Sunday, May 12, 2013

Moss Landing

The Salinas River enters the Pacific just below Moss Landing.  I have the faintest recollection of being there in the mid-forties and seem to recall that its icy waters were a mecca for sport fishing.  Today its home to 300 humans and 500 boats, larger even than Monterey itself.   A former whaling port, the harbor now docks vessels fishing for King Salmon, Halibut, Albacore, Black Cod and Red Snapper.

In the seventies Moss Landing had descended into an abyss of pollution fueled by failed septic systems, a paucity of infrastructure and nasty effluent from the natural gas powered electric generator that dominates the skyline.   Several lawsuits and many millions of dollars of public dollars later the tiny village has recaptured some of its earlier glory.  A marine research facility operated by Cal State University and Monterey’s famed aquarium debuted the weekend after my visit.  One hopes that the new laboratory signals a return of the pristine shore and waters of my childhood.
Empty beaches offer serenity with a dollop of melancholy especially in fog or overcast skies as it was this day.  I shared Salinas Beach State Park with a solitary walker and driftwood sculpture from Mother Nature’s damp studio.

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