Dirty Santa Monica Beaches Need Rescue

09/18/2009

dirty beach santa monica pier

A recent article in the Santa Monica Daily Post discussed the need to improve the cleanliness of the local Santa Monica beaches by netting off the Santa Monica Pier  from seagulls that desecrate in and around the water. While I agree that Santa Monica beach pier area has a lot of birds, it is still their natural habitat and netting off their homes and hatchlings seems, well, like the least of our problems. Their solution was to hire the Bird Busters to net the area beneath the pier- a home to baby birds and gulls alike- for a mere $100,000. Instead, they could spend a fraction of that cost to clean the trash from the beach. (see photo at right)

With California’s budget in the red as of late, wouldn’t you think that Santa Monica- a pet friendly and eco-friendly city would focus more on cleaning the beaches of trash rather than removing the gulls- in any way they deem necessary to do so? Our state needs to re-think budget allocation. Schools are lacking the fundamental requirements that students need in order to learn, State Parks are being shut down and worst of all- many California residents received IOU’s instead of tax refunds. But that’s a whole other issue.

Here is what I wrote to the Santa Monica Daily Post in reply to their article:

Editor:It has come to my attention that part of the city budget is being dedicated to installing netting around the Santa Monica Pier. As a life-long, native Angeleno, I must agree that pigeons and seagulls are amongst several problems in Santa Monica, however, when it comes to keeping the public beach areas sanitary, far more attention should be directed toward efforts to clean trash, clothing items and vagrants’ belongings from the beaches.

It has been years since I last sat in the sand and enjoyed the serenity of Santa Monica Beach. Even if I am in the area, I find myself drawn to other, cleaner beaches. Although I do not spend a lot of time swimming, the sand and beach area are far more of a concern to me personally. There are a few reasons for this concern; the most important are littering, homeless, drug infestation and overcrowding. While overcrowding lends itself to the idea that tourism is flourishing, drugs, homeless and trash are far greater an issue than seagulls and pigeon droppings.

In an environment so closely involved with being eco-friendly and highly conservative by way of natural resources, it should reflect some kind of juxtaposition that the city is more concerned with animal feces than our own, human irreverence of public land we so often enjoy.

In the case of the bird netting being installed, It is my suggestion that the $100,000 budgeted for the bird netting be re-allocated toward funding beach cleanup, recycling, patrolling of the public areas and consistent maintenance groups.

Mia Taylor
Santa Monica
September 10, 2009