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News.bytes Extra, issue 490News.bytes graphic

California Coastal National Monument & Seabird Protection Network activities at Coastal Discovery Fair

For the sixth year in a row, BLM’s California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) hosted an outdoor booth at the Coastal Discovery Fair, held last Saturday at Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach in San Simeon located along San Luis Obispo County’s north coast. More than a dozen agencies and organizations participated in this day-long event and each had activities for kids. Adjoining the CCNM’s booth was the Seabird Protection Network Point Sur to Point Mugu Chapter’s booth.  This chapter of the Seabird Protection Network (SPN) is lead by the BLM with California State Parks, one of the CCNM’s Core-Managing Partners, coordinating the outreach portion. The SPN Point Sur to Point Mugu Chapter has been initiated by funding from an offshore oil spill restoration settlement and is being managed by the BLM's Hollister Field Office as part of its role related to the CCNM. (text continues below)

A young visitor proudly displays the personalized art work of her hand-colored pelican headband. 

At the BLM booth, CCNM Manager Rick Hanks and his wife Julie helped more than a hundred kids, young and old, color, cut, and assemble pelican headbands and/or make CCNM booklets adorned with rubber stamp images of rocks and islands related animal and plant life. They also handed out CCNM brochures and other CCNM items while discussing the CCNM and the BLM with dozens and dozens of event visitors.

At the Seabird Protection Network booth, Cara O’Brien, the project’s outreach coordinator and an interpretive specialist for the California State Parks’ San Luis Obispo Coast District, and Robin Chase, a State Parks interpretive aid, conducted a “Seabird Olympics” that involved a number of fun activities, including “fishing like a pelican,” “diving and fishing like a cormorant,” and “stabbing and hammering like a black oystercatcher.”  In addition, they gave out seabird field guides that included tips for safely viewing seabirds and they provide the opportunity for youngsters to earn junior ranger badges if they swore to help protect seabirds.

The fair is the annual celebration for the Coastal Discovery Center that is managed by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (a CCNM Collaborative Partner) in cooperation with California State Parks.  The Coastal Discovery Center serves as the CCNM’s visitor contact station for its Piedras Blancas-San Simeon Gateway initiative.

Of the dozens and dozens of pelican headbands made, this was among the most exotic. 

At times, the CCNM booth had as many as a half dozen kids making pelican headbands,

…while others made CCNM booklets decorated with their own drawing and rubber stamp images of animal and plant life, both marine and terrestrial, found on and around the CCNM. 

The inside of one young booklet maker’s “masterpiece.”

CCNM booth with the adjoining Seabird Protection Network booth and San Simeon Bay with some CCNM rocks in the background.

Cara O’Brien, outreach coordinator for the SPN Pt. Sur-Pt. Mugu Chapter, shows two young visitors how to stab and hammer like a black oystercatcher.

While one youngster  is “fishing like a cormorant,” two other young visitors are “diving like a pelican” at the SPN booth.

Robin Chase times two boys as the “fish like a cormorant” in the Seabird Olympics activity.

A future seabird Olympian tries out his own way of “fishing like a pelican” with a little help from Ranger O’Brien. 

- Rick Hanks, California Coastal National Monument Manager, 7/19/11 

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 490 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page. 

Last updated: 07-21-2011