Weekly Roundup January 11, 2013

weekly roundupAn oil tanker hit the Bay Bridge early this week, fortunately causing only minimal damage, with no oil spilled. The cause remains unknown, but serves as a reminder that the rules governing tankers in the Bay are not strong enough. The Bay Bridge is exempt from the San Francisco Harbor Safety Plan, which advises ships not to navigate certain areas of the Bay with less than a half-mile visibility. High tides were back this week, reminiscent of the King tides but now accompanied by especially low tides too. The last remaining commercial fishery in San Francisco Bay was in full force this week, with schools of herring arriving in numbers unseen in past decades. The fishermen were out competing with local wildlife who were happily fattening up on this local delicacy. For once, there seemed to be enough for all. San Franciscans are celebrating new waterfront parks that are opening more of the southern end of the city to the public. If you want to get up close and personal with our local wetlands, and have a good time with your family, you might want to try geocaching. Read on to learn more.

CBS SF Bay Area 1/7/13
Oil Tanker Hits Bay Bridge Tower; No Spill Reported
An empty oil tanker caused minor damage Monday when it struck a tower in the middle of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while navigating beneath the hulking span, officials said.
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SF Chronicle 1/6/13
Dramatic tides carry great experiences
Last time around in mid-December, we called them king tides. They caused flooding in many tidal wetlands and lowlands edging San Francisco Bay. The levels of high and low tides fluctuate throughout the year, but this week’s highs mark the extreme in the next six months. In nature’s teeter-totter effect, uncommon negative low tides will follow.
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Bay Nature 1/9/13
San Francisco Bay herring running at Mission Bay
The herring are running again in San Francisco, and it’s quite a show. Commercial fishing boats cast their nets in China Basin, at the mouth of Mission Creek, in the shadow of the Giants ballpark, and dozens of anglers threw small nets from piers and wharves all along the waterfront in Mission Bay.
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SF Chronicle 1/10/13
Open future for city’s maritime past
The ghosts of San Francisco’s maritime past are getting some new company along the southern waterfront as the city works to bring people to sites previously open only to ships and seafarers.
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Bay Nature 1/5/13
Cut Off from Nature or Take the Right Cut-off?
This is part of an occasional series of posts about the geocaching adventures of Bay Nature intern Paul Epstein and his son.
The wetlands defy easy access: crucially important to migrant bird populations and the health of the Bay, they are at the same time sometimes ugly, often muddy, and likely close to large, loud, smelly highways. Dad always enjoyed the concept of wetlands, though the reality was another matter. As an undergraduate, Dad had majored in a dead language, deep inside the walls of the Humanities. Recognizing that there was a larger world out there, Dad promised himself that he would take one class, not just in the adjacent corridors of the Sciences and the Social Sciences, but actually in a different college. Setting aside optometry, Dad took exactly one course in the School of Natural Resources, Political Ecology, in which he wrote exactly one, very lengthy paper on the loss of wetlands around the bay.
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