By Breeana Greenberg
To improve water quality and discourage “pest birds” from gathering at Salt Creek Beach, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach has donated more than $40,000 to the county’s falconry-based abatement program.
The bird population of seagulls and other pest birds that congregates at Salt Creek Beach has been identified as “a potential source of bacteria pollutant” to the Salt Creek Channel and beach waters, according to an Orange County Board of Supervisors’ staff report.
A tethered falcon or hawk at Salt Creek Beach, managed by a trained falconer, has reduced the “number of pest birds gathering at the beach and resulted in improvements to water quality,” the staff report stated.
According to the report, a pilot program conducted in 2016 “has shown that falconry-based bird abatement is an effective and sustainable solution to assist in minimizing and deterring the pest bird population.”
“We are proud to participate in the County of Orange’s falconry program, which offers an innovative solution to protect the habitat of threatened Western Snowy Plovers,” Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Manager Jerry Liegler said in an email.
The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach is a watershed member, with the hotel less than a mile from Salt Creek Beach.
“Waldorf Astoria is committed to stewarding our beautiful coastline and natural resources while creating an exceptional beachgoing experience for our guests and members,” Liegler continued.
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at email@example.com