Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Feb. 27
Stopping the Brown Tide
Critics Say Plan to Rebuild U.S.-Mexico Pacific Ocean Border Fence Will Do Little to Stop Influx of Invasive Brown Kelp
"A six-inch gap is more than enough room for these buggers to slip through and take up spots once held by American kelp beds."
The United States Border Patrol today announced plans to rebuild the "surf fence" that marks the beach border between the United States and Mexico and extends some 300 feet into the Pacific Ocean. The fence will be made from steel poles set six inches apart, and is designed to last for some 30 years. But according to Carl "Crusty" McCracken, President of Northern Oceanographic Mexican Abatement Society (NO-MAS), the fence will do little to ease the threat posed by "invasive Mexicans of the underwater variety."
Says McCracken, "According to a recent article in Botanica Marina, a scientific-political journal dedicated to tracking the encroachment of invasive species into American waters, 'Undaria pinnatifida, a laminarian kelp (Phaeophyta)...has been introduced recently to the coast of southern California (USA). We present the first record of this invasive species on the Mexican Pacific coast, and show the current southern limit along the Pacific coast of North America...The colonization of the Pacific coast of North America by this invasive species is still occurring, and its distributional range is expanding.' Now, Undaria pinnatifida is 50 cm long, tops, and it can easily slip between those fence poles. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: until we have a safe and secure border net, America and her native flora will remain under attack."