Seen in the Press



June 11, 2022

As climate change deals a blow to coastal habitats, coho salmon are disappearing from California’s Russian River. Can conservation hatcheries save them?



June 2, 2022

As wildfires, droughts, and floods deal a blow to coastal habitats, wild salmon are disappearing from waterways like California’s Russian River. Can conservation hatcheries save endangered runs?


Monterey Herald

May 21, 2022 

Luke Gardner spends workdays surrounded by bubbling vats of seaweed and tanks of abalone at Moss Landing Marine Lab but trades his lab coat for work boots on weekends to head to his cattle ranch.


The Log 

May 19, 2022

A genetics-based study shows a higher contribution from Southern California’s Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program for white sea bass than previous estimates.


San Diego State News

May 18, 2022

A new study has found contaminants that were banned decades ago are still imperiling critically endangered California condors. 


This article may be behind a paywall if you are not a subscriber to The Press Democrat. 

The Press Democrat 

May 7, 2022 

They were once abundant in the cold, clear water of North Bay creeks and streams. Now, the survival of coho salmon is being challenged like never before.


The North Bay Biz

April 1, 2022

The count of salmon is up this year, but historic drought, extreme heat, storms and fires are seriously threatening their migration and they need help.

Researchers See ‘Future of an Entire Species’ in Ultrasound Technique

The New York Times

February 28, 2022

California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Kristin Aquilino leads the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program at UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, which aims to bring the marine mollusk back from the brink of extinction by finding improved ways of coaxing the snails into reproducing. With the rise of a new noninvasive ultrasound tool that can be used to determine which abalone will be reproductive, the abalone team is hopeful that this method will raise the prospects of successful captive breeding efforts and ultimately help restore endangered abalone in the wild.

NOAA study shows sea-level rise drastically increasing, San Diego impacted

ABC 10

February 16, 2022

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that sea-level rise will increase by up to 12 inches nationally in the next 30 years, the same amount its increased in the last 100 years. Laura Engeman, Coastal Resilience Specialist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and California Sea Grant Extension Specialist, was one of the practitioner reviewers of NOAA’s research.

New Programs Popping Up Connect Fishermen to Food Banks

The Log

December 16, 2021

The Fish to Families program buys fish from local fishermen and distributes healthy, fresh, and sustainable seafood meals to people in need. Extension Specialist Theresa Talley created educational evidence presented with the seafood meals meant to inform San Diegans about their local commercial fishing community and the sustainable seafood products they provide. Now, other sustainable seafood programs similar to Fish to Families are being established nationally to aid in COVID-19 relief.

Dairy cows' greenhouse gas emissions cut by 52% after eating seaweed at Bay Area farm

San Francisco Chronicle

October 27, 2021

California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Luke Gardner comments on the ambitiousness of an alternative cow feed project following the success of a UC Davis study that fed beef cattle red seaweed, reducing their methane output by 82%.

Study identifies Morro Bay Estuary as site to restore native oysters


October 11, 2021

California Sea Grant Aquaculture Specialist Kevin Marquez Johnson is part of a recent study that identified Morro Bay Estuary as a priority location for restoring the native Olympia oyster population through conservation aquaculture. It's a project that unites shellfish lovers and conservationists on the Central Coast. 

Toward a Sustainable Blue Economy - Symposium focuses on harnessing the promise of the coast

North Coast Journal

October 07, 2021

A three-day symposium on the "Sustainable Blue Economy" was held virtually last week, sponsored by California Sea Grant, the Humboldt Bay Initiative and several local consulting firms. The symposium featured scientists, community activists and an economist, as well as government officials of all denominations, ranging from county planners to the head of a state agency.

Humboldt Bay Symposium focuses on sea-level rise, adaptation

Times Standard

September 28, 2021

Sponsored by California Sea Grant, The Humboldt Bay Symposium is a forum for learning about the latest developments on a variety of current issues related to the Humboldt Bay region including research and restoration of coastal ecosystems, economic development, and sustainable use and recreation. This year’s virtual three-day event, themed “Sustainable Blue Economy,” analyzes present and future effects of climate change to the Humboldt Bay region, as well as solutions to mitigate potential impacts.

Keep Clam and Carry On: Researchers Work to Bring Back a Pismo Tradition

Cal Poly News

September 08, 2021

California Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension Specialist Kevin Marquez Johnson is a co-lead on a project that aims towards developing native pismo clams as a new, local aquaculture species.

How Rising Seas Push Coastal Systems Beyond Tipping Points


September 01, 2021

A new multidisciplinary case study from USGS and collaborators—including California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Monique Myers—looks at how even modest sea-level rise threatens coastal communities, infrastructure and ecosystems such as beaches, tidal marshes and estuaries by pushing them past “tipping points,” the crucial junctures at which even slight changes can fundamentally alter how an entire system behaves.

Northern California kelp forests show signs of recovery after sea urchin removal

San Francisco Chronicle

August 09, 2021

California Sea Grant funded project to remove sea urchin from specific underwater sites is proving effective in bringing kelp back.

Salt marsh resilience compromised by crabs along tidal creek edges

Phys Org

August 09, 2021

California Sea Grant State Fellow Kathryn Beheshti is the lead author of a new study that found that coastal marshes in Elkhorn Slough are vulnerable to erosion by superabundant crabs found at their highest densities along the estuary's tidal creeks. 

Can reviving beach dunes help California with sea level rise?

Los Angeles Times

August 01, 2021

Researchers of a California Sea Grant funded project will evaluate direct and indirect effects of MPAs on beaches and surf zones by comparing the abundance and diversity of indicator species, including birds, surf zone fish and threatened and endangered species between MPAs and reference sites, and analyzing changes in ecological variables inside and outside MPAs over time.

At a California oyster hatchery, farming native seaweed improved water quality

NOAA Climate

July 29, 2021

Native seaweed has the potential to be cultivated in California coastal waters and used to alleviate the effects of local ocean acidification, according to a new study funded by NOAA's California Sea Grant. Besides providing a local and sustainable source of food, researchers and aquaculture producers are exploring how seaweed production may benefit its surrounding environment.

