Biological research is an important part of the ongoing operations at Piedras Blancas Light Station. Biologists with the National Fish and Wildlife Service received permission from the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a research station at Piedras Blancas in 1977. Their primary interest was the sea otter but other animals were also studied. When the Bureau of Land Management took over the light station in 2001, the public tasked them with allowing continuation of site specific research.
An annual gray whale cow/calf count is conducted mid-March through May by biologists from South-west Fisheries Science Center, http://swfsc.noaa.gov.
Whale counters at Point Piedras Blancas
The biannual California sea otter count is conducted by a United States Geological Survey (USGS) bioogists at Piedras Blancas. The biologists also record sea otter motality and census data on Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery. www.werc.usgs.
Searching for sea otters at Piedras Blancas
Other types of ongoing research at Piedras Blancas include tide pool studies, upper atmospheric wind monitoring studies, and seismeic studies.