by Tara Cummins
Although we have yet to feel the full brunt of El Niño, our local beaches have undeniably taken a hit. During an El Niño year, the natural process of erosion is intensified. When we enter the winter season, rainy weather emerges as well as high surf, which erodes shores and deposits sand into deep water far offshore. Giant waves chip away at sea cliffs and attack structures built on the beach, transforming our sandy beaches into beds of rocky cobble. But don’t let this prevent you from enjoying a nice day at the beach. These rocks and cobblestones have brought new life and beauty to our shores. Take a look at these three things you can do.
1. Have fun discovering the wide variety of marine life that take refuge within the stones.
2. Scavenge for unique pieces of sea glass hidden among the gaps and crevices.
3. Marvel at the rich colors that reflect upon the glistening beach stones as the sun sets.
Although El Niño years increase erosion, it is a very natural process and come summer we should start experiencing gentler waves that will return the sand to our shoreline, covering the cobble. For now, we are able to experience the natural beauty of our California Coast as it transforms from one striking spectacle to another.