Amid a troubling disease that has wiped out millions of sea stars up and down the West Coast, researchers are reporting seeing hundreds of juvenile sea stars at scattered sites.

The discoveries offer hope for a potential comeback from sea star wasting disease that has caused sea stars to curl up, grow lesions, lose limbs and disintegrate into a pile of goo.

Not all the sites have seen juveniles and it hasn't been broad. But at one site in Santa Cruz, California, for example, more babies were counted in the past year or so than in the previous 15 years combined.

Scientists now are tracking whether baby sea stars survive and what happens when a key predator of urchins, mussels and other species is lost.