Posos, (714) 557-2575 or write California ReLeaf, 3001 Redhill Avenue, Bldg. 4, Suite 224, Costa Mesa, CA 94626.

Oil Drilling Rights Up For Bid

The rights to drill for oil and gas on federal land will be up for bid when the Bureau of Land management holds a competitive oil and gas lease sale on September 12. Bids will be accepted on 84 parcels totaling more than 88,000 acres.

Nearly half of the parcels lie within San Benito County; the remaining parcels are in western Fresno and Kern counties, with a few parcels in Monterey, Kings, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Contra Costa counties and the city of Long Beach. The majority of the parcels are in or near existing oil fields, but some are in wildcat areas.

The national minimum acceptable bid per parcel is $2 per acre. Leases sold will be issued for a primary term of 10 years.

The lease sale will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Room W-1140 at BLM's State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. The sale room will open at 8:00 a.m. for registration. All bidders must register and obtain a number prior to bidding.

A detailed notice of the lease sale containing the parcel descriptions, acreages, lease terms and condition, oral bidding procedures/ requirements and other sale information may be purchased for $5. Write Sonia Santillan at above address or call (916) 979-2856

Dance Festival At Dominican

On Sunday October 8, from noon to 5 p.m., the first Marin County Festival of Dance will be presented at the outdoor theater of Forest Meadows on the Dominican College campus, produced by Cynthia Pepper and Hilary Kretchmer. The Festival will showcase works of selected Marin choreographers, promote dance education, and create a forum for dance-affiliated businesses.

Tickets are $5, $2.50 for children under 12 and seniors. For more information call 455-0268 or 454-3564.

Big Boating Budget

California's budget is now in print and the news is good for boaters. The California Department of Boating and Waterways' budget for the 1995-96 fiscal year totals $46,683,000. Director John R. Banuelos said, "This budget will allow the Department to fund projects to provide safe and convenient public access to the waterways and continue our efforts in boating safety, education and enforcement."