Archive for July, 2012

The Devil’s Bargain

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

 The Devil’s Bargain

Photo of Bruce Gibson at San Luis Bay Surfrider meeting by joey racano

The Devil’s Bargain

Measure cotton by the bale
Buy your shoes at the labor day sale
Half-off coupons in the mail
But how to put a price on a Great Blue Whale?

Barrels let us buy crude oil
Reynolds sells rolls of aluminum foil
But what will be the cost when the ocean starts to boil
and the shoreline fault is littered with marine life gone to spoil?

-joey racano

The Devil’s Bargain

It has been said that if a liar is good at what he does, he will control the parameters of an argument, and then allow for very spirited debate within those parameters. And so it was, that we, modern knights at a large square table, sat listening to the devil offering his bargain-

“How do we soundblast the ocean off Diablo Canyon? How do we destroy, not only all life within the Point Buchon State Marine Reserve, but destroy the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative itself, that created all the State Marine Reserves?”

“Do we blast the whales ears in at 260db every 63 seconds, 7 days a week for 80 days with a boat owned by a University, or do we blast the whales ears in at 260db every 63 seconds, 7 days a week for 80 days using a boat owned by the oil companies?”

This was the Devil’s offer. Nowhere was the conversation allowed to stray outside those parameters to include the question SHOULD WE BLAST THE WHALES EARS IN AT ALL?

With the San Luis Bay Surfrider Foundation, (arguably the most ocean-protective of all surfrider clubs) listening intently, San Luis Obispo Supervisor Bruce Gibson tried to make the case for increasing the scope of the soundblasting to what he called ‘the industry standard’, in other words, the oil industry standard, to get a better look at the subterranean topography offshore of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

And here were the questions we asked of him:

1. What can be accomplished by soundblasting the whales? Will Pacific Gas and Electric see how bad the earthquake faults are below the plant and make a decision to remove their power plant?

The place erupted in nervous laughter at the absurdity of it all.

2. The oil companies could never get permission for this type of blasting. Isn’t this a fortuitous turn of events for them if they wanted to search for offshore oil deposits in our State Marine Reserves?

3. If they do find oil while looking at earthquake faults, how do we know they will not come back later to develop offshore drilling?

4. Why is Diablo Canyon on the coast at all? Is the only reason being to use the seawater for their cooling intake, a process that destroys all life within the seawater it sucks in, including plankton, which are baby fish?

5. How do we distinguish the radiation Diablo puts into the sea (when people who work on the reactors are hosed off and that water is released to the sea) from the radiation arriving every day from Fukushima?

6. If you are here to pay off the fisherman, why instead don’t we use the Land and Water Conservation Fund (google it) to pay off PG & E to remove the plant forever?

And the most important question of all was, “How do we put a price on a Great Blue Whale?”

And the answer from the San Luis Obispo Supervisor was:

“That is not my focus.”
Tags: diablo, nuclear, fukushima, power, radiation, radioactivity, mlpa, marine, reserve, preserve, ecology, marina, ocean, sea, fish, sustainability, earthquake, fault, seismic, testing, nuclear, nukes, waste, plutonium, joey, racano, surfrider, california, earth, source, media, poetry, poems, planet, activism

Sleek Leviathan

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Blue Whale

Sleek Leviathan

“And if you’ll please walk this way folks, you will see suspended from the ceiling, a lifelike replica cast around a real skeleton of what used to be the largest creature that ever lived on Earth; the Great Blue Whale! A sleek leviathan, a streamlined thing of beauty and grace, more intelligent than any human and rather gentle too. The last known specimen was killed -alongside her calf- in 2014, when the US Navy and Chevron accidentally set off two seperate seismic tests at the same time.”

Giving in to Industry

In today’s New York Times, is a feel-good story about how whales can ‘hold their ears’ to accommodate oil company greed, military games and whatever else we are blasting the oceans with sound for. Please note the lack of spine displayed by those interviewed in the story who fail to stand up and speak out against such malevolence. Here in California, we must stand up for our newly minted Marine Protected Areas, also threatened, by a cocaphony of seismic blasting at Diablo Nuclear Power Plant.

Coming soon:  our own developing story about the CCRWQCB (Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board) and how they are thumbing their nose at all our State Marine Reserves in the name of short term profits for a toxic polluting industry they are supposed to regulate!

-joey racano

Tags: seismic, testing, oil, petroleum, nukes, nuclear, power, songs, diablo, canyon, joey, racano, mlpa, reserves, marine, sea, ocean, ecology, conservation, water, military, toxic, pollution, whales, activism

Save Whales by Supporting State Marine Reserves in California!

Monday, July 9th, 2012

 Devil Canyon Atomic Reactor

Help Save Whales and Otters in California from Seismic Testing

Please help us save Blue, Humpback and Fin Whales in California waters by supporting the new State Marine Reserve areas set aside for conservation under the Marine Life Protection Act.

