Photo: Delia Bense-Kang.

Ocean Creatures X-ing

If you were driving through Trinidad yesterday morning, you may have gotten stuck in traffic behind jellyfish, crabs, dolphins, even mermaids! This is because yesterday was Trinidad School’s annual Ocean Parade.  The parade was in celebration of the end of the school’s Ocean Month, and had the purpose of creating awareness of the interdependence between habitats and how people affect them

For the past month, each class at Trinidad School has been learning about a specific ocean habitat through project based activities and field trips. This was the last week of Ocean Month, and students got the chance to share what they had learned with each other and their town. The school participated in: habitat shares (students teach other students and adults about their habitats), ocean house (open house for parents), a beach clean-up, and of course the Ocean Day parade! 

The parade is probably the highlight of Ocean Month for students and residents of Trinidad. 

Lead by a boat carrying the King and Queen of the Sea and followed by a samba band and students dressed as their favorite ocean creatures, the school certainly succeeded in creating awareness and brightening people’s day.

Using Smartphones to Snapshot the California Coast 

Join the effort to document coastal biodiversity and provide a snapshot of the entire California Coast! Over the week of June 4th- June 12th the Marine Protected Area Collaborative Network and California Academy of Sciences are partnering to host a series of grassroots, smartphone powered, bioblitzes. The goal is to focus on Marine Protected Areas and cover at least one MPA in each coastal county. 

A bioblitz is an intensive one-day study of biodiversity in a specific location. This series of bioblitzes will be powered by smartphones using the iNaturalist app. iNauralist is like instagram for nature nerds. Through the app you can record what you see in nature, share your observations online, get help identifying what you have seen, meet other naturalists, and learn about the natural world around you. 

People of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate as individuals or during organized events. Locally, the Humboldt MPA Collaborative andFriends of the Dunes will be hosting a Manila Dunes Bioblitz on Saturday June 11th at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center. The fun happens during the low tide from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will explore the waveslope, dunes, dune forest, and document everything for a few hours, then come back together to upload observations, see what everyone else found, and get help with identifying species.


Have an artistic eye, camera, and favorite coastal spot? Get snapping and you could win big! Surfrider Foundation just launched their first annual Protect Special Places photo contest, open now until July 30th. Photos must be accompanied by “the story” of that place in 50 words or less. To enter, submit photos and stories to the Surfrider Foundation photo submission website. Prizes include a GoPro Hero 4, a Surfrider-branded Patagonia backpack, and tons of other Surfrider Foundation swag. Find out more details HERE .


Delia Bense-Kang serves as the Northcoast Environmental Center’s Marine Protected Area Outreach Coordinator and chairs Surfrider Foundation’s Humboldt Chapter.