What’s in an Albatross

What’s a Monterey excursion without a trip to the aquarium?  It had been about 4 years since I last made the 2 hour trek and I was definitely looking forward to wandering through the Secret Lives of Seahorses.  And a mere 7 hours later I emerged without a disappointed bone in the body. Plus, I scored a romp in a world of freshwater otters, which I was not expecting.

A bay full of life is an understatement as the wildlife outside the confines of the aquarium was just as bountiful.  Sea lions, harbor seals, cormorants, gulls, murres, starfish, and approximately 9 sea otters that had entwined themselves in the swaying kelp were readily available for the crowds.

I had not formally planned to post about my trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but a few days prior to my visit I came upon a video that just so happens to combine the aquarium, seabirds, coastal pollution, and plastics…all rather topical points that were worthy of sharing.

 “In an attempt to make the world aware of the devastation caused by plastics and non-biodegradable material on California’s coastal areas, Greenopolis Investigator Melissa Mcginnis has put together an interview with a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The impact on the Albatross is a perfect example of how far-reaching this problem is. The Albatross, native to the Northern and Southern Pacific Shores has been in constant threat of extinction for years, however, most data until recently has shown that the coastal bird was threatened mainly by excessive overfishing in the Pacific region, leading to a shortage of food supply. This, along with introduced animals such as rats and feral cats eating the eggs and chicks, have lead to the declining bird population. “

“We now know that along with these issues, plastics and waste are a growing threat to the species as well.  As stated in the video, over 40% of the young chicks have been affected by coastal pollution.”  Dustin Hodges

About The Author

Scott serves as Director of Development & Communications for Audubon Canyon Ranch (focusing on preservation, education and conservation science) and has almost fifteen years of experience spanning for-profit and nonprofit sectors in biotech, wildlife conservation and management, communications, and philanthropy. In addition to a strong track record in organizational growth and leadership, he is the founder of Urban Bird Foundation and Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, and presided over ECHO Fund, a coastal protection and restoration organization, as President for four years. Scott holds an M.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Policy, degrees in Micro & Molecular Biology and Environmental Sciences, and has complemented his studies with a Master's certificate in Environmental Resource Management.

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