2006 (total): 103 days, 169.00 hours
2007 (total): 238 days, 425.75 hours
2008 (total): 254 days, 641.85 hours
2009 (total): 27 days, 91.75 hours
This month has seen an increase in the number of dead
and dying Pelicans both here
at Goleta and along the coast from Baja to Oregon. Although
the birds are
showing signs of confusion usually associated with domoic acid
(red tide) poisoning they do not exhibit the typical resultant seizure
Birds have been sent for toxicological testing and the results
are expected within
a week. Current conjecture is that they may be ingesting
fire suppressant chemicals
in the runoff from the recent storms over last years major coastal
This morning there were four dead Pelicans on the beach.
Interestingly all are
adults whereas this time of year typically sees juveniles who
weren't successful in transitioning from the nest to foraging on their
I called the County's attention to the problem last month and
they responded with
six additional signs which list contact numbers for reporting
birds in distress.
These signs are mounted in redwood frames under Plexiglas and
were installed on
the railings along the Pier this morning. That makes a
total of seven such signs
The signs, in Spanish and English, also stress the importance
of not feeding
seabirds and give tips to reduce the number of birds attracted
to the Pier
which subsequently become entangled in fishing line and hooks.
The Angler Center is also stocked with bilingual pamphlets stressing
theme ... over one hundred have been left with visitors to the
Center since it
opened in September.
Update 1-10-09: Twelve Pelicans were found dead on the
beach at Goleta today.
Three on the west side of the Pier and the other nine near the
Slough on the
A sick Pelican was found on the Pier along with a seagull with
an injured leg
... both were taken to the Wildlife Care Network's facilities
in the Goleta
foothills where June Taylor reports the Pelican is doing well.
injuries required transportation to another facility in the
This afternoon around 3pm I noticed three
young men jump off the Pier in the hoist
area and swim to a small inflatable which
earlier had launched from the shore and crossed under the Pier to wait
for them. The boat then proceeded east for a short distance until it's
For the next hour they tried to restart
the motor to no avail while the boat drifted
on down towards Hope Ranch. By then it
was within an hour of darkness and I could see through binoculars that
none of the boat occupants had personal flotation devices as required by
law. Three of the occupants only had on swim shorts and the two small paddles
aboard were not enough to make headway against the current back to the
Pier though they tried.
I called the local Park Ranger for advice
and he said if I felt they were in danger
(he had observed them shortly after three
pm and felt they were not in distress at
that time) I could call the Fire Department.
After consulting with two experienced boaters we all agreed it was better
to be safe than sorry and so the authorities were alerted.
Several engines and other vehicles were
dispatched and a fireman on a paddle board
made contact and escorted them back to
Had a request in for a MuttMitt dispenser
for several months and finally located an available unit from the County.
I installed it on the outside door of the
Angler Center this morning. My expectation is that it will go a long way
towards reducing those unexpected surprises that Pier
strollers have had to put up with for
several years now.
I also hope to encourage Pier anglers to
use the bags to cover their fishing baits which have served to attract
seagulls and Pelicans to the Pier.
One of UPSAC's main objectives
when we voluntarily started cleaning the Pier in the mornings back in August
2006 was to insure that the visitors to the Pier would not be deterred
by the heavy accumulation of guano that encrusted the railings, benches,trash
cans and decking.
As we began that task we discovered that reducing the various
seabirds access to carelessly discarded bait and leftover food would
reduce the number of birds visiting the Pier looking for handouts.
Recently the County installed a number of signs to
that effect and we are beginning to see a reduction in deposits.
With the opening of the Angler Center in September the County
agreed to begin the task of cleaning the Pier on a regular basis but with
a limited budget for additional manpower the Pier did not get the attention
UPSAC made several suggestions including the creation, for the
first time, of several Park
Host positions here at the Park and the modification of an existing
Park utility vehicle to accommodate a large water holding tank and pressure
This week the County finally was able to commit to a regular
schedule of Pier cleaning and the above picture shows the results of that
I want to take this opportunity to thank the two individuals
who were responsible for implementing and overseeing this new effort:
I am sure they both would enjoy hearing from the many Pier visitors
who appreciate a clean Pier!