Letters to the Editor

Protect the pelicans

Help protect our beloved brown pelicans. In addition to all of the hazards young pelicans face from Mother Nature, we humans have added our own perils.

The juvenile brown pelicans we see every summer fly here from breeding grounds in Baja California and Mexico. These young birds must learn to plunge dive for their natural prey, sardines and anchovies, to survive.

Some of these young birds become desperately hungry and are attracted to our coastal fish-cleaning stations, such as the one at the Harford Pier in Avila Beach.

They are young, inexperienced and hungry, so they start begging for fish scraps.

Unfortunately, by doing this they have started a downward spiral. The current fish-cleaning station on the pier is poorly designed. It encourages fish waste and carcasses to be thrown directly into the water.

Below, waiting sea birds become contaminated by fish-oil and choke on huge carcasses.

These carcasses can puncture the pelicans pouch or internal organs.

Some of these great birds we can rescue, many more will die.

Please let the Port San Luis Harbor Commission know we want to see the fish-cleaning station replaced with a more environmentally and wildlife friendly unit.