More than 20 species of sea star suffered in a disease outbreak that started in 2013. But in the Bay Area, one small star hasn't returned.
Once there were thousands, a galaxy of tiny stars strewn over the rocky beaches of West Marin and the San Mateo coast. But within only a few years, Leptasterias pusilla, or the six-rayed sea star, vanished from Bay Area coastal beaches.
All along North America’s West Coast, sea stars are vanishing. The colorful invertebrates are falling victim to one of the largest epidemics ever seen in the ocean: a mysterious plague known as sea star wasting disease. A new study by researchers in the lab of Professor of Biology Sarah Cohen delves into the dramatic decline this disease has caused in Leptasterias — also known as six-rayed sea stars — around San Francisco Bay.
Research by EOS Center scientists suggests otters could thrive in wetlands like those in the Bay Area.
San Francisco Bay has seen a recent resurgence in marine mammal species, and new research by a team including San Francisco State University scientists suggests that there might be room for one more. Sea otters, the study shows, would find widespread food and habitat in the Bay — and could perhaps spread to other estuaries, too.
What’s being done to protect Marin’s coastal lands from the effects of climate change?
If you joined us for the discussion with New York Times award winning investigative reporter Ian Urbina, you will want to watch his moving testimony before Congress.
EOS Center researchers write in the SF Examiner about their work on sea stars, whales and more
At the Estuary & Ocean Science (EOS) Center in Tiburon, San Francisco State University faculty and students tackle the toughest issues facing the Bay, from toxic algae blooms to whales tangled in fishing gear. Now EOS researchers are bringing this science to the public through an ongoing series in the San Francisco Examiner.
Read more at SF State News.
On October 21 and 22, a number of EOS Center students, faculty and alumni took part in the 14th “State of the San Francisco Estuary” conference in Oakland, an event held by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership to highlight efforts to manage and understand San Francisco’s estuary. Researchers at the EOS Center and its partner organizations presented 19 posters, and Professor of Biology Katharyn Boyer and EOS Center Executive Director and Professor of Biology Karina Nielsen both gave plenary talks at the event.
As Californians, there are few things we love more than the ocean. The water and beaches aren’t just remarkable natural resources, though—they’re essential to our state’s economy. Every day, research makes it more clear how climate change threatens California’s precious coasts, perhaps irrevocably.