Friday, July 10, 2020

A Week on Malibu (no, not the one in California)

Hey y'all!
    This week Team Claudia went to Malibu Beach (a.k.a Savin Hill Beach). I actually live pretty close to Malibu Beach, but I haven't been there for years, and visiting for three days this week reminded me why. One of the things that makes Malibu Beach unique is that it used to be a salt marsh before the city decided to turn it into a beach back in 1908. We learned all about the importance of marshes this week: they're very helpful for fighting the erosion of our coastlines and provide a habitat for tons of aquatic plants and animals. However, all of the factors that make marshes great for the environment also make them not so ideal for beach-goers. For example, the thick, nutrient-rich sand by the shoreline is great for the animals who live in it, but not so great for people trying to walk through it, especially if you'd like to keep your shoes on and not cut yourself on shells (both of which I would like to have done, neither of which I achieved). But despite that, we still had lots of fun at Malibu Beach. 

Harpoon Snails
Hermit Crabs

    The best part about Malibu Beach actually also has to do with the fact that it's a marsh. If you want to go for a swim, Malibu Beach might not be the place to go, but if you want to catch hermit crabs or learn more about animals, this is the place for you. Many aquatic creatures thrive in marshes and we were able find tons of them. I’ve never seen so many hermit crabs in one place before, and I don’t think it’s just because we gave them some hot dog. Animals that we saw but didn't get pictures of include an egret (who flew away before we could get close), a dead eel(?), a moon jellyfish, and some crabs we caught in our crab trap. Other than finding animals, we also got to play around with an air drone and do a little bit of beach cleanup, which kind of went hand in hand. We were able to fly the drone over the marsh grasses and see trash that we might not have seen by just walking along the beach. The drone let us find more trash than we could've cleaned up otherwise, because the beach itself was actually pretty clean. Boston's beaches and waterways have come a long way from its Harbor of Shame days back in the 1980;s and doing these beach cleanups is a great way to make sure it stays like this.

Peace out y'all :)

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