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Sea Otter Webinar 2023
Reintroducing predators to save kelp forests?
Sea Otter Awareness Week Webinar with Dr. Jorge Arroyo-Esquivel September 29 12pm Pacific

As California's kelp forests have experienced a massive a decline of over 95% this past decade due to an intense marine heat wave and the crash of the only remaining natural predator of sea urchins: the sunflower seastar.

Reintroducing predators like sea otters and sea stars might just be the key to helping kelp forests survive future marine heatwaves.

Sea Otters Recovery and Advocacy

As Sea Otter Awareness Week approaches (September 24-30, 2023), Marine Conservation Institute has teamed up with Sea Otter Savvy to raise sea otter awareness

Sea otters are a keystone species, which means that their presence in the environment has a significant impact on ecosystem structure and other species. As a predator of sea urchins, crabs and many other invertebrates, sea otters help maintain healthy kelp forests and sea grass beds. Fur hunters removed sea otters from vast areas of their historic range in the 1700 and 1800’s nearly driving sea otters to extinction.

Today, conservation efforts along the US West Coast and British Columbia are bringing otters back from the brink of extinction with them healthier coastal ecosystems. Sea otter recovery in increasingly recognized as an important step in maintaining these 'Blue Carbon' habitats and an important part of building resilience to climate change for nearshore ecosystems. Marine Conservation Institute is supporting these efforts; here are a few resources to learn more about how you can support the recovery of sea otters:

  1. Join Marine Conservation Institute's Webinar: Reintroduction of predators: The key to a more resistant kelp forest? with Dr. Jorge Arroyo-Esquivel
  2. Elakha Alliance
  3. Sea Otter Savvy
  4. Bay Nature Article, Hannah Hindley
  5. Marine Mammal Commission
  6. Defenders of Wildlife
  7. Monterey Bay Aquarium
  8. Marine Conservation Institute's Blog
© Morgan Rector
© Morgan Rector