Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, United States. Its population was 11,324 as of the 2010 census. At the north of Half Moon Bay is the Pillar Point Harbor and the unincorporated community of Princeton-by-the-Sea; the urban area had a population of 20,713 at the same census. Half Moon Bay began as a rural agriculture area used for grazing of cattle and oxen used by Mission San Francisco de Asis. Following the secularization of the Mission, Tiburcio Vásquez received the Rancho Corral de Tierra Mexican land grant in 1839 and Candelario Miramontes was granted Rancho Miramontes in 1841; the community began to develop in the 1840s as the first real town in San Mateo County. Known as San Benito, the town was renamed Spanishtown and attracted a thriving fishing industry in addition to its continued importance to coastal agriculture. Spanishtown became a racially diverse community, settled by Canadians, English, Irish, Italians, Scots and Pacific Islanders. Regular stagecoach service was established with San Mateo.
Levy Brothers opened a department store in downtown Half Moon Bay. Spanishtown was renamed Half Moon Bay in 1874; the area grew slowly after the Ocean Shore Railroad began serving the community in 1907. The construction of Pedro Mountain Road in 1914 provided better access to San Francisco and contributed to the demise of the railroad by 1920; the USS DeLong ran aground at Half Moon Bay 1 December 1921. During Prohibition "rum runners" took advantage of dense fog and hidden coves in the area to serve a number of roadhouses and inns, some of which operate today as restaurants. Real growth in the area came after World War II with the construction of numerous subdivisions leading to the incorporation of Half Moon Bay in 1959; the city preserves a historic downtown district which includes historic buildings dating as far back as 1869. In 2008, financial setbacks endangered the city's viability; the economic crisis affected tourism, which generates the most revenue, that just at the time when the city had finalized an $18 million settlement over a property lawsuit.
As the municipal budget was $14 million or less, city fathers had issued bonds with annual payments of $1 million over 25 years. As a result of these combined fiscal obstacles, the threat of bankruptcy was real. Dozens of meetings were held in order to decide where the budget should be cut and 75% of municipal employees were laid off and replaced with contract workers. Employee contributions toward retirement benefits were raised. However, the city council sought to regain the money paid in the settlement, believing that it should have been paid by the city's insurers. A lawsuit against the insurers was decided in 2013 and the insurer ordered to pay more than $13 million to the city. Since the City's finances have shown great improvement; the City was able to retire the first of its two 30-year Judgment Obligation Bonds a full 20 years early. The early retirement will save the City over $426,000 in annual General Fund expenses starting in 2015-16; the second set of Judgment Obligation Bonds will be retired in 2019, 18 years ahead of schedule with a combination of annual payments from the City Budget and funds on deposit with the Bond Trustee obtained in settlements with two of the City’s insurance carriers.
The early retirement of the 2009B Series Bonds will reduce the General Fund budget expenditure by $700,000 per year and will provide funding for the annual debt service on the Lease Revenue Bonds for the New Half Moon Bay Library. As of the publication of the Fiscal Year 2015/16 Budget the General Fund budget is balanced and has a structural surplus of $4.0 Million. The General Fund budget is projected to have a significant structural surplus in the following four years according to revenue and expense projections from the City’s Finance Department; this means that the City will be able to fund the cost of day-to-day operations and services in Half Moon Bay over the next five years with a healthy annual surplus that can be used towards the cost of desired Capital Improvement Program projects and other needs. Half Moon Bay is located at 37°27′32″N 122°26′13″W 25 miles south of San Francisco, 10 miles west of San Mateo, 45 miles north of Santa Cruz. Neighboring towns include El Granada, Princeton-by-the-Sea, Moss Beach, Montara to the north and Purissima, San Gregorio, Pescadero to the south.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 square miles, of which, 6.4 square miles of it is land and 0.02 square miles of it is water. It is situated on a bay of the same name. Major local industries include agriculture and tourism. Half Moon Bay had been known as San Benito and Spanishtown. A popular spot at Half Moon Bay is the'Jetty,' or as it is sometimes called,'The Breakwater.' This is a man-made break with unusual waves shaped by reflections from the breakwater at Pillar Point Harbor. Streams in Half Moon Bay include Pilarcitos Creek and Naples Creek. Montara State Marine Reserve & Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area extend offshore from Montara, just north of Half Moon Bay. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve oc
Long Ridge (San Mateo County, California)
Long Ridge is a hill located in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. The hill rises to an elevation of about 2,600 feet on private property near Highway 35 and the Santa Clara-San Mateo county line; the hill is the highest point in San Mateo County. A hill to the northeast of Long Ridge rises to 2,566 feet; some snow falls on the mountain during the winter. The Long Ridge Open Space Preserve is named for this ridge. List of highest points in California by county
Santa Cruz Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central and northern California, United States. They form a ridge down the San Francisco Peninsula, south of San Francisco, they separate the Pacific Ocean from the San Francisco Bay and the Santa Clara Valley, continue south to the Central Coast, bordering Monterey Bay and ending at the Salinas Valley. The range passes through the counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey, with the Pajaro River forming the southern boundary; the northernmost portion of the Santa Cruz Mountains, north of Half Moon Bay Road, is known as Montara Mountain. The highest point in the range is Loma Prieta Peak, 11 miles west of Morgan Hill, with a height of 3,786 feet, near, the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Other major peaks include Mount Umunhum at 3,486 feet, Mount Thayer at 3,479 feet, Mount Bielawski at 3,231 feet, El Sombroso at 2,999 feet, Eagle Rock at 2,488 feet, Black Mountain at 2,800 feet, Sierra Morena at 2,417 feet.
