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Local News

Ocean a dangerous neighborhood without kelp

A stellar sea lion skeleton swims among the oak and copper kelp, made by Yorgen Kvinsland of Artstruct.

July 28, 2021 — We’ve learned that the kelp forests off the north coast are in trouble; that they’re being devoured by purple urchin, who in turn are not being devoured by anything. 

Both main urchin predators, the pynopodia sea star and the otter, are missing from the food chain. The sea stars are succumbing to a wasting disease, but why not just bring back a sea otter?

Sarah Grimes, the stranding coordinator at the Noyo Center for Marine Science in Fort Bragg, explains this and much more about the animals that rely on kelp for habitat.

Local News