What’s Happening In Marina Del Rey

In my days living in Southern California, my few beach experiences were mostly in the Malibu area (probably because my sportswriting gig took  me to nearby Pepperdine University took me there frequently. But driving south through a cavalcade of coastal communities you eventually run into Marina Del Rey, one of the nicer of those cities. But something strange is going in the harbor adjacent to Marina Del Rey. Fish are turning up dead. 

From the Associated Press

California Fish and Wildlife workers continued to remove the dead anchovies and stingrays that created a silvery blanket on the water’s surface and a pungent smell that set off a feeding frenzy among harbor seals, pelicans and seagulls. An octopus was also found among the dead sea life.

The incident is likely the result of a confluence of factors, said Dana Roeber Murray, a marine and coastal scientist with the environmental group Heal the Bay.

“They’re not unheard of,” she said. “I would not tie it to a big indicator that bad things are happening in our environment. It’s more like a multitude of circumstances happening at once.”

Anchovies travel in large schools and may have been pushed into the shallower, semi-enclosed waters of the marina by extreme tides caused by a recent full moon.

With so many fish in the water during last week’s heat wave, it’s also possible there was a low amount of dissolved oxygen and increased temperatures that hurt their chances of survival, Murray said.

Strange story, indeed.