Mon, 03 Aug 2015
SBC LTER sites oiled by pipeline break
On May 19, 2015, a black tide of heavy oil from a broken pipeline began to come ashore at Refugio State Beach on the Santa Barbara Channel mainland. A large group of SBC investigators and students responded immediately to what became known as the Refugio oil spill, pooling their expertise and local knowledge of the SBC LTER area to help monitor the spill as it spread to many miles of coast and ocean over the next few weeks. The coastline and waters affected by the oil spill include a number of SBC's long term research sites ranging from kelp forests to sandy beaches. Working in collaboration, SBC investigators and students have been gathering and providing myriad data and observations to the state and federal agencies working to evaluate and clean up the damage from the oil spill. Although the clean up of the coastline and beaches following the Refugio spill is winding down, scientific investigation of the environmental impacts of the spill will continue for much longer. SBC's scientists are playing an important role in determining the extent of those impacts and what may be done to restore this once pristine coastline. For more information see Network News or UCSB press release.
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