Monthly Archives: January 2012

Just like pokemon…gotta catch ’em all.

So…I was innocently sitting here eating my Saturday morning wheaties,watching cartoons and doing my first Facebook check of the day (don’t judge me) and I was sent this.

I don’t know who these guys are, but I think we just became best friends. You have to watch this (I’ve potentially watched it 5 times already…again…no judgement) and send it to everyone you know because it’s too awesome for words.

Props: Neoshid (The only name I could get for the two lyrical tycoons above) and  G. Ramirez for knowing this would make my day

P.S. If you do know who these guys are and what school their from please comment below. I would love to meet them.

Love in a Tidepool.

By: Jane van Aist

There are many ways to do it,

Think of flowers, birds and bees,

But if you really want an expert,

Let me take you to the seas.

Oh, the algae look like simple things,

Adrifting in the bays,

But when it comes to reproduction,

Why they’ve thought of all the ways.

The lower types form akinetes,

A stand-offish way to be,

While their higher swinging cousins,

Practice good, old isogamy.

Let’s slip into something gelatinous,

The aplanogametes say,

And have a little syngamy,

Before we float away.

Now isogamy’s not bad at all,

As a method used for fusing,

But most find heterogamy,

A damn sight more amusing.

At an intertidal orgy,

You can hear the Fucus gloat,

While they pull out all paraphyses,

And make a new zygote.

Now when the sun is shinning,

And the water’s bright as day,

Oogamy’s the answer,

For sperm can find their way.

But when the sun sets slowly,

And the ocean depths get dim,

Then they hope that they’re monoecious,

‘Cause who can see to swim?

So don’t ever snub a seaweed,

Or give a kelp the hex,

‘Cause man, like they invented it,

And we just named it, SEX!

Props: To L. Duncan who brought this little piece of sunshine to my day!

“If you had one shot, one opportunity…”

“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

– Marshall Mathers “Eminem”

In 2002, these legendary lines defined a generation and introduced unarguably one of the best rap songs of all time. (Yes, unarguably. Rolling Stone said so. See 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. ) Personally, despite some of his slightly questionable life choices, I am a devoted fan of the real Slim Shady and his ability to wield words in ways that no other white boy from Detroit has ever been able to do. Or really any white boy for that matter, but I digress.

Recently, while working on a  project I have been trying to put together, I had consulted the Google oracle for some much needed inspiration and came across a video in which I was reminded of these lyrics by the one person that tops the  list of “People I Need to Have Lunch with Someday.” None other than the world-renowned oceanographer, advocate of the seas, and one of my greatest heroes, “Her Deepness,” Mrs. Sylvia Earle.

Now you maybe thinking, “Um…Are we really comparing Sylvia Earle to Eminem right now? Really?” Yes, ladies and gents. Yes we are.  And this is why.

This video documents Mrs. Earle’s speech upon being awarded the TED Prize in 2009, bestowed only to those with “Wishes Big Enough to Change the World.”

First of all, don’t you just feel inspired. I get goosebumps every time I watch it. What a woman. What a vision. I have recently read Sylvia Earle’s book “Sea Change” (which I recommend you go out and buy right now) and she is truly a living legend.

Earle’s plead for the oceans and the life contained in them should be one that hits us all. Stating that, “our fate and the ocean are one,” Earle puts it well into perspective that we an inexorably linked to the seas and as such we are responsible for what happens to them, if not for our very survival. Since her speech in 2009, some things have indeed improved for our oceans. Initiatives are being taken to put into place Marine Protected Areas all over the world and legislation is being enacted to conserve what has been driven to the brink of extinction. I believe we are in fact on the forefront of major “Sea Changes.” However, many things have also become much, much worse. Pollution and marine debris are now ubiquitous in the oceans, fossil fuel dependency is unrelenting and despite protections being put into place, overfishing is taking a deadly toll faster than populations are allowed to recuperate. However, I do not believe that Earle’s message was all doom and gloom. Quite the contrary. Her’s is a message of hope. A call to action.

This was about the point in the video where the lyrics to “Lose Yourself” started playing in my head. Let’s compare.

“We have one chance right now to get it right.”

-Sylvia Earle


“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo”

– Marshall Mathers

It’s so close it’s almost copyright infringement. (If Sylvia Earle listened to rap too, I don’t think there is any way she could possibly be any cooler).

Granted, Eminem is referring to the cutthroat music underground he had to endure growing up on 8 mile road to become the illustrious rap icon he is today and Earle is referring to the somewhat different, but equally cutthroat problem of saving the world’s oceans, let’s just say for argument’s sake, the message is essentially the same.

