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Monday, August 07, 2006

Race Rocks

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Today was a pinniped day aboard the Ocean Magic II. Race Rocks Ecological Reserve is a great viewing area for seals, seal lions, and sea birds. There we found Steller and California Sea Lions hauled out on the high rocks and Harbour Seals nearer the sea lines. The Race Rocks Ecological Reserve was created in 1980. Ecological reserves are set aside by the province of British Columbia for the conservation of both exceptional and representative natural features of scientific and educational significance. Ecological reserves serve as benchmarks against which changes induced by human actions can be measured and serve as banks of genetic material to protect rare and endangered native plants and animals in their natural environment. Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) moved to create a Marine Protected Area at Race Rocks in 1998 for the creation of a “no-take zone” within the boundaries of the existing Ecological Reserve. A consensus process is being convened by DFO, BC Parks, and affected First Nations.

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The USS John C. Stennis 6200 member crew is on leave in Victoria. Most of the jets are off on training missions. Four jets can be catapulted at once off the flat deck of this aircraft carrier.

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