O Dark Thirty

The sun had yet to rise for dawn and a steady trickle of volunteers made their pilgrimage down to the tidepools.  Their quest: to help remove trash from the rocky intertidal area at Cabrillo.  The -0.9 low tide at 6:11am not only allowed easier access to the trash but allowed the volunteers a unique experience: early morning within Cabrillo National Monument’s amazing tidepools without the bustle of visitors.  After tea, coffee, and a morning snack, volunteers equipped themselves with buckets, litter pickers, and trash cans then headed to the water’s edge. With slow and deliberate steps the crew hauled out trash and observed animal behavior in the rocky intertidal area of the park.

VIP Michael M. hauling trash.
VIP Michael M. hauling trash.

Some of the animals volunteers observed were lobsters, leopard sharks, eel, keyhole limpets and sea hares as well as a variety of sea birds on the hunt.  It was a peaceful experience and a great way to start the morning.

rescued lobster
Rescued lobster

The group of 16 volunteers and two Park staff collect over 400 pounds of trash and rescued three lobsters during the 2.5 hour clean-up.  Trash included common items like shoes, Styrofoam of all varieties, plastic bottles, lobster traps and the more unique items like an engine block.  However, not all of the trash ended up in the dumpster; lobster traps and plastic bottles ended in recycling bins and some items saved to be reused by an Artist-In-Residence.

Cheers to Officer Heller and VIP Sean for organizing the event and making it happen, and to all the VIPs who came out for the morning work. Our early birds definitely got the worm!

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