Pink dyes released in Torrey Pines State Beach and Natural Reserve

The project will study the relationship of fresh and coastal waters.

PiNC Dye Release SDtoday

A wave a pink from the PiNC project.

Photo by Erik Jepsen / UC San Diego.

Local researchers wanting to study the relationship between fresh water and coastal tides had to think PiNC. On Friday, Jan. 20, pink dyes were released into Los Peñasquitos Lagoon in Torrey Pines State Beach and Natural Reserve.

Scientists from UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Washington will observe the tinted tides for the Plumes in Nearshore Conditions (PiNC) project. This experiment aims to study how plumes of fresh water carry materials into ocean waters — especially in the surf zone.

The pink coloring only lasted for a few hours — but caused quite the splash. Research teams used land, sea, and aerial tools to collect data. The dyes are nontoxic and won’t harm animals or plants — but beachgoers are advised to avoid dyes and research sites as the project continues.

This was the first of three dye releases. The second will be later this month and the third in early February during ebb tides.

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