beaches

Lance Cowart

King tides and large breaking waves on the Central Coast have prompted several water rescues over the past week, but Cal Fire officials said it’s not just current beach conditions contributing to an increase in water rescues.

Tourists and trash filling Central Coast beaches

Aug 19, 2020
photo by Angel Russell

Despite the pandemic, tourists are flocking to Central Coast beaches to escape the hot inland weather. But the increase of people is also leading to an increase in trash left behind throughout the coastal communities.

California Coastal Commission

Hollister Ranch is a 14,000-acre property located on the Santa Barbara County coast, between Goleta and Point Conception. A gated community surrounded by a working cattle ranch, real estate ads for Hollister Ranch tout its eight-and-a-half miles of private beach frontage.

But a new law authored by Santa Barbara state assembly member Monique Limon requires increased public access to Hollister Ranch’s seashore.

Algae bloom suspected of sickening sea lions

Jul 21, 2017
Jon Sullivan/Wikimedia Commons

A Central Coast marine mammal center is currently treating over 20 ailing sea lions that have washed up on San Luis Obispo County beaches this week.

Doug Jenzen, Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center

Nesting season for the endangered western snowy plover officially starts on March 1, which means portions of some Central Coast beaches will be closed for several months to come. 

The water at Central Coast beaches should be avoided over the next few days, the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health said on Monday.

Ricky Staub - Instagram @NeighborhoodFilm

A High Surf Warning issued Friday by the National Weather Service was in effect along the Central Coast through Saturday morning, and a High Surf Advisory extended through Sunday afternoon for areas south of Point Conception. 

Pipeline company releases tarball origin analysis

Jun 22, 2015
Jordan Bell

The origins of several tarballs collected on Southern California beaches late last month were confirmed Monday.

Plains All American Pipeline announced that they received a portion of the lab results analyzing tarballs found on beaches from Gaviota to San Clemente.

Kimberly Walker: Environmental Scientist, Marine Region Fisheries Research and Management Project, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Central Coast residents and visitors should get a chance in the coming days to see a natural phenomenon that is expected to peak along local beaches.

The annual grunion run is predicted to take place Saturday through Tuesday nights, April 4-7. When the conditions are right, thousands of the small fish beach themselves as part of their mating cycle. There will be another run this month, April 18-21, and two more in May.

National Weather Service

A storm system brewing in the Pacific off the coast of Oregon and Washington is expected to affect the surf along the Central Coast.

There is a High Surf Advisory in place for the West to Northwest facing beaches of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties Monday evening through Wednesday.  

The National Weather Service says a large swell is moving into the area bringing surf of 8 to 12 feet, with some local sets as large as 14 feet. The peak wave action is expected Tuesday.

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Marie became a Category 4 storm Sunday morning as it moved north, hundreds of miles off the West Coast of Mexico and farther out into open ocean.

The National Weather Service predicts potentially damaging surf generated by the storm to impact south and southeast facing beaches of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, with surf building on Tuesday and peaking Tuesday night into Thursday.

There is potential for some of the highest surf seen in recent years for a southerly event, with max sets of 10 to 15 feet possible.

Twitter feed for Carrie Kelly ‏@CarrieHKelly

Increased numbers of blue jelly fish—known as velella velellas—are washing up on Central Coast beaches according to scientists with California State Parks. Reports out of Southern California show a similar situation.

This summer the large colonies have been spotted at several state beaches in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.

"The numbers have been large enough over the past several weeks to get people’s attention," said Vicky Waters, Deputy Director for Public Affairs with California State Parks.