First Annual Ocean Life Symposium Held at Matheson Theatre in Mendocino

Nov 1, 2019

November 1, 2019 — The newly formed Mendocino Marine Life Advocates held the first annual Ocean Life Symposium at Matheson Theatre in Mendocino on October 25th and 26th. It was an ambitious and wide-ranging effort to educate the public about the watery world that covers about two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. The Marine Life Advocates came into being after a frustrating open house with the Navy about testing ordance and sonar in the water off the Mendocino coast. As a side note to the climate change that is causing systemic collapse in the oceans, the final portion of the symposium had to be canceled, due to PG&E shutting down the power in an attempt to head off more catastrophic wildfires.

In this collection of interviews and presentations, we’ll hear from experts on orcas, seabirds, underwater sound pollution, and the urchin barrens off the Mendocino and Sonoma coast.

Howard Garrett, board president and co-founder of The Orca Network, will talk about how one pod of orcas eats only salmon and speaks an entirely different language from other pods, which subsist entirely on marine mammals and sharks.

Scott Mercer, co-founder of the Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study, talks about how climate change is affecting two species of whale — and how saving them could save the oceans.

Doug Forsell, retired from U.S Fish and Wildlife, recounts adventures in studying how overfishing has resulted in untold numbers of bird deaths; and what kinds of mitigations have reduced the slaughter.

Michael Stocker, a bioacoustician and director of Ocean Conservation Research, shares the details of the underwater industrial parks that are creating a deadly cacophony for marine life.

Tristin McHugh, a research diver and the Northern California regional manager of Reef Check, which trains citizen scientists to gather data about the near-shore ocean environment, will talk about the seascape, currents, and purple urchin barrens.

We’ll also get to listen in on two panel discussions with all these experts and more.