NBC Prepares for Nesting Season

Last Updated : 2/24/2012 2:32:36 PM

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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Cabasos, Naval Base Coronado Public Affairs Staff

Naval Base Coronado, Calif.- More than 150 Sailors, Marines, and community members participated in a bi-annual Naval Base Coronado(NBC) beach clean-up in preparation for the California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover nesting season , Feb 22, 2012.

Every year,  NBC Hosts two large beach clean-ups, one prior to March for the arrival of the nesting birds  and one post September. During this time, various species are protected by the federal government and must not be disturbed.

Throughout the year, the tide washes up debris which includes lobster and crab traps, fishing line, rope, trash bags, balloons and other various rubbish that collect along NBC beaches.

Nearly 700 pounds of trash was collected from the NBC beaches and properly disposed.

According to NBC Wildlife Biologist, Tiffany Shepherd, the ocean tides, especially high tides deposit trash across the San Diego Beaches.

Shepherd added, “It is important that we regularly clean-up this trash to keep San Diego Bay beautiful, remove potential hazards for our Sailors who use the beaches to train on, and to enhance the habitat, which is used for nesting by federally-protected species.”

“I think it is important to clean-up the beaches for the overall protection of the birds and other animals. I would hate to think the reason animals are injured or die is due to a lack of our responsibility of cleaning up the environment,” said Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class Stacey Tietje, assigned to TACRON 12 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado (NAB).

 Debris left on the shorelines creates many problems for both sensitive and common species, said Shepherd.

“Strings, rope, cans, and other objects can get wrapped around legs, wings, and necks which can cause serious injury or death,” said Shepherd. “Some trash, like oily debris and batteries can contaminate the soils with hazardous waste. Finally, some curious animals might try to ingest debris causing illness or death,” Shepherd added.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Edwin Smith, assigned to NAB said, “it’s always nice coming out here and cleaning up the beaches. It is fun working together to get the job done,” added Smith. “I also get a good feeling knowing I am contributing to the safely of the endangered species that utilize this environment.”

 “I think it is important for locally based Sailors and Marines to be involved in this type of event to help give back to the local community and build a sense of community service, while at the same time helping beautify our world famous Silver Strand shoreline and provide a cleaner and safer place for the recreation of local residents, service members and their families and for our military heroes to train for amphibious operations worldwide,” said NBC Aviation Safety Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Christopher M. Banks.

The California Least Tern and the Western Snowy Plover are both federally listed as endangered birds.  Both species prefer to nest on flat, open habitat that is free from disturbances and predation and devoid of most vegetation, according to Shepherd.

“NBC provides suitable nesting areas by conducting annual site preparation, providing predator control services, and protecting nesting areas from disturbance. The Snowy Plover and Least Tern are just two of the 31 federally-listed plants and animals that occur on NBC,” Shepherd added.