TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - October 24-31

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Ken Kurtis

Reaction score
Beverly Hills, CA
# of dives
5000 - ∞
MPAs, Swords, Cocos, Oil Spill, and more
(please scroll down for details)
It's so nice not to have to update my COVID status as I'm done with isolation protocols and feel pretty much 100% . . .

MPA REVIEW PUBLIC MEETINGS - We are in the process of starting to review the 124 MPAs that were created about 10 years ago up and down the California coastline and around our off-shore islands. Public input in the process is highly encouraged (I'm on a public outreach steering committee for the project) and the next one is happening on Wednesday, November 3, with a focus on non-consumptive users. All sessions are public and will begin with a brief orientation to the MPA Management Program and the 2022 Decadal Management Review. The majority of the session will be dedicated to hearing from ocean users about your unique priorities, concerns, and insights regarding the MPA network. Please RSVP in advance. Once you have indicated your interest in attending, additional materials will be made available prior to the session. For an overview of the Decadal Management Review and additional information, visit this link: CDFW’s Decadal Management Review webpage. To attend the November 3 virtual meeting, you can register using this link: NOVEMBER 3 (1-3PM) MPA REVIEW PUBLIC MEETING.

AMAZING DISCOVERY - An Israeli diver was making a casual dive near his hometown when something caught his eye in about 16 feet of water. Turns out it was a 900-year-old heavily-encrusted sword dating back to the Crusades. He turned it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority (and got a "Good Citizenship" certificate for his efforts) who will in turn try to clean it up and learn more about its origin. You can read more about it here as well as see some pictures: 900-YEAR-OLD SWORD DISCOVERED. Makes you wonder if there are similar treasures waiting to be discovered during the Avalon Cleanup.

SPEAKING OF THE AVALON CLEANUP - We seem to be on-track for an in-person event this year on Saturday, February 26. We're still finalizing details and working out COVID protocols but at this point, everything's looking good. The Cleanup website goes live on Tuesday of this week for those who want to sign up as individuals or as part of a group. We'll have more details for you down the road. As usual, Reef Seekers will plan to take a (small) group over to dive the event.

COCOS GETS MORE PROTECTION - The government of Costa Rica recently signed agreements with two organizations aimed at improving the conservation and protection of Cocos Island, which lies a bit more than 300 miles SW of the coastline. The isolation of Cocos makes it very vulnerable to illegal fishing so hopefully this is a step in the right direction. Read more about it here: PROTECTING COCOS.

CREATE A CLOUD, SAVE THE GREAT BARRIER REEF - Scientists are experimenting with seeding the atmosphere over the Great Barrier Reef to produce clouds that reduce the amount of sunlight and heat striking the reef, which then reduces the likelihood of coral bleaching and other climate change issues that can affect the health of the reef. You can read more about this here: CLOUDS OVER THE GREAT BARRIER REEF.

OIL SPILL MEETING - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding a closed virtual meeting this week to discuss the Huntington Beach oil spill. We worked with them a few years ago during the horrid dredging episode off of Vets Park and will attend this meeting as well, to represent local diving interests. I'll let you know what was discussed next week.

HALLOWEEN IS NEXT SUNDAY - Wear both your diving mask AND your COVID mask.

And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go diving . . . in a few months once I've cleared the post-COVID no-diving protocols.

- Ken​

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