Krista Almanzan

Summer has arrived at Watsonville’s Pinto Lake Park. School children are having end of year picnics, and the RV camping spots are filling up.   But what hasn’t arrived are the toxic algal blooms.   

In recent years Pinto Lake has been plagued by chronic blooms of a toxic blue green algae.  It looks bad, smells worse and has the potential to make people sick.

Krista Almanzan

The Rancho Cielo Youth Campus in Salinas offers a fresh start for at risk youth.  As this non-profit educational institution marks its 10th year, it’s also celebrating the launch of two new programs. 

“What you see are five homes and one community room and laundry facility.  They built this lovely village,” says Susie Brusa, Executive Director of Rancho Cielo as she walks along a circular path which connects a cluster of freshly painted, single story houses.

Chasing Sudden Oak Death

May 22, 2015

Central Coast residents concerned with protecting the area's coastal live oak trees are joining forces in the coming days to stop the spread of a serious disease. Sudden Oak Death (SOD) has been a problem in California for years, but now scientists have tools to track—and possibly slow—its spread.

Volunteers play a crucial role in this process, according to Lauren Brown, a trainer with the 2015 Spring SOD Blitz, a campaign aimed at mapping the location and status of trees throughout the state.

Baby Sea Stars Offer Hope Amid Mass Die-Off

May 21, 2015
James Tensuan

UC Santa Cruz PhD student Monica Moritsch stands knee deep in the chilly water at Terrace Point in northern Santa Cruz. This is a spot where marine biologists have been counting sea stars closely for more than 15 years.

“Just look high and low. Look in the cracks,” she directs her two interns in the search. “The small ones tend to hide in the crevices.”

In the tide pools carpeted with iridescent black-and-blue mussels, they quickly find what they’re looking for.  “Oh, there’s two right here,” she says.

“Oh, there’s three!” says intern Samantha Chavez.

SPCA for Monterey County

Often when you adopt a dog from an animal shelter it’s a mixed breed.   But in this day of designer dogs and DNA testing, shelter animals are getting re-branded and perhaps increasing their chances of adoption.

Two newly minted designer dogs share a room at the SPCA for Monterey County.  “So this is Tom and he’s with Champ.  Champ a lot of people thought was Chihuahua. It’s was kind of hard to guess what other parts were,” says Beth Brookhouser, Director of Community Outreach at SPCAMC.