The San Andreas Fault runs near the ridge line throughout the range. The interior east side of the mountains drops abruptly towards this fault line near the towns of Woodside and Saratoga. For much of the San Francisco Peninsula, State Route 35 runs along the ridge, is known as "Skyline Boulevard", while Interstate 280 runs east of the ridges; the major routes across the mountains are: SR 92 from Half Moon Bay to San Mateo, SR 84 from San Gregorio to Redwood City, SR 9 from Santa Cruz to Saratoga, SR 17 from Santa Cruz to Los Gatos, SR 152 from Watsonville to Gilroy, SR 129 from Watsonville to San Juan Bautista, US Highway 101 from Salinas to Gilroy. Meanwhile, SR 1 runs parallel to the mountains from Daly City to Castroville while SR 85 runs parallel from Cupertino to San Jose. There are over 30 wineries located in this region and the Santa Cruz Mountains have been a defined American Viticultural Area since 1981. Wine has been produced there since at least the 1840s; the Santa Cruz Mountain AVA has emerged as premier producer of top wines as recognized in the historic Judgment of Paris wine competition on May 26, 1976.
The Santa Cruz Mountains are the result of compressive uplift caused by a leftward bend of the San Andreas Fault. The Salinian Block basement rocks are overlain by Miocene rock strata of the Lompico Sandstone, the Vaqueros Sandstone and the Santa Margarita Formation; the Santa Cruz Mountains are a region of great biological diversity, encompassing cool, moist coastal ecosystems as well as warm, dry chaparral. Much of the area in the Santa Cruz mountains is considered temperate rainforest. In valleys and moist ocean-facing slopes some of the southernmost coast redwoods grow, along with coast Douglas-fir. coast live oak, Pacific madrone, Pacific wax myrtle, big leaf maple, California bay laurel, California black oak occur in the Santa Cruz Mountains. There do exist several small and isolated stands of old-growth forest, most notably at Henry Cowell Redwoods and Portola Redwoods State Parks and one sizeable old-growth redwood forest at Big Basin. At higher elevations and on sunny south slopes a more drought-resistant chaparral vegetation dominates: manzanita, California scrub oak and chaparral pea.
Spring wildflowers are widespread throughout the range. The area welcomes a tremendous number of species of birds.. Black-tailed deer, a subspecies of mule deer are common, as are western gray squirrels and raccoons. Periodic sightings of black bears indicate they frequent the mountains or wander north from Big Sur, where black bears are established. Foxes, bobcats and human-introduced Virginia opossums inhabit the region but are seen. Rattlesnakes are inhabitants in the high, dry chaparral; the Santa Cruz Mountains have a Mediterranean type climate typical of most of California, with the majority of the annual precipitation falling between November and April. According to the National Weather Service, this totals more than 50 inches annually. Heavy summer fogs cover the western ocean-facing slopes and valleys, resulting in drizzle and fog drip caused by condensation on the redwoods and other trees, which sustains the moisture-loving redwood forests. Due to a rain shadow effect, precipitation on the eastern side of the range is less, about 25 inches a year.
