California grunion are on the move at Crystal Cove.
Shortly after the highest tides following a new or full moon, thousands of silvery fish dance across the sands at Crystal Cove. These grunion, found only on the coast of California and Baja California, are famous for emerging from the water to lay their eggs on sandy beaches during the spring and summer months.
Crystal Cove Alliance (CCA) works with scientific researchers like Dr. Karen Martin from Pepperdine University to ensure that the eggs on the beach are securely protected until ready to hatch. Data gathered by Dr. Martin is used to provide the lifeguards at Crystal Cove State Park with guidelines on where to drive their trucks on the beach to avoid grunion eggs that are buried in the sand.
In early May, CCA hosted its final grunion run program of the season for friends and family, but runs up and down the coast are scheduled to take place until Aug. 23.
Protecting grunion eggs is just one example of how scientific data can be used to preserve the precious natural resources at Crystal Cove State Park. In the coming months, CCA will be asking for citizen scientists to get involved with collecting data to help protect denizens in the Park. Stay tuned for details about how to become a citizen scientist!Photo credit: D. Martin/Grunion.org