Coal Oil Point | MARINe

Click here for Long-Term trends

Click here for Biodiversity Survey findings

Coal Oil Point is located in the South Coast region of California, in the University of California Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve. The site is located within the Campus Point State Marine Conservation Area, and is near the Santa Barbara Point Mussel Watch site. This gently sloping site consists of relatively flat terrain.

Coal Oil Point biodiversity survey overview

Coal Oil Point is dominated by a mixture of consolidated sandstone and mudstone bedrock, boulder fields, and cobble beach, and the area surrounding the site is comprised of a mixture of consolidated bedrock and sandy beach. Sand inundation of the plots (sometimes 100% cover in the Anthopleura plots) is common at this site. The primary coastal orientation of this site is south.

Long-Term Monitoring Surveys at Coal Oil Point were established in 1992. This site was sampled by the University of California Los Angeles through 2018 and is now monitored by the University of California Santa Barbara. Long-Term MARINe surveys currently target the following species: Anthopleura (Anemones), Mytilus (California Mussel), Phyllospadix (Surfgrass), and Pisaster (Ochre Star). In addition, motile invertebrates and mussel size structure are monitored at this site. Click here to view Long-Term trends at this site.

Coal Oil Point long-term monitoring overview

Biodiversity Surveys were done in 2002, 2006, 2012, 2016, and 2021. The Biodiversity Survey grid encompasses one section that is approximately 30 meters (along shore) x 50 meters (seaward). Click here to view Biodiversity Survey findings at this site.

This site is also regularly surveyed by LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students) which is an environmental monitoring and education program for students, educators, and volunteer groups. You can access site specific data from this citizen scientist and educational broad scale trend monitoring program.

Coal Oil Point was sampled in 2015 as part of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). Biodiversity Linked Vertical Photoplot (BLVP) and motile invertebrate surveys were done as part of the NRDA.

For more information about Coal Oil Point, please contact Jenn Caselle (

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