Snow falls a few times a year on the highest ridges, more the higher valleys receive light dustings. The National Weather Service's cooperative weather stations in the mountains have included Black Mountain 2WSW – average annual rainfall 36.65 inches, maximum annual rainfall 80.66 inches, average annual snowfall 0.7-inch, maximum annual snowfall 8.0 inches. No temperature records were kept at these stations; the Santa Cruz Mountains are subject to sharp diurnal temperature fluctuations. The highs and low within a 24-hour period are ~20–30 °F apart on average but can be as much as 50 °F apart during heat waves depending on location. There is con
San Francisco garter snake
The San Francisco garter snake is a slender multi-colored subspecies of the common garter snake. Designated as an endangered subspecies since the year 1967, it is endemic to San Mateo County and the extreme northern part of coastal Santa Cruz County in California; some researchers estimate that there are only 1,000 to 2,000 adult snakes of the subspecies T. s. tetrataenia remaining. However, the full extent of the snakes' habitat has not been documented, many snakes may utilize creeks and other waterways that are unexplored; this garter snake prefers wet and marshy areas, because of its elusive nature, it is difficult to see or capture. The San Francisco garter snake, a subspecies of the common garter snake, is found in scattered wetland areas on the San Francisco Peninsula from the northern boundary of San Mateo County south along the eastern and western bases of the Santa Cruz Mountains, at least to the Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir, along the Pacific coast south to Año Nuevo Point, thence to Waddell Creek in Santa Cruz County.
It is difficult to obtain reliable distribution information and population statistics for the San Francisco garter snake, because of the elusive nature of this reptile and the fact that much of the remaining suitable habitat is located on private property that has not been surveyed for the presence of the snake. This subspecies is shy, difficult to locate and capture, quick to flee to water or cover when disturbed; the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that many locations that had healthy populations of garter snakes are now in decline due to land development pressure and the filling of wetlands in San Mateo County over the last sixty years. However, in many areas where it still occurs, it is not rare, but is quite common and can be viewed with good success once its behavior is understood. Adult San Francisco garter snakes can grow to a total length of 18 - 55 inches, they have keeled dorsal scales of blue-green, bordered by stripes of black and blue-green. Their head is wider than the neck, is red.
Its eyes are large compared to other species of garter snakes, giving the snake good eyesight to be active during the day. Garter snakes are harmless to humans, their bites are fatal to their prey, but only cause a mild irritation for humans. With toxic venom in their saliva, garter snakes possess no fangs; the preferred habitat of the San Francisco garter snake is a densely vegetated pond near an open hillside where it can sun and find cover in rodent burrows. Temporary ponds and other seasonal freshwater bodies are appropriate; this subspecies avoids brackish marsh areas because its preferred prey, the California red-legged frog, cannot survive in saline water. Emergent and bankside vegetation such as cattails and spike rushes are preferred and used for cover; the zone between stream and pond habitats and grasslands or bank sides is characteristically utilized for basking, while nearby dense vegetation or water provide escape cover. The subspecies uses floating algal or rush mats, when available.
San Francisco garter snakes forage extensively in aquatic habitats. Adult snakes feed on California red-legged frogs, which are federally listed as threatened, they may feed on juvenile bullfrogs, but they are unable to consume adults. Newborn and juvenile San Francisco garter snakes depend upon Pacific treefrogs as prey. If newly metamorphosed Pacific treefrogs are not available, the young garter snakes may not survive. San Francisco garter snakes are one of the few animals capable of ingesting the toxic California newt without incurring sickness or death. For a brief period from 1996 to 2000 there was confusion over the differentiation of the San Francisco garter snake from two other subspecies, known as the California red-sided garter snake and the Oregon red-spotted garter snake. Barry petitioned the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature to suppress the changes proposed in 1996 to merge two of these species. In 2000, the ICZN agreed and voted to retain the historical taxonomic arrangement of subspecies within this evolutionary lineage.
