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Local sea center working to save endangered sea animals in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - 6-year-old Ruby Schaupeter has a passion for sea creatures.

"They have to live longer cuz there might be babies out there that might not be living very well," said Schaupeter.

So Ruby Schaupeter and her dad Brad Schaupeter of Summerland were happy to see baby white abalones at the Sea Center on Stearn's Wharf.

“I Think it’s cool they’re trying to help to bring back these younger ones. I know there’s been an over harvesting," said Brad Schaupeter.

The white abalone is a slow moving sea animal currently endangered.

"Abalones are endangered because they were overfished during the late 1800s and early 1900s for food," said volunteer coordinator Dylan Otte of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Crews at the Sea Center say the white abalone was considered tasty, and sold for the price of a hamburger.

"So it was cheap ... it was readily available ... and they just overfished them," said Otte.

The Sea Center joined breeding programs with other aquariums in California to help save the white abalone.

"It’s going pretty well ... we have a sample trough here that you would see at a farm that grows them and so we’re doing our part here with some of the young babies," said Otte.

In addition to saving the white abalone, the Sea Center wants to help people learn how to protect the ocean in their own backyard.

"My hope is that volunteers will connect the public with the ocean right in our backyard so they’ll care about it and wanna do something about it," said Otte.

The white abalone is a native to the Santa Barbara Channel.

This interactive marine education facility highlights the beauty and biodiversity of the Santa Barbara Channel.

The Sea Center is hoping more volunteers will join the sea crew to help make a difference in saving ocean life.

Volunteers will promote ocean conservation, gain valuable skills in science communication and enjoy advanced learning and training opportunities.

For more information and to apply online visit sbnature.org/volunteer or contact scvolunteer@sbnature2.org or 805-962-2526 ext. 104.211 Stearns WharfSanta Barbara, CA 93101 805-962-2526Open daily 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.

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