Searching for urchins and restoring a kelp forest

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A decimated giant kelp forest in Southern California is making a comeback after volunteers removed almost two million sea urchins that devour the plants.

The Bay Foundation reports that the first year of the program has restored about 12.5 acres of kelp forests along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The new forests have attracted all kinds of sea creatures – including Garibaldi, bass, spiny lobster, and octopus.SEAURCHIN

The foundation says the peninsula’s kelp canopy has declined by 75 percent over the past century, partly due to pollution and overfishing. And that allowed the sea urchins to take hold and crush out most other types of sea life.GARIBALDI

If you want to learn more about California’s kelp forests, check out the California Science Center and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium also has a webcam on its own kelp forest.