Breakwater blues

Cormorants Now is the time of year that I start visiting the Coast Guard breakwater in Monterey Harbor to watch the sea lions and cormorants battle for dominance of the rocks. The Brandt’s cormorants typically win and nest on the breakwater until their young fledge in the summer. It’s always been a great urban spot for wildlife watching. NewBreakwaterFenceUnfortunately, I won’t be seeing much this year because a new fence has been installed (it’s in addition to the old one), and there’s no longer access to the premier wildlife viewing end of the breakwater. I don’t know if the fence is temporary or permanent. It may be related to repair work the Coast Guard wants to do to the dock. Or, the fishing that occurs close to that end. Maybe it’s due to harassment of the wildlife. It would be a shame if the carelessness of a few people has ruined respectful enjoyment by the rest of us. I need to ask around about this new addition. (Update: I learned from the Coast Guard that the fence is permanent and is to keep anglers from fishing too close to the birds and sea lions.)

CormorantSo for now, no one can see what’s happening on the breakwater rocks unless they’re in a boat. Since this discovery, I have the blues, and I’m sure visitors and anglers who frequent the breakwater do too. It’s so sad to lose such a great spot for watching the annual cycle of life.

About Chris Parsons

A science writer/educator exploring and sharing nature with words and photos to connect, inspire and conserve.
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