One of the most beautiful things you can see while surfing are the animals and the natural habitat that they live in. We forget that the real locals are the animals that have been living on this planet for 1000s of years. The human race is a young one and it saddens me to see such beautiful creatures steadily die off due to man made obstruction and disturbance of their environment. Being a surfer I’ve grown to love nature more and more every day.
This weekend I head to Davenport, CA 1.5 hours from San Francisco.
Davenport is a town located within Santa Cruz County and was named after a whaling captain John Pope Davenport. – Wikipedia With a population of 408, the town is known for its bluffs and scenic coastline.
If you’re in the Bay Area, this is one of the most beautiful uninhabited locations in Northern California and is listed as an important bird breeding area with amazing surf and scenic views of the coastline. Here’s a report on what to expect while surfing at Davenport Beach.
On my surf adventures, Northern California offers some pretty rad conditions that are abundant in wildlife. I’ve seen Humpback whales surface and playfully jump into the air while surfing at Linda Mar. I’ve seen dolphins swim with the waves and pop up 2 feet in front of me at Salmon Creek Beach. I’ve seen seals appear before my surfboard nose and quickly dive back down to disappear. I’ve seen sea otters happily snacking on seaweed while surfers paddle around them at Pleasure Point. As young as my surf life is, I hope to see and experience more for as long as I live.
However, our world is dying before our eyes. Climate change and global warming, waste and toxic chemical spills, human disturbance such as lights, traffic and the way we groom and manage our beaches, fishing lines all affect the ecosystem.
While waiting for a wave in the line up, I was amazed at what I saw. Brown Pelicans flew in packs and grouped themselves in V-Shape, like fighter planes finding their next target. When I got home I decided to learn and understand them more. I was surprised, Brown Pelicans are at risk and were once placed on the endangered species list, they nearly went extinct. Brown Pelicans are native to the California’s coastline and reproduce in Mexico and Southern California, 20% US Brown Pelican breeding are on the Channel Islands (Anne Weinstein, Audubon).They are 1 of 2 types of pelicans to hunt by diving. These birds have been registered as a protected species in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They were once endangered from DDT chemical spills, but have made a recovery because of conservation. In a recent Audubon survey conducted on October 2016, there are only 71,000 nesting pairs, total of 141,000 breeding birds along the Pacific Coast, still a very small population. They are at risk due to over fishing, human disturbance and chemical spills. You can view Audubon’s survey report here.
Watch how these Brown Pelicans fly right by me and begin to form a V-shaped pack.
If you love the environment and the animals that depend on it, please stop and think about how you can protect it.
The next time you’re thinking about littering, don’t. If you’re shopping for household items support environmentally friendly made products. Do the right thing, help keep our beaches clean and beautiful for generations to come.
For more information on how you can participate in the protection California’s coastline visit, http://ca.audubon.org/ and https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown_Pelican/id