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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
July 25, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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July 25, 2014

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BY JIM WATSON A joint project between researchers at UC Santa Barbara and CSU, Northridge, will give local divers and snorkelers a chance to help out the critically- endangered Giant sea bass. Marine biologists at both insti- tutions of higher learning are ask- ing recreational divers and snor- kelers to keep an eye out for any giant sea bass (sometimes referred to as black sea bass) during the first seven days of August. The large fish, which goes by the Latin mon~ker of "ste- reolepis gigas," was fished heav- ily in Southern California waters, including Catalina, beginning in the late 1800s. By the mid-20th century they had been fished nearly to extinc- tion. The gentle beasts can grow up to six feet in length and can weigh in at as much 600 pounds. Researchers have provided detailed instructions to all pro- spective participants on how to conduct the census. First, participants can dive anywhere in Southern California, including at oil platforms, ship- wrecks, beaches and even break- waters. -Length of dive doesn't mat- ter, although researchers caution participants to avoid covering the same area more than once so as not to count the same fish twice. If participants are fortunate enough to see one of the fish, researchers outline what data they will need from you, includ- ing date, time, location (including latitude and longitude if possible), number of giant sea bass, length of each fish, bottom depth and Help Catalina's Bison! Protect the Bison from the drought Catalina's iconic bison are in danger. Catalina Island is in the grips of an extreme drought and the bison are getting hit hard with low food and water supplies. We have set-up an emergency relief program to import feed to the herd and placed water troughs around the Island. Shipments of feed are cost- ing $8000 each. Please donate today to help our beloved free range Bison herd get through this drought. Visit: www.catalinaconservan- Joe Kalla Chief Operating Officer Catalina Island Conservancy Student musicians Avalon Schools Theater was the place to be Tuesday night, June 3. More than 60 dedicated student musicians performed a wide selec- tion of compositions. They kept the audience engaged and enter- tained with Big Band selections, ensembles and improvisations. Thanks to Music Director, David Markowitz and musicians for a wonderful evening. Let's support this part of our community in every way we can. Dave Thompson Avalon habitat type. Habitat types can be defined as all or mostly rocks, mud, mostly sand, etc. The researchers note that par- ticipants who don't encounter any fish should still report their "zero" number, as this is also important. Findings can be reported to Milton Love at giantseabass- or by mailing to Milton Love, Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. More information can be found at the organization's official Facebook page at www.facebook. com/giantseabass/info. Local snorkelers and scuba divers will get a chance to participate in a census of the giant sea bass (pictured) next month. Photo by Caitlin.Childs Support inspires participation in Hidden Road Initiative Dear friends, family and visi- tors of Catalina Island: I want to thank you for being so supportive of our island youth. Having grown up in Avalon myself, I can truly say that we are raised by a village. It is because of your encour- agefnent that I have been empow- ered to explore the world and help make a difference. This summer I will be going to Armenia to volunteer at a chil- dren's summer camp where I will be teaching English, Art & Yoga, in addition to writing a blog about our travels there. I was invited to participate in this opportunity through one of my close friends from UC Santa Barbara, Nanor Balabanian, who for the past 4 years has lead a stu- dent-run organization called the Hidden Road Initiative. This organization is now cel- ebrating our 4th annual summer camp bringing Armenian and American students together to create positive change in remote villages. This time, it will not only hap- pen in Akhpradzor but also in Shushi and Dzaghgaber (Two other villages in Armenia and Gharapagh). We are going with a team of 11 students form USA from 4 different universities. We are very proud of the global impact we are having and we are hoping to expand our efforts to greater benefit our time spent with these students. We are just a few weeks away from departure and are still trying Kids from the Summer 2013 camp. More vid- eos/pics can be found on our website- www.hid- denroadini-