Report Underscores Need For Climate Resilience In San Diego Region


July 07, 2021

CalCOFI Coordinator and extension specialist Erin Satterthwaite contributed to a recent report from the American Planning Association and Scripps Institution of Oceanography that underscores the need for climate resilience in San Diego.

How scientists are using a 'romantic solution' to save endangered white abalone


May 05, 2021

Extension Scientist Kristin Aquilino is featured in a video and interview where she discusses her team's strategy for mating endangered white abalone in the lab. She is the lead scientist for the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program based at the University of California, Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, who are actively working to repopulate white abalone populations. 

Spiny lobster comes back to San Diego

San Diego Reader

February 10, 2021

California Sea Grant coastal specialist Theresa Talley found that less than 10 percent of the seafood consumed in San Diego is local. However, as demand for California spiny lobster goes up in San Diego, the local Tuna Harbor Dockside Market has seen an increase in visitors. 

Scientists solve mystery of mass coho salmon deaths. The killer? A chemical from car tires

Los Angeles Times

December 03, 2020

After 20 years of investigation, researchers have found the culprit that caused massive coho salmon die-offs after it rained in creeks along Pudget Sound. California Sea Grant fisheries biologist Mariska Obedzinski weighs in on the discovery of the toxic chemical that caused these acute mortalities. 

Sink or Swim? Scene in San Diego Podcast Dives Into How San Diego's Fishing Industry Is Weathering the Pandemic Storm

NBC San Diego

September 18, 2020

Local fishermen have banded together to create a meal distribution program called Fish to Families centered on three communities hit hard by the pandemic: the fishing industry, hospitality workers, and locals facing food insecurity. A group of 12 local fishermen are providing about 550 to 600 pounds of seafood weekly to the program, and Fish to Families was able to distribute 2,400 meals in its first five weeks.

Together San Diego: Craft Meals

The San Diego Tribune

September 11, 2020

Chef Phillip Esteban and Craft Meals are being recognized by The San Diego Union-Tribune and its readers as a “Community Hero” for showing exemplary leadership in helping the community during the pandemic through the Fish to Families partnership. 

Pilot Program Supports Local Fishermen and Families in Need

San Diego Eater

August 26, 2020

Fish to Families is a partnership that serves the fishing industry, hospitality workers, and the food insecure by cooking and distributing free sustainable seafood meals for communities in need. NOAA Fisheries and California Sea Grant provide educational materials to the group. 

Massive Seagrass Die-Off Leads To Widespread Erosion In A California Estuary


July 28, 2020

Following an unprecedented estuary-wide collapse of the seagrasses in Morro Bay, scientists documented extensive erosion and geomorphological changes, which may indicate future shoreline and coastal habitat changes.

Saving Endangered Coho Salmon in Central California

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

June 03, 2020

Scientists from the California Sea Grant extension program and Sonoma Water have been actively monitoring juvenile and adult Coho salmon returning to the Russian River system since the hatchery program began. The number of adult Coho returning to the river each year to spawn has gradually increased from just a handful in 2009, to more than 700 in 2017-2018.

Is pandemic giving aquaculture a jump start?

Monterey Herald

May 24, 2020

An executive order designed to support and promote domestic aquaculture may be beneficial for California's aquaculture practices. California Sea Grant Aquaculture specialist Luke Gardner and other scientists at Moss Landing Marine Labs are testing aquaculture practices to enhance their sustainability and productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Struggles of state fishermen intensified by coronavirus

Monterey Herald

April 05, 2020

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic creates many new obstacles for the fishing industry and the fishermen reliant on it. California Sea Grant created a list of open fish markets for those seeking to support local fishermen. 

Researchers to develop sterile mussel larvae

Hatchery Feed & Management

March 30, 2020

California Sea Grant will fund a project aimed at developing triploid mussel larvae for farming.

Can protein-rich microalgal co-product replace fishmeal and fish oil in trout?

March 30, 2020

California Sea Grant funded a project which aims to develop a new protein meal by processing under-utilized microalgal co-products that are leftover from oil extraction in existing facilities.

Microplastics found in a quarter of San Diego estuary fish

March 18, 2020

A new study led by California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Theresa Talley found that nearly a quarter of fish from a creek that flows into San Diego Bay contain microplastics. 

Humboldt Bay a refuge from ocean acidification, but for how long?

Times Standard

February 16, 2020

Joe Tyburczy, a marine ecologist with California Sea Grant Extension, studies eelgrass and its impact on buffering ocean acidification in Humboldt Bay.

New Streamflow Improvement Plan helps coho in key Russian River tributary

Trout Unlimited

February 13, 2020

Due to shallow depths in the streams of the California Russian River, endangered coho salmon struggle to migrate to complete their lifecycles. The Upper Green Valley Creek Streamflow Improvement Plan was established to bring the community together to modify water use to improve instream flow for coho salmon migration and ecosystem function. 

Rising sea levels threaten California beaches. Here’s how we can help protect them

Sacramento Bee

January 11, 2020

California Sea Grant Extnesion Specialist Monique Myers penned an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee highlighting the threat to California's beach culture from sea-level rise, and what we can learn from island nation Kiribati. 

Scientists struggle to save seagrass from coastal pollution

Associated Press

December 23, 2019

Former California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Jennifer O'Leary is featured in this AP feature on struggling seagrass ecosystems around the world. 

New research highlights an integrated approach for managing aquatic invasive species in California

Phys Org

December 02, 2019

Though small and somewhat nondescript, quagga and zebra mussels pose a huge threat to local rivers, lakes and estuaries. California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Carolynn Culver and colleagues at UCSB's Marine Science Institute are adding to this arsenal of prevention measures with a pair of studies that appear in a special edition of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management. They focus on taking an integrated approach to the management of aquatic invasive species as the state works to move beyond its current toxic, water quality-reducing methods.

Tropical fish, microplastics and disappearing beaches: Climate change along the Central Coast


October 07, 2019

Butterfly Beach in Montecito is popular among beachgoers. But 30 years from now, there won’t be much of it left to enjoy.

