wave.jpgWhether on land or underwater, the scenery at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach is already in the midst of potentially significant environmental shifts that indicate, in the words of Bob Dylan, that the times they are a-changin.

One such indicator of these changes is the increasing commonality of great white sharks along the Northern California coast, including here in the Bay Area where a shark was spotted off Ocean Beach Thursday evening. While sharks may not be friends to surfers and small marine mammals that dwell in the chilly Pacific Ocean swells, the fact that they are showing up in bigger numbers along the West Coast shows that shark populations may be recovering, thanks in part to the more widespread access they have to food by venturing further north.

“We’re getting more observations,” Shark Research Committee scientist Ralph Collier told the San Francisco Examiner. “The sharks are being observed and reported throughout the year from all locations from the Mexican border all the way up to the Oregon border.”

In addition, the city of San Francisco is looking to the waters of Ocean Beach as a source for generating energy in the years to come.

In a separate report by the San Francisco Examiner, John Upton writes that Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office is looking into ways to harness Ocean Beach’s wave power for renewable energy. The City is currently reviewing environmental impact reports and should come to a decision within a year.

The wave power project would place floating underwater devices to obtain energy emitted by the crashing surf of Ocean Beach. If the proposal moves forward, it could lead politicians, lawmakers and scientists to consider the construction of a wind farm off Ocean Beach if they determine it would be viable based on wind velocities and other factors attainable from the devices.

While most everyone supports the idea that we should find more ways to use clean energy, wind farms tend to be a less popular solution to residents that feel the turbines are loud and unsightly. However, the facilities continue to pop up globally.

So next time you’re dining beachside at the Cliff House or catching waves on a foggy afternoon, keep your eyes peeled for sharks–and wave power devices.

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  • DT

    The sharks are probably eating the otters, thus the otter population is down.

    Considering traffic noise on Great Highway, why not put a wind farm in the median?

  • DT

    The sharks are probably eating the otters, thus the otter population is down.

    Considering traffic noise on Great Highway, why not put a wind farm in the median?