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Being able to walk on the beach, picnic, watch the sunset, surf, build a sandcastle, fly a kite or beachcomb is important to our health and sanity.
Being able to walk on the beach, picnic, watch the sunset, surf, build a sandcastle, fly a kite or beachcomb is important to our health and sanity. Photo: Doran Beach, Bodega Bay, Sonoma CA -Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

How Much Do We Need The Sonoma Coast? Very Much Indeed.  

May 25, 2020
by Patty Ginochio, Ginochio’s Kitchen & Sonoma Concierge.

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DISTANCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER! Being able to walk on the beach, picnic, watch the sunset, surf, build a sandcastle, fly a kite or beachcomb is important to our health and sanity.  Never shall we take it for granted again.  Every salty breeze or mighty gust is going to be appreciated.  That nourishing fog must get into our souls, envelop, and heighten our senses.  Our need for Vitamin Sea will be fulfilled again, SOON, we hope for all. And there will be RESTROOMS open & TRASH bins…rather than bushes and on the ground.

WHO MADE THE DECISION TO CLOSE THE BEACHES?  Social Media posts lead you to believe those who live on the coast decided visitors are not welcomed.  Anyone who knows Bodega Bay, would bristle at that statement. We are unincorporated and rarely invited to a stakeholder meeting for decisions that impact us.  Our voices are carried away with the wind in Blowdega Bay!

DID WE AGREE WITH THE DECISION?   The community is divided.  Some felt the overwhelming number of visitors who flocked by the thousands to the coast over the warm initial weekend of Covid-19 ignoring the Shelter in Place were to blame.  Safely managing the swarms of visitors who were not social distancing, dangerously parking in every crack and crevice of Highway 1, endangering the residents by bringing the disease to our rural community via shopping in our two small grocery stores and straining our Law Enforcement and other First Responders ability to serve and protect us.  The vacation rentals were filled with visitors as well.  Many residents were terrified of dying as most of us are in the “high risk” category.

WHO WOULD SAVE US?   Our Bodega Bay Fire Protection District 4-person crew, a Local Sheriff Deputy, State & County Park Rangers & a CHP Officer are responsible for the many miles of the Sonoma Coast around Bodega Bay on a given day.  Some estimated over 10,000 plus visitors arrived that unfortunate weekend in a six-hour period. We are blessed with the best in Law Enforcement and First Responders, albeit, they are all short-staffed every day of the year without a Pandemic in place. 

Read the latest change in re-opening of the  Coastal parks after Patti wrote her column  here

IMAGINE OUR SMALL STAFF OF BODEGA BAY FIREFIGHTERS GOT SICK WITH THE VIRUS WHILE SAVING SOMEONE’S LIFE?   We have some volunteers, who are excellent by the way. What happens if they lock down the Fire Station due to quarantine?  Many still think we ONLY have 700+ residents to care for when it is actually in the millions.  

AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW IS A POT OF GOLD? IN BODEGA BAY IT IS A POT FILLED WITH NOURISHING & DELICIOUS FREE FOOD THAT IS!   In typical fashion, Waves of Compassion Foundation, a grass-roots charitable non-profit organization, founded in 2017 to support our coastal community of Jenner, Bodega Bay, Bodega, Valley Ford, and Tomales, CAME TO THE RESCUE.  Partnering with Redwood Empire Food Bank they have been providing weekly free Food Pantries.  In addition, they offer financial assistance to businesses and residents who need a helping hand to survive this pandemic.  Learn more and how to donate at  www.wavesofcompassionfoundation.org  

HOW DO OUR BUSINESSES IN BODEGA BAY SURVIVE? THEY NEED YOU EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK!   Many of the businesses in Bodega Bay are SMALL, local & family owned.  They need us to buy gift certificates, purchase online & order food all week long! Essential & non-essential businesses alike.  Please support them or we seriously risk losing them.  Visit the Bodega Bay Area Chamber website: www.visitbodegabayca.com  

AND THE FISHING REPORT IS?   Are the salmon running? Why yes they are!  Not in abundance yet but the ones brought in are mighty tasty!  Commercial Crabbing halted early due to the whales again.  Love the whales but they must love us too as they visit often.  New restrictions about bringing crab from up the coast back to the port of Bodega Bay for transport negatively impacted Bodega Bay commercial crabbers even more.   Still no abalone recovery but the Sea Stars (Starfish) are beginning to return.  Keep those red tides and warm waters away.

ALWAYS BE KIND!

Patty Ginochio

 

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