Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach was our first stop of the trip. We met with Ranger Mike who took us for a walk around the state park and talked about some of its features. There were bodies of water that made up an estuarian system, and these are actively managed in order to increase species diversity where some of the lakes were freshwater, while the others were salt water.  This allowed a variety of different species to live here such as alligators and many birds. Ranger Mike also addressed their growing problem with the endangerment of sea turtles. In order to protect them, they are trying to reduce the fox population and restricting dogs to one area of the beach.   This reduces the amount of predators in the park that can harm the new sea turtle eggs. They also enclose active nests in large wire cages.  After walking through the forest, we went for a walk on the beach and got to hold cannon ball jellyfish that had washed up on the shore. One of the interesting things that we noticed along the coast was the effects of the salt spray from the ocean on the local flora. There were some trees that were completely bald of leaves on the side that was facing the ocean. Despite the rainy weather of this hike, it was informative and interesting to see the different kinds of environments that can be adjacent to each other and also simultaneously work together.