September 22, 1987
At hearings in 1998 I spoke with a diver that had dove on the wreck twice. Once in 1994 and again in 1998. He referred to it as the "zone of death". Amost no marine life was near the wreck.
He pointed out that the floundering vessel had been towed out to deeper water, or in to shallower water. He did not know which. This article indicates shallower water because recovery was actually being considered. Had that recovery been done, and insurance was available for the vessel to deal with the problem, perhaps the Santa Barbara channel would still have the fish it once did.
Kelp is algae, and it provides the only home for sea life.
It seems likely that this was an intentional sabotage of the channels marine life as retaliation for the local ban on oil drilling. Santa Barbara in 1969 was where "Earth Day" originated, and the nations environmental movement started here as well.
Where we spoke was a public hearing on the closing of sport fishing and limiting of commercial fishing in the Santa Barbara channel. We we the only ones there that knew of the vessel going down with a cargo that was essentially an algecide. Decaying, electrolysing copper or produces copper oxide, deadly to algae.