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Treasure Hunting on Butterfly Beach

Original verse by: Ariel Jimenez  (ESRM 335)

I walk along the shore

The sun is beaming, the waves are crashing

Dogs splashing and kids are prancing

I walk along the shore

A new day, a darker day

No dogs in the water

No kids in the sand

Today is darker than most days

Yet it is bright outside and the sun is beaming

My heart is dark and heavy

It keeps searching for the light

Today I found treasure

I always thought treasure hunting would be fun

Instead, it brought sadness

Old family photos,

Plaques from homes, statues, jewelry

And a washed up bear

All things trickled and buried and covered in sand

Things taken on and off shore

By the power of the sea

But what about

The missing people,

where could they be?

We may never  know

We may never find them

I hope they rest in eternal peace


Butterfly Beach

An Oily Grave


By: Lauren Zahn


The oil is coming.

The darkness pours from the seam.

The oil is coming..

It floods over the dirt, spreading.

The oil is coming…

The dark mass finds a loophole.

The oil is coming….

Dripping down the rockface.

The oil is coming…..

It rushes toward the crashing waves.

The oil is coming……

Run! Hide! Get Away!

The oil is coming…….

Take your last breath,

The oil is here

Tan Treasure

By: Leo Guardado

Tan Treasure

Dissolved muscles of the ancient ones,

Carried through onwards by the tears and breath of our watchers.

Billions and billions of novels and stories to be heard,

Each distinct and rare but yet common as tan gold.

You say Plentiful, I say limited,

You may want to exploit it, but I want to preserve it.

You see capita to be earned, but I see treasure to be preserved.

But what you see as endless often leaves me breathless.

The Dissolved muscles of the ancient ones,

Poisoned by the dark vile solvents of the controlling ones.

Ruled and run by measures for solely our man made treasures,

Trading our natural born treasures for our materialistic man made pleasures.

You say unharmed, I say its cause for alarm,

You want to abuse, but I choose to be its mother goose.

All you see are dollars signs, but all I see are black oil crimes.

Dissolved muscles of the ancient ones,

Grand, ageless eternal bits of mountains of the past and present,

now interwoven with black scars and future resentment.

You may say who cares, but I would yell WE DO!

You may want to ignore it, but we will prosecute for it,

All you may want to see is a future vault built from the remains of our once tanned treasure sea,

But all I want to see, all they want to see, all WE want to see is a priceless treasure by the sea.

A Long Line of Fighters

I come from a long line of fighters, generations of travelers who have met the challenges of our world
with grace and strength. Today it is my turn to fight and survive and I hope my ancestors’ fortitude is
with me. Here are their stories, my story.

I come from a fishing family. My great-grandfather on my father’s side was from Chile and was born in
1945. His is the oldest story of my family’s challenges and victories. My grandfather was an only child.
He was a twin but his twin didn’t survive, he was stillborn. Many families lost babies. This tragedy was
part of the reason my ancestors left Chile. They kept on going but were never the same.

My grandfather and his family immigrated to the United States in 1970 and lived along the coast of
Louisiana. The fishing life was good there and my grandparents raised a large, healthy family and
prospered. They loved their life. but again tragedy would strike my family. In 2010 there was a fire and
there was poison and half of my relatives were killed. But we are strong and the survivors made a new
life and carried on. They moved away from Louisiana and came west.

My mother was born in California and my parents settled in Santa Barbara. I was born and raised during
a challenging time. The fishing is bad. For most of my life, the haul has gradually dwindled and other
families have had to move away, driven by poverty and hunger. I too am hungry often. I have been
unable to provide well for my children. But I have persevered. Until today.

It is late Spring, 2015 and I lie in a hospital surrounded by strangers, scared, starving and sick. My body is
overheating, I can’t walk, I can hardly breathe. I don’t know what has happened to my body and I don’t
know if I have the strength of my ancestors to survive! So many of us haven’t.
Epilogue: Our writer did not survive. Here is his story.

