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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 6:42 pm | Fog/Mist 59º


Captain’s Log: Stave Off Destruction of Oil Platform Homes For Critters

I love critters as much as people. Well, maybe a bit more. If you have been reading my Captain’s Log columns, you already know that.

Critters, like people, need places to live, and sometimes we give that to them because we all want thriving populations of flora and fauna.

We are working on home-giving projects such as specialized fish-reef units off Goleta Bay for kelp forest restoration, helping with sand accretion, and providing ideal homes and habitat for untold numbers of various forms of precious sea life.

This reef project, which is working on funding for the permitting process is one of many projects by Fish Reef Project. If you want to contribute to meaningful conservation and marine enhancement work, fund this project. I believe in it.

Another chance to do something about homes for sea life is coming right up.

Platform Holly off Coal Oil Point (between Isla Vista and Ellwood) is being decommissioned and is undergoing preparations for removal. The legs of that oil platform are home to millions of critters and plants, and has served them as home for more of their generations than I can imagine.

With due respect to those who want to see the platform removed entirely and the area left like a desert, I feel compelled to save those critters from loss of homes and in many cases, death.

I think maintaining sea life and the homes they need is better than hating the oil companies so much that they must be made to remove everything.

I’ve recreationally fished around the legs of that platform many times and I know what an incredible wealth of fish depend on those platform legs for foraging and home.

A critter friendly solution would be to leave the submerged legs for the flora and fauna, cutting them off just far enough below the surface of the sea so they are not a navigation problem.

An enhancement option would be to add fish-reef units around the legs of the platform to dramatically increase the home space for the sea life we love so much.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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