2006 (total): 103 days,
2007 (to date): 100 days, 135.50
Walking back to my RV after cleaning the pier yesterday morning
I was hailed by a man waving his arms frantically and pointing towards
the beach. Walking over I noticed this pup ... see the fishing line
wrapped around it's head and front flippers? The rear quarters appeared
to be immobilized and the pup looked emaciated.
I called the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center (805) 687-3255)
as this obviously was not just a simple case of a weaned pup hauled out
while it's mother was fishing. Shortly several Center volunteers showed
up with a transport cage and took the animal to their shelter where it's
injuries will be attended to.
While waiting for the volunteers I retrieved my camera and took
this picture with the telephoto lens.
New graffiti overnight ... already crossed out by people from
the Eastside(E), Westside(W) and Dos Pueblos(D) gangs.
Members from at least three different warring gangs on the pier
last night - kinda scary when you think about it. Bathrooms at foot of
pier also tagged and the pier covered in trash.
Some good news? ... "Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown
is working on one of his campaign promises. It involves the creation of
a larger and tougher gang enforcement unit. And it seems the recent violence
locally is forcing the Sheriff to quickly put his plan into action. KEY
News reporter Michelle Cole has the story."
As reported earlier the California
Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project will be at the Pier April 16th and
17th to do a general underwater cleanup, removing fishing lines and hooks
wrapped around the pilings. The advance publicity indicates that there
will be a 'media event' associated with their visit.
Before they arrive I wanted to acknowledge someone who has been
quietly doing the the same on his own since he retired several years ago.
Fred Ledesma is a Goleta Pier regular noted for his excellent perch fishing
Since the fish he targets are found mostly down around the pilings
Fred is in a good position to notice the amount of tackle hanging from
the underside of the pier. He has developed a unique 'tool' to help assist
him in the recoveries ... a snag line of his own with a sliding weight
which drops down to the point of attachment and breaks the snagged gear
Because we rarely see the amount of gear cleaned up in this manner
it is important that we acknowledge the contributions of locals like Fred
and others to the general welfare of the pier. The 'collection' pictured
above was put together in less than 30 minutes this morning.
17th, 2007: Despite the more than adequate
publicity and last minute phone
calls I am ashamed to say there was zero media coverage of the work
done yesterday and today by the California
Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at Goleta Pier.
Jennifer Renzullo of UC Davis's SeaDoc Society, assisted by Jessica
Alstatt and Penny Owens from the Santa Barbara
Channelkeeper along with volunteer divers from NOAA and the local Paradise
Dive Club, worked for hours in the water underneath the pier removing
years of accumulated fishing tackle and monofilament lines. The additional
divers were Paul Weakliem, Claire Sacker, Carl Gwinn, Ben Waltenberger
and Kate Peet.
Although Goleta has been well cared for by Fred
Ledesma, Jennifer (in her kayak), and her crew
of divers were able to access areas even Fred couldn't reach bringing up
wads of monofilament, rope, pier gaffs, netting and other underwater hazards.
To help round out their display of retrieved items Fred showed
up early with the bed of his pickup filled with boxes and boxes of hooks,
lures, lead weights and other items he has collected from his daily rounds
since his retirement two and a half years ago ... incredible the amount
of fishing related material that accumulates on and under a pier.
"Fishing line related injuries are a problem for many of our
coastal wildlife species," said Kirsten Gilardi, executive
director of the SeaDoc Society, a program of the UC Davis Wildlife Health
Center. "Our goal is to remove as much of it as we can from around fishing
piers, and then make it easy for anglers to dispose of their used hooks
and line properly in the future." To that end the crew installed
two of their own fishing line recycling bins ... inexpensive PVC pipe containers
and associated signage.
With the two bins installed by United Pier and Shore Anglers
of California (UPSAC) in February
Goleta pier now has complete coverage from one end to the other ... possibly
more bins than any other California pier at this time.
22nd, 2007: Friday's
Sound had a front page article entitled Group
helps clean up pier. In the article which was
about the recent activities at Goleta Pier staff writer Colby Frazier quotes
Santa Barbara Wharf Facilities Supervisor Bob Zimmer as saying that Stearns
Wharf is scoured for about two hours each day by different crews gathering
fishing debris. In addition divers checking the wharf's pilings weekly
for structural integrity and other problems also keep an eye out for fishing
line. Says Zimmer, "We've
made an effort to really clean it up ... It's all to help the animal life
here not to get tangled up in it."
What I would like to see is for the County
to make a similar commitment to Goleta Pier. Currently responsibilities
for the pier's maintenance and safety rest with just two assigned rangers
and a part-time weekend employee. As I understand it the two rangers are
responsible for four other parks in addition to Goleta.
If the very limited areas on Stearns Wharf
open to fishing require two hours per day then certainly Goleta with its
1450 feet of unrestricted access should be budgeted at least a similar
The article goes on to underscore the necessity
of educating the fishing public and credits Frank Drew, owner of Stearns
Wharf Bait & Tackle shop, with performing that service for the Wharf.
Unfortunately Goleta Pier no longer has
it's own bait and tackle shop so there is no permanent daily presence there
to remind anglers of their impacts. Nor does our pier have it's own security
force to patrol at night as does the Wharf.
What it does have though ...
... is a wooden structure housing a pair of 500 gallon fiberglass
sewage holding tanks outfitted with porta-potty type seats ... an ecological
disaster waiting to happen. These tanks require weekly servicing by Marborg
Disposal which drives an oversized tank truck out on the pier to pump them
Recently the concrete holding tanks at El Capitan State Park
were ordered closed by the California Coastal Commission for fear
of leakage though they were hundreds of yards removed from the water and
not suspended directly over it as is the case as Goleta.
Anticipating the eventual closure of our bathrooms and envisioning
other possible uses I did a bit of research to see how many piers in California
actually had bathrooms. I contacted Ken Jones, president of United
Pier and Shore Anglers of California , and the
acknowledged expert on California Piers.
Ken emailed me with this list:
From the above I concluded that of the 28 public piers in California
over 1000' in length Goleta is the only non-commercial pier that provides
public restrooms both on the pier itself as well as at it's foot.
The vast majority (10 out of 12) of the non-commercial piers
have bathrooms only at the foot of the pier. Indeed, several of the
piers that cater to tourists do not have public restrooms at all.
As far as can be determined Goleta is the only public pier in California
with unplumbed restrooms.
So the question is does the County really need to incur
the additional expense of running sewage pipes out on the pier in order
to plumb the existing bathrooms? I've been told by Park Staff that such
a run would probably require additional pumping capacity as well.
If not - is there a better non-commercial
use for the existing structure?
Watched a couple of young men park and feed
the pigeons while they were eating takeout from McD's. Suddenly the passenger
lept out screaming and gesticulating wildly in an apparent effort to frighten
the accumulated flock.
More leftover food was put out and the
flock settled down again. Now it was the driver's turn ... leaning out
the window with a hideous grimace he emited a shriek heard from one end
of the lot to the other. Again the birds took flight and again more food
was put out.
This time however they backed the car up
and let the birds settle down in front of them. A quick tap on the horn
to get the flock airborn and then, putting pedal to metal, they hurtled
forward into the scattering birds. Fortunately for them no birds were hit.
And of course they left their garbage behind.
Questions or comments? ... email Pierhead
Copyright © 2007 by Boyd Grant. All Rights Reserved