CSU Long Beach Shark Lab may lose funding, cut programs that protect swimmers

Leanne Suter Image
Thursday, March 28, 2024
Renowned Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach may lose funding
The CSU Long Beach Shark Lab may have to cut programs that monitor sharks off the SoCal coast - and warn lifeguards when they get close to beaches.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach is in danger of running nearly out of funds by the summer and may have to shut down programs that monitor and benefit marine life - and protect Southern California beachgoers.

The lab is concerned its state funding will be significantly cut by June and it is actively seeking to raise $7 million from private and nonprofit sources to keep its programs going.

Those programs include monitoring hundreds of adult and juvenile sharks that swim along the Southern California coast.

Click here to learn about supporting the CSULB Shark Lab.

That also lets them warn lifeguards if the sharks get too close to the shoreline where swimmers may be present.

"It's getting pretty serious," said Shark Lab director Chris Lowe. "We have enough money to carry us through June but after that, if we don't get more funding, we're going to have to pull out all of the equipment out of the water. We won't be able to monitor sharks along California anymore."

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Lowe says the state created a shark beach-safety program in 2018. Since then the shark lab has developed a high-tech system of receivers, buoys and underwater monitors that allow them to track and tag sharks in real time. An instant notification can be sent directly to lifeguards to help keep those in the water safe.

"Everything that we learned from our science gets out to the public, and this is unique," Lowe said. "It's considered one of the best shark mitigation programs in the world."