Tuesday, May 28, 2013

habitat ~ 05/28/13 ~ Monterey Municipal Beach

May 28, 2013

Considering our two incredible grunion greeting nights, Dr. Karen Martin wanted to make sure our City's beach maintenance crew knew not to groom where the grunion eggs are safely nestled in the moist sand of the highest tide line.  Yeah, you read that right, as in beach grooming.  I had to chuckle a little bit, because this is Monterey and we're a little more casual about such things. Karen hails from Malibu, where the likes of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson run around flashing toned and tanned bodies for Hollywood cameras. With all that flashiness down in SoCal, apparently the beaches also get the star spa treatment... which is bad news for grunion eggs.  After a few phone calls and e-mails, I think we're set in making sure our local grunion eggs are not disturbed until they hatch when the next highest tides return with the new moon.

Even with the assurances from City Parks Division and City Public Works, I was a little worried children would have dug huge forts in the sand during the warm weather holiday as I've seen them so often do, so I stopped by the Municipal Beach before lunch to see the beach conditions for myself. Phew! It looks like nothing untoward has happened to the hot spot of hidden grunion eggs. I could be wrong, but I think the only time our crew grooms the beach is before the winter storms and they use a bulldozer to create a massive sand barricade in front of the Rec Trail.

Other than 2 blog posts on crow and sea lettuce and godwit, willet, gull, my numerous photos of Monterey Municipal Beach are dark, fuzzy, and often moonlit from many nights of grunion greeting. So, here are a few pics taken in the daylight for my habitats documentation.  I added additional names in the ID above, because this beach is often mistaken for the others.  In fact, I called this Del Monte Beach in most of my older grunion greeting posts.  Nope.  It's all really a continuous stretch of exposed sand curving northeast, but with very different slope and wave conditions and managed by different agencies. We tried grunion greeting at Monterey State Beach once, but it was extremely dangerous, especially in the dark.

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