Tern to the money
An editorial in today's Los Angeles Times by Kimball Garrett and Kathy Molina outlines the known facts and offers some commentary. The op-ed piece concludes with
To my mind, the viable solution is the latter: "...fines should be exacted from those responsible and put toward the purchase, placement and monitoring of similar nesting barges in the harbor."
In the short term, given the squeeze on real estate for colonial seabirds in our coastal region, these barges should either be seized from their owners and devoted in perpetuity to the terns of Long Beach Harbor, or fines should be exacted from those responsible and put toward the purchase, placement and monitoring of similar nesting barges in the harbor. If you build it, they will come.
We need to work with folks who don't share our nature-oriented sensibilities and who have to make a living--for instance, with those barges. We can't just seize the barges--which would seem to imply lack of remuneration for their personal property--and deprive them of their livelihood. Imposing the fines would seem to be sufficient punishment to the barge owners and notice to other owners about appropriate actions.
The purchase of barges specifically for nesting terns appears the best option. So who's going to lead that effort?