Human Feces Left on the Beaches by Abalone Divers

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Dear Supporter of a Safe and Healthy Mendocino Coast:

People flock to the North Coast each year during abalone season. They are taking home abalone, urchin, rockfish and kelp, but some are also leaving behind human waste in the form of used toilet paper and feces.

As part of the Mendocino Abalone Watch, I patrol parking lots and coves where abalone divers and rock pickers enter and exit the water. This season I have found widespread evidence of human waste in bushes and trees just beyond the fringes of parking lots.

This disgusting practice must stop.

Obviously, this is a health problem and something needs to be done about it. I suggest initiating the following education and abatement program:

  1. Begin educating the public about where restrooms can be found by posting signs at all popular dive and rock picking spots directing people to the available public restrooms;
  2. During abalone season (April through June and August through November) portable restrooms need to be placed on State Parks properties in the Mendocino area at Caspar South Headlands, Road 500D, Jack Peters Creek, Mendocino Headlands Arch Rock, and Gordon Lane;
  3. Have County deputies, CFW and Parks personnel cite people who are caught contributing to this problem;
  4. With the issue of next year’s abalone report card, publish a notice that this practice will not be tolerated and there will be a fine if a person is caught doing so.

Red abalone is a tremendously important resource for the North Coast.

Unfortunately, the popularity of this recreational sport does come with a price tag. Please, let’s do what we can to eliminate this unacceptable bycatch of this ever-increasingly popular sport.


William Lemos, PH. D.

Mendocino Abalone Watch



  • What about the huge groups of people who swim in the eel river where there are no restrooms. I see hundreds of people entering and exiting the bushes on a daily basis every summer below my house. Not to mention the trash these people leave behind for the locals to pick up after them. This is a county beach and we have complained to the County Parks and nothing has been done. Very frustrating.

  • Nothin’ like a PH. D. to complicate things. Just hang a shovel on a post every so often. Long treks to the can will result in abandoned underwear along trails.

    • At least a Ph.D. indicates some level of critical thinking involved in coming up with a solution. The best thing I can say about yours is: “OH LOOK! Free Shovels!”

  • It’s amazing to me that folks don’t know how to shit in the woods. Follow the lead of your cat, not your dog…. jeez.

  • If abalone makes one shit in the woods so much, bring some fiber and make it a picnic yogi.
    Even Bigfoot picks up his own turds.

  • Why not just dump out in the ocean, to chum up some fish

  • The PacOut / ERCP is bringing the federal nonprofit Leave No Trace to the area in October. They are helping with the cleanup and running a workshop on Leave No Trace principles. Please connect me with the Ecowarriors who want to be a part of this event and I can let LNT know that this issue amongst other factors unique to Humboldt should be a focus :)) ♡

    • You can’t leave no trace if you do not pack up and throw away their camps along with their trash.
      They just accumulate more trash for you the following week.
      This is a never ending cycle dependent on community donations.
      How are you going to solve a problem if you’re just enabling it to continue?
      The trash will never go away if the camps do not go away.
      If you care about the communities you will start to throw EVERYTHING away, tents backpacks, sleeping bags ALL of it.
      Stop encouraging this behavior with community donations!

  • The river bar below the Renner station is crawling with transiets living, using drugs, fighting, deficating and dumping their trash right on the river bar.
    Yet no one seems to care.

  • All kinds of fish and shellfish and other sea creatures love eating human poop. Don’t be prissy.

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