Environment

Elephant Seals Contaminated with Mercury

Researchers at Ano Nuevo found the mercury level in the water during the molting season 17 times higher than what it is at other times of the year. That led them to look at where the mercury was coming from: the seals themselves. The molted skin takes with it some of the mercury that the seals have accumulated from the prey they eat in the ocean. Their blood and muscles have higher concentrations of mercury than would damage the nervous system of a human.

Marine Sanctuaries Under Attack for Resources

National marine sanctuaries are similar to underwater national parks. Although fishing is allowed in many of them, offshore oil and gas drilling is banned in all of them, as is underwater mining and other activities that could harm wildlife or the environment. In the 45 years since President Richard Nixon started the program, no president has ever reduced or eliminated a national marine sanctuary.

Study Says Continue Great Lakes Restoration Efforts

Environmental groups say the report underscores the need for the United States and Canada to keep supporting Great Lakes restoration efforts. A budget proposal released by President Donald Trump zeroed out funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but members of Congress from the Great Lakes area say they’ll fight to retain it.

A Visit to the Coastal Discovery Center

Besides the natural attraction of seabirds, sea mammals, and other sea life, this wedge of California State Parks and MBNMS in old San Simeon, where native people thrived long before the arrival of Portuguese whalers and George Hearst, is where 17,000 visitors in 2016 discovered how special this corner of the world is.