EOS Center study has implications for marine mammal safety
In a recent study, researchers found that recreational boats and high-speed ferries contribute significant underwater noise in San Francisco Bay, a highly urbanized coastline that is increasingly becoming a stop along the migratory routes of gray and humpback whales and is home to bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises.
Researchers find ocean acidification threatens local fisheries
If you lived on the West Coast anytime in the past several years, you may remember news of "the Blob"—not a horror movie monster but a mass of warm water that resulted from a marine heat wave in 2014 and 2015. A new publication led by a San Francisco State University alumna shows how that ocean anomaly brought whales and Dungeness crab fishers on a collision course—the newest in a line of research from the lab of Professor of Geography & Environment Ellen Hines showing the complicated and not always successful ways humans try to share space with marine life.
Students at the University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center ‘paddle against the tide’ to continue thesis work.
Once hunted to the brink of extinction for their luxuriant pelts, California sea otters rebounded after protections were put in place in 1911. Their population grew steadily for much of the last century, but now the still threatened species is stuck at about 3,000 otters. The problem is that they are boxed in at both ends of their current range, along the state’s central coast, by a sharp (and so far unexplained) rise in shark attacks.
“They’re so majestic,” ecologist Brent Hughes says as he looks out across Elkhorn Slough, a large winding estuary off the Monterey Bay coastline. He’s not talking about whales or pelicans. He’s talking about a tiny, slimy, aquatic slug — the eelgrass sea hare. Donning his wetsuit, Hughes hops into his kayak and paddles off toward a section of water where the sea hares live, in an underwater meadow of seagrass.
Also known as the Taylor’s sea hare, these humble, zebra-striped slices of green jello are actually crucial to the health of their eelgrass meadow ecosystem.
My name is Catie Thow, I am a second-year master’s student at San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center studying phytoplankton primary productivity and nutrient uptake in Suisun Marsh. Throughout California’s shelter-in-place mandates I worked on an interactive ESRI StoryMap with the San Francisco Bay NERR. The goal of this project was to create an informative and interactive webpage that showcased the Lower Spring Branch Creek Enhancement Project that was completed in Fall, 2019.