Day 11 in our August fundraising Drive: So far we’ve raised $580 of our goal of $5000 by the end of the month. Your help is needed. Every donation helps. Thank you for being a part of this wildlife saving work!
Three years ago, August 2011, Bird Ally X began responding to fish-oil contaminated Brown Pelicans in Cresent City and Shelter Cove. Besides the 50 birds rescued, we noted that the infrastructure at both locations were the cause for the contamination. In November of that year we presented this information to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District. It seemed that the situation would be rectified. A positive aspect of this event was our partnership with Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, which eventually led to the unification of the two organizations.
Unfortunately, in 2012, it became obvious that the problems hadn’t been fixed. We ended up mounting a large response, treating over 250 Brown Pelicans out of our very small facility in Bayside. Trying to get the discharge pipe that was spewing fish waste into the water of Shelter Cove stopped was very frustrating. While some modifications were made, the outflow continued. It wasn’t until Brown Pelicans left the area and headed north that the contaminations stopped. (read about our 2012 efforts)
Now, two years later, we are happy to see that the Harbor District is taking its responsibility for the fish cleaning station at Shelter Cove seriously and moving forward to stop the discharge pipe. What follows is a news story from the Redwood Times that ran this Spring… We’re glad we were able play our part, with your support, in bringing these needed changes. Thank you for helping us meet our mission!
Harbor District meets with RID and the public in Shelter Cove
On Thursday, March 6 the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District met with the Shelter Cover Resort Improvement District and about 100 members of the public in Shelter Cove.
Jack Crider, chief executive officer of the Harbor District told the Redwood Times that the meeting addressed a variety of issues.
The Harbor District has a goal of eliminating the discharge pipe from the fish-cleaning table into the bay that has caused problems for the pelicans.
The first step is to eliminate the carcasses, Crider explained, and the next step would be to process the water from the fish-cleaning table and dispose of it in the resort district’s sewer system.
The solids separated from the water and carcasses can be frozen and sold as bait.
Crider said that over the last year the Department of Fish and Wildlife has finally acknowledged the district’s right to remove and sell the fish carcasses from the fish-cleaning table.
Since the harbor district first discussed the idea, Patrick O’Shea, of Shelter Cove, has entered into a lease agreement with David Mollett, the owner of Mario’s Marina that included the commercial boat-launching contract.
O’Shea intends to upgrade “the green building” that is in the middle of the parking lot at Mario’s. He plans to sell the frozen fish carcasses for bait and fresh, locally caught fish from the building. He has been in the process of obtaining permission from the Coastal Commission, Crider said.
Crider went on to say that the Harbor District’s easement covers the public access road down to the beach for recreation purposes, the breakwater, and technically the Harbor District owns the fish cleaning equipment. There have been some improvements made to the breakwater, but Crider said they are having some problems with sand that will require maintenance.
The Harbor District also has safety concerns with the public parking at the bottom of the beach access road. The district will post signs at the bottom to remind people not to park there.
He said that the Regional Water Quality Control Board has asked the district to test the beach sand and water in order to determine the impact of allowing cars to drive all over the beach. It will cost the district about $10,000 a year and take two or three years to yield results.