The Beach


Author: Bell

Ventura State Beach


Photo by: Roscoe Foto


Photo by: Latitude Fine Arts Academy


Lens: Climate, Weather and Ecosystems

This beach is extremely iconic due to its culture and community, but I want to focus more on the damage that has been caused by extreme weather conditions. This has affected the environment and the ecosystems that thrive here for many years. In December 1995, Ventura Pier experienced the worse storm in centuries and was badly damaged by twenty-foot waves. Fast forward to December 2015, and this beach and its historical landmark is still here, but being violently hit by massive storm. The pier was damaged again and some of the pillars underneath were broken. The beach ecosytems are at risk when there is such a dangerous surf. The impact leads to beach erosion, transporting and deposition of sediments, and coastal flooding. The bottom of the ocean floor near the beaches changed significantly from sandy bottom to a rocky bottom. This affects the animals and microorganisms  that live and feed here. When I visited this beach after the storm, there were rocks everywhere, covering the sand for miles. The waves had deposited so many rocks here that the beach was completely unusable fo recreational activities. The city did have trucks come in to move the boulders off the beach so that it could be open for use again.  Many people were attracted to the area to see the aftermath of the storm and what changes has occurred. After visiting again, in 2018, the beach has not quite recovered from the storms and it possibly never will. Especially if these type of weather systems continue to hit Ventura Beach as bad as they have in the past. I’m sure that with climate change and global warming increasing, rip currents will become stronger and the waves will be more massive, and the damage to property and the beach environment will rise drastically. However, if you haven’t visited this beach, I highly recommend it. There is camping, surfing, walking along the boardwalk to Surfer’s Point, lots of restaurants, and of course the historical pier that has withstood the many elements nature has to offer.

Photo by: Ventura River Ecosytem

Photo by: Colesse Bell

Photo by: Colesse Bell

Photo by: Colesse Bell

Leo Carrillo State Park

Lens: Biological, Environmental, Educational, and Community

This trip was a Channel Islands University and RJ Frank Middle School collaboration called B-Wet. This project was being conducted in order to have a teaching opportunity with younger students. By splitting up into groups according to each activity, each student is given a hands-on opportunity to gain knowledge and demonstration of environmental issues occurring in tide pools, streams, and vegetation on this beach. My group went on a nature hike by the sea cliffs. We also discussed different types of birds species with the students and had them shout out what they thought certain bird species were. The second and third activity took place in the tide pools. We used grids placed over a designated area in the tide pool where certain species could be found. There were crabs, sea anemone, starfish, and sea cucumber. The next activity was a scavenger hunt to discover different sea creatures down the shoreline. The last activity was a journey upstream, looking at rock formations and a variety of vegetation that transports rocks into their deposit sites. Also looking at the erosion preocesses over a period of time, allowing for the students to envision what it once looked like before droughts. Overall, this experience is one I will remember forever. Teaching kids about the environment around them and how they can be apart of the solution was truly amazing. I would suggest everyone to visit this beach and take in its true beauty.





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