December 3, 2020


A mature female sea lion is being nursed back to health two weeks after she was discovered waddling through a row of shiny sedans at a car dealership in suburban Marin County, according to the Marine Mammal Center.

The 220-pound sea lion was discovered Nov. 2 flapping around the parking lot at Corte Madera Mini of Marin. It is likely she was over-zealously chasing a fish supper in Corte Madera Marsh State Marine Park before clambering onto land, looking both ways and crossing San Clemente Drive, where she ended up checking out a selection of Minis that, while stylish, are hardly sea lion-sized.

The dealership is to the south of the Acura car lot and to the north of the La-Z-Boy Home Furnishing and Decor store. Either would have been good choices, too.

Due to the safety risks posed by the busy roadway, the animal — named Mini — was quickly rescued and transported to the Center’s Sausalito hospital for rehabilitation. She was not asked for her license and registration.

“Mini has made great early progress during her rehabilitation and we’re encouraged by her energetic demeanor and active eating skills,” said Dr. Cara Field, medical director at the Marine Mammal Center. “Once this animal’s rear flipper heals and bloodwork shows no signs of ill health, our team will return this sea lion back to her ocean home.”

Center veterinary experts checked her for signs of injury, abnormal neurological behavior and other potential ailments. While she suffered from some joint arthritis in its right rear flipper, she was found to be in good form. The team is also taking extra precautions to further limit the amount of interaction and stimulation around her due to some early signs of the animal’s high interest in people — not to mention automobiles.

“Each of these animals presents an opportunity to learn more about the threats they face in the wild and continue to improve rehabilitation efforts for this sentinel species,” Field said.

J.K. Dineen is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @sfjkdineen

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Historically, societies have always located near water, due partly to the
fact that water enables more efficient travel compared to going over land.
Waterways are critically important to the transportation of people and
goods throughout the world. The complex network of connections between
coastal ports, inland ports, rail, air, and truck routes forms a
foundation of material economic wealth worldwide.

Within the United States, waterways have been developed and integrated
into a world-class transportation system that has been instrumental in the
country’s economic development. Today, there are more than 17,700
kilometers of commercially important navigation channels in the lower 48

Early History of Water-based Transportation

The historical development of water-based transportation is connected to
the importance of domestic and international trade. Early exploration of
North America identified large amounts of natural resources such as
fisheries, timber, and furs. Trade centers were established along the
east coast of North America where goods could be gathered together and
ocean vessels could transport them to consumers in Europe and other
foreign areas. The success of commercial trading companies spurred the
introduction of

Waterways in developing countries are critical avenues for local and regional commerce. Fruit and vegetable vendors flock to floating markets on rivers and canals, such as this one in Bangkok, Thailand.

Waterways in developing countries are critical avenues for local
and regional commerce. Fruit and vegetable vendors flock to floating
markets on rivers and canals, such as this one in Bangkok, Thailand.

more colonial settlements that in turn resulted in additional increases
in population, economic activity, and trade.

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, small subsistence farms
were prevalent among the American colonies. Eventually larger farms
emerged and produced crops such as wheat, tobacco, rice, indigo, and
cotton that were commercially marketable in Europe. Ocean vessels
transported the bulk, low-value goods from the colonies to Europe and
returned with high-value, low-density goods such as inks, linens, and
finished products that had a much higher return on the investment per
vessel trip.

Agricultural production continued to grow and support the growing
colonies’ economic development. The speed and low cost of
transporting goods by water influenced the locations of population
settlements near navigable water (rivers, lakes, canals, and oceans).
Goods produced on inland farms were transported via inland waterways to
the coastal ports. Goods shipped by smaller vessels from surrounding
ports were transported to New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and
exported on larger oceangoing ships. These ships from the smaller ports
then transported imported goods back to the surrounding ports.

During the 1700s, the British government passed many acts, such as the
Navigation Acts and the Stamp Act of 1765, designed to collect taxes
from the colonists. The acts affected trade, and were met with
opposition from the colonist. In Philadelphia during the fall of 1774,
the “Declarations and Resolves of the First Continental
Congress” called for non-importation of British goods, and became
a catalyst for the American Revolutionary War (1775–1784). The
resulting independence for the United States allowed trade a free rein,
and it flourished.

Westward Expansion.

The westward expansion of the United States exposed a wealth of natural
resources and an increased production in agricultural goods. The inland
transportation infrastructure