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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 23, 2007

Contact:  Mary Jane Schramm
415-561-6622, ext. 205

Sarah Marquis
949-222-2212

Farallones Marine Sanctuary Seeks Public Input on Plan for a Healthy Bolinas Lagoon

NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary will hold a public meeting about the Bolinas Lagoon ecosystem restoration feasibility study at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. The meeting will take place at Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Volunteer Canyon, and will include two 10-minute public comment periods for attendees to provide input on the plan.

The meeting is part of an effort by a Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary advisory council working group to develop a locally preferred plan that addresses adverse human impacts on Bolinas Lagoon and promotes the health of this internationally recognized estuarine environment. The first meeting of the working group was held in September.

Farallones National Marine Sanctuary staff are collaborating with the Marin County Open Space District and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to develop the plan, which will incorporate the best available information from residents, user groups, agencies and scientists to ensure Bolinas Lagoon thrives as an ecologically healthy tidal estuary.

Bolinas Lagoon is a 1,100-acre tidal estuary that is part of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. In 1998, the lagoon received formal recognition and designation by the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. Along with Tomales Bay, Bolinas Lagoon provides diverse habitats for fishes, marine mammals and water birds, including numerous endangered species. It is also a valued recreational area for residents and visitors. Past human activities such as logging, agriculture, grazing, road building and creek channelization have led to increased sediment deposition, loss of tidal prism and shifts in habitats in the lagoon.

For more information, contact Sage Tezak, Bolinas Lagoon restoration coordinator, at 415-561-6622 ext. 306, or by e-mail at Sage.Tezak@noaa.gov. Further details are also available online at the sanctuary’s Web site, http://farallones.noaa.gov.

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, designated in 1981 because of its rich biological diversity, lies beyond San Francisco’s Golden Gate. The sanctuary encompasses over 1,200 square miles of ocean and coastal waters, as well as bays and estuaries such as Tomales Bay and Bolinas Lagoon, from Bodega Head in Sonoma County to waters off the San Mateo County coast. The sanctuary’s nutrient-rich waters support the largest breeding seabird rookery in the contiguous United States. The sanctuary provides vital nursery and spawning grounds for fish and shellfish. At least 36 species of marine mammals have been observed within its borders, including 25 endangered species, such as blue and humpback whales.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

 

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On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA National Ocean Service: http://www.oceanservice.noaa.gov

National Marine Sanctuary Program: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary: http://farallones.noaa.gov

 

 

 

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