The Marshians Have Arrived – Eco-Activist-Art in Pacific Beach

by on April 18, 2014 · 3 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

PB Marsh Art01 clapUpdate Given on Release of 7 Clapper Rails Last Year

by Mic Porte

The Kendall-Frost UCSD Marsh research facility at the corner of Mission Bay was host to a Marshian Art encounter of the first kind, Saturday evening, April 12, Marshian Day.

PB Marsh Art 01aInaugurating her mural, Celeste Byers, UCSD student and art muralist, and friends and supporters of The Marsh, joined in art and music to celebrate. Some 40 people attended and enjoyed the musical event. The photos document the completed mural on Saturday and Celeste Byers, after she signed the mural on Monday.

PB Marsh Art 01wolfFeaturing local marsh creatures, especially the endangered clapper rail, Ms. Byer’s mural is a talented interweaving of layers of paint and color to create that beautiful changing harmony of nature that is a tidal salt marsh. Her use of the trailer as support is clever, and although a busy composition, the overall effect from any distance is unobtrusive, yet inviting, like a marsh vista. Fanciful and engaging for any age, congratulations to her for a well-crafted piece.

PB Marsh Art 02We Marshians are concerned about endangered wild life species: notably, the marsh bird of the rail family, called the “clapper” rail because of the clapping sound of their calls. Looks like a thin chicken with longer beak and legs. We local San Diegans are guardians of a struggling species, struggling because of the development and destructive land use policies that we implement. We are talking about the EXTINCTION or survival of a species of life on our planet. In our own backyard. We can do something. We must do something.

This event and restoration efforts call attention to the health of tidal interface zones, and the local and global ecosystems that they sustain, from seaweed tea nourishing micro organisms to clapper rails having cord grass to build their nests upon, and reflects the growing consciousness that all species are inter-woven, like Celeste’s beautiful mural.

Marshian Rule #1: bring your own cup to parties. (in an effort to reduce plastics use and waste)

Friends of Mission Bay Marshis an excellent website to learn more about the life systems of a tidal marsh on the interactive marsh walk. UCSD, and other universities, are directing student programs toward re-balancing societal development with natural earth patterns, reclaiming some essential lands, especially coastal zones, as buffers and filters and nurseries for our oceans and watersheds.

Earlier this year 8 young clapper rails were released in a re-population effort, and have been spotted nesting in the marsh. (See photos below)

We were updated on the slope reclamation project and the native plant species reintroduction, all proceeding according to plan, ready for terrassing and planting in the fall, after nesting season. Many of the plants have been tended, planted and transplanted by local families and volunteers over the past several months, from seedlings and cuttings. Roy Little has edited a book of his excellent bird photos which is sure to become a local Pacific Beach classic. Many of his photos served as inspiration for the mural.

Beautiful music by local talents captured the festive, reflective mood, and an enthusiastic turnout of students and supporters, visitors and locals confirmed the solidarity of the Marshian community on Earth, and here in Pacific Beach.

The mural will now be available for viewing each time you pass by the Marshian bungalow on Pacific Beach Drive at Crown Point Shores, enjoy.

Seven Clapper Rails were released last November.

Seven clapper rails were released into the marsh on Nov. 19, 2013, by a group of people from various organizations. Here are photos by Joe Little.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

gregg sullivan April 18, 2014 at 10:38 am

Celeste Byers is an awesome artist and person!


Mic porte April 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Beautiful, thank you


da john April 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm

That is awesome! That building was definitely due for a refresher.

Awesome pictures of the birds too.


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