Aliso Beach is one of my favorite places. There are things you expect to see when you come to Aliso Beach. Skim boarders, surfers, body boarders, surf photographers, joggers, children playing at the water’s edge, and families with blankets and beach gear trying to fend off sea gulls looking for a free meal. This is the normal stuff. Every time you visit this is a part of the beach normal. It is what you see.
Last weekend, I saw something I can’t explain and I will begin with this question. Have you ever seen grown men filling up large Sparklett’s Water Jugs with sea water and using a hand dolly to transport the jugs back to a truck where they poured the sea water into large plastic barrels? I suspect not but what do I know? If you are like me, this is something you haven’t ever seen and you were curious as to what the heck was going on. To be honest, the dudes kind of looked like they were from a reality tv show in the south, and their activity on the beach was nothing short of strange to me.
I figured they were salt water aquarium business owners or a group that sold sea water to local, tropical fish stores. I do have to mention that if that were the case, it would be funny to me because Aliso Beach has posted water warnings due to contamination more than other places. Having had a salt water aquarium at one point in my life, I know that they bring in water from the Catalina Island area and would assume due to the presence of less human beings and urban development that the water would be cleaner. So back and forth these guys went from the beach to the truck in the parking lot. This went on for hours. It was interesting to me that neither a lifeguard nor a police officer asked these guys what they were doing. Aliso Beach is a marine protection zone so I am surprised that these two fine gentleman weren’t questioned for taking water. They certainly stuck out like a sore thumb.
Two different friends asked them what they were doing and a shocking explanation was given. One friend said they were working on a project and their answers, as reported, felt a little evasive. When a second friend inquired as to what they were doing, he was told him that they extract the minerals from sea water and use them to grow wheat grass. I drink wheat grass juice every morning so this had my attention. If I knew that Aliso Beach sea water was being used to nurture the wheat grass that I drink daily for health benefits, I would not drink it. Given their old school and technology-less collection process of sea water, my logical mind wants to call bullshit. Aliso Beach ocean water would not be my first choice of local sea waters to extract minerals from if in fact wheat grass is fed minerals from ocean water. Since Aliso Beach is fed by Aliso Creek which runs into the ocean daily while carrying urban runoff and pollutants, I wonder how these two guys are filtering out the toxins found in this water. Brake dust, fertilizers, pesticides, oils, cleaning solvents, and fecal coliform bacteria are all a part of the toxic mix that runs into the ocean at Aliso Beach via the creek. How are they removing these harmful agents from the minerals they claim to be extracting from the water and who is doing the work? These are fair questions for these strange men who managed to fill large barrels of sea water and make off with them only to use them in their so called science experiments. They had me shaking my head, that is for sure.