This is our one opportunity. This is our once in a lifetime chance to get it together and turn things around for the better. You must ask yourself, “Am I going to be apart of the solution or am I gonna add to the compounding problem?” More than that however, we are at the point where you must not just be a generation of thinkers. We must transform into a generation of doers.  We must help to fulfill the wish that earned Sylvia Earle the prestigious TED prize in the first place:

“I wish you would use all means at your disposal–films, expeditions, the web, new submarines– and campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas–hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.”

What means will you implore before opportunity passes you by?

To read more about Sylvia Earle’s wish to protect and restore the oceans and how she is taking action,

Check out Mission Blue.

Props to: TED, Sylvia Earle, Eminem, Google Images

And just because it’s awesome…

Warning: May contain explicit content, only play when the little kiddies are not in the room. Thank-you.


Translation: Marine Protected Area’s For the Win.

Congratulations Southern California! You are about to become a little more awesome. How is this even possible you might ask? With precious commodities such as Disneyland, unrivaled Mexican food this side of the border, and Real California cheese it seems unlikely that the land of sand and sunny could get any better. However, as we bring in the New Year So Cal can add yet another tick to the “This is Why I’m Hot” List.

Let’s break it down shall we…

January 1st, 2012, as apart of the Marine Life Protection Act initiated by the California Fish and Game Commission in 1999, over 37 new/modified Marine Protected Area’s (MPA) were put into place from Point Conception (Santa Barbara County) all the way down to the U.S./Mexican Border. Bringing the grand total of MPA’s in the SoCal region to 50, covering an area of approximately 354 square miles. Dang.

Now as I jump for joy telling all of my friends why this makes California so awesome, this news is more often than not received with blank looks and awkward facial expressions. Why? Most people have no idea what I am talking about let alone know why they should care. So, in order to clear up some confusion and get everyone on the same page, let me take some time to shed light on the questions I have been getting. (Feel free to use this information in casual conversation to impress your friends and family with how smart you are.)

MPA 101:

I know it says 'national' and we are talking at the 'state' level, but it's cute so go with me on this one.

What is a MPA?

An MPA or Marine Protected Area is a designated region of marine or estuarine habitat that is protected and enforced under law. Various areas have different protections and in California waters there are three types of MPAs:

  1. State Marine Reserves (SMR): no extractive activities are allowed here, such as fishing or the harvesting of kelp; Science-ing is okay, but only with a permit.
  2. State Marine Parks: no commercial take here (Sorry, all those fans playing “Deadliest Catch” out there will need to keep it outside the boundaries from now on)
  3. State Marine Conservation Areas (SMCA): does not allow for some combination of commercial and/or recreational take

Why are they put into place?

The California coast is over 1,100 miles long and littered with human activities. Coastal development, water pollution, fishing you name it, we do it. Unfortunately, you can imagine such actions leave marine ecosystems and the life contain in quite a predicament. “In California, the State Legislature found that these activities have the potential to stress marine ecosystems, impact habitat, and threaten biological diversity. (CA Department of Fish and Game)” So if there is to be any hope that such activities do not completely decimate marine habitats and biodiversity, MPA’s are put into place. Seems pretty easy right…just put them into place….wrong. Keep reading.

How do they get put into place?

So let’s look at all the peeps who use coastal waters. Fisherman Fish. Scientists Science. Environmentalists…do crazy things we don’t always understand to help save the oceans in their own unique way, but ultimately they have a good heart. Recreationally, there is a lot going on, between skinny dipping, surfing, boating, and all that other fun stuff. Oh and let’s not forget the animals who actually LIVE there.

Essentially what I am trying to get across is that there are many different interests to consider when setting up such areas. So things get a little…well…complicated. Luckily, the wonderful State of California realized whose interests weren’t really being looked out for (Can you guess whose?) and decided to do something about it.

(Did I mention CA is awesome yet?)

Hence, the Marine Life Protection Act:

“ ES.2.2 Marine Life Protection Act

In 1999, the California state legislature approved and the governor signed the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA; codified at Sections 2850 through 2863 of the Fish and Game Code, references herein to specific  portions of the MLPA refer to these code sections). In determining the need for the act the legislature held that “California’s marine protected areas (MPAs) were established on a piecemeal basis rather than according to a coherent plan and sound scientific guidelines. Many of these MPAs lack clearly defined purposes, effective management measures, and enforcement. As a result, the existing array of MPAs creates the illusion of protection while falling far short of  its potential to protect and conserve living marine life and habitat” (MLPA Section 2851).

