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Mile 218 Report
November 3, 2012
Following an abnormally busy summer on Mile 218 with hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to see the Japanese tsunami dock, autumn finds the beach returning to normal.
Following an abnormally busy summer on Mile 218 with hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking to see the Japanese tsunami dock, autumn finds the beach returning to normal. This season’s first large surf has begun encroaching into the dune field. The wrack line shows the result of recent wave action with an ample supply of bull kelp, sea palm, feather boa, eelgrass and surfgrass. Deceased birds today included a couple of common murres and a northern fulmar. Alive and preparing for their migration south was a group of about a dozen brown pelicans standing near the surf line (see photo). I rarely see these immense birds on the beach except near migration time. This close to Yaquina Head and its many offshore rocks, the pelicans usually roost there instead. There were about ten people bundled up and walking the sand this morning in the drizzle and light southerly wind. At the north end of Mile 218, evidence of last year’s storms and erosion is still prevalent. There was no new dune-building over the summer, so the surf is able to crash full force against the sea cliffs. This is something I’ll be watching over the winter as I expect additional erosion without the buffering foredune. In the photo, the entire area from my position with the camera to the rocky beach and drift-logs in the distance was over six feet higher until the storms of last winter washed the foredune completely away. Big Creek, in the foreground, is now running parallel to the sea cliffs and exits to sea through the Yaquina Head tidepools. All in all, this section of Mile 218 is a very different place than it was a year ago.
Temperature: 53 F. Cloud Cover: Rain. Wind Velocity: Calm/Light. Wind Direction: S. Tide Level: 4.0 feet.
Number of people: 10. Walking or running: 8. Playing in surf: 2.
Cars/trucks parking: 5.
Brown pelicans, western gulls
Total dead birds: 3. Two common murres, one northern fulmar
Seaweeds and seagrass, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt), Land-based debris (picnics, etc.), Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.), Marine debris (plastic, styrofoam, etc. washing in from the sea), Shells, Small rocks, Wood pieces.
Erosion of vegetated foredune, Visible retreat of solid bluff.
All Mile 218 Reports
*** Watch Note *** This is my first documentation of Mile 218 (Agate Beach) and I will use today's report as a baseline for reporting future changes.
Very few people on the beach; most of them arrived just prior to sunset (which was beautiful).