More bad news about the oceans today, that investigators find more plastic deeper in the oceans. It's discouraging, but the value of the Piedras Blancas site is that people connect with the ocean there in a personal way that touches their hearts. That may be the step that changes behavior.
California is known for expensive, glamorous spectacles. Disneyland and Hollywood are major attractions. They have their appeal, if at high cost to vacationers. Hearst Castle is an emblem of power and wealth. Visitors who happen on the elephant seal rookery find something unexpected. It's not a packaged experience. It's wildlife, unscripted, a complete contrast, a natural site where seals live their lives ignoring Highway 1 and its traffic.
The beach is crowded, with seals edging toward the water to stay on cool, wet sand. Others make themselves comfortable on their companions, like this peaceful pair.
We're not untouched by the problems brewing off our shores. But this place shows how it can be, if we take care of it.