In enacting the MLPA, the legislature declared that “California’s extraordinary marine biological diversity is a vital asset to the state and nation. The diversity of species and ecosystems found in the state’s ocean waters is important to public health and well-being, ecological health, and ocean-dependent industry” (MLPA Section 2851(b)). The legislature also held that coastal development, water pollution, and other human activities threaten the health of marine habitat and the biological diversity found in California’s ocean waters. New technologies and demands have encouraged the expansion of fishing and other activities to formerly inaccessible marine areas that once  recharged nearby fisheries. As a result, ecosystems throughout the state’s ocean waters are being altered, often at a rapid rate (MLPA Sections 2851(c) and (d)).

The MLPA directs the state to redesign California’s system of MPAs to function as a network in order to: increase coherence and effectiveness in protecting the state’s marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage, as well as to improve recreational, educational, and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems subject to minimal human disturbance (Department 2008).

Six goals guide the development of MPAs in the MLPA planning process, codified at MLPA Section 2853(b), including:

1. Protect the natural diversity and abundance of marine life, and the structure, function, and integrity of marine ecosystems.

2. Help sustain, conserve, and protect marine life populations, including those of economic value, and rebuild those that are depleted.

3. Improve recreational, educational, and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems that are subject to minimal human disturbance, and manage these uses in a manner consistent with protecting biodiversity.

4. Protect marine natural heritage, including protection of representative and unique marine life habitats in California waters for their intrinsic values.

5. Ensure California’s MPAs have clearly  defined objectives, effective management measures, and adequate enforcement and are based on sound scientific guidelines.

6. Ensure the state’s MPAs are designed and managed, to the extent possible, as a network.”

(CA Marine Life Protection Act, Department of Fish and Game)

So after numerous long, long meetings, delegation and people putting in their interests and opinions, compromises were made and boundaries were decided.

Where will they be located?

With 8 new State Marine reserves and 29 new State Marine Conservation Areas, not to mention the areas already protected, the list and all their separate regulations is too long to put here (and there are different regulations for each area, so be advised). Plus it would just mess up the layout of my blog and be way more confusing. So here is the link with the areas both new and old and their regulations/definitions:

On this website, you may also find a blow up of the picture below so you don’t have to get your microscopes out to read it. However, if you want to, the use of scientific instruments to make everyday life a little more awesome is fully condoned here.

CHECK THIS OUT: For the truly tech savvy ones out there with all of your smart phone-ness. There is now MPA Mobile. I believe this is an APP that will give you all the necessary information right on your little iPhone including: Where the boundaries are, what you can/cannot take from the MPA you are in, and other pertinent information.

Why should I care?

#1 Reason to Care: You don’t want to pay the major fines/get arrested for taking from a Marine Protected Area.

But for those of you who need more than that….

If you’re an angler, you may already know about such areas and most definitely care because now you have to move your favorite fishing spot. Sorry guys I know it sucks, but remember there were compromises made on all ends. Such regulations save the very fish you may make a living off of, however, with time, stocks will increase and the bounty will spill over the lines and be better then ever. Just give it time.

If you’re an environmentalist, congrats, this is one less thing you have to picket for.

If you’re a scientist, this should bring you great hope. These MPA’s were put into place in certain designated areas as a result of many years of hard work and research performed by numerous scientists up and down the coast. This is living proof that science does work and that it can be used to make a difference, so keep up the good work.

If you’re everyone else, and you don’t think that this will affect you. Think again. Biodiversity and costal habitats acrossCaliforniaand globally are being threatened now more than ever before. Such protections allow decimated areas to recover and flourish for all to enjoy. My recommendations: Go out there and enjoy it. Care about it. Learn about it and realize why it so important for us to save. I can’t give you a definite reason to care, everyone has there own.

Where can I find more information/get involved/questions/comments/concerns/all of the above?

Marine Life Protection Act:

Marine Protected Area Literature:

Frequently Asked Questions:



MPA Project

c/o California Department of Fish and Game

1812Ninth Street



*Or just leave your question in the comment box and I will do my best to find you an answer as soon as possible.

DJ’s advice to the peeps: Don’t forget to tell all your friends. Not only will you sound super smart, but homies don’t let homies get tickets for taking from a Marine Protected Area. These regions are now enforced by California state law and DFG wardens are out and about. So spread the word and spread the love.


Disclaimer (Just in case): We here at DJ’s Locker look only to INFORM our readers to the best and most accurate of our knowledge of scientific happenings and news from the watery realm. We are in no way responsible for what you do/do not do with the information provided here. As an individual YOU are responsible to know the laws and abide by them. So when looking for a scapegoat in court because you got caught with your pole where it shouldn’t have been, don’t come looking here.

–The Locker



Just when you thought Nemo wasn’t real. Two turtles just proved it is. If I would have seen this diving, I would have died of laughter….

Give me some flipper.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 904 other followers