“You're going to have more hours a day where the waves are just lapping up onto the seawall,” said Monique Myers, a California Sea Grant researcher studying the vulnerability of Santa Barbara’s coast.

Saving California's Kelp Forest May Depend On Eating Purple Sea Urchins


September 09, 2019

Purple sea urchings are mowing down California's kelp forests, a vital part of the ecosystem.

Luke Gardner, an aquaculture specialist with the California Sea Grant, had his students run a research trial on this problem. The goal was to make these urchins valuable by turning them into a delicacy.

Climate change may damage oyster habitat up and down California, researchers say

The Tribune

August 19, 2019

In California, the native Olympia oyster — nearly wiped out by over-harvesting at the beginning of the 1900s — and the widely farmed Pacific oyster both call coastal estuaries their home.

But the two species may soon be facing a housing crisis prompted by climate change, as new research originating from UC Davis and published in Limnology and Oceanography suggests their habitat may soon shrink.

UC Davis environmental science and policy Professor Ted Grosholz led the study — funded by a California Sea Grant — with a team that included first author Jordan Hollarsmith, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Vancouver’s Simon-Frasier University in Canada.

UC Davis study shows effects of climate change on oyster farming

Eureka Times-Standard

August 09, 2019

A four-year academic study funded by California Sea Grant and conducted by lead researcher Ted Grosholz of UC Davis found that oyster habitats in bays and estuaries along the California coast can be impacted by climate change.

The study, conducted from 2014-17, was performed in Tomales Bay and the research found that the greatest impact on oysters occurred in the earliest stages of development, particularly when the oyster was ready to start forming its shell.

Oysters in peril as warming climate alters the water in their habitats

San Francisco Chronicle

August 08, 2019

Even moderate changes in water temperature, acidity and dissolved oxygen make it harder for native and commercial oysters to grow their calcium-based shells, a situation that does not bode well for the future, concluded a paper published this week in the journal Limnology and Oceanography.

It means the severe climatic changes predicted as the Earth warms over the next few decades could dramatically shrink the habitat for both farmed oysters and the native species that scientists have been trying desperately to restore, said Ted Grosholz, a professor of environmental science who led the study with funding from California Sea Grant.

A Deep Dive into the San Diego Fishing Industry

San Diego Magazine

July 31, 2019

The current reward for commercial fishers’ sustainability efforts? Of the 7.1 billion pounds of seafood Americans eat annually, over 90 percent is imported. Theresa Talley, researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, published a report that found only eight percent of San Diego’s 86 seafood markets consistently carried local fish. This is bad news in many, many ways.

DDT contaminants in marine mammals may threaten California condor recovery

San Diego Union-Tribune

July 11, 2019

The California condor’s dramatic recovery from near-extinction was aided by removal of toxic substances from the land, which accumulated in animals whose carrion they ate.

But that recovery may be threatened in coastal condors by DDT-related contaminants in marine mammals, according to a preliminary study led by an SDSU researcher.

Coastal-dwelling condors have more of these compounds than those living inland, the study found. These are presumably absorbed from marine mammal carcasses, said study leader Maggie Stack. This might explain why coastal condors have thinner eggshells than those inland.

The preliminary findings were reported Wednesday by a team led by Stack, a California Sea Grant trainee and a graduate student at San Diego State University. Because the study has not been peer-reviewed, it requires further validation before it can be published, Stack said.

Hatchery-Born Coho Salmon Are Helping Save the Species From Extinction in the Russian River


June 09, 2019

At the beginning of this century, the coho in the Russian River were almost completely eradicated.

“We were seeing less than 10 adults returning to the Russian River watershed, when years ago there were thousands of fish returning,” says Mariska Obedzinski, who helps run California Sea Grant’s Russian River Salmon and Steelhead Monitoring Program.

The Russian River watershed was once a stronghold for Central California’s coho salmon population, but Obedzinski says things like extreme habitat loss and drought years have led to the downturn.

Can We Grow Enough Seaweed to Help Cows Fight Climate Change?

Civil Eats

June 03, 2019

Over the past few months, graduate students and researchers at California’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratories have scoured coastal waters, collecting seaweed in the hopes of finding a native species that could help gassy cows.

Cows belch—a lot. And their burps (as well as those of other ruminants) make them the top polluters of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. A researcher in Australia published a study showing near-complete reductions of methane in the burps of cows that were fed minute amounts of seaweed—specifically, asparagopsis taxiformis at 2 or more percent of the total feed.

Dr. Luke Gardner, a California Sea Grant Extension Specialist based at the Moss Landing laboratories, is hoping to find a native California seaweed with properties similar to asparagopsis.

Tuna Harbor fish market celebrates city’s fishing heritage, local catch

San Diego Union Tribune

May 18, 2019

The Tuna Harbor Fishermen’s Festival brings together fish, consumers and commercial fisherman to promote the local catch and sustainable practices.

“This is a way to connect people to the source,” said Nina Venuti, a researcher with California Sea Grant. It’s also a way to get people thinking of San Diego commercial fishing as more than tuna, she said.

White sea bass being raised in Newport Beach help build the fish’s population in the Pacific

Los Angeles Times

April 29, 2019

For more than 25 years, tens of thousands of young white sea bass have been under the care of volunteers from the Balboa Angling Club, who want to see more of the fish in the Pacific. The fish will stay in the grow-out pen before being released when they’re about a foot long to continue maturing in the wild, enhancing a population that was nearly decimated between the 1950s and 1980s.

Recovery rates, however, have been low, according to a 2017 paper by the California Sea Grant Extension Program out of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Of about 2,000 fish recaptured throughout the life of the enhancement program, about 200 had Newport tags. With more than 2 million fish released so far, that’s an overall return rate of less than 1%. Recapturing some of the fish is intended to see if and how fish reared in captivity enhance the total population.

