Yesterday I saw a dead sea lion draped in sea weed at surf’s edge near where I spotted a sea lion on the beach the day prior. Don’t know if was the same one. I had called the Marine Mammal Center at that time and was told the sea lion in question had gone back in the water.

The Center (www.marinemammalcenter.org) has a great web site that addressed many of my concerns. However, while the sea lion population off the Northern and Central California is a robust 238,000, the reasons for death are many, including a disease (domoic acid poisoning) linked to naturally occurring algae that can poison shellfish that, in turn, may be eaten by sea lions and humans with dire consequences.

I watched this dead sea lion for a while as the tide gently nudged it. There is so much I don’t know about marine life, especially how it acts as a warning to humans that we are damaging the planet beyond repair. Scientists say a one degree-C increase in surface ocean temperature off of the West Coast will zero out the seal lion population growth while a two-degree C increase will trigger a seven percent decline in growth. Warmer waters decrease the food sources for sea lions with their pups suffering life-threatening malnutrition, another leading cause of sea lion death. And the tide rolls in…

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