comscore Divers smash urchins to save California kelp forests | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Divers smash urchins to save California kelp forests

Kelp forests play an integral role in the health of the world’s oceans, one of the issues being discussed at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai.
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VIDEO COURTESY AP
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Bull kelp lines the beach, washing ashore after days of large surf Saturday, Sept. 30, in a bay near Caspar, Calif. California's coast has bull and giant kelp, the world's largest marine algae. Urchins have hurt both species, though giant kelp forests have fared better.
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Joy Hollenback holds the hammer she uses to crush urchins, Saturday, Sept. 30, near Caspar, Calif. Hollenback is part of a crew of volunteers who swim, snorkel and dive armed with pick axes and hammers on a sole mission: To crush purple urchins that largely destroyed 96% of California's iconic bull kelp forests between 2014 and 2020, and with it harmed red abalone and other sea life they supported.
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Decomposing urchins sit in a bin, Saturday, Sept. 30, in Fort Bragg, Calif. Urchins have hurt both giant and bull kelp, though giant kelp forests have fared better.
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Divers remove their gear after culling urchins as a strand of kelp floats past at a project site by the Bay Foundation off the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Tuesday, Nov. 28, near Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
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Keevan Harding dives down in search of urchins during an event to remove them with the hope of restoring kelp forests, Saturday, Sept. 30, near Caspar, Calif.
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Scientific diver Ryan Yee checks a gauge as he descends to remove urchins at a project site by the Bay Foundation off the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Tuesday, Nov. 28, near Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
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Scientific diver Rachael Karm holds bull kelp with a dark patch of reproductive spores as she surveys a reforestation project, Friday, Sept. 29, near Caspar, Calif. Kelp forests play an integral role in the health of the world’s oceans, one of the issues being discussed at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai.
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A diver waves to a girl as he cleans the glass of the Birch Aquarium's giant kelp forest exhibit, Tuesday, Oct. 10, in San Diego. The exhibit, complete with moray eels, leopard sharks and sea bass, is designed to give visitors a sense of how a healthy kelp forest could look like.
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Artist Margaret Seelie, right, smiles as she loads urchins into her kayak, caught by Keevan Harding, left, during an event to remove urchins with the hope of restoring kelp forests, Saturday, Sept. 30, near Caspar, Calif. Seelie uses the colorful urchins for various elements in her artwork, including as dye for clothing.
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Artist Margaret Seelie holds an urchin during an event to remove them with the hope of restoring kelp forests, Saturday, Sept. 30, near Caspar, Calif. Urchins have hurt both giant and bull kelp, though giant kelp forests have fared better.
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Scientific divers Rachael Karm, left, and Vini Souza talk on the beach after surveying a bull kelp reforestation project, Friday, Sept. 29, near Caspar, Calif.
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Keevan Harding places urchins in a net bag during an event to remove them with the hope of restoring kelp forests, Saturday, Sept. 30, near Caspar, Calif.
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Scientific diver Ian Norton checks a chart as he surveys a bull kelp reforestation project, Friday, Sept. 29, near Caspar, Calif.
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Scientific diver Morgan Murphy-Cannella carries her gear after surveying a bull kelp reforestation project, Friday, Sept. 29, in near Caspar, Calif.

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