Earth Matters | Scientists look for methane solutions

Santa Cruz Sentinel

February 28, 2019

California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Luke Gardner leads a project to explore whether adding California-grown seaweeds to cattle feed could help reduce methane emissions. Scientists at Moss Landing Marine Labs aquaculture center, where Gardner is based, hope that the project could help revitalize the dairy industry while simultaneously propelling the algal aquaculture industry and reducing U.S. dairies carbon emissions.

Earth Matters | Aquaculture in a time of climate change

Santa Cruz Sentinel

January 31, 2019

Luke Gardner, California Sea Grant Aquaculture Specialist at Moss Landing Marine Labs, notes that Hog Island Oysters must now raise the pH of their Humboldt Bay hatchery waters in order for their oyster seed to settle and grow. To support the industry, aquaculture center researchers are studying ways to buffer ocean acidity through integrated techniques where algae and shellfish grown together in multi-chamber recirculating tank networks. This research is critical, notes Gardner, because we are “rapidly approaching a time when shellfish growth will be impacted by ocean acidification.”

Kids help restore white seabass population, but report says state program is ineffective

Orange Country Register

December 21, 2018

California Sea Grant, the research program that produced this year’s report, is compiling and analyzing the 195 comments — mostly from fishermen — received in the town hall sessions and subsequently by mail and email.

That analysis is expected to be released by February.

Could California’s ocean ranches solve a global food shortage and fix the seafood trade deficit?

Washington Post

November 26, 2018

Paul Olin has spent his career in aquaculture, developing programs to raise shrimp, scallops and finfish. He is consulting with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as it prepares the environmental review of aquaculture in state waters. In the meantime, he is looking to the federal oceans as the next possibility.

Working with the port of Ventura, Olin is helping organize a project in which the port would lease 20 federal parcels of 100 acres each off the coast. The port, bearing the costs of permitting, would then lease the parcels to mussel farmers.

The benefit to the farmers is clear. But the port would also gain, Olin said, from the business the mussel farms would bring to a once-thriving working harbor that, like many along the Southern California coast, has been converted largely to tourism uses.

“We’ve seen a major shift in public sentiment — the social license — and government acceptance that this is the only way we’re going to produce the seafood we need,” said Olin, who hopes the Ventura project will be up and running within two years.

Small Amounts of Water Enable Juvenile Salmon to Survive

Environmental Monitor

August 27, 2018

Recent research led by California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Mariska Obedzinski reveals that even small amounts of running water in coastal California streams can mean survival instead of death for juvenile coho salmon.

One fish two fish: counting salmon on the Russian River


August 14, 2018

Three fish biologists from the group California Sea Grant climb into big black balloon-like dry suits, hop over fences and scurry down steep river banks, whacking away brush to get to the river bed.

They spit in their goggles to stop them from fogging up, check to make sure their field computers and flashlights are working, and prepare themselves for a face full of cold water.

Farmed Salmon Isn't as Bad as You Think It Is — Here's What You Need to Know


August 09, 2018

Whether or not you consider yourself a health nut, you're probably aware of the hot debate revolving around the health benefits of farmed vs. wild salmon. "Farmed Atlantic salmon are hatched, raised, and harvested under controlled conditions and available fresh year round," said Pamela Tom and Paul Olin of the University of California Sea Grant Extension Program.

How Much Water Do Coho Salmon Need? Researchers Find Surprising Answer

Water Deeply

July 09, 2018

In California's small coastal streams, where hundreds of thousands of Coho salmon once returned each year to spawn, most wild populations now barely cling to survival. Habitat loss and intensive water use have pushed them to the brink; now climate change and increasing competition for water resources could send them over the edge.

However, recent research offers some encouraging findings – that juveniles of Coho salmon, an endangered species in California, can survive in creeks where just a trickle of water remains flowing. Since Coho spend their entire first year in fresh water before heading for the sea, it’s critical that their creeks don’t dry out in the summer.

Scientist Mariska Obedzinski and three collaborators – Sarah Nossaman Pierce, a California Sea Grant Extension specialist; Gregg Horton, a principal environmental specialist at the Sonoma County Water Agency; and Matthew Deitch, an assistant professor of watershed management at the University of Florida – found that less than 1 gallon per second of flow in small streams is all it takes in some creeks to keep pools interconnected.

What’s Still Threatening Coastal California Condors?

June 21, 2018

A portrait of a California condor, one of the world's largest flying birds, hangs opposite the desk of Nathan Dodder. The image is a constant reminder of the threatened bird that the San Diego State University analytical chemist is working to help save.

Along with SDSU environmental scientist Eunha Hoh and colleagues at the San Diego Zoo, Dodder recently received funding from California Sea Grant to study environmental toxins found along the coast that could impact the condor's reproductive success.

A Little Water Could Make a Big Difference for Endangered Salmon

Environment News Network

June 05, 2018

Even small amounts of running water—less than a gallon per second—could mean the difference between life or death for juvenile coho salmon in coastal California streams, according to a new study published in the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

The study, led by California Sea Grant Extension Specialist Mariska Obedzinski, shows that during dry periods, that amount of water was enough to keep pools interconnected, allowing young salmon to survive through the hot, dry summer months.

New Tool to Improve Fishing Efficiency and Sustainability

Eco Magazine

June 04, 2018

Worldwide, fishing fleets discard as many as two of every five sea creatures they catch. Now, a new tool--developed with funding from California Sea Grant--can help fishers locate the most productive fishing spots while avoiding unwanted or protected species such as sea turtles and dolphins.

Called EcoCast, the experimental tool developed by researchers at Stanford and other universities combines satellite data of ocean conditions, records from fisheries observers and species tracking data to pinpoint ideal fishing areas on a daily basis. Resource managers can adjust the weighting of each species as risks change and the fishing season progresses. This helps fishers optimize their harvest of target fish, while reducing the risk of inadvertently catching and killing sensitive species.

Tool locates the best fishing spots while avoiding turtles


May 31, 2018

A new software tool can help fishers locate the most productive fishing spots while avoiding unwanted or protected species such as sea turtles and dolphins.

