Bodega Marine Reserve Rules and Regulations
Reserve lands surrounding the Bodega Marine Laboratory are one of the most active research sites in the world. To protect these lands and on-going research and education, staff, visitors, and users are required to abide by the following rules:
Sunrise over the dorms.
1. Access – Obtain permission to access reserve lands for desired visitation dates from the Reserve Manager prior to entering the Reserve. The request process is initiated by filling out an on-line application (http://www.ucnrs.org/RAMS/Application/NRSApplication.lasso?reserve=5).
2. Waivers – Return a signed waiver before entering the Reserve. All minors must have parental signature. Waivers may be found at http://www.bml.ucdavis.edu/bmr/waivers.html
3. Permits – Acquire necessary permits, certifications, and licenses to conduct your proposed activities. Reserve staff can help you identify which permits you need, but you are responsible for obtaining them. Required permits are dependent on your proposed activities and may include:
• UCD Animal Care and Use protocols http://www.ehs.ucdavis.edu/animal/prot1.cfm
• State and federal scientific collecting permits and Memoranda of Understanding
• Land owner permission
• UC research diving certification. Researchers wanting to SCUBA or skin dive within the Reserve must meet with the BML/UCD Diving Safety Officer to review potential diving safety hazards and gain approval to dive.
4. Disturbance – Minimize disturbance to reserve lands:
• Drive only on established roads and obey speed laws as posted.
• Walk single-file on designated trails only.
• Recreation is not allowed on the Reserve; this includes picnicking, jogging, surfing, and camping. Use nearby state and county parks for these activities.
• Leave pets at home.
• Avoid research sites, markers, wires, and other equipment.
• Collecting is prohibited unless authorized by the Reserve Manager.
• Moving plants, animals or soil within the Reserve or into the Reserve is not allowed without prior authorization. For more information on non-native genotypes concerns, see http://www.ucnrs.org/rams.html
• Using chemicals and hazardous materials is not allowed without prior authorization. If approval for use of chemicals is granted, substances must be maintained and disposed of according to approved UC and BML procedures.
5. Research Protocols – Once your research is approved:
• Register the location of study plots with Reserve staff before engaging in research.
• Mark plots and other equipment with name and date.
• At the end of your study, remove flags, stakes, bolts, and other equipment.
6. Publications – Provide two copies (paper or pdf) and of any publication or report (only one bound copy of a thesis or dissertation is required) within six months of publication. For each publication:
• Request a publication number from the BML Librarian prior to publication and include this number in the acknowledgements.
• Include “Bodega Marine Laboratory” as key words
• Acknowledge Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California Davis, and the UC Natural Reserve System
7. Data Registration – Register long-term datasets developed during your work at the Reserve in our nationally-linked registry (http://www.ucnrs.org/metadata.lasso). Please note that registration in this registry fulfills data registry requirements for NSF and Ecological Society of America.
8. Please report any sightings of uncommon plants and animals on or near the Reserve.
9. Notify reserve staff of safety hazards or rule violations.
Bodega Marine Reserve Hazards
The California coast is a beautiful but rugged place. We remind those working in the field of the following potential hazards in the region around the Laboratory:
SLEEPER WAVES: The Sonoma coastline is notorious for its "sleeper waves" — large waves that appear unpredictably and break further up shore than the preceding series of waves. Sleeper waves sweep people off rocks and beaches. Because the ocean water is extremely cold (usually 10–15° C), those washed into the sea have little chance of survival if not rescued immediately. When working near waves, don't turn your back to the ocean, work with a buddy, and do not wear chest waders since they can fill with water and be difficult to take off if you are swept into the ocean.
POISON OAK: This shrub is widespread in grassland and dunes, often in a very low form unlike inland plants which are taller. Oils from all parts of the plant can create a painful rash. If you have been exposed to poison oak, wash with soap and water within 10–15 minutes of exposure. If this is not possible, wash with Tecnu (a poison oak product) as soon as possible to remove oils from your skin.
STEEP CLIFFS: Ocean cliffs are steep, and, because they are often composed of crumbling weathered rock, unstable. Do not walk close to the cliff edge or climb on the cliffs.
LYME DISEASE: The western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacifica), can be infected with the spirochete that causes Lyme disease in humans. Best estimates indicate that less than 10% of western black-legged ticks in western Sonoma County carry the spirochete. Lyme disease symptoms can take 3–30 days to appear and include a bulls-eye rash 5–6 inches in diameter (30–60% of the cases), joint pain, chills, fever, and fatigue. If not treated, the disease can develop into long-term severe fatigue, a stiff, aching neck, tingling or numbness in the extremities, facial palsy, severe headaches, painful arthritis and swelling of joints, cardiac abnormalities, and cognitive disorders. To reduce your chances of contracting Lyme disease: (1) avoid tick habitat (dunes, grassland) especially during spring and summer when nymphs feed; (2) remove tick within 24 hours after it embeds; and (3) dress appropriately by wearing light-colored clothing and long-sleeved shirts; tucking pants into socks or boot tops; wearing high rubber boots (since ticks are usually close to the ground); and applying insect repellents (DEET and permethrin). If you get a tick bite, and think you are developing symptoms of Lyme disease, see a doctor immediately.
HANTAVIRUS: This potentially lethal virus has been associated with rodents and rodent droppings in many counties in California. Symptoms can take 2 weeks to appear and include fatigue, fever (101– 104° F), muscle aches, plus headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These symptoms can develop into coughing, shortness of breath, and severe respiratory distress. To avoid hantavirus, stay away from areas infested with rodent droppings, especially in closed areas. If you need to enter a building that has been closed for any length of time, air out the structure, wear gloves, and wet mop with a bleach solution. Report any rodent activity at the Laboratory to BML staff.
SHARKS: White sharks are common on the Sonoma Coast and have attacked divers, kayakers, surfers and swimmers. To reduce your chances of shark attack, avoid areas known for white sharks (e.g., Farallon Islands, Año Nuevo, Bird Rock at Point Reyes), avoid areas where marine mammals congregate (sea lion and harbor seal rookeries and river mouths), avoid times of reduced sunlight (fog and dusk) and minimize your time at the surface of the ocean.
MOUNTAIN LION: There have been several sightings of mountain lions on Bodega Head in recent years. To reduce your chances of being attacked, do not approach or run from a mountain lion and do not crouch down or bend over. Do all you can to appear larger (raise your arms, open your jacket) and speak slowly, loudly, and firmly. If you are attacked, fight back.