Showing posts tagged as "sea otters"
Happy #MothersDay! We salute hardworking mothers everywhere, and especially our exhibit sea otters, who have helped raise more than 600 stranded pups since we started our program 30 years ago. Hope you have a great day!
Learn how we’re helping save sea otters
Happy Easter! Hope you are having this much fun. Watch as our otters go crazy for clam-covered ice eggs.
More egg madness in our otter exhibit—have a great #Easter weekend!
Watch the cuteness live
Our otters are already enjoying an egg-cellent Easter weekend. You? The Aquarium’s clever staff really outdid themselves with these ice eggs—the “frosting” is made from ground clams. Yum!
Learn more about our otters—and how we’re helping save this threatened species
Help keep an otter happy! It’s not too late for California residents to “check the box” on state tax forms to help save sea otters. The fund supports researchers and partners trying to understand the issues facing the threatened southern sea otter—and help the population recover.
Boater Alert: Go Slow Around Sea Otters
With the start of California’s recreational salmon season only days away, we remind boaters to keep an eye out for sea otters and go slow in waters where otters hang out. By observing no-wake laws and being extra vigilant near harbors and kelp beds, boaters can do their part to prevent accidental boat strikes that kill and injure sea otters.
Go Slow In The Slough
The Aquarium, along with Moss Landing Harbor District, Friends of the Sea Otter and other local organizations, ask boaters heading out from Moss Landing Harbor and Elkhorn Slough to protect the resident population of sea otters. Otters in the harbor and slough form part of a research population that biologists have studied for years. Data from ongoing research studies could be important to the survival of this threatened species.
In the past decade, boat strikes have contributed to the deaths of 35 sea otters in California – many in coastal waters between Moss Landing and Santa Cruz. Most boat strike deaths occur in April and May, coinciding with increased boating activity and possibly the openings of salmon (April) and rockfish (May) seasons.
Every Otter Matters
Sea otters face a number of complicated threats to their recovery including disease, pollution and food availability, but deaths from boat strikes are easily preventable when boaters are attentive and maintain slower speeds.
Recreational salmon season opens Saturday, April 5, and runs until April 30. As in past years, volunteers with the Aquarium, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and other organizations will be out for opening weekend, talking with anglers before they launch and caution everyone to slow down.
Just a few weeks left! California residents, please “check the box” on your state tax form to help save sea otters! The fund supports researchers and partners who are working to understand the impacts facing the threatened southern sea otter, and to find ways to recover the population in California. (Gerry Lemmo)
Exxon Valdez — 25 Years Later
When the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska 25 years ago, the Monterey Bay Aquarium sea otter team was among the first responders to the March 24, 1989 disaster. We were the only institution on the West Coast with experience rescuing and raising ill and orphaned sea otters, and we played a central role in setting up two emergency centers that cleaned and cared for surviving otters. (Between 1,000 and 5,500 sea otters died in the spill.)
We also brought two orphaned pups to Monterey (similar to the pup shown above) and raised them until they found homes at the Vancouver Aquarium.
This year, the sea otter population in Prince William Sound was finally declared recovered from the effects of the spill. For other species, the picture hasn’t been as rosy. A resident killer whale population may go extinct; the pigeon guillemot seabirds found in the region and a once-robust herring fishery have not bounced back.
New research on crude oil impacts
There’s new evidence, published this year by our partners at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, that for the first time pinpoints significant long-term impacts from crude oil on ocean wildlife. Their published studies, conducted in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, document how crude oil affects the developing hearts of larval fishes caught in spills. They also show a possible link between compounds in oil and long-term risks to cardiac health in many animals exposed to the compounds – including sea otters and even humans.
Even before we opened our doors to the public in 1984, the Aquarium began caring for stranded and orphaned California sea otters. Today, 30 years later, we’re more involved than ever – and in more ways than ever – on behalf of a future with healthy oceans.
A sobering reminder
The 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is a sobering reminder of how much is at stake.
It’s also a reminder that we can make a difference: if we’re prepared to respond, if we invest in scientific research to understand long-term impacts, and when we work for policies that protect key species and critical ocean ecosystems.
The Aquarium is active on all these fronts – and working just as hard to inspire new generations who will give a voice to ocean issues. We couldn’t do it without your help.
Just Chillin’ on #StPatricksDay! Our exhibit sea otters love ice treats as a form of enrichment. And our otter keepers really went all out this time!
(Thanks Mika Yoshida for the great photos!)