Massive-scale monitoring and research of the sea star wasting disease is happening along the West Coast because of collaborations between University scientists, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, school groups, and the general public. These collaborative research and citizen efforts are essential for understanding the causes and consequences of the sea star wasting disease.
After ten years of monitoring within a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the northern Channel Islands, a new series of analyses show changes in subtidal rocky reef and kelp forest habitats. A four-page booklet "Ten Years of Change at the Channel Islands" summarizes these findings. Overall, sea life inside these reserves is bigger and more abundant than outside the reserves.
The Refugio Oil Spill occurred on May 19, 2015, just north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, California. According to the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, the spill was caused by a buried pipeline that ruptured. Initial reports estimated the amount of oil spilled to be approximately 21,000 U.S. gallons (500 barrels). This estimate was later revised to over 105,000 U.S. gallons (2,500 barrels). More than 20,000 U.S. gallons (480 barrels) of crude oil is estimated to have spilled into the ocean.