CA - California’s critical kelp forests are disappearing in a warming world. Can they be saved?
The “sequoias of the sea” suck up carbon and shelter special species. They’ve been hit hard, but scientists, surfers, and more are banding together to save them.
KELP NEED OUR help. Which is why an unprecedented alliance of scientists, fishers, surfers, entrepreneurs, and experts is coming together to revive California’s vital kelp ecosystem, decimated by a warming ocean.
“The California coast without kelp is like the Amazon without trees,” says Tom Ford, executive director of the Bay Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring Santa Monica Bay and its coastal waters.
Indeed, scientists call these fast-growing underwater forests the “sequoias of the sea” for their ability to store large amounts of carbon dioxide. By absorbing CO2 in the surrounding water, seaweed decreases acidification that can kill marine life. Through photosynthesis, kelp forests boost oxygen levels in the ocean while helping protect the coast from erosion by reducing the speed and size of waves. (See beautiful photos of kelp gardens around the world.)