Bolsa Chica Update (2)

I returned to Bolsa Chica Monday and, after sleeping on it, am ready to express a little relief.  For those not keeping track, the “>Bolsa Chica Wetlands Restoration project reached an important milestone a few days ago: the wetlands were joined with the Pacific for the first time in over a hundred years in the early morning hours of August 24th. I’ve been a little leery of the short term impact of the project. Indeed, I skipped my Saturday morning surfing trip to Bolsa Chica following the breeching of the levee that kept the wetlands and the Pacific separated and was out of town last weekend. By Tuesday, however, I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms (easily agitated, snapping at the Wife and the Daughter) so I took the day off and went surfing at my usual spot at Bolsa Chica. Each year the start of school year accomplishes what my dire warnings can’t: it clears the beach. When I arrived there were two other surfers off the 100 yard stretch of beach I usually frequent — as opposed to nearly a hundred in the late morning on a typical summer weekend.

The real test, however, is the next day. During the winter — when there’s more rain and therefore runoff — I often wake up the next morning congested with a low grade sinus infection. On the worst days I wake up in the middle of the night so heavily congested I feel like my head is in a bucket of tar. And there’s the rash on my shoulder that occasionally flares up. This morning, though, I woke up feeling fine. So while I wait for Surfrider to update their testing results, I’m back in the water. Of course my recommendation is that everyone else thinks twice about returning to Bolsa Chica. Think about Steve Irwin and the stingrays at Bolsa Chica. Think about the prospects of 100 years of accumulated duck shit washing out into the surf zone. For you kids: stay in school, get an education and leave the off season to the old guys like me.

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