Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 489: Say good bye to SEALtheBeach

Day #489 * Hike #552 * New Track #491
Sunday March 18, 2012
Carpinteria Salt Marsh - Carpinteria, California

Carpinteria State Beach
Harbor Seals
My Tripometer: 2 Hours * 3 Miles * +75 Feet

**What a crazy month of March!  I was dreadfully ill, Alyssa Broke her arm, I had to boot out my tennant from my condo and then paint and recarpet the condo, intense work environment trying to save our client, weather has been crappy and I am going on vacation tomorrow!

Good news is, Alyssa is finally in a cast and healing, the condo is rented, I closed the month strong at work and I'm going on vacation tomorrow.  I haven't really done much planning yet and I am definately not packed, but I'll get there.  I just watched my Buckeyes lose - Horrible!  But to be expected coming from Ohio.

So lets see, I havent been on this blog in 2 weeks but this is what's happening.  After the Palm Springs trip, I misplaced my camera.  On day 489, I visited the Harbor Seals from Carpenteria State Beach.  I've walked around these lines and was content calling today a duplicate but I decided to work to the north along the beach.  I went as far as I could until I reached the tide.  Still, it was crossable so I took off the shoes and tramped to the other side where the reach a rocky island.  More fascinating was the Carpenteria Salt Marsh that took over the land.  I wandered a bit, explored and said, I have to come back with a camera.  There was a hidden beach cove in the distance but I did not see any legit trails...

By the way, the Seals are doing excellent.  They are still very protected this time of year but my website is not.  I really havn't done any promoting other than writing about it on this blog.  I gather people really don't care, I don't have the time to really take this to the next step so I am going to let this site go.  I am not renewing it and by the time I come back from Washington State, the website will be history :(

For the sake of saving the info, I am copying and pasting the relavant info here:

Seal the Beach
Supporting historic usage of the bluff top trails and full time beach closure near Casitas Pier to protect the Harbor Seal Preserve in Carpinteria, California.

For more than a century, Pacific Harbor Seals have chosen the coves beneath the Carpinteria Bluffs to birth their pups.  Since 1988, rights activists have made it possible to protect this natural habitat by closing a quarter mile section of beach pursuant to Carpinteria Municipal Code § 12.24.090. The beach closure is in effect from December 1st - May 31st.  The SEALtheBeach campaign has been formed to obtain year round beach closure which will help protect the Seal Sanctuary entirely.

How You Can Help?   
We are asking the public to get involved by signing the PETITION and/or helping through donation.

Immediate Objectives:

  • Petition the California Coastal Commission for year round beach closure
  • Create Public Awareness about the Sanctuary 
  • Grant Bluff Top Trail Easements

Evidence has determined that the Pacific Harbor Seal will return to this rookery every year to birth their pups between December and May.  The pups are born with a thin layer of skin and they need time to build up enough fat blubber to conquer the cold ocean waters.  Seals are skittish by nature and if they feel threatened or are disturbed, it would not be uncommon for the mother seal to abandon her pup.  It is imperative that the public respects the beach closure to ensure the survival of the Harbor Seal.   

Opposition:There is no group or organization opposing the Beach Closure.  However, the California Coastal Commision currently allows the public to trek this portion of beach from June to November.  Inadequate information to the contrary results in human interference over this sacred passage.  There are miles of accessible beach on either side of Casitas Pier.  Moreover, bluff top trails allow for passing without disruption to the sanctuary.  Private Property owners may appeal at anytime the full time usage of these historic trails.  Therefore we must have their acceptance and/or file for easements to allow the public to pass legally. 

More Concerns:

The pier that appears beyond the Sanctuary is operated by Venoco, Inc.  This is private property and the public may not trespass across the pier.  Essentially, it is a very active oil pier.  Thus, the beach below is not glamorous in anyway.  This is not a secluded section of beach where one should desire to have a romantic picnic, nor is it a safe place to bring your children.  That said, the picture below describes the OPEN section of beach to the east that is not being challenged.  These coves are equally as dangerous, especially during high-tide, but they are far enough away from the seals to prevent any disturbance.

      The Rookery

      Directions to Sanctuary:Parking and viewing of the Seals is absolutely FREE to the Public.  Approximately 20 minutes North of Ventura or 15 minutes South of Santa Barbara, exit the 101 Freeway at Bailard Avenue.  Turn toward the Ocean and drive straight into the Parking area.  The view point is about a half mile hike with no elevation gain/loss from the parking lot.  For hiking details and/or alternate ways to reach the sanctuary, CLICK HERE.

      Long Term Objectives:
      • Construct a Safer Viewpoint
      • Full-time Monitoring of Beach Closure
      • Expand Signage and Awareness
      • Public Restroom Facility
      • Bridge or Tunnel to Cross Train Tracks
      • Purchase and Donation of Adjacent Property
      • Donate a Seal Themed Playground


      The picture above describes the condition of the beach to the West of the Sanctuary during Low-Tide.  The problem is, a few hours later High-Tide will roll in and the picture to left is a great example of the difficulty one would have to trek back to the opening in the bluff.  The picture below reflects the beach condition between the tides beyond the East end of the pier.  As you can see, if you enter this quarter-mile section of beach at the wrong time, you could become trapped because there is no escape.  The Carpinteria Fire Department commonly trains off the bluff to the east side of the pier, away from the seals, in case of such an emergency.

      Harbor Seals & Trails:

      • Learn how you can save 10% at local businesses by clicking on the SEAL CLUB CARD.  Best of all, it's FREE!
      • If you are a business owner and would like to participate in the Seal Club Card program, advertise on this website and/or local brochures, please click: PARTICIPATE
      • Click on SEAL TREASURES for fun facts about seals and mystery adventure games for children and adults of all ages at local parks.
      • For the most recent updates or to comment about this program, please visit our BLOG
      • To help this program by signing the petition and/or donation, please click: DONATIONS & PETITION
      • For more information regarding this program and how funds will be allocated, please click: HARBOR SEALS & TRAILS

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