Año Nuevo Island

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Año Nuevo Island
Ano Nuevo Island off Ano Nuevo South Point.jpg
Aerial view of Año Nuevo Island, 2009
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Año Nuevo Island
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Año Nuevo Island
Geography
Coordinates 37°06′30″N122°20′16″W / 37.1083°N 122.3378°W / 37.1083; -122.3378 Coordinates: 37°06′30″N122°20′16″W / 37.1083°N 122.3378°W / 37.1083; -122.3378
Total islands1
Area0.0364217 km2 (0.0140625 sq mi)
Administration
State California
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
Abandoned buildings on Ano Nuevo Island, photographed in 2005. Ano Nuevo Island.jpg
Abandoned buildings on Año Nuevo Island, photographed in 2005.

Año Nuevo Island (Año Nuevo is Spanish for New Year) is a small island off Año Nuevo Point on the coast of Northern California, between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. The island has an area of 9 acres (3.6 ha). [1] It is an important breeding site for northern elephant seals and the endangered Steller's sea lion, as well as several species of seabirds, including rhinoceros auklets, Brandt's cormorants and western gulls. Due to the number of seals and sea lions, great white sharks are frequently spotted patrolling the waters around the island. It is protected as part of the Año Nuevo State Reserve. [2] [3]

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Northern California Place in California, United States

Northern California is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties its main population centers include the San Francisco Bay Area, the Greater Sacramento area, and the Metropolitan Fresno area. Northern California also contains redwood forests, along with the Sierra Nevada, including Yosemite Valley and part of Lake Tahoe, Mount Shasta, and most of the Central Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions.

Santa Cruz, California City in California, United States

Santa Cruz is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California. As of 2013 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Santa Cruz's population at 62,864.

Contents

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area and Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area are two adjoining protected marine areas off the coast of Año Nuevo State Park. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems. The waters of Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area surround Año Nuevo Island.

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is one of two adjoining marine protected areas off the coast of San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties, on California’s central coast.The area is approximately 55 miles south of San Francisco. The SMCA is 11.07 square miles. Except for limited taking of giant kelp, all living marine resources are protected.

Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area

Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is one of two adjoining marine protected areas off the coast of San Mateo County and Santa Cruz County, on California’s central coast. The area is approximately 55 miles (89 km) south of San Francisco. The SMCA is 11.81 square miles (30.6 km2). Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of giant kelp, squid, salmon, and other finfish, subject to various conditions. Also permitted is the commercial take of giant kelp, salmon, and squid, subject to various conditions.

Año Nuevo State Park state park in California

Año Nuevo State Park is a state park of California, USA, encompassing Año Nuevo Island and Año Nuevo Point, which are known for their pinniped rookeries. Located in San Mateo County, the low, rocky, windswept point juts out into the Pacific Ocean about 55 miles (89 km) south of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. Año Nuevo State Natural Reserve, formerly a separate unit of the California state park system, was merged into Año Nuevo State Park in October 2008. The coastal geographic center, or coastal-midpoint of California is located at the Northern end of this park at N 37°09′58″, W 122°21'40", as the absolute geographic center of California falls at N 37°09′58″, W 119°26′58″W.

Geology

As recently as the 18th century, what is today Año Nuevo Island was a peninsula. It became separated from the mainland by a channel that continues to widen. The island is mainly made up of Miocene shale and deposits from ancient dunes, along with a broad intertidal shelf and low, rocky islets, all of which are frequently altered by the erosive pounding of waves, particularly during winter storms. [4]

Peninsula A piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland

A peninsula is a landform surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though not necessarily named as a single body of water. Peninsulas are not always named as such; one can also be a headland, cape, island promontory, bill, point, or spit. A point is generally considered a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water that is less prominent than a cape. A river which courses through a very tight meander is also sometimes said to form a "peninsula" within the loop of water. In English, the plural versions of peninsula are peninsulas and, less commonly, peninsulae.

