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Mile 220 Report
June 2, 2019
This report was filed primarily to note observation of black oystercatchers feeding/hanging out on rocks exposed by low tides on this mile.
This report was filed primarily to note observation of black oystercatchers feeding/hanging out on rocks exposed by low tides on this mile. On June 1, I observed between 4-6 black oystercatchers, on June 2, 2-4. I haven't been seeing them often on this mile in the past year or so I believe it's because of the increasing number of people w/dogs (often unleashed and too often unsupervised/allowed to harass shorebirds). At this time the # of human visitors is somewhat limited because the NW 68th Street access is closed to enable the city of Newport to replace the pumping station (or the pump) for its sewage treatment system at NW 68th Street. The intertidal zone rocks are located off the beach near the NW 68th street access. My visits occurred from 3 to approximately 5 pm. Low tides at South Beach were 5:35pm, 2.3', and 6:17pm, 2.5' respectively. I walked from north of Yaquina Head to Moolack shores. 1/4 mile south of Moolack shores I saw several youngish (20's) people w/2 dogs that they permitted to chase seagulls again & again & again. However, they did keep their dogs from harassing my dog when I leashed my dog to walk by them. On Saturday, it was foggy, windy (up to 30 mph or so) & a bit chilly on the beach, on Sunday, partly sunny & warmer, mild breeze. On Sunday, I observed illegal campers (camping on the beach is illegal w/in the city limits of Newport, however this rule is rarely enforced), the campers were also violating a state park rule by building a campfire in an area w/trees (mostly dead trees). The latter rule is also rarely enforced. The campers were not far from the base of the north side of Yaquina Head, near NW 56th-NW 58th streets (if those streets ran all the way down to the beach), or definitely within the Newport city limits. Beach looked pretty clean both days. To all those who visit the beaches on this mile, please respect the need of shorebirds, some of whom are nesting/raising their young at Yaquina Head, to feed on species on exposed rocks or the sand (mole crabs, etc) and GIVE THEM PLENTY OF SPACE, to go about their lives. Please don't let your dog(s) get anywhere near them, let alone chase them and don't chase or get close to them yourself. The beach is a fun place for you, for the birds, it's where they forage for food for themselves, for their young, rest and in the fresh water, bathe.
Temperature: 50 F. Cloud Cover: Foggy. Wind Velocity: Moderate. Wind Direction: N. Tide Level: 4.0 feet.
Children climbing up bluffs. See above note re: illegal camping on beach/building a fire an area w/trees.
Fire, Climbing bluffs/seastacksApparent violations: People illegally camping on beach near Yaquina Head had built a fire in a treed/dead treed area. This report is for Saturday & Sunday (june 1 & june 2), observed people camping on Sunday. In the past, city of Newport police and state parks have refused to respond to reports of people camping in this area. Children were climbing on bluffs..
Disturbances: Shorebirds moving in response to humans/dogs
Cars/trucks parking: 5.
Observed 3 to 6 black oystercatchers on June 1, 2-4 on June 2nd. Same location, both days, on parallel rock outcrops exposed at low tides. Very pleased to see these birds, I haven't seen any in months. At this time the beach access at NW 68th street in Newport is closed while repair/replacement of the city's sewage system pumping station at NW 68th street is done. This seems to have provided birds like black oystercatchers a much needed moratorium on those human visitors & their dogs who clamber on the rocks when a low tide exposes them, displacing birds like black oystercatchers, seagulls and other birds that find food on those exposed rocks & the various intertidal species that live on the rocks.
Stranded Marine Mammals
On Saturday< I observed a sign on this mile that cautioned people not to approach or touch any animals seen on the beach, to keep their pets leashed & well away from these animals. I saw no stranded or dead animal though but perhaps there had been one. Not seen a sign of that type on this beach before.
Seaweeds and seagrass, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt), Wood pieces, Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.).
Steps down bluff. RV park/Pacific Shores motor resort, has contructed yet another set of railings & steps going down to the beach. The bluff underlying the west border of the RV park/resort continues to erode noticeably. There is also a new set of steps to the beach just south of the Moolack shores hotel, from one of two large houses ("really it'll be a private home, it's not a VRD really," permitted construction that's been a VRD ever since it was built, oh probably 6 to 10 years ago). The previous beach access stairway was partially destroyed, I think perhaps 2 (or 3?) years ago. Also noted some additional bluff erosion around NE 73rd/74th street area.
New riprap or shoreline protection structures. Not sure if it's new or old rip rap that's been exposed & dropped onto the beach by bluff erosion, but I saw what looked like riprap both in front of the blue VRD south of Moolack shores hotel & on the bluff that the Moolack Shore hotel sits on.
Landslides/major boulder falls, Visible retreat of solid bluff.
Actions & Comments
Again, the primary purpose fo this report is my observation of up to 6 black oystercatchers feeding/hanging on on rocks exposed by low tides on June 1 & June 2. However, I also observed continued erosion of the beach bluffs from north of Yaquina Head to Moolack Shores. It may be that erosion accelerated last winter on some parts of this mile. Both of my visits were after 3pm, and I left the beach between 4:30 & 5pm.
All Mile 220 Reports
A large amount of debris, 7 large wood/foam panels and lots of pieces of all sizes of foam.
New sign up at the Schooner South beach access off 68th St warning of Contaminated waters.
Started off chilly but the sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day on 220!
Continued changes on 220 due to the rains, high tides and normal loss of sand in winter.
Including photos of a black plastic pipe sticking out of Mile 220 bluff and odd milky fluid coming out of bluff and over rocks.