Surfing The Rivermouth Can Kill You

This is only a few miles from where I collected sea glass the other day but usually surf instead.
Us surfers do live dangerously, don’t we?
Read David’s blog post below to find out why.

Santa Clara Estuary at Sunset, copyright David Pu'u

Watershed Et Terminus
January 5th, 2009
By David Pu’u

I generally avoid classic landscape work. There is more than enough of it out there. Sometimes it is difficult however, as the subject can be such a part of the place in which one lives that it begs to be documented.

The Santa Clara river runs from the Sespe to the sea. Over the geologic course of time it’s meandering track formed the fertile coastal plain shared by Ventura, and Oxnard. It empties into the sea today just South of the Ventura Harbor.

The river carries a huge amount of diverse substances in it’s effluent. Water, mud, sand, trash, and the hidden toxicity of mankind’s civilized existence seem to find their way into fluid passage and get deposited in the coastal estuary. Estuaries teem with all manner of life when not horribly impacted by the affects of population density.

This estuary has moments where it can be so polluted, that contact with it’s waters can be unpleasant at best, and fatal at worst. Ask me how I know some time (surfed and shot it for close to 40 years) and I will tell you what I have experienced. A very old sewage treatment plant sits next to the river. They have incidents some times as any place might. So sewage can end up flowing into the estuary. It sits, festers, bacteria boom in number. Then we get the rains and the sand berm that damns the estuary bursts and the Santa Clara river estuary flushes out into the ocean. Not unlike the way a toilet works in some ways. It IS ironic. In any event it seems like a lot of things wind up in the river that probably never were intended to be there.

Surfers are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine of a society that needs to learn to practice containment and treatment of it’s seamier byproducts… (read rest of story and see all the beautiful images here)

By | 2017-01-16T17:07:17+00:00 January 14th, 2009|All, Environmental, ocean, photography, surfing|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Kat Merrick January 14, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Type your comment here.
    Great blog on the river mouth.. every time I have ever surfed there over the years I have gotten ill.
    Thanks Dave for helping to make people more aware.
    This is our ocean and we must protect it!!

    lets start in our own back yard!

    Kat

Leave A Comment