1945: The pesticide DDT was widely used and caused a severe loss of life for the Brown Pelican species
due to thinning of their eggshells. By 1960 the Brown Pelican had almost disappeared along the Gulf
Coast and in Southern California. The species had suffered almost total reproductive failure. DDT was
finally banned in 1972. The Brown Pelican was listed as an Endangered Species from 1970-2009.

April 20, 2010: The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of
Mexico. It is considered the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. The total
discharge was estimated to be 210 million gallons. Multitudes of marine mammals were affected and

Starting in at least 2010, the sardine population has been gradually reduced due to overfishing. Sardines
are the most important food source for the Brown Pelicans along the California coast. Despite a decline
in fish-eating wildlife due to starvation, sardine fishing continues.

May 19, 2015: The Refugio oil spill occurred when a corroded pipeline failed and deposited
approximately 143,000 gallons of crude oil onto one of the most biologically diverse coastlines of the
west coast.

Coexist with the Coast

By: Garrett Rodriguez

Critters navigating through the water in the coast

Interacting in their underwater society

Weaving around each other in a colorful display

Dancing traffic

Searching for food


A turtle swoops down to catch a fish

But instead catches a straw in its nostril


A floating trail of the turtle’s blood grows behind him

As he endures the pain and continues to hunt as best as he can


Their world poses no threats to ours

Yet ours does to theirs

We ignorantly dump hazards in their habitats

Out of convenience when a trash isn’t nearby


The coast deserves our tender consideration

It’s full of such rich life

Life that cannot coexist with litter

Critters dying by our apathetic laziness


If the world holds such beauty

May we no longer strip it away with our ugly waste

Let us coexist with the coast

I Run to the Sea

By: Brenda Tello

To capture the sea

Is a difficult task

To watch it rise and fall

Is hard to comprehend


Yet we continue to flock to the sea

To experience something

That only the sea has to offer


I run to the sea because

It’s the only thing on earth

That can hold my secrets


I run to the sea because

Of the force it can inflict

And contain at any given minute


I run to the sea because

Of the unpredictability

That can be felt with each wave


I run to the sea because

Of its calming effects

With each breathe that I take


I run to the sea because

I see hope on the horizon

With each day that passes


It’s my love for the sea

That keeps me running back


By: Claudia Perez

I can taste the salty breeze blowing past,

The wind carries me over the ocean.

My light feathers hold me up high above

As I watch the massive waves make motion.


I see the coast horizon expanding

And I know I’m free to eat, sleep, and play.

I dive down to catch fish underwater.

One goes in my beak, the rest go away.


As I enjoy my tasty, fish-filled meal

A bright sparkle catches my attention.

Flying to see the odd-colored water,

I see it’s oil, to my apprehension.


But it is too late, I am in darkness,

I cannot move a muscle, squawk, or fly.

I am covered with black and blue oil slick,

And I contemplate in my blurred mind, “Why?”


Human greed and thirst have ruined my sea.

They have brought out havoc and destruction.

I suppose the promise of dirt money,

Has been proven too great a seduction.


Now my sandy and sunny home is gone,

Along with a lot of ocean creatures

I long for the condition it once was,

With its vast, blue, and beautiful features.


The wind can no longer carry me.

I cannot taste the cool breeze blowing past.

My fate is set, and I did not know

That the hind flight and meal were my last.


The Ocean Waves

By: Sarah Maldonado

The ocean waves kiss at the sand.

They always are coming back for more.

Oh, there is no stopping the ocean.

        It can travel in many different shapes and forms.

Pushing anything that is in its presence.

Oil and water do not mix.

Yet, humans somehow make it work.

Especially when they know how much it is worth.

The ocean aches with misery.

Humans see its cry but most look aside.

Although the ocean deals with a lot of pain and suffer,

The ocean waves keep kissing the sand.

Always coming back for more.