Channel (geography) A type of landform in which part of a body of water is confined to a relatively narrow but long region

In physical geography, a channel is a type of landform consisting of the outline of a path of relatively shallow and narrow body of fluid, most commonly the confine of a river, river delta or strait. The word is cognate to canal, and sometimes shows in this form, e.g. the Hood Canal.

The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago (Ma). The Miocene was named by Charles Lyell; its name comes from the Greek words μείων and καινός and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene is preceded by the Oligocene and is followed by the Pliocene.

Administration

Año Nuevo Island is managed by the University of California Natural Reserve System under an agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation. [2] [3] The Año Nuevo Island Reserve, including the island and surrounding waters, comprises 25 of the 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of the Año Nuevo State Reserve, the rest of which is on the mainland opposite the island. [3]

University of California Natural Reserve System network of nature reserves in California

The University of California Natural Reserve System (UCNRS) is a system of protected areas throughout California.

California Department of Parks and Recreation department of the state goverment of California

The California Department of Parks and Recreation, also known as California State Parks, manages the California state parks system. The system administers 280 separate park units on 1.4 million acres (570,000 ha), with over 280 miles (450 km) of coastline; 625 miles (1,000 km) of lake and river frontage; nearly 15,000 campsites; and 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Headquartered in Sacramento, park administration is divided into 25 districts. The California State Parks system is the largest state park system in the United States.

Access and facilities

Access to Año Nuevo Island is restricted to members of approved research teams; [2] the island is closed to the public. [5] The island has a few abandoned buildings built in the late 19th century. A residential home and foghorn station, all abandoned, are located on the island. The original light tower was deliberately toppled early in the first decade of the 21st century as it began to deteriorate and became a hazard to the resident wildlife. Some of the remaining buildings are used as research facilities.

Foghorn A device making a loud, deep sound as a warning to ships in fog

A foghorn or fog signal is a device that uses sound to warn vehicles of navigational hazards like rocky coastlines, or boats of the presence of other vessels, in foggy conditions. The term is most often used in relation to marine transport. When visual navigation aids such as lighthouses are obscured, foghorns provide an audible warning of rock outcrops, shoals, headlands, or other dangers to shipping.

A light tower is a piece of mobile equipment which has one or more high-intensity electric lamps and a mast. Almost always, the lights are attached to the mast, which is attached to a trailer, with a generator set to power the lamps. Normally the lamps are metal halide bulbs and the generator is powered by a diesel engine. However, battery-powered, solar-powered and hydrogen-powered sets are available; light towers with electrodeless lamps lighting are also sold. Modular kits permit separation of the generator set, trailer, lights and mast from each other. Another variation is an inflatable mast. Particularly when an inflatable mast is used, the lights may be placed close to the ground, with a reflector attached to the mast. When soft lighting is wanted, an inflatable "balloon" diffuser may be used. An inflatable mast may serve as a diffuser.

Restoration

Año Nuevo Island is a haul-out site for thousands of California sea lions. Over the past several decades, they have caused extensive damage to native plants and auklet burrows. In 2010, a conservation non-profit organization, Oikonos, started a restoration project to reduce sea lion trampling, re-grow native plants, and help the auklet populations. [6]

California sea lion seal native to western North America

The California sea lion is a coastal eared seal native to western North America. It is one of six species of sea lion. Its natural habitat ranges from southeast Alaska to central Mexico, including the Gulf of California. Sea lions are sexually dimorphic; males are larger than females, and have a thicker neck, and protruding sagittal crest. They mainly haul-out on sandy or rocky beaches, but they also frequent manmade environments such as marinas and wharves. Sea lions feed on a number of species of fish and squid, and are preyed on by orcas and white sharks.

In Literature

See also

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References

  1. "When Was the Land Purchased?". CA State Parks. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 "Año Nuevo « UCSC Natural Reserves". ucsantacruz.ucnrs.org. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 "Año Nuevo Island Reserve". Natural Reserve System. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  4. "Geology". CA State Parks. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  5. "Año Nuevo SP". CA State Parks. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  6. "Año Nuevo Island". oikonos.org. Retrieved July 17, 2017.