In August, there was a significant increase in Pismo clams surfacing on the beach near Oceano Dunes. According to Pismo clam expert Dr. Ben Ruttenberg, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the numbers of Pismo Clams surfacing at once are unprecedented. Researchers are searching for answers for this sudden rise, as the Pismo clam population has struggled since the 1900s. "We’ve never seen a population pulse this big,” Ruttenberg said. “It’s exciting. We’re seeing them return.”
Pacific sardines are an essential part of commercial
fishing and the oceanic food chain. Graduate Student Chelsea Bowers, a COAST
Graduate Student Research Awardee, and Dr. Misty Paig-Tran, a COAST Rapid
Response Awardee, are quantifying ingested microplastics in wild Pacific
sardines. They hope their findings will aid other scientists in studying and
finding solutions to the growing microplastics problem.
Researchers from CSU Channel Islands and San Francisco State are leading the study of the Beach Sustainability Assessment (BSA) decision support tool used to assess current and future conditions of California's beaches. This tool can be applied to beaches where coastal managers need to make management decisions, especially in light of climate change. This work has been supported in part by CSU COAST through a Rapid Response award to Dr. Kiki Patsch and Dr. Sean Anderson.
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