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Monitoring our ocean with a positive outcome

(Sent to the Laguna Beach City Council)

Hello Councilmembers,

I have been doing ocean monitoring and restoration in Laguna Beach for 19 years. Having worked on kelp forest restoration and abalone restoration in Laguna, I was filled with anxiety as the oil spill approached our reefs earlier this month. 

I have begun to assess the reefs for evidence of damage from the spill. My team and I did six dives from CdM to Emerald Bay yesterday (Wednesday, Oct. 20) and we plan on diving Crescent to Dana Point next Wednesday, Oct. 27.

So far, we have not seen any evidence of oil on the reefs. We know what “normal” looks like since we dive every week along the coast collecting data. We went out to look for “abnormal.” We saw no evidence, on the macro scale, of any oil on the surfaces of animals, algae, or reefs; there were no dead animals on the bottom; and the animals we did encounter were acting “normally” and responsive. 

I thought you might be relieved to have this information. I was going to share it during public comment next week at your meeting. 

Have a great day!


Capt. Nancy L. Caruso

Marine Biologist/Founder

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