2012 Year in Review

Raft of sea otters, Monterey Bay, CA

Raft of sea otters, Monterey Bay, CA

February 21
On Sea Otters, We Need to See the Big Picture (LATimes op-ed by Dr. James A. Estes)


March 3
Toola, the first otter ever to serve as a surrogate mother for stranded pups and arguably the most important animal in the 28-year history of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) program, dies at the age of 16.


March 24 launches on the 23 year anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill


March 24
A Troubling Trend: An Increase in Sea Otter Mortality from White Sharks in California


May 16
Study: Washing Oiled Sea Otters


June 18
Sea Otter Mortality: Learning to Read Between the Lines


June 20
California Coastal Commission Gives Green Light to End the ‘No-Otter’ Zone


June 29
California Sea Otters are More Than Endearing Coastal Icons (op-ed by Jean-Michel Cousteau)


July 2
Interactive: Sea Otters — Furry on the Outside, Beautiful on the Inside!


July 23
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Center opens in Santa Cruz, CA


August 1
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Super Mom” Sea Otter, Joy Dies


August 1
Exxon Valdez will be dismantled for scrap


August 21
The 2012 California Sea Otter Survey is released.


September 7
Study: Thanks to Sea Otters, Kelp Forests Absorb Vast Amounts of CO2


September 11
Otter Pup Is First in California Born to Previously Oiled Sea Otter


September 18
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Celebrates 20 Years of Ocean Protection


September 23-29
Sea Otter Awareness Week


September 28 releases never before seen footage of an underwater hearing test with a southern sea otter.


October 9
Kenai, Shedd Aquarium’s last surviving sea otter from the Exxon Valdez oil spill dies at the age of 23.


October 17
Alaska SeaLife Center rescues one very cute sea otter pup


October 18
40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act


October 21
40th Anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act


October 23
NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program marks 40th anniversary


October 29
Hurricane Sandy Floods New York Aquarium


November 2
Elkhorn Slough Foundation celebrates 30th Anniversary


November 14
California Coastal Commission unanimously votes to deny PG&E’s permission to conduct seismic testing off California coast.


November 17
Mae, First Otter to Raise a Pup on Exhibit, Dies


December 18
U.S. scraps ‘No-Otter’ Zone in Southern California waters

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About is dedicated to raising awareness about California's threatened sea otters and the role research plays in the species recovery and conservation. It's a collaboration of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Davis, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, among others. is also home of the world's first HD live stream of southern sea otters in the wild.