Today’s Solutions: October 26, 2021

Kelp is a key pillar of marine ecosystems and a huge carbon sink, but along the California coast, populations have been dwindling in recent years. Overpopulation of sea urchins, which feast on kelp, as well as rising sea temperatures, have devastated these marine forests, but new drone images from the Nature Conservancy offer hope for their comeback.

The researchers have been observing kelp forests by drone since 2019, flying 400 feet above the surface to map out the size and reach of kelp forests. While previous years showed a nearly barren sea landscape, this year’s images optimistically show much more brown seaweed than last year.

The researchers believe the comeback can be attributed to a recent upwelling of cool, nutrient-rich waters. Between 2019 and 2020, the average size of a kelp canopy increased from one acre to 5.5 acres.

Although the ecosystems are still out of balance, Kirk Klausmeyer, director of data science of Nature Conservancy’s California chapter believes that more data can help conservationists better address this crisis: “When dealing with problems like this, we really have to get as much data as possible. And drones allow us to get really high-resolution imagery of individual kelp plants.”

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

6 Foods for eye health that aren’t carrots

These days, many of us spend a lot of time straining our eyes by staring at screens. Unfortunately, cutting back on screen time may be difficult, especially if work demands that we work on our ... Read More

This wooden steak knife is three times stronger than steel

Scientists from the University of Maryland may have discovered a more eco-friendly alternative to ceramics and stainless steel for our knives and nails by figuring out how to chemically alter wood so that it can ... Read More

Newly discovered properties of cannabis could help prevent seizures

Cannabis has been used to battle against disease throughout history, with the component cannabidiol (CBD) becoming an accepted treatment for many disorders including epilepsy, anxiety, and more. However, cannabis contains many other cannabinoids which have ... Read More

Candy to costumes: 6 ways to make your Halloween more sustainable

Halloween is just around the corner, and many families are excited to celebrate the holiday in full force for the first time in two years. Last year we shared how to sustainably dispose of post-holiday ... Read More

These crafty activists flock together and stitch canaries for climate change

Over the past few months, residents in the UK would have had the chance to spot more than 70 “flocks” of UK crafters that have been gathering across the nation as a way to encourage ... Read More

The future of eco-friendly laundry detergent is in dissolvable sheets

While laundry pods are supposed to be biodegradable, wastewater treatment plants often don’t have the capacity to create the necessary conditions to dissolve them. As a result, the material in question (polyvinyl alcohol) typically ends ... Read More