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Clear Lake Biology and Ecology

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  • Kate Marianchild
    Myths and Music for Clear Lake: The Biology and Ecology of a Phenomenal Lake A hop and a jump from Ukiah resides long-suffering and much maligned Clear Lake,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2007
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      Myths and Music for Clear Lake: The Biology and Ecology of a Phenomenal
      Lake

      A hop and a jump from Ukiah resides long-suffering and much maligned
      Clear Lake, one of the most interesting bodies of water in North
      America, perhaps in the world. Just the fact that Clear Lake has rested
      in the ample lap of what we now call Lake County for at least a million
      years is astonishing. Most lakes would have long since succumbed to
      silt and become a wetlands or a meadow. Add the fact that Clear Lake is
      the largest natural lake in California, throw in the astonishing
      quantity of life that it supports, and you have the subject of a
      fascinating lecture. Such a lecture, "Myths and Music for Clear Lake,"
      will be delivered by the entertaining and animated Dr. Harry Lyons on
      Thursday, March 15, at the Ukiah Civic Center, 7 p.m. Dr. Lyons is a
      professor of biology at Yuba College's Clear Lake campus, where he is
      the senior faculty member and teaches biology, ecology, microbiology,
      physiology, and statistics. His lecture will be illustrated on screen
      by overhead projector. This program, which is brought to you by
      Peregrine Audubon Society, is free to the public, though donations will
      be warmly accepted.

      The myths addressed by Dr. Lyons have nothing to do with the large
      population of native Americans � possibly the largest in North America
      � that once inhabited the shores of the lake and paddled its waters.
      Nor does it have anything to do with Creation or Big Foot. No, this
      myth originated with the white settlers � residents, developers, and
      tourism promoters � who have always carried an image of a different
      lake than the one they've got. These wishful thinkers hope to make
      Clear Lake over in Lake Tahoe's image, with crystalline waters and
      sandy beaches. The fact is, Clear Lake is not now, never has been, and
      never will be, clear. Dr. Lyons will tell us why, starting with the
      ancient cyanobacteria that occupy the bottom of Clear Lake's food chain
      and make the lake green. We will learn why "green is good" for the
      enormous population of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals,
      birds, and (historically) humans of Clear Lake.

      Mercury, on the other hand, is not good � in the food chain at least.
      All lakes in California have a mercury problem, but Clear Lake has a
      major single-point pollution source, the Sulfur Banks Mine, an EPA
      Superfund site. Dr. Lyons will explain why it is fine to drink the
      water but dangerous to eat the fish. He will also discuss the measures
      that are and should be taken to restore Clear Lake to its natural
      condition, and will touch on the geology of the region.

      And music? Well, Dr. Lyons, who is also an accomplished jazz musician,
      has written a song about the biology of Clear Lake which he will sing
      to his own guitar accompaniment. This presentation about our biological
      powerhouse to the east will be fun and fascinating, and shouldn't be
      missed. Mark your calendars! To reach Ukiah Civic Center, take Perkins
      St. west to North State Street. Turn left, and then right on Seminary
      Avenue. Proceed to the Civic Center parking lot.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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