Celebrate the Coast

The Point Arena Lighthouse, Friends of the Point Arena-Stornetta Lands, City of Point Arena and Mendocino College, in association with the Ukiah office of the Bureau of Land Management, will present Celebrate the Coast on Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This event is intended to celebrate the Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument and educate visitors about the varied features and sights it offers.  Celebrate the Coast activities will start at both the the Point Arena Lighthouse, located at 45500 Lighthouse Road just north of Point Arena, and Point Arena City Hall.  

Jamie Hall, Research Associate for the Greater Farallones Association, Beach Watch program, will have a bird and whale watching station set up with sighting scopes and binoculars and will help guest identify the birds and whales they see and answer any questions they have about them, along with information on the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) that border the Light Station. 

The Marine Mammal Center of Sausalito will have its rescue truck on display (unless they get a distressed animal call) and an information table about the amazing work they do.  

Inside the Fog Signal Building in the Whale Watch Room Mendonoma Whale & Seal Study founders Scott and Tree Mercer will share their knowledge of the many marine mammals that frequent or pass by our peninsula and the results of their annual gray whale migration surveys.  

Allan Hogle & Astrid Ruhrmann of THE FARM will be offering waffles, including gluten-free, and assorted organic sweet and savory baked goods for sale in the Fog Signal Building.  They will also have freshly brewed organic, free trade Point Arena Lighthouse Blend coffee from Little Green Bean.   

Children 16 and under will also be able to choose from a wide variety of kites at 25% off in the Lighthouse Gift Store that can be flown on the Lighthouse grounds (BLM regulations do not allow kites on the Lands). 

Nancy Morin of the Dorothy King Young Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) will have an information table set up at the entrance to the Native Plant Garden next to the Fog Signal Building from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Finally, there will be a guided walk to the Garcia River Estuary Project at 2 p.m. led by Lauren Hammock of Pruneske-Chatham, Inc., the firm that implemented The Nature Conservancy’s project designed to improve rearing habitat for juvenile Coho salmon. The Celebrate the Coast shuttle bus will include the Light Station as one of its stops.

The Mendocino College Coastal Field Station will be holding an open house in conjunction with Celebrate the Coast between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Visitors can talk to faculty about current research programs and courses offered by Mendocino College.

Information tables and a marine mammal slide show presented by citizen scientist Sara Bogard will be part of the open house, and there will be a food booth with sandwiches and drinks available for purchase.  At 11 a.m. Bogard will present her harbor seal talk “Beyond Safe Havens.”  The Celebrate the Coast shuttle bus will include the Field Station as one of its stops.  It can also be reached by hiking about 1 mile from the trailhead at the “Bend in the Road” on Lighthouse Road, or from the trailhead just south of the intersection of Highway 1 and Lighthouse Road.  The Celebrate the Coast shuttle bus will include the Field Station as one of its stops.

Point Arena City Hall will be the starting point for guided bird and native plant walks at 10 a.m. along the Discovery Trail, whose south entrance is behind City Hall and where there will also be a food booth and beverage station.  The native plant walk will be led by CNPS member Julia Larke and other CPNS friends, with an option to walk to the Field Station (approximately 1.5 hours) or loop back to City Hall (approximately 1 hour).  Rick Trissel will lead the bird walk, a one hour walk that will explore coastal prairies and woodland habitat that supports resident and migrating birds.  In addition there are docent stations along this 3.5 mile coastal trail with information on a variety of coastal related topics.  Docent stations are planned to include Kathleen Chasey of Arena Cove Stewards, Doug Forsell with a viewing scope and information on nesting seabirds, the Stream Team Water Quality Monitoring program with Director Timmarie Hamill, and Leisyka Parrott, California Coastal National Monument Manager, with a viewing scope and information on resident and migrating seabirds. The trail is mostly level with an uneven surface and two minor stream crossings, and it ends at the “Bend in the Road” trailhead on the north end of the Lands where there will be a Celebrate the Coast information table.  Free parking is available at City Hall, and it is one of the four stops that the free Celebrate the Coast shuttle bus service will make.  City Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will also feature display tables by Friends of Point Arena-Stornetta Lands, Students Protecting the Coast, ACORN Partners in Education,

CNPS wildflower display, Arena Cove Stewards, Mendocino Land Trust, Redwood Coast Land Conservancy, and Coastal Stewards Task Force of Sea Ranch. Sandwiches from Center Street Market and bakery treats from Franny’s Cup & Saucer will be available for purchase.

Besides the City Hall parking lot there is also free parking at the Point Arena Light Station.  The Celebrate the Coast shuttle bus will make stops at City Hall, Mendocino College Field Station, “Bend in the Road” northern Lands trailhead and the Point Arena Light Station.  This free shuttle service will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please join us for the celebration of the fantastic, scenic, mysterious, rugged and gorgeous Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument and explore its amazing history, geology, flora and fauna!