Pacifica State Beach

Why is Pacifica State Beach particularly important to us?: 

  • Pacifica State Beach is home to one of the widest diversity of shorebirds along the length of Pacifica. Many of which are suffering declining numbers. 
  • Much of the activities defined by wildlife experts as detrimental to the survival of shorebirds, are common at this location. 
  • The renovation of Pacifica State Beach easily doubled the usage of this location, increasing pressure on the local wildlife, especially the shorebirds. 
  • This location is home to a small but Federally recognized and protected wetland on the Southern border which is disrepair. This wetland is used by waterfowl, and is a holding area for (Threatened) Steelhead Trout migrating out to sea

Below, a coot feeds at the small estuary found at the Southern end of Pacifica State Beach

Other wetland birds frequently try to use this location as well but are driven away such as the Great Blue Heron. 

  • One of the species found at Pacifica State beach is a ground dwelling bird (the snowy plover)  listed on the Federal Endangered Species List as "Threatened". 
  • This location is the only state park in California which has a (threatened) snowy plover habitat devoid of all protections measures in place for it.
  • The paved path that was put in during the park renovations borders the entire Eastern edge of the snowy plover habitat, increasing pressure on them. Foot and bicycle traffic coming off the paved path is destroying needed ground cover, reducing habitat viability, flushing them etc...
  • A building and parking lot was also put in during the renovations which run along the Southern border of the snowy plover habitat. The plovers are no longer seen in this area.
  • At least two rounds of signs for protections of the Western Snowy Plover at this location were vandalized,  destroyed and removed from this location in past years.

What are the solutions?

These are the main problems that are all well documented which affect the Western Snowy Plover in a habitat such as Pacifica State Beach. These are also true for the many of the other shorebirds found there as well.

  1. Human traffic flushing feeding or roosting birds over and over (rather than walking around them).
  2. Dogs (off leash or in the immediate vicinity on-leash)
  3. Predators such as ravens, feral cats etc...
  4. Fires and fireworks
  5. Kites and Frisbees near shorebird feeding and roosting.
No one is asking to give the beach to the birds. If we just give them a little consideration and some room, we can share this beautiful location.

Note: On February 18th 2014, the California Coastal Commission has approved conservation measures such as signage, symbolic fencing and other protections measures for this location. The Pacifica Shorebird Alliance with a generous grant from the CA Audubon Society is continuing to purchase all materials needed for the first conservation measures that we hope the city will work with us to implement this summer (2014) before next seasons plovers will return only to be driven away again by a habitat that is not protected.

Contact us if you wish to help:
 Letting the city of Pacifica know you care will help us far more than donations.