Humboldt Bay hosts ‘Burke-Lator’ to measure effects of ocean acidification on shellfish, eelgrass

Times Standard (Eureka)

May 25, 2018

Humboldt Bay is now the third body of water in California to host the “Burke-o-Lator,” a device that will work to monitor how the state’s second largest enclosed bay and its renowned shellfish industry are affected by ocean acidification.

The scientific instrument was installed earlier this month where it is neighbored by young oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company’s hatchery in Samoa. It’s no coincidence that the Burke-o-Lator’s latest home is at California’s largest shellfish producing region. Ocean acidification weakens oysters’ and other shellfishes’ ability to produce strong calcium carbonate shells and therefore threatens one of the regions largest economic drivers.

The monitoring project is being led by a team of researchers from Humboldt State University, Oregon State University and California Sea Grant with collaboration with other agencies and the Wiyot Tribe.

Studying the journey of beach sand can combat sea level rise, improve surf conditions

San Diego Union Tribune

April 29, 2018

In a new study on beach nourishment projects, scientists from Scripps Oceanography followed sand placed on local shorelines, as it traveled along the coast.

The study, published in the current issue of the journal Coastal Engineering, tracked sand deposited on four San Diego beaches to see how it functioned there, and where it moved in following years.

Does more sand always mean a better beach?

NPR Science Friday

April 13, 2018

Beach nourishment, the process of dredging up sand from the seafloor to replenish eroding beaches and protect coastal ecosystems, has a history that goes back to the 1920s expansion and widening of the beach at Coney Island. But does it work as intended? And where does all that sand go once it’s placed?

Marine sanctuary officials working on invasive species plan

The Log

April 05, 2018

A pair of invasive Japanese algae could spread into the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, according to two members of the sanctuary’s Resource Protection Department. Members of the sanctuary staff are developing an invasive species management plan.

California Sea Grant and UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute launched a website to help raise awareness of invasive species along the Central Coast; the website is at

Report: Offshore Fish Farms Could Thrive in California

News Deeply

March 26, 2018

Aquaculture proponents view the ocean off Southern California as an ideal place for an emerging industry. The key, new research found, will be to carefully locate facilities to minimize environmental risks and conflicts with other marine uses.

“If we’re going to have more seafood to eat, we’re going to have to start growing it,” said Paul Olin, an aquaculture expert and extension specialist with the California Sea Grant program.

Off the Green and into the Blue

Hakai magazine

February 21, 2018

A staggering number of golf balls wind up in the ocean. What happens to them?

Alex Weber is collaborating with ecologist Matthew Savoca, a California Sea Grant State Fellow who earned his PhD studying the effects of plastic and marine debris on the ocean. Their research is intended to set a baseline understanding of the problem while exploring why the golf balls gather in certain areas, how long it takes for them to break down, and what it all means for marine life—all topics that nobody else, it seems, has closely explored.

Study finds California's seaside cliffs crumbling without discernible pattern

San Diego Union Tribune

December 20, 2017

A new report out of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography finds that methods of tracking coastal cliff erosion using historical data to predict the impacts of sea-level rise may be unreliable.

The report called out California’s worst areas for cliff failure in the first decade of this century — including San Onofre State Beach, Daly City, Point Reyes National Seashore and Palos Verdes. The research was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s California Sea Grant program.

Whale watching in the age of drones

San Diego Union Tribune

October 20, 2017

To help drone operators observe animals without inadvertently harming them, Alicia Amerson founded the San Diego-based company AliMoSphere, which trains drone pilots to fly safely in marine environments.

Two years ago, Amerson completed a California Sea Grant State Fellowship as a resource consultant for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. In his office, she worked on a variety of projects concerning marine conservation and marine mammal safety.

Teach the Kids to Fish

Hakai magazine

October 19, 2017

Peter Halmay is 76, but retirement is the furthest thing from his mind. He works six days a week diving for sea urchins, organizing his catch, or doing boat work. He spends his day off speaking in front of fisheries managers or working on his latest endeavor—recruiting and educating a new generation of fishers through apprenticeships.

Halmay and Theresa Talley, a scientist from California Sea Grant at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, are in the early stages of developing the apprenticeship curriculum for future fishers in San Diego, California.

Study Says Two-Thirds of Local Beaches Will be Lost to Sea Level Rise by 2100

Santa Barbara Independent

September 23, 2017

The newly released Coastal Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment (CEVA), funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, details the potential impacts of climate change to Santa Barbara County’s coastline ecosystems, especially beaches and wetlands. “If we value them, we have to make plans for them,” said Monique Myers, a California Sea Grant researcher who organized the study. “They are on the frontline of climate change.”

A deadly herpes virus is threatening oysters around the world

The Conversation

September 10, 2017

Today a deadly herpes virus, Ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1), is threatening Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas), the world’s most popular and valuable oyster species. It is almost certain to spread more widely in our globally connected world.

Colleen Burge is currently funded by the NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Program and the UMBC-UMB Research and Innovation Partnership Grant Program for her work on OsHV-1. She has been funded in the past by California Sea Grant College Program and National Sea Grant.

How a tiny portion of the world’s oceans could help meet global seafood demand

The Conversation

September 05, 2017

Aquaculture (aquatic farming) accounts for just over half of all the seafood consumed worldwide.

After two years of analysis by our expert working group, we found that 3 percent of the world’s oceans appears very suitable for marine aquaculture. This may sound small, but it is actually an extraordinary amount of area, spread across nearly every coastal country in the world – about four million square miles.

Author Rebecca Gentry has received funding from California Sea Grant (R/AQ-134) and the Waitt Foundation

Central Coast Scientist Finds Algae Are Resilient Despite Climate Change


August 16, 2017

A Central Coast scientist has found that algae are resilient despite the effect of climate change on the ocean, which is good news for large sea snails known as abalone.

[California Sea Grant and] Cal Poly San Luis Obispo biologist Dr. Jennifer O’Leary took a closer look at ocean acidification, which is caused by climate change.

