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By Kristina Pritchett

At a recent meeting, members of the Ocean Water Subcommittee discussed the use of a falconer at Salt Creek Beach last summer to help improve water quality. The committee also discussed if the service should be used again in the future.

In July, Salt Creek watershed stakeholders conducted a three-month demonstration project at Monarch Beach/Salt Creek County Beach to improve beach water quality.

The falconer program was successful and improved the water quality, as the falcon kept away animals there were contaminating the water.

The pilot program was implemented after the beach was placed on Heal the Bay’s “Beach Bummer” list, which indicated poor water quality.

The pilot program included the city, Orange County Public Works, OC Parks, OC Lifeguards, Orange County Health Care Agency-Environmental Health Division, Monarch Beach Resort and the Monarch Bay Homeowner’s Association with technical support by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

During the subcommittee meeting, city staff said the stakeholders will consider if they want to continue the program.

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