Believe it or not, one of our planet’s greatest defenders against climate change lies beneath the sea.
Kelp, a large brown seaweed, performs functions vital to ocean health. Like their above-land counterparts, kelp forests store carbon dioxide, the main driver of global climate change. They also serve as a crucial habitat to many species of ocean life—including the much-prized abalone—and have commercial value in food, pharmaceuticals and flame retardants.
But our kelp forests are collapsing at an alarming rate. Northern California’s kelp forests have been reduced by as much as 95 percent in recent years due to ocean heat waves, a sea star disease outbreak, and an explosion of sea urchins that feed on kelp.
At the Bodega Marine Laboratory, we are drawing on decades of scientific observation and data to better understand and counteract these forces.
As always at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, students at every level are key to advancing this science, working under the mentorship of our seasoned researchers. Many are the first in their families to attend college, and their hands-on experience at our laboratory ignites them with passion and purpose.
On Giving Tuesday, you can support the science that preserves ocean health and help grow the next generation of marine science leaders! Thank you for your support!