Fight over disputed Healdsburg logging plan escalates amid state delay

Press Democrat

August 01, 2017

A cold, clear stream that provides some of the last refuge for wild coho salmon in Sonoma County lies at the center of a dispute over logging plans in the forested hills above Healdsburg. The proposed removal of redwood and Douglas fir trees from a steep hill above Felta Creek and the Russian River Valley poses a risk, opponents say, to remaining habitat for an endangered fish species once abundant in the freshwater streams and rivers of the North Coast.

“There were two years where Felta was the only stream in the entire Russian River watershed that we knew coho existed,” said Mariska Obedzinski, a fisheries biologist with the California Sea Grant program who specializes in endangered salmon recovery.

Food for thought: Conservation “leakage”

MEAM (Marine Ecosystems and Management)

May 01, 2017

The recent article “Can the United States have its fish and eat it too?” published in Marine Policy describes some of the consequences of the US combining relatively well-managed domestic fisheries with significant imports of seafood from foreign fisheries, some of which have greater rates of overfishing, bycatch, and interactions with threatened species. Co-author Carrie Pomeroy is an extension specialist with California Sea Grant.

Between land and sea: Morro Bay's eelgrass population needs help

New Times SLO

April 19, 2017

As the die-off started to threaten an end to Morro Bay’s eelgrass beds, the estuary program looked to Cal Poly for help finding answers.

Jennifer O’Leary, a marine scientist who’s an adjunct professor at Cal Poly through the California Sea Grant program, is spearheading some of the efforts.

Fallen trees in Sonoma County creeks add to salmon habitat

Press Democrat

March 29, 2017

Acomb pointed out a pink ribbon tied to a small branch at the edge of the creek, and said — with a brimming smile — it was put there by University of California salmon-monitoring program to mark the place where coho and steelehead were found spawning.

Thursday Night Talk: Ocean Chemistry, Global Climate, Local Effects


March 28, 2017

What does a changing climate mean for North Coast fisherman and shellfish producers? 

Aquaculturalist Greg Dale, along with CA Extension Specialist Joe Tyburczy and scientist Erik Bjorkstedt discuss predicted impacts and mitigation.  

Baby salmon trickle back to Russian River waterways after a long absence

Press Democrat

March 15, 2017

After an absence of more than a decade, a trickle of salmon are finally finding their way back to Sonoma County streams.

Everyone involved with salmon rescue in Sonoma County knows Mariska Obedzinski, because it’s her job to count the salmon.

MUSSEL UP | Ventura Harbor concept could become aquaculture blueprint for California and beyond

VC Reporter

February 01, 2017

It turns out that when a group of entrepreneurial, scientifically minded individuals comes together for a project, big ideas can emerge. Such is the case of the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise — a proposed multiparty project that would allow for 20 100-acre plots for growing mussels in state waters within the Santa Barbara Channel near Ventura Harbor.

Marine ecosystems show resilience to climate disturbance

Science Daily

February 01, 2017

Climate-driven disturbances are having profound impacts on coastal ecosystems, with many crucial habitat-forming species in sharp decline. However, among these degraded biomes, examples of resilience are emerging.

Writing in BioScience, Jennifer O'Leary, a California Sea Grant Marine Biologist based at Polytechnic State University, and her colleagues describe these recoveries and highlight the possible implications for ecosystem-sparing management.

As Fresh As It Gets: A Fish Market Run by Local Fishermen


November 01, 2016

As a fisherman, being able to sell your fish directly to consumers seems like common sense. But in California, that was nearly impossible until last year.

“You could have food trucks and farmers markets but there was nothing for fishermen,” Theresa Sinicrope Talley, a coastal specialist with California Sea Grant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography says.

Previously, fishermen could only sell their catch off the boats or at local farmer’s markets. While places like Dory Fleet in Newport and Ventura Harbor’s Saturday Fisherman’s Market allow fishermen-to-consumer transactions, fishermen do not maintain full ownership of those facilities.

‘Changing tides’: Humboldt Bay Symposium discusses state of the ocean, coastal progress

Eureka Times-Standard

October 24, 2016

The Humboldt Bay Symposium at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka presented two days of updates, development and changes that have happened within the region over the last two years.

“Two days was not enough, but I feel like we put together the best group of experts that we possibly could,” said Joe Tyburczy of California Sea Grant, a main sponsor of the symposium.

Scientists See Aquaculture in America's Future

Voice of America

October 02, 2016

Scientists who share the vision of thriving fish farms off the California coast met at workshops this year and last sponsored by the Sea Grant program.

"Populations of wild fish in the oceans today are approximately half or less than half of what they historically were," said Paul Olin of California Sea Grant.

Underwater robots help scientists see where marine larvae go and how they get there

The Conversation

September 27, 2016

On the California coast, Steven Morgan at the University of California at Davis documented larval behaviors of shore-dwelling species that apparently enabled them to avoid being swept offshore by strong currents. And Morgan’s colleague John Largier explored the pattern of currents in which the larvae drifted.

Port warms to aquaculture in SD Bay

San Diego Union Tribune

August 19, 2016

The San Diego Unified Port District is in the early stages of jumpstarting a vibrant, growing aquaculture industry in San Diego Bay.

Theresa Talley, a coastal specialist and researcher at the California Sea Grant program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said major seafood operations in San Diego Bay are probably not appropriate quite yet.


“The water quality isn’t fit for food quality,” she said. Even shooting for success in 50 years is ambitious.

California Sea Grant Fellows take coastal walk to La Jolla

La Jolla Light

August 11, 2016

State Fellows Morgan Visalli and Jocelyn Enevoldsen are environmental science graduates from UC Santa Barbara who’ve taken on the task of walking the 1,300 miles of the California Coastal Trail. On Tuesday, they passed through La Jolla and met with students and beachgoers for a chat by Scripps Pier.

6 Redevelopment Plans Proposed for Seaport Village

NBC News

July 13, 2016

More than a thousand people packed a ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Wednesday to hear about proposals to redevelop Seaport Village. For the first time, the public was invited to comment on the plans proposed by six developers on Wednesday.

Theresa Talley of Sea Grant told NBC 7 that she wants the ocean environment to be sustained.

