Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Giving Thanks

Did any of you happen to see 60 Min Sunday night?  There was a wonderful article on tortoises.  The bad part is how endangered some of them are, the good part is how people are trying to save them.  Anyhow, they are very beautiful animals. 

Galapagos tortoise
It makes me want to thank people that do all these jobs of saving things on our planet and those that study them.  These people don't get as much recognition as they should. 

I guess I got in this mood of thanking environmentalists of all kinds after watching a program this afternoon called "Saving the Bay".  It is about the San Francisco Bay and it's history of about the last 60 years. 

When I was a teenager living in south San Jose, CA in the late 1950s it was common in the summer to smell rotten fruit, especially strawberries.  The smell came from Alviso, a tiny town at the south end of the bay.  The canning plants would just dump their waste straight into the bay (like, as it turns out, all the cities along the bay), and summer was strawberry time. 

The bay was also being filled in.  Three women that realized what was happening and started a project to save the bay.  They ended up getting the garbage cleaned up and water treatment plants required.  The dumping and filling in was stopped and the water was cleaned.  The smells in the summer stopped and after all these years are barely remembered.  Quite a story and I am sincerely thankful to those wonderful women that spent much time and effort to wake people up to a problem needing fixing.

The bay is monitored closely now and is always being improved.  Marshes are being restored too.  Even now they are creating oyster beds for indigenous oyster.  Oysters filter water and thus clean it.  Plants and animals riding in on ships from foreign lands are always a threat though.  So the struggle to keep the bay in good health will keep going on.  And my thanks to those that fight the battle.


My little contribution of transcribing insect collections on CalBug is up to 1759 transcriptions. 
If you are interested the site is:

Most interesting insects to me are the yellowjackets because they have so many differences in their stripes. And then there are the dragonflies, they have such beautiful designs on their wings.

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