Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

50 years on the Farallones–and still counting!

Exactly fifty years ago today Point Blue scientists officially began our research program on the Farallon Islands, 27 miles west of San Francisco. When our boat landed on April 3, 1968, we had no idea that it was the start of a continuous research operation on the island that hosts the largest seabird breeding colony in continental United States. Since then, we’ve maintained a presence on the island 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, working in close partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Former Point Blue Farallon Intern, Jen Aragon, measuring the weight of a seabird Photo credit: Annie Schmidt/Point Blue
Former intern, Jen Aragon, measuring a seabird. Photo credit: Annie Schmidt/Point Blue.

Over these five decades, we’ve amassed invaluable long term data sets that are crucial for understanding and addressing threats to our climate, the ocean, seabirds, sea lions, seals, whales, white sharks, and the marine food web.

Our research has led to significant outcomes including: the 1987 ban on gill-netting to protect seabirds from being killed as bycatch; the 1993 state law banning the hunting of White Sharks in California; the establishment of Marine Protected Area regulations around the Farallones in 2010; and, new actions by NOAA and the US Coast Guard to reduce ship strikes on whales.

Today, we’re kicking off a celebration to mark this remarkable milestone. Join us on Twitter and on Facebook in the weeks and months ahead as we use the hashtag #Farallones50 to share photos, videos, stories, and highlights of our work on the “Galapagos of California.”

But we’re not just looking to the past. As we’ve shared with you before, with all that’s going in Washington, D.C., our Farallones Islands program needs your support more than ever. With your generous support, we will continue our groundbreaking science and stewardship on the island, day in day and day out, for the next 50 years!

Cassin's Auklet. Photo credit: Brett Hartl/ Point Blue
Cassin’s Auklet. Photo credit: Brett Hartl/ Point Blue.

Please join us in celebrating this amazing milestone by investing today in the future protection of the Farallon Islands!