“We're just hoping that some of these messages of being concerned about the environment, people's well-being, the fishing industry and aquaculture stay on the forefront,” Talley said.

Ocean Acidification Affects Predator-Prey Response

UC Davis Newsroom

June 28, 2016

Ocean acidification makes it harder for sea snails to escape from their sea star predators, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

The study was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, California Sea Grant and UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Sea star babies return in droves amid die-off

Eureka Times-Standard

May 06, 2016

California Sea Grant Extension marine ecologist Joe Tyburczy recalled how a Humboldt State University graduate student researching the sea stars in 2013 noticed her specimens were breaking apart in the marine lab tanks.

Pew Fellowship funds [CA Sea Grant and] Cal Poly biologist's study of Indian Ocean


May 04, 2016

Scientists are working hard to get a handle on the changing environments of the world’s oceans, and one woman in particular, [California Sea Grant and] Cal Poly’s very own biologist Jennifer O’Leary is among those leading the way.

O’Leary recently received a prestigious Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation and is freshly back on the Central Coast from management and conservation work she’s doing in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

Hikers invite others to walk in their path

Del Norte Triplicate

May 03, 2016

The hikers are using their journey to drum up public awareness for the 1,230-mile route. Using GPS, the hikers will identify gaps and create interpretive content for the California Coastal Trail Association.

Enevoldsen and Visalli, graduates of UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science, are wrapping up year-long California Sea Grant State Fellowships.

University of California president visits Humboldt County

KRCR News Channel 7

April 27, 2016

Janet Napolitano became the first University of California president to visit the North Coast with her trip Wednesday.

According to officials, she came to learn more about what the University of California’s cooperative extension office is doing in Humboldt County. UC Sea Grant scientists explained climate change issues in the North Coast.

Camp SEA Lab turns kids into junior marine scientists

Monterey County Weekly

April 14, 2016

"Gaining knowledge – and inspiration – begins with discovery." That is the essence of Camp SEA Lab, a multi-faceted summer camp run by CSU Monterey Bay that awakens youth – local and elsewhere – to the wonders in the waters off our shores. It’s an essence neatly summed up by the camp’s acronym: science, education, adventure.

SEA Lab – which was founded in 1997 with seed funding from the Packard Foundation, the California Coastal Commission and a California Sea Grant – is also a year-round operation, and hosts school groups at a facility in Aptos in every season of the year except summer.

UCSB Researchers Studying El Niño Sea Level Rise

Santa Barbara Independent

March 07, 2016

Since the arrival of El Niño in November, sea levels have risen 20 cm to become a surrogate for the next 250 years of climate change, giving scientists the prime opportunity to study future erosion of the Santa Barbara coastline.

Researchers at UCSB [are] currently analyzing erosion at nine research sites, extending from Coal Oil Point Reserve to Shoreline Park, with the assistance of a California Sea Grant by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Cal Poly extension specialist receives $150,000 Pew Fellowship

The Tribune

February 28, 2016

A California Sea Grant extension specialist based at Cal Poly has been awarded a $150,000 Pew Fellowship in marine conservation.

Jennifer O’Leary will use the fellowship to implement and assess marine protected areas in the Indian Ocean in her role as co-director of the Science for Active Management Programoff the coast of East Africa.

UC Santa Barbara Researchers Measure El Niño Coastal Erosion


February 18, 2016

Winter storms and tides may have battered the coastline, but UC Santa Barbara researchers are using those El Niño conditions to track the rate of cliff erosion in Santa Barbara County.

UCSB’s research was made possible through a NOAA California Sea Grant, which is awarding scientists who track the impacts of El Niño this winter. 

This new bill means more cash for California fishermen

The New Food Economy

February 18, 2016

Theresa Talley, a professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography [and California Sea Grant], aims to raise public awareness of local seafood producers with one of her research programs, Healthy Ocean-Healthy City. Talley says getting consumers to eat local species is tough because over 90 percent of the fish Americans currently eat is imported.

What Lurks Beneath

Bay Nature

February 01, 2016

Troubling ocean conditions have challenged scientists. Is a silent killer entering the San Francisco Bay? research funded by California Sea Grant

Aquaculture: The next great Monterey County frontier?

Santa Cruz Sentinel

January 27, 2016

Scientists and industry experts have begun developing a new center for aquaculture headquartered at California State University’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

The aquaculture facility already received funding from the Packard Foundation and the Moss Landing meeting was supported by California Sea Grant.

From Pacific to plate

San Diego Union Tribune

November 03, 2015

As a coastal specialist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Theresa Talley wondered why it was so hard to buy the sort of fresh caught seafood she enjoyed as a child. She found that California permitting laws limited how fishermen could sell their catch to the public. On top of that, there was a mismatch between what consumers wanted and what fishermen caught.

Brown signs bill aiding fishermen's markets

Del Norte Triplicate

October 12, 2015

Last week Gov. Jerry Brown signed the so-called “Pacific to Plate” bill making it easier for commercial fishermen to sell their catch directly to consumers by streamlining permits and other requirements to create local fishermen’s markets.Sponsored by Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), AB 226 “allows fishermen’s markets to operate as food facilities, vendors to clean their fish for direct sale, and multiple fishermen to organize a market under a single permit,” according to a press release from California Sea Grant, a partnership between federal fisheries managers, the state of California and state universities, that spearheaded the “Pacific to Plate” bill.

San Diego Experts Talk Health Benefits Of Eating More Seafood


September 02, 2015

Theresa Sinicrope Talley, California Sea Grant Extension specialist at UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said many Americans prefer imported fish like tuna, salmon and shrimp. She said 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat is imported.

"It's not a problem," Talley told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. "I think it would be better to include more smaller fish. They tend to be a little more efficient because you get more energy per unit."

Study: Trash in City Heights Canyons Linked to Plastics in Fish

Speak City Heights

September 01, 2015

Theresa Talley of California Sea Grant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said students collected from the canyons anywhere from 5 liters of trash during the dry season to more than 300 liters during the rainy season.

Talley said fish in Chollas Lake and the bay are ingesting that trash. She and other researchers have found plastics and chemicals fromp lastics in the guts of local fish.

