City of Laguna Beach will use $171,300 approved by the Conservancy
in March to add nearly 11.5 acres to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.
The Decker/Bossard property, in the Laguna Canyon Creek watershed,
is almost pristine coastal sage scrub and chaparral, and contains
numerous sandstone outcrops and caves. It lies on a steep slope adjacent
to the Alta Laguna Regional Ridgeline Trail, a major accessway that
links the coast to the 19,000-acre South Coast Wilderness system
of parks and preserves. The Conservancy has helped to buy other nearby
properties that were added to the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, which
is managed by the County of Orange.
Mapping the Central Coast Seafloor
While small sections of offshore California
have been mapped, most of the state's seafloor has yet to be
charted. This year, researchers will begin the first phase of
a project that is expected to eventually map California's entire
seafloor in unprecedented detail. New technologies in acoustical
and optical data gathering (see Coast & Ocean, Autumn 2005)
make the project possible, and a $1.2-million grant from the
Ocean Protection Council to the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation
is part of what makes it feasible.
The first phase of the project will focus on the Central Coast
between Monterey and Bodega Bays, an area that includes three national
marine sanctuaries: Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey
Bay. Among the project's goals are helping to identify fish habitats,
navigational hazards, and geologic formations capable of producing
tsunamis. Biologists and fishery managers are particularly interested
in identifying rocky areas of the seafloor, which often support
large populations of fish and other marine animals. In some areas,
maps will be sufficiently detailed to reveal the precise composition
of the seafloor.
More information is available at http://resources.ca.gov/copc.
(Also, see see Coast & Ocean, Autumn 2005.)