Last week, the Amigos de Bolsa Chica hosted a town hall meeting at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center at Newland and Pacific Coast Highway. Attended by an overflow crowd, the mini-symposium covered the two years of changes that have occurred in the water, plants, fish and birds at Bolsa Chica since the opening of the ocean inlet in August 2006. Vic was the moderator. I sat in the audience and took notes, an easier task.
Some of the many interesting things we heard at the meeting were about sharks, stingrays and guitarfish. Christopher Lowe of Cal State Long Beach reported there are about 1,500 stings per year from stingrays in the United States. Seal Beach gets the lion’s share of those encounters, with 200 to 400 stings noted per year, mostly from June through August. The worst place is right at the mouth of the San Gabriel River, where the water is the warmest. When swimmers accidentally step on them, the stingrays whip their tails up, stinging hapless swimmers on their feet and ankles.