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~  Pierheads's ~
Goleta Pier Log

PFIC Get-Together, Goleta Pier,  July 2003.  Photo credit:  Rich Reano, webmaster,

Volunteer Time:
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

January 8th, 2009:

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 activity. 

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 burn areas.

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 own.

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 
at Goleta.

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 the same 
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 
east beach. 

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. The seagull's 
injuries required transportation to another facility in the Los Angeles 

January 11th, 2009:

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 motor died.

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 shore. 

January 12th, 2009:

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.

January 25th, 2009:

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 it required.

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 washer. 

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 effort. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank the two individuals who were responsible for implementing and overseeing this new effort:

Erik Axelson
South County Deputy Director
Santa Barbara County Parks
(805) 681-5651
Richard Lindley
Park Operations Manager
Santa Barbara County Parks
(805) 681-5653
I am sure they both would enjoy hearing from the many Pier visitors who appreciate a clean Pier!
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