President's Tern

Happy New Year
By Jerry Donohue

December is always an exciting month for me. Yes, there are holiday celebrations galore but the ducks have returned to Bolsa Chica on their seasonal migration and a natural regularity has set in. Besides the 94 species and 5349 individuals surveyed on December 9, a wayward Long-tailed Duck was spotted, as was the endangered Burrowing Owl. Brown Pelicans have kept photographers busy from the south walking bridge, and White Pelicans have been seen in unusually large numbers.

Our monthly gardening program, under the guidance of Rachael Lloyd, has blossomed into a multi-faceted event that includes identification of both invasive and native species that students try to identify. The Environmental Service Club from Segerstrom High School provides the majority of the help that allows this educational program to prosper. Birds, FLOW, and marine mammals are among the other components involved.

We now are close to completing our fourth year taking ocean/wetland samples every Friday in the FLOW program. We traveled to USC HABWatch Lab in September to see high tech equipment and enthusiastic university personnel. Thanks to Gwen Noda and Melanie Cox for managing this program and Joana Tavares, Curriculum Developer, for educating us in the exciting microscopic world of plankton.

Amigos has taken a leadership role in the State Lands Commission's attempt to find funding for annual dredging in the Full Tidal Basin. Shirley Dettloff has been the point person as we attempt to inform the public of this critical need. If the channel silts and the tidal fluctuation is impeded, we are left with a compromised ecosystem. You will be hearing more about this topic in the coming year.

We are networking with other State Beach Co-ops to better serve our Bolsa Chica State Beach partnership. We have had several meetings and find these discussions helpful in our attempt to further the interpretative efforts of state personnel at Bolsa Chica State Beach.

Thanks to all of our volunteers who have helped us throughout the year at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and Bolsa Chica State Beach. In our hectic lives, beautiful open spaces allow us room to slow down and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.