Accordingly, the subspecies tetrataenia was reaffirmed for the San Francisco garter snake and the races concinnus and infernalis retain their historical definition. The San Francisco garter snake cohabits ecosystems that host two other species of garter snake: the coast garter snake, a subspecies of Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, the Santa Cruz aquatic garter snake a subspecies of the aquatic garter snake; these three subspecies are known to prey upon same foods. Herpetologist Sean Barry notes that they divide up the food resource as follows: The San Francisco garter snake eats small frogs. While the findings of the ICZN have given the San Francisco garter snake unique taxonomic standing for now, a molecular study challenges the subspecific status of this population. Janzen analyzed sequences in mitochondrial DNA to determine relationshi
Mount Madonna is a prominent peak located near the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains in southwest Santa Clara County, California. The iconic landmark is surrounded by a county park, is viewable along U. S. Route 101 in South Santa Clara Valley, California State Route 152 near Watsonville in south Santa Cruz County. In the late 19th-century, cattle baron. Mount Madonna County Park is one of 28 Santa Clara County Parks; the 4,605-acre park surrounds the peak, with the east side facing Santa Clara Valley and the west side facing Monterey Bay. The park offers hiking and equestrian activities along its 14-mile trail system, as well as an archery range and an amphitheater. Facilities for picnicking and overnight camping are provided, it is one of a few parks in the area. List of summits of the San Francisco Bay Area "Map of Mount Madonna"
The coast known as the coastline or seashore, is the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean or a lake. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the Coastline paradox; the term coastal zone is a region where interaction of the land processes occurs. Both the terms coast and coastal are used to describe a geographic location or region. Edinburgh for example is a city on the coast of Great Britain. A pelagic coast refers to a coast which fronts the open ocean, as opposed to a more sheltered coast in a gulf or bay. A shore, on the other hand, can refer to parts of land adjoining any large body of water, including oceans and lakes; the somewhat related term "" refers to the land alongside or sloping down to a river or body of water smaller than a lake. "Bank" is used in some parts of the world to refer to an artificial ridge of earth intended to retain the water of a river or pond. While many scientific experts might agree on a common definition of the term "coast", the delineation of the extents of a coast differ according to jurisdiction, with many scientific and government authorities in various countries differing for economic and social policy reasons.
According to the UN atlas, 44% of people live within 150 kilometres of the sea. Tides determine the range over which sediment is deposited or eroded. Areas with high tidal ranges allow waves to reach farther up the shore, areas with lower tidal ranges produce deposition at a smaller elevation interval; the tidal range is influenced by the shape of the coastline. Tides do not cause erosion by themselves. Waves erode coastline. Coastlines with longer shores have more room for the waves to disperse their energy, while coasts with cliffs and short shore faces give little room for the wave energy to be dispersed. In these areas the wave energy breaking against the cliffs is higher, air and water are compressed into cracks in the rock, forcing the rock apart, breaking it down. Sediment deposited by waves comes from eroded cliff faces and is moved along the coastline by the waves; this forms an cliffed coast. Sediment deposited by rivers is the dominant influence on the amount of sediment located on a coastline.
Today riverine deposition at the coast is blocked by dams and other human regulatory devices, which remove the sediment from the stream by causing it to be deposited inland. Like the ocean which shapes them, coasts are a dynamic environment with constant change; the Earth's natural processes sea level rises and various weather phenomena, have resulted in the erosion and reshaping of coasts as well as flooding and creation of continental shelves and drowned river valleys. The coast and its adjacent areas on and off shore are an important part of a local ecosystem: the mixture of fresh water and salt water in estuaries provides many nutrients for marine life. Salt marshes and beaches support a diversity of plants and insects crucial to the food chain; the high level of biodiversity creates a high level of biological activity, which has attracted human activity for thousands of years. More and more of the world's people live in coastal regions. Many major cities have port facilities; some landlocked places have achieved port status by building canals.
The coast is a frontier that nations have defended against military invaders and illegal migrants. Fixed coastal defenses have long been erected in many nations and coastal countries have a navy and some form of coast guard. Coasts those with beaches and warm water, attract tourists. In many island nations such as those of the Mediterranean, South Pacific and Caribbean, tourism is central to the economy. Coasts offer recreational activities such as swimming, surfing and sunbathing. Growth management can be a challenge for coastal local authorities who struggle to provide the infrastructure required by new residents. Coasts face many human-induced environmental impacts; the human influence on climate change is thought to contribute to an accelerated trend in sea level rise which threatens coastal habitats. Pollution can occur from a number of sources: industrial debris. Fishing has declined due to habitat degradation, trawling and climate change. Since the growth of global fishing enterprises after the 1950s, intensive fishing has spread from a few concentrated areas to encompass nearly all fisheries.
