Malibu Lagoon Tide Pools - December 2014

As a pre-Holiday get-together I met up with some friends at Marmalade cafe on PCH for lunch and then we walked across to the Malibu Lagoon State Beach for low tide. The tide was just below -1 foot around 3pm and we left our cars in the lot so it was very convenient.

Here's where we were:

It was the first time I'd been to the lagoon since they finished their controversial lagoon restoration in May 2013. You can read more about the restoration here and here. There is even a project called Save Malibu Lagoon set up by the Wetlands Defense Fund. Those in charge of the restoration project said it was necessary because the water had become stagnant and needed a more healthy flow. Those who opposed the restoration did so due to concerns about fiscal, wildlife and human impacts.

As someone who'd been to the unrestored lagoon many times in the past few years I'd say that it looks much more barren than it did before and I imagine it will take a while for the plants to grow. I'm sure many species were diverted during the construction and it may be too soon to tell if they will return or not. I didn't notice any change in the number or types of birds present in the lagoon.

Normally, I love showing tide pool virgins all the cool stuff and making sure they don't miss anything, but it had been so long since I'd visited the tide pools (over a year!) that I was off exploring. Still, it was nice to share something I love with friends.

Favorite bird spotting of the day: Royal Terns with a large group of gulls

Some more photos from that day:

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Bat Star (Patiria miniata)
For more of my photos from this site, see my Flickr set.

Note: I've been tide pooling and bird watching at Malibu Lagoon State Beach many, many times but I keep going back because it's relatively close to where I live and there's lots to see. I struggle with whether I should write posts about it over and over, but since this is as much for me to remember my year with nature as it is for my readers, I'm opting to do it.