13th Annual Chowder Day Results

BodegaBayHomePage2-7-161 – Spud Point Crab Company
2 – Fishetarian
3 – Blue Water Bistr

Struggling Bodega Bay Crab Fishermen Get Boost From Community With Grocery Gift Cards

empty_potsCommunity members in Bodega banded together to help provide struggling crab fishermen with necessities as thousands of crab traps sit idle after the department of public health banned fishing for the popular crustaceans.

“It’s just devastating right now, very devastating. It’s a great gesture,” Bodega Fisherman Tony Anello said.

People in the community were worried about their fishermen, so some residents pooled their money to buy 100 Safeway gift cards for those needing food.  The cards were worth $100 each.

The complete story can be found HERE.

Cleaning up the Bodega Bay coast

cleanbeachesInteresting article in the Press Democrat about Keary and Sally Sorenson and their efforts to clean Sonoma Coast beaches.

“There are pristine beaches in Santa Cruz and Southern California” Keary explained, but “the beaches around here are deposition beaches.”

Coastal deposition occurs in areas where the sea drops or deposits material. This can include sand, sediment and debris.

These beaches are the area between the lowest tide level and the point reached by the storm waves in the highest tides. Every beach is different, but they are usually made up of material deposited on a wave-cut platform. Keary explained these south-facing beaches are littered with garbage and for years, government agencies believed the main source of this trash was ships.”

“Keary and Sally did some research, and they now believe that 85 percent of the beach trash is from storm drains.

Sally and Keary took the trash they collected home with them and began cataloging and classifying the plastic by colors and by shapes.”

The complete story story in The Press Democrat can be found HERE.

Jenner a perfect spot to spy bald eagles

BaldEagleA pair of bald eagles whose hunting expeditions at the mouth of the Russian River have entertained tourists and local visitors over the past several years have turned the coastal hamlet of Jenner into a popular stopping point for bird-lovers, as if the scenery and seals weren’t enough of a draw.

The raptors’ admirers include a devoted group that has monitored them for the past few years and has documented their activities photographically. The birds even have their own Facebook page with a growing base of fans, many of them stunned to learn of such an accessible way to witness a species once threatened with extinction.

There’s nothing quite like seeing these majestic creatures as they soar over the river estuary in search of prey or dive suddenly toward the water, flying out again with breakfast or dinner in tow.

The complete story in the Press Democrat can be found HERE.

13th Annual Chowder Day Saturday, January 30, 2016


Tickets are $10 and go on sale at 10AM on the day of the event and ticket sales end at 3:00PM.  Buy one $10 ticket and sample chowder from all the competitors.

Only 1,000 tickets will be sold and chowder will be served until 3:00PM or until all the chowder is sold.

The ticket price of $10 includes one 2 ounce taste from each competitor.

Photo by mswine


Land Use in the Sonoma Coastal Zone – Jan 12th Meeting

SonomaCoastVillaEric Koenigshofer is reporting that on January 12, 2016, the Board of Supervisors will make an important decision regarding coastal land use policy.

On Highway 1 between Valley Ford and Bodega Bay there is an establishment called the Sonoma Coast Villa. The Sonoma Coast Villa was approved in 1985 and provides lodging and restaurant services. This property is within the Coastal Zone and subject to the statewide policy interests noted above. In the context of the LCP this business is considered a “visitor serving facility” since lodging and food are needed services for those Californians who come to the coast from some distance. These services support public access to the coast and are distinguished from “non-coastal dependent commercial” businesses.

Mark your calendar, January 12, 2016, to support the integrity of the 1976 Coastal Act and the Sonoma County Local Coastal Program.

The complete article that outlines the history of this Coastal Zone issue can be found HERE on the Sonoma County Gazette website.

UPDATE: Mason’s Marina Community Feedback Impacts Plans

MasonsMarinia2Follow up on 11/16/15 Community Meeting Re-Mason’s Marina Improvements

We want to thank all of you who participated in our November 16, 2015 Community Meeting relative to ideas for future improvements at Mason’s Marina. Below is a copy of the feedback from the meeting and from those who completed the feedback sheets.

In response to the feedback we have decided to defer the feasibility study and focus our current efforts on improvements to the docks and boat slips of Mason’s Marina and other improvements to address safety and environmental concerns including testing for soil and ground water contamination from the Mason’s Marina gas station.

We will also be giving consideration to the suggestions that we look for a contractor to operate the Mason’s Mini-market and that we provide information in our existing facility to the public regarding the bay and ocean ecosystems.

Our thanks to the Bodega Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Marketing Association for hosting the meeting and all of you for participating.

James Nantell, Deputy Director
Sonoma County Regional Parks
707 565-2946

What is important to you about this site?

Having a viable Marina for sport and recreational fishing and boating. I miss the boat yard for repairing boats.
Replace Marina with safe and efficient facility for both commercial and recreational boat operations.
Develop a capital improvement plan made up of individual projects with estimated cost for each and timeframe to implement.
Real working site
Wildlife health.
Protecting fishing community.
Increasing tourist and reasons for coming to Bodega Bay.
Providing cost to Bodega Bay for this site – public safety, utilities.
Commercial fishing – fix it so it is safe and usable facility available for the fisherman.
Operational Marina
Fresh fish sales
Fishing industry support – fuel, ice, etc.
Keeping it real.

You can read the complete article in the Sonoma County Gazette which has much more information HERE.

Crabbers Struggling Through Normally Booming Thanksgiving Week

Mason’a Marina Public Hearing meets Opposition to Plans

Masons-Marina-Gas-Station-360Joan Poulos reported in the Sonoma County Gazette that more than fifty Bodega Bay residents crowded into the meeting room at the Firehouse in Bodega Bay to let Sonoma County Regional Parks (the current operator for the County which owns the site) what they thought about the request for a feasibility study to re-design the Marina and work with partners to design an educational-oriented visitor center for the site. The response was nearly unanimous…NO!!!

To their credit, the County Regional Parks’ personnel emphasized that they wanted the community input on how they could enhance the property to benefit the community. Almost with one voice, the community roared back..NO STUDIES. Spend the money on bringing Mason’s Marina back to usefulness.

The docks are in serious trouble. The underpinnings are rotting; none of the structure meets ADA standards. The liability toward users is questionable; the true cost of an environmental clean up is likely to be great. No one has all the answers. One very clear fact emerged: Bodega Bay residents are willing to pitch in and help save the Marina, but NO speaker supported creating any new tourist-serving facility in order to bring in new revenues. Apparently the community speaks with one voice. Examine all options to help save Mason’s Marina, but keep it a facility that serves fishermen and DON’T turn it into a new attraction to bring more tourists.

The complete story can be found HERE in the Sonoma County Gazette.

Crab feeds in question throughout North Bay

empty_potsBohemian.com is reporting that all over the North Bay in recent days, crab committees have been meeting, boards of directors have been discussing, and nonprofit organizations have fretted over the question: What to do about our annual Dungeness crab feed?

The state delayed the opening of the Dungeness crab season indefinitely on Nov. 5 when a potentially fatal neurotoxin, domoic acid, was discovered in the Dungeness and in red crab, a year-round fishery which was also shut down. This was very bad news for a $60 million California crabbing industry, and especially for the commercial crabbers who haul the pots, but the closure has also rippled to dozens of crab feeds planned in the North Bay in coming months.

Complete story is HERE.