Not only are beach clean-ups great, but so are clean-ups via kayaking! A while back while I was out in the water I noticed a lot of trash, so over the weekend I was able to gather a few people to come do a kayak clean-up with me starting from the beach to about a mile out. I figured this was a fun way to get people out and a great way to pick up any trash that may not make it to the beach, or may even get eaten before getting there. This time the effort started out small with only a few volunteers, however I am hoping to have a larger group in two to three weeks by expanding the outreach.
Summer school in Santa Cruz starts next week, which means I am gathering materials and making plans for outreach to elementary schools – and perhaps middle schools as well. Although a kayak clean-up would not be suitable for many of the classes, a field trip to do a beach clean-up would be great for them. I also hope to get a few classes out to Natural Bridges to see the Black Oystercatcher (BLOY) pair and their chicks.
As for BLOY, the monitoring is still going great. Some pairs have young that are already starting to flap their wings and are almost as large as their parents, while other pairs are still incubating their eggs. I have yet to collect my own BLOY DNA sample, but since the nest at Natural Bridges is accessible I am keeping my eye on them . . . their eggs are due to hatch any day now!
(Parent Black Oystercatcher on the left and fledgling on the right.)