Using the best science available, a broad coalition of stakeholders created an unprecedented series of Marine Protected Areas along the west coast of the United States. Among these MPA’s are a series of State Marine Reserves, where no ‘take’ (killing) of living marine resources is permitted. But no sooner did the California Fish & Game Commission designate the last of these coastal gems than did Pacific Gas and Electric company announce they were going to start seismic testing near their Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant off the central coast of California by pounding the coast with 240db blasts. These blasts will happen every 63 seconds, around the clock for 42 straight days and nights, starting September, 2012!

They admit it will kill about everything in Point Buchon State Marine Reserve, from Great Blue Whales, down to minute larvae,  as they blast along a 90 mile stretch of California coast, trying to ‘prove’ the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant is ‘safe’, sitting on 3 earthquake faults! Most alarming of all is that the very first two State Marine Reserves ever made (Morro Bay Estuary and Point Buchon) are both already under pressure to be ignored and violated, business as usual. But business as usual will not bring the ocean back to a state of health and abundance, which is the whole purpose of State Marine Reserves.

Please contact the folks in charge and tell them to protect the integrity of all Marine Protected Areas of California, especially the State Marine Reserves now threatened by dredging (at Morro Bay Estuary) and by seismic testing blasts (at Point Buchon).

Thanks for your help!

Joey Racano, Director
Ocean Outfall Group

Here’s a sample letter:


The Marine Life Protection Act was created to bring our depleted oceans back to health and abundance, and State Marine Reserves is how that goal is to be accomplished. With sea level rise, ocean acidification, pollution and overfishing, it is more important than ever we take meaningful action. Please do not allow exceptions to the rules protecting the integrity of State Marine Reserves anywhere, and specifically do not allow the Morro Bay Marina to be dredged because it may contaminate the adjacent State Marine Reserve by unleashing mud-bound toxins, and do not allow P.G. & E. to use 240db blasts near Point Buchon State Marine Reserve where it will kill Blue, Fin and Humpback Whales.  Such exceptions will threaten all State Marine Reserves in California, and keep them from returning our precious coastal resources to a natural state of health and abundance.

Respectfully,   (your name here)

Send or call to:

Ken Wiseman, Executive Director
Marine Life Protection Act
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 533-6971
e mail:

John Laird
Secretary of Resources
California Natural Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-5656
(916) 653-8102 fax
e mail:

Sonke Mastrup, Executive Director
California Fish and Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1320
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone Number: (916) 653-4899 Fax Number: (916) 653-5040

Tags: diablo, canyon, fukushima, nuclear, radiation, rebellion, waste, millenia, danger, death, die, rad, earth, ocean, activism, fight, win, california, spirit, environment, fish, fault, earthquake, atom, atomic, chernobyl, morro, bay, estuary, warrior, racano

Sailing to Sacramento

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

water warriors

Sailing to Sacramento
by joey racano

Mother Ocean, we are humbled
by your might and beauty

And so we do our sacred duty
to leave you as we found you

With your salt, spray and foam
and a shining star to guide us home

The ocean is hurting, but a broad spectrum of folks are fighting back. The hope is that by declaring a series of Marine Protected Areas, we can bring it back from the brink. And now it’s showtime.
Morro Bay Harbor Department wants to bring an old silted-in boat marina back to life in Morro Bay Estuary, right next to an SMR, which is a Marine Protected Area with the highest level of protection. You see, Harbor Department gets paid by the boat slip rent, so that’s why they want to ignore the Marine Protected Area rules!
But I’m ready to rumble baby. I got the science on my side, I got the law on my side -and thanks to the waterboard, the previous precedent- and I got karma on my side! I had to fight just to get a meeting with the powers that be, but John Laird, Secretary of Resources of the State of California, made sure I got one. It’s in Sacramento on July 10th.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any bigger, now Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant wants the Fish and Game Commission to get rid of Point Buchon State Marine Reserve, right next door! It finally leaked out (poor choice of words!) that the nuke plant was built on 3 earthquake faults, and Diablo wants to do some very destructive seismic test-pounding at 240 decibels!
So, now the first two State Marine Reserves are both already being challenged! Oh, stay tuned folks ’cause this is only gonna get bigger and better. Hold on fishies- joey’s gonna put the ‘can’ in Racano!

Photo of Joey Racano and Clinton’s Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit, 2000 at Belmont Shores Pier  (photo by Mary Stampone)

Tags: racano, joey, sacramento, marine protected area, mlpa, fish and game, california, water, ocean, ecology, sea, oceanography, resources, mpa, state marine reserve, marine life protection act, activist, handsome, bruce babbit, clinton, fish