Is it OK to eat fish every day?

August 30, 2015

Mercury is much less of a problem in smaller fish with shorter life spans, says Theresa Sinicrope Talley, a researcher with the California Sea Grant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Mercury won't cause lasting damage in adults, although it can cause temporary neurological effects.

Scripps Fish DNA Study Will Examine Climate Change’s Effects On Fish


August 26, 2015

Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said Wednesday they have completed a two-year sampling of DNA from fish that spawn near the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, creating a baseline that can be used for future studies.

The study was funded by the Richard Grand Foundation and California Sea Grant, a partnership between universities in California and federal and state government agencies.

A Fisherman And Conservationist: A Kenyan Fisherman Restores Corals For 40 Years

National Geographic

August 19, 2015

From CASG Extension Specialist Dr. Jennifer O'Leary:

One single fisherman has made a tremendous contribution to conservation of the fished reefs in Mombasa. It is our responsibility to support Pascal in these efforts and capitalize on his knowledge by engaging others in restoration and knowledge sharing.

Why Is This Fisherman Selling Threatened Bluefin Tuna For $2.99 A Pound?


June 11, 2015

Theresa Sinicrope Talley, a coastal specialist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, says local fishermen like Haworth are simply catching what's plentiful and pricing it to local demand.

"They're trying to make this business work. They're aware," Talley says. "They don't want to harm the environment, either — their livelihood depends upon it."

Drought Brings Double Dose of Damage to Coho Salmon


April 17, 2015

"What we are trying to do is count and see how many survived on the way to the ocean," said UC San Diego biologist Mariska Obedzinski. Obedzinski is a biologist with the UC San Diego and California Sea Grant, 

It's a battle to save the smelt. They are one year old Coho salmon, almost all of them from state hatcheries, in a race this year against a drought that threatens to dry out their streams and landlock them. 

"They cannot access the ocean. And so if they can't get out they are going to die. Then we lose that year of fish," said Obedzinski.

San Francisco Bay: The Ocean’s Watershed

Bay Nature

April 06, 2015

By bringing cold water up to the surface, upwelling helps create conditions for the fog that often blankets San Francisco. Unfortunately, our understanding of ocean upwelling entering the Bay is just as cloudy.

To track this upwelling water, John Largier, a researcher at UC Davis’s Bodega Marine Lab, and his lab have set up an elaborate two-year plan to collect as much data about it as they can, funded by a California Sea Grant.

Research Highlight: Local Survey Shows More Than Half of All California Fish Species Can Be Found in La Jolla

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

March 02, 2015

"We were surprised to learn that, based on specimens archived in the Scripps Marine Vertebrate Collection, 265 species of fishes representing 95 families have been collected in the immediate vicinity of La Jolla and its marine protected areas,” said Hastings. “That's over half of the entire marine ichthyofauna recorded from California waters.”

The study, “Fishes of Marine Protected Areas Near La Jolla, California,” published in the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences in December 2014, was funded by California Sea Grant and the Link Family Foundation.

The Fisherman’s Dilemma

California Sunday

March 01, 2015

What had drawn me to peek under California’s waves was not a great love of scuba, but something radical that California was trying to do with its ocean. Over the past 15 years the state has upended nearly every aspect of its fisheries management. At the center of that effort is the creation of 124 marine protected areas, covering more than 850 square miles, where fishing is banned or severely curtailed.

Understanding Adaptive Capacity

The Current - UCSB

February 24, 2015

As ocean acidification and warming continue to increase due to climate change, how will California fisheries respond? UC Santa Barbara’s Gretchen Hofmann is looking to answer that question. She is one of seven recipients of a California Sea Grant Core Award.

Using Science to Empower Communities and Improve Marine Protected Areas in East Africa

National Geographic

February 24, 2015

When you think about East Africa, probably the first images that emerge are of large terrestrial animals like elephants and lions. Many people don’t know that East Africa has vibrant marine fishing communities and hundreds of miles of coral reefs.

In 2009, Jennifer O’Leary - currently a California Sea Grant Extension Specialist - and Arthur Tuda formed the SAM (Science for Active Management) with the Kenya Wildlife Service to help East African MPA managers and local fishers understand and manage their reefs.

How Cal State Long Beach students use Colorado Lagoon as learning lab

Long Beach Press-Telegram

February 03, 2015

Colorado Lagoon has not only undergone a massive restoration project in recent years, with more work promised in the future, but the 13-acre site has become a learning lab for Cal State Long Beach students.

CSULB associate professor Christine Whitcraft’s work has been funded by NOAA, the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy, and the California Sea Grant and the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, which gave more than $250,000 toward restoration work.

Widespread Fish Consumption Drives Fears of Empty Oceans

NBC News

January 28, 2015

As doctors and health specialists urge us to eat more fish, environmentalists are warning that we may end up harvesting our favorite sea life to the brink and beyond. Some of the most popular varieties have already begun to decline precipitously, experts say. And that's with Americans eating less than half of what the U.S. government's dietary guidelines suggest. While fish farming might seem to offer the perfect solution to the overharvesting problem, in its current state, it's deeply flawed from a sustainability standpoint, says Theresa Sinicrope Talley, a coastal specialist with the California Sea Grant Extension Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. That's due to the food most fish farmers are feeding their stock: other fish.

Faculty Member Whitcraft and Students Working to Preserve and Improve Wetlands

CSULB - News at the Beach

January 20, 2015

Beginning in 2012, the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy provided funding to support associate professor Christine Whitcraft’s work in coastal wetland restoration. Other support came from the California Sea Grant and the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program which provided more than $250,000 for restoration efforts.

School communities help restore Oxnard beach

Ventura County Star

February 09, 2014

The event was organized by the Research and Education for Students and Teachers about the Ormond Beach Restoration Project, a locally managed but federally funded education program. Although the project runs field trips to the wetlands throughout the year, Saturday was the first time students from all participating schools could visit the site on the same day and with their families, said California Sea Grant specialist Monique Myers, who has led the project since it began in 2008.