On this December afternoon, I had the pleasure of revisiting another beach located in my own back yard. This pier, these lots, and these waves smell like nostalgia.
With my ripe ecological/marine knowledge, I was able to observe this beach with new lenses.
It was a particularly-windy-smokey-kind-of-dangerous day; however, there were still plenty of people walking about the pier, fishing, and enjoying the view. I figured fishing at this time would not be ideal considering the danger in the air (quite literally) and the effect it would have on our local beaches, even further away from Ventura. It was comforting to see more seagulls about the beach despite the weather conditions, seeing them wasn’t a sort of sign that to assured better things were coming normality would come soon. Aside from the dense air, the pier looked as usual. Kind of sturdy, willing to stand on its own two feet but still sort of out dated. The sand at this location has always been “unpleasant” for me. This beach is, and has been, in rough shape. Picnic tables and swing sets serve as an inviting llave to reunite with family members and host events. The problem is that the users of these public facilities do feel includied to tidy up after themselves. Another contributer to this issue is the growing population of homeless adults in the area. Although I am not implying this effects any aesthetic value, or that these are then only obstructors of cleanliness, but these individuals may contribute to the problem and may be severely not affected if the only place of comfort for them is surrounded by garbage. The waves were moving with the wind, and the wind picked up litter all along the short. It seems as though there’s a strip of land before the shoreline dedicated to holding litter.
I’m disappointed that the community has not made efforts to keep this beautiful beach healthy. The area isn surrounded in homes and apartments, meaning that people are willing to pay market price for beach living, but the ecological price is overlooked. I think many would agree that the area should come together and value the diverse system in their back yard.
Although I aimed to leave my comfort zone and travel to a new beach, I decided to post about the first beach to ever steal my heart. Mandalay beach park has a reputation for being the venue of special events: weddings, birthdays, commencement, baby showers and gender reveal parties. On this Thursday afternoon, it was the venue for recreational sports under the afternoon sun.
Although I’m not a scientist, I’ve always been attracted to the diversity of life on a beach. The plants growing along always catch your attention as you’re on your way to shore, and they’re all so distinct. They say all these local beaches look the same by every side has something special about them. Mandalay is distinct because of the dunes and vegetation diversity.
During this trip, a group of women were participating in a yoga class. When visiting this park, you always see the park portion jam packed with soccer, volleyball, or even badminton. The sun was just starting to set, and we decided to look for some crabs in the sand. The weather must’ve scared them away because no matter how deep the hole, or how far along down the shore, we could not find a single crab. We started to notice some birds picking at something in the sand, but we decided observe and see if they had scored anything. They didn’t.
There was a little of everything going on. The community was taking advantage of the weather and their local beach to come together, spend time with family, or spend time with the ocean. This beach has always felt like home; although I didn’t know anyone else on that beach, we were all there because we know that beach on a personal basis.
This beach is peculiar, too. It’s serene and desolate until you realize you’re in someone’s backyard…and down a couple miles there’s a visibly active power plant. The sands are wide enough to forget they’re there.
I’ll be back sooner than later, I really enjoy this beach in particular. However, I’m hoping I make the trip to see something new down the golden coast.
I had the pleasure of experiencing my first beach clean up earlier this month with active support from community members. I had attended one before in 2014; the differences between these events were that the first was gloomy and a desperate attempt at some extra credit and this one was on a beautiful day with a real goal in mind.
I have always loved my local beaches; however, I don’t remember ever having a place in my heart for marine life. After a couple of lectures in this ESRM course, I realized that beaches are really vulnerable to humans. I saw this for myself at the beach clean up day. The day started as a competition: fellow classmate Edson Flores happens to be my partner in crime and life long competitor. He and I decided that the one with the most trash in the buckets gets to pick what we had for lunch. Thirty minutes after this, I found myself in the same crevice digging up old cigarette butts and empty bottles of whatever. This whole time I was watching people clean up after someone else’s party at the same beach I drive to for some quality time with myself.
It was stunning to see how disregarded this area was. The Ventura Harbor isn’t the only beach in the county, or even the city, so it was a little melancholic towards the end of the day.
This beach is right next to a visitor center, and it bummed me out that Ventura County displays its’ beautiful beaches in such rough shape. Hours later we filled our buckets and he bought lunch (ha!)
Aside from the reality check I got from cleaning up my home, I was thrilled that so many people turned out for this. Many organizations brought their partners and friends and families to support this event, and they’re likely all fans of our beaches as well. I felt better knowing there was a large pool of people interested in the beach’s well being, aside from regular summer attendees.
This beach is smooth and calm, and likely attracts many local families. The surf culture in Ventura is extraordinary and growing by the year. With that being said, I would imagine more people would be interested in participating in these events and show up more than once a year for it. I’ll definitely be attending more often.