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Mile 300 Report
January 30, 2024
Most notable is the change in the bluffs.
Most notable is the change in the bluffs. Paths to the beach from the road that people used to use now end with a big drop! So there are also new user trails from the road to the beach. The amount of marine debris / trash / rope, etc. is distressing. The streams / drainage are wide and the water is rushing faster making them more precarious to cross. A large driftwood log had been sawed, probably earlier in the day as there was still sawdust on the beach.
Temperature: 60 F. Cloud Cover: Partly Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Calm/Light. Tide Level: 5.0 feet.
Number of people: 21. Number of dogs: 7. Walking or running: 18. Sitting: 3. Folks were walking their dogs, just enjoying the unseasonably warm day. One man sitting on a log (way out of the surf zone!) and two folks in chairs right near the end of Laneda, the main road in Manzanita, just watching the world.
Only three gulls on the beach today. Very quiet!
Total dead birds: 20. At least 20 dead birds, many (most) were the Cassin's Auklets. I think that many of these are the same birds that I reported on previously. There were many bird parts.
Small rocks, Seaweeds and seagrass, Shells, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt), Wood pieces, Marine debris (plastic, styrofoam, etc. washing in from the sea), Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.). There is a shocking amount of small plastic marine debris. With the recents storms and high winter tides, it's more than I've ever seen. Lots of fishing ropes, bait labels, nurdles, lure parts, lids, etc. Multiple wrack lines all full of plastic.
Erosion of vegetated foredune, Visible retreat of solid bluff, Evidence of wave overtopping. Over the past month the bluffs have retreated / been washed out. Where it was previously a slope up the bluff, now there is a four foot or so ledge. Beach grass roots are visible, as are old buried trees jutting out from the newly exposed sand. There are numerous streams that drain onto the beach, and with the heavy rains they are wider and larger. There are more large driftwood logs deposited near the dunes, too.
All Mile 300 Reports
More than 30 mid-sized, dead birds of what looked like the same species and one sea gull and one crow. Not too much sea plastic - I picked up some of it. Large burnt stumps and logs were rolling around in the high tide. Farther south, the ocean has removed the dune and some of the paths end in a sand cliff now.
We had big storms the past few days! On just mile 300 there were at least 11 deceased Cassin's auklet. All the locals were talking about it.
It was a beautiful morning on the last day of the "bonus" king tides in November. The biggest shock was finding a deceased Peregrine Falcon!