What happened at the June 24 Fish & Game Commission meeting?
During the past few months, meetings with Keith Rootsaert were stalled by the Calif. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, making progress impossible. As a direct result of so many of you speaking up and emailing support for petition 2020-001 at the June 24 meeting, the president of the Fish & Game Commission directed his staff to work with Keith on Petition 2020-001. We will be back on the Commission’s agenda on August 19-20. We made that happen!
So, what’s next? We’ll need everyone’s voices again in for the August F&G meeting, and speakers at the meeting. There is a lot more work that needs to be done behind the scenes to get a version of the petition ready. In the meantime, the best way to support our kelp restoration plan is to sign up for newsletter below so we can let you know when and how to help.
If the petition is approved in August, we need to be ready to jump into action in late summer before urchin spawning and kelp recruitment begins next spring. Please sign up below!
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Urchin removal efforts on the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts are coordinated by Josh Russo of the Waterman's Alliance. They currently have permission to cull urchins at Caspar Cove and are recruiting recreational divers to smash urchins there when the Shelter-in-Place order is lifted. Contact the Waterman's Alliance on Facebook or email Josh Russo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Culling urchins for our Urchin Removal Experiment does not require Reef Check training but divers need to be proficient in counting urchins and smashing them with a small pointy hammer. If you are interested in getting a group of dive friends together for a smashing good time please contact me and we can set up a training session. Manipulation by culling will begin again when the weather improves. Find out more about the Reef Check Urchin Removal Experiment.
Monitoring work on the Reef Check Urchin Removal Experiment is limited to Reef Check certified divers.
Training for new Reef Check divers had to be canceled this year because of Covid 19. Reef Check registration usually begins in early February. Learn more about this amazing opportunity at Reef Check California.
You can also join the Reef Check community on facebook.
Because Reef Check California is a non-profit volunteer organization all of the data is available on the Reef Check Global tracker to the public for free. The data from the Reef Check Urchin removal experiment is publicly available as well. Students and educators who would like access to the experimental data please contact me.
At right is a camera rig designed and built by 8th grade science fair student Faye Lin from Fremont California. Faye wanted to study urchin movements in time lapse to see how they would behave when they are in contact with kelp and how they migrate over the sand to get to the kelp. Faye's current version of her timelapse rig features 4 cameras and is able to run for up to 24 hours taking high resolution 4k images.