Kelp Restoration and the demise of purple urchins off Palos Verdes

Save_the_Kelp_Bass_copy

Who’ll think of the Bass? SMBRC will.

The Los Angeles Times ran a front page article this week detailing the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission’s 5-year plan to cull 4.8 million purple sea urchin from the cove and reefs on the southern end of the Palos Verdes peninsula. Hopefully as the urchin population is reduced to less than two percent of it’s current state, kelp will  flourish and we’ll get to enjoy once more what pioneering scuba divers during the 1950’s knew to be a prime and dynamic example of a healthy kelp forest ecosystem. With $2.5 million in funding from the Monsanto/Montrose Settlement fund, scientists and divers will be working overtime on a 152 sq acre patch trying to bring to fruition a restoration project that has been the dream of local divers and environmentalist for the past 50 years.  It’s an exciting time for those of us who love our local waters here in Los Angeles.

One of the most important things to remember when looking at marine restoration and conservation projects is that we can never make things look exactly how they used to be. We won’t be seeing the virgin environment that the those first divers saw as they explored places like Abalone Cove and Whites Point, relying on new technology to open up the nearshore environment. We do however have the chance to make it look the way we want it to, and that would be a healthy and balanced ecosystem. So keep your fingers and webbed toes crossed for success as these local scientist and divers work towards a healthier ocean.

For more information or to find out ways your can make a difference, contact either Tom Ford, Director of Marine programs at the SMBRC or Brian Meux, Marine Program Manager at Los Angeles Waterkeeper.

For a link to the Los Angeles Times article and more details, click on the picture below:

Sunlight through the kelp

The Los Angeles Times article is like a ray of sunshine through a beautiful kelp forest

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