January 29, 2010

Environmentalists in bed with oil company?

"An oil company agreed to pay several anti-drilling groups $100,000 and other compensation in exchange for their willingness to lobby for a proposal to expand drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara, according to the terms of an agreement." -San Francisco Examiner (Associated Press)

Wow, that is all we can say is wow. Save Our Shores has always had a steady stance against off-shore oil drilling, in fact it was the reason we first formed in 1978. We would never think of lobbying for drilling if we got paid off.
A few months ago our Executive Director, Laura Kasa made a statement during an interview saying that this oil drilling plan would not work and that Save Our Shores was against it. We received a call that day from an environmental group saying that we should support this oil drilling plan because the oil company would give money to environmental causes and they promised to be done in 13 years. We said that we would keep opposing the plan even with this new information and they still tried to sway us. Now we know why.

"Oil officials also agreed to donate 3,900 acres to The Trust for Public Land and contribute $1.5 million to a fund that could be used to purchase hybrid buses. Most importantly, conservationists pointed out that Plains Exploration & Production committed to shutting down its local operation in 2022."-Associated Press

With this and the supreme court ruling allowing corporations to contribute to political campaigns, what is to stop these huge companies from setting their own agenda for the country? We need to stand strong on these issues, oil drilling endangers ocean wildlife and is just going to stall our move towards renewable energy.

One action you can take now is to support the California State Parks $18 vehicle fee proposition which will overthrow the plan to drill for oil in order to pay for the state parks, another genius blackmail plan favored by Governor Schwarzenegger. There are petitions going around, if you see one, sign it and if it makes it on the ballot, make sure to vote for it. We can't let the oil companies win, even if they do offer you $100,000...wow.

January 21, 2010

Salmon Run Falls Short

"Salmon didn't make the big fall comeback in Central Valley rivers that anglers and nature lovers yearned for, raising the likelihood of a third year of fishing restrictions." -Sacramento Bee

This is devastating news to fishermen in California who will be facing another fishing ban on Salmon for a third year in a row. Some scientists say it is too early to tell and they will have more information by February.

It was reported that some areas, such as the American River, had a slight increase in salmon but "the run as a whole seems likely to turn out the same or slightly smaller than in 2008, which was the smallest year ever recorded."-Sacramento Bee

Scientists are saying that there are two main causes to the decrease:

1.) Poor ocean conditions with reduced food supply

2.) Problems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where young salmon run into pollution, water diversions and non-native predators on their migration to the sea. Studies have estimated only about 8% of young salmon released in the rivers survive to reach the ocean.

The big fight going on right now is the fight for water for fish or for farmers. The Governor has plans to establish more canals and damns for farmers in California which would surely harm the salmon population and lead to poorer environmental conditions.

To get involved in saving salmon and steelhead, go to http://www.water4fish.org/

For further reading on the salmon run, click here.

January 19, 2010


Last week, Charles Clover, the author of The End of the Line, and Fish2Fork re-invented the choice to eat sustainable seafood. The new feature on their website has a rating system for seafood sustainability for restaurants in the US and UK. Now people can easily go to this website and find a restaurant in their area where they can eat sustainable seafood!

If you choose to go by area, you can check out some great and not so great places to eat in California, click here to find out.

There are a few restaurants in Monterey and San Francisco (Tataki Sushi, our favorite) on the website but there are no restaurants reviewed in the Santa Cruz area, so here are a few we know about that are very sustainable and are a part of the Seafood Watch program:

Aquarius Restaurant at the Dream Inn - 175 West Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Café Mare - 740 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

La Posta - 538 Seabright Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Michael's on Main - 2591 South Main Street
Soquel, CA 95073

Ristorante Avanti - 1711 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Soif Wine Bar and Restaurant - 105 Walnut Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Save Our Shores has had an idea for months about something like Fish2Fork has created, a rating system for not only restaurants but for grocery stores too.

If you would like to be involved in helping us rate our local grocery stores and restaurants in Santa Cruz county, please click here to download an easy score card that you can take to the store. Then send the cards back to Save Our Shores and we will put out a report in the local paper. It is time to get involved in sustainable seafood, before it is too late!

January 11, 2010

The results are in...and the winner is...PLASTIC!!!

For all of our cleanups year-round, Save Our Shores keeps detailed data for everything that we collect on the beaches and rivers. We keep track of every little thing we find from shopping carts to disposable cigarette lighters.

We just finished totaling up our data for this year and we wanted to share a little with you. Click here to view the graphs.

For beach cleanups in 2009 (129 cleanups) the top 5 items collected are:
#1: Cigarette Butts- 26,709
#2: Fireworks- 22,592
#3: Plastic pieces- 13,859
#4: Styrofoam pieces- 6,800
#5: Plastic Food Wrappers (chip bags or candy wrappers)- 6,185

River cleanups of 2009 (32 cleanups) the top 5 items are:
#1: Plastic Food Wrappers- 3,265
#2: Plastic Pieces- 2,336
#3: Cigarette Butts- 2,015
#4: Styrofoam Pieces- 1,615
#5: Plastic Bags- 1,468

See a recurring theme here?

Everything on those top 5 lists are all made out of plastic or have plastic components, like cigarette butts. Plastic does not biodegrade, it will be here forever! On our beaches, in our oceans and especially in our landfills.

But YOU can do something about it!

Remember this the next time you go to the beach or river, try not to bring plastic and start using re-usable bags and bottles. We need to kick this plastic habit, plastic needs a time out.

Click here to sign our Bring Your Own petition and pledge to use re-usable items instead of plastic.

January 7, 2010

Ever wonder how plastic affects marine animals?

We just got this picture from a local photographer, Terry McCormac, who saw this tragic scene in Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing. The sea otter pup is enclosed in a plastic bag and the mother is frantically trying to get the plastic bag off to save her pup.

This is one of the most shocking pictures we have ever seen of plastic entanglement with marine animals and is making us work even harder to get a plastic bag ban started in Santa Cruz. Click here to sign our petition for a plastic bag ban.

Just last month there was an article about 7 beached sperm whales in Italy who were killed by ingesting plastic. Click here for the full story.

Here at Save Our Shores we are working on the draft for the Santa Cruz city plastic bag ban, but it needs to go further than that. As a coastal state, we need a state-wide ban on plastic bags and it all starts with you! So tell your law makers to support a plastic bag ban and always bring your own bag to the store, plastic needs a time out.

January 5, 2010

Something is missing from this article...

"Consumers are shying away from eating tuna... We are very worried about the trend."

Really? Because we are ecstatic!! This recent article came out today on Yahoo News through the Associated Press and it talks about the concern for the Japanese economy because the sale of bluefin tuna is decreasing. Nowhere in this article do they mention that bluefin tuna is an ENDANGERED SPECIES!

"Apart from the falling demand for tuna, wholesalers are worried about growing calls for tighter rules amid declining fish stocks."

The truth is, many countries back a ban on fishing of these endangered species at least temporarily so the very dwindling stock can recover. The European Union (EU) proposed a ban in September of 2009 and 6 European countries blocked it.

Here are some clips from the movie The End of the Line with some interesting information about the bluefin tuna trade:

What do you think about this article and the bluefin tuna trade?