A few weeks after [California's late-January] storm, in early February, eight scientists with a research consortium called the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network, or MARINe, hiked towards a beach smothered by one of the Big Sur debris flows. The sour smell of decomposing creatures hit them. A few turkey vultures nipped at the sand. There were dead sea stars, chitons, and likely hundreds of dead black abalone. In a previous visit to this site, scientists were able to count 150 black abalone or “abs” in a small 50-meter area, with hundreds left uncounted. A fraction of the site’s population remained.