In Part 1 of this anthology of the "life and times" of Rimmon Carlton Fay, we learn about Rim's critical report on the state of the coastal environment of a significant portion of southern California, namely Ventura County, Los Angeles County and Orange County. He eloquently analyzes the marine wildlife and its habitat and how it is impacted by human pollution and urban development in the three counties mentioned above. Please read below to see excerpts from his report on observations of many places along our coast, such as Del Rey Lagoon, Marina del Rey, Ballona Creek, Newport Bay, and more.
Rimmon C. Fay
in association with
Eugene D. Michael, James A. Vallee
and Gennevieve B. Anderson
Center for California Public Affairs
An Affiliate of The Claremont Colleges
Claremont, California 91711
First Edition 1972
Second Edition 1973
A description of the health of local marine biota has been prepared in a framework... [to be edited and compiled further in the future by Robert van de Hoek.
This report is offered to encourage the development of an understanding of the biological importance of the various marine habitats of southern California, ... [to be edited and compile further in the future by Robert van de Hoek].
Research for more recent works on the geology of the study area was greatly facilitated by the suggestions of Professor Donn S. Gorslin of ... USC ... [to edited and compile in the future by Robert van de Hoek].
A special note of thanks is due to Mr. Frank Hotchkiss of the Southern California Association of Governments for his cooperation in obtaining research materials.
Rimmon C. Fay, Ph.D., James A. Vallee, Ph.D., and Mrs. Genevieve B. Anderson, M.A., marine biologists, are members of the staff of Pacific-Bio Marine Supply Company, Venice, California.
Eugene D. Michael, a geologist, is a senior research scientist with Earth Science Research Corporation.
Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Los Angeles River, Dominguez Flood Control Channel, Cerritos Channel - complex of industrial, domestic, thermal, oil brine wastes. Majority of industrial oxygen demanding wastes formerly conveyed to the ocean via Dominguez Flood Control Channel now diverted through the Los Angeles County Treatment Plants and discharged to the ocean at White's Point.
Unusually high or low temperatures may cause the mass mortality of species not adapted to such extremes. For example, large numbers of clams were killed by abnormally warm water in Alamitos Bay in the summer of 1971.
Point Mugu to Topanga Canyon. ... Widening of beaches along the shoreline of Malibu; widening of beach at Las Tunas Canyon; construction of groins on beach. Construction of storm drain systems in Malibu area. Widening and development of Corral Beach and Westward Beach. Potential offshore oil drilling and production. Construction of offshore marinas at Malibu Creek and Topanga Canyon.
Topanga Canyon to Palos Verdes. Expansion of storm drain systems. ...dredging to maintain opening at Marina del Rey and Ballona Creek.
Santa Catalina Island. Construction of offshore landing field at Pebbly Beach. Widening of Avalon Beach.
2. Assure the implementation of protective measures to maintain the healthy condition of the beds of giant kelp now found from Point Mugu to Malibu Point.
3. Impose measures which would prevent the blockage of the natural input of sediments to the shoreline from Point Mugu to Topanga Canyon.
4. Eliminate the artificial input of heavy metals and other toxic substances into the inshore waters of southern California.
5. Implement procedures for the terrestrial disposal of particulate organic wastes.
6. Implement treatment procedures to protect marine organisms from the adverse effects of thermal wastes.
7. A detailed study of the dynamics of the sand beaches is urgently required together with the development of sufficient data to establish a sand budget for these beaches.
8. Criteria are needed to determine which shoreline structures are required and which may be eliminated to avoid costly, disruptive efforts at shoreline stabilization to protect or maintain non-essential structures.
9. A detailed evaluation of the health of the marine biota of the whole of the mainland of southern California framed in a description of marine geology and physical oceanography is urgently required.
10. A biological inventory and oceanographic survey of the Channel Islands of southern California should be conducted while these islands are still in a predominantly natural state.
11. An effective management program must be developed to protect rocky cobble beds and tidepools from excessive disruption by human visitors.
12. Educational and training programs are urgently required to inform the lay public of the value and importanc of the ocean as the fundamental unit in the maintenance of the life support system for the terrestrial realm of earth, and what measures must be taken to assure the maintenance of this life support system.
13. Specific and detailed criteria must be developed to evaluate the environmental impact of proposed and existing developments in southern California in order to achieve planning decisions which are responsible to the environment which we all must share.
14. A quantitative description of the dynamics of the water masses of the inshore area of southern California would provide useful information.
There are so many observations that Rim Fay made in his 1972 that have a "seer" aspect and his predictions and concerns are ring clear today, 30 years after his report. For example, number 3 recommendations essentially calls for the removal of Rindge Dam on Malibu Creek.
In 1982, Rimmon Fay was asked to write a few words for a new book that has gone through several printings and a new second edition in 1996, called Common Wetland Plants of Coastal California. The author is a good friend of Phyllis Faber, who I also have met at several California Native Plant Society meetings and on a botanical field trip, where I had lunch with her on the Eureka Valley Dunes, located north of Death Valley. Rimmon Fay said the following words about Phyllis Faber's book, published by Pickleweed Press:
... a succinct, explicit, informative guide to an important subject. There is no question but what such a guide is needed, will be useful and will be well received." The book has other quotes by other notable scientists and environmentalist together with Rim Fay's words. Some of the these include Wilma Follette of the California Native Plant Society, Michael Fisher of the California Coastal Conservancy, and Susan Cochrane of the Department of Fish and Game. The title below Rim Fay's name reads: California Coastal Wetland Coalition [and] Former Coastal Commissioner.
I found an eclectic acknowledgement of Rimmon Fay, while he was student at UCLA, that was written and published by Dr. Richard Boolootian at UCLA, and appeared in the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences (1958).
Specimens of Strongylocentrotus franciscanus collected from Malibu, California, by Mr. R.C. Fay, graduate student at the University of California at Los Angeles, included one with a single, relatively large barnacle, Balanus tintinabulum, attached directly to the test, and smaller barnacle of the same species attached to the larger one.