Seacliff State Beach
Retired and docked at
Seacliff State Beach, the ship now harbors hundreds of sea birds, and
offers a unique visual display for guests who stand atop a hill looking
down on this incredible structure. Significant in the fact that it
continues to paint a picture of Santa Cruz County in an historical
perspective as a vacation getaway over the decades, a healthy
Board Walk north of this pier in the city of Santa Cruz celebrated 100
years in existence in 2007. This region is the best example in
California (and only one of several surviving amusements that offers a
glimpse into California's past.
Pleasure piers were all the rage...after wharfs initially were built
to bring goods to land via shipping. Some of the original wharfs and
docking stations are gone, as are some of the piers first built for
pleasure. A filmmaker asked us how many pier exist in California today,
and we could not provide a definitive answer. Why? A definition of
a public pier as prescribed by the California Department of Fish and
Game would include some docks that are nothing more than wooden plank
structures anglers can stand on and cast a line.
No matter how many exist, this pier is one of the most prominent and
easiest to spot in a flight pattern that often takes air travelers
directly over the pier and the
Santa Cruz pier. The state beach next to
the pier is mellow, providing RV overnight camping, shaded picnic areas
and a visitors center with a gift shop.
Below is information about removal of oil found in the cement ship.
Old oil removed from SS Palo Alto in 2006
and the historic cement ship at Seacliff State Beach was deemed
safe for wildlife.
The SS Palo Alto, a ship built around 1919, had oil aboard the
nearly century-old ship. It was found in one port
forward bunker tank, which was configured much like an animal trap. With
narrow, vertical opening that led to a large, horizontal, rectangular
tank, birds could get in, but very few
got out. This death trap became an oil removal project at Seacliff State Beach in Aptos.
A join project, The Unified
Command - the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill
Prevention and Response (OSPR), Department of Parks and Recreation, U.S.
Coast Guard, and contractor Titan Maritime - all sought to prevent future wildlife entrapment. Titan's crew opened the tank's
entry hole to 4 feet by 10 feet, and removed all the oil and oily
173 birds, two deceased harbor seals, and
animal parts in various stages of decomposition were removed from the
tank, the oil was disposed of properly and the cement ship looks exactly
the same as it did.