U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
A Close Look at the California Coastal National Monument
While the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM) offers magnificent scenic vistas from the mainland, getting a closer look at the rocks and islets can be a challenge. Recently, students from the Trinidad area on the North Coast had the opportunity to take to the sea and get a closer look at the monument and its inhabitants. (text continues below)
Students from Trinidad’s elementary school participated in a charter boat tour to Green and Flatiron rocks, which provide important nesting habitat for seabirds. The two islets, only a nautical mile apart, are home to the largest common murre colony in the entire monument. Together the rocks, about a mile north of Trinidad, are home to about 66,000 nesting seabirds.
Students from the Osher Lifelong Institute had the chance to kayak in the waters surrounding the monument. They were accompanied by BLM wildlife biologist Jesse Irwin and kayaking instructor Hawk Martin. The students watched from a distance as California sea lions feasted on fish. They got good looks at a variety of birds including pigeon guillemots, brown pelicans, Caspian terns, long-tailed ducks, black oystercatchers, Western gulls and Brandt’s cormorants. Friendly harbor seals were also on hand to greet the students. The group learned about the natural and cultural history of Trinidad Bay and the importance of keeping a distance to avoid disturbing nesting and feeding wildlife.
Trinidad is one of the California coastal towns designated a gateway to the California Coastal National Monument. The Trinidad Rancheria owns Trinidad Harbor operations and is an official steward partner in management of the CCNM.
The CCNM contains more than 20,000 small rocks, islands, pinnacles and exposed reefs stretching the entire 1,100-mile length of the California coast, from mean high tide and out 12 nautical miles. It provides important habitat for seabirds and marine mammals
- Jeff Fontana, Public Affairs Officer, BLM Northern California District (September 2012)