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Upwelling off the Golden Gate (good news!)

Point Bonita

“They” used to say that “good news travels fast.”

Sometimes, in the 21st Century, it seems like bad news (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) travels faster.

I wanted to help speed some good news along (in keeping with one of the goals of this blog, to maintain an overall positive tone) that I heard on KTVU TV news last night and this morning, and which was accompanied by a great video report by John Fowler from Baker Beach. The combination of winds and ocean currents off the Golden Gate has resulted in upwelling, promoting an increase in abundance of sea life that has not been seen in 20 years, after 3 straight years of decline! The TV news was quick to point out that some of the boom in sea life translates to seafood on the table for many of us. From the news video, the boom apparently also translates to an increased appearance of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), anchovies, seals, and shark attacks!

If you are one of the advocates of offshore drilling, I would encourage you to please view the video and please read a few of the PDFs below.

If you would like to learn more about the “food web” and wildlife sanctuaries west of the Golden Gate, here are two PDFs (1, 2) from the folks at the Farallones Marine Sanctuary, a Web page about the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary that is 18 nautical miles west of Point Reyes, and a PDF from our friends at USGS about Phytoplankton. The USGS publication contains a simplified food web diagram of the Gulf of the Farallones, very cool photomicrographs of diatoms and dinoflagellates (did I ever tell you that I was educated as a microbial biochemist and almost became a marine microbiologist? No? :-) ), and wonderful color Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometry (AVHRR) satellite images of the California coast during a period of upwelling and during “a period of relaxation” (see, even the Pacific gets to take a break now and then! :-) ) following upwelling.

Enjoy reading about upwelling and the current productivity boom off the Golden Gate!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide! If you don’t see what you want or would like to receive an email when new photos are up on the site, send us an email at

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