The scraping of the ocean floor in bottom dragging is devastating to coral and other long-lived species that do not recover quickly. This destruction alters the functioning of the ecosystem and can permanently alter species composition and biodiversity. Bycatch, the capture of unintended species in the course of fishing, is returned to the ocean only to die from injuries or exposure. Bycatch represents about a quarter of all marine catch. In the case of shrimp capture, the bycatch is five times larger, it is believed that melting Arctic ice will cause sea levels to rise and flood coas
In ecology, a habitat is the type of natural environment in which a particular species of organism lives. It is characterized by both biological features. A species' habitat is those places where it can find food, shelter and mates for reproduction; the physical factors are for example soil, range of temperature, light intensity as well as biotic factors such as the availability of food and the presence or absence of predators. Every organism has certain habitat needs for the conditions in which it will thrive, but some are tolerant of wide variations while others are specific in their requirements. A habitat is not a geographical area, it can be the interior of a stem, a rotten log, a rock or a clump of moss, for a parasitic organism it is the body of its host, part of the host's body such as the digestive tract, or a single cell within the host's body. Habitat types include polar, temperate and tropical; the terrestrial vegetation type may be forest, grassland, semi-arid or desert. Fresh water habitats include marshes, rivers and ponds, marine habitats include salt marshes, the coast, the intertidal zone, reefs, the open sea, the sea bed, deep water and submarine vents.
Habitats change over time. This may be due to a violent event such as the eruption of a volcano, an earthquake, a tsunami, a wildfire or a change in oceanic currents. Other changes come as a direct result of human activities; the introduction of alien species can have a devastating effect on native wildlife, through increased predation, through competition for resources or through the introduction of pests and diseases to which the native species have no immunity. The word "habitat" has been in use since about 1755 and derives from the Latin habitāre, to inhabit, from habēre, to have or to hold. Habitat can be defined as the natural environment of an organism, the type of place in which it is natural for it to live and grow, it is similar in meaning to a biotope. The chief environmental factors affecting the distribution of living organisms are temperature, climate, soil type and light intensity, the presence or absence of all the requirements that the organism needs to sustain it. Speaking, animal communities are reliant on specific types of plant communities.
Some plants and animals are generalists, their habitat requirements are met in a wide range of locations. The small white butterfly for example is found on all the continents of the world apart from Antarctica, its larvae feed on a wide range of Brassicas and various other plant species, it thrives in any open location with diverse plant associations. The large blue butterfly is much more specific in its requirements. Disturbance is important in the creation of biodiverse habitats. In the absence of disturbance, a climax vegetation cover develops that prevents the establishment of other species. Wildflower meadows are sometimes created by conservationists but most of the flowering plants used are either annuals or biennials and disappear after a few years in the absence of patches of bare ground on which their seedlings can grow. Lightning strikes and toppled trees in tropical forests allow species richness to be maintained as pioneering species move in to fill the gaps created. Coastal habitats can become dominated by kelp until the seabed is disturbed by a storm and the algae swept away, or shifting sediment exposes new areas for colonisation.
Another cause of disturbance is when an area may be overwhelmed by an invasive introduced species, not kept under control by natural enemies in its new habitat. Terrestrial habitat types include forests, grasslands and deserts. Within these broad biomes are more specific habitats with varying climate types, temperature regimes, soils and vegetation types. Many of these habitats grade into each other and each one has its own typical communities of plants and animals. A habitat may suit a particular species well, but its presence or absence at any particular location depends to some extent on chance, on its dispersal abilities and its efficiency as a coloniser. Freshwater habitats include rivers, lakes, ponds and bogs. Although some organisms are found across most of these habitats, the majority have more specific requirements; the water velocity, its temperature and oxygen saturation are important factors, but in river systems, there are fast and slow sections, pools and backwaters which provide a range of habitats.
Aquatic plants can be floating, semi-submerged, submerged or grow in permanently or temporarily saturated soils besides bodies of water. Marginal plants provide important habitat for both invertebrates and vertebrates, submerged plants provide oxygenation of the water, absorb nutrients and play a part in the reduction of pollution. Marine habitats include brackish water, bays, the open sea, the intertidal zone, the sea bed and deep / shallow water zones. Further variations include rock pools, sand banks, brackish lagoons and pebbly beaches, seagrass beds, all supporting their own flora and fauna; the benth