Website G2KR.com Petition 2020 info g2kr.com/urchin-removal-petition
Kelp, our forests in the sea, are being clear cut by an explosion of purple (and red) sea urchins. Without their usual predators, since the sea star wasting disease wiped out the large sunflower sea stars in 2013, and warming marine water trends, our near shore ecosystem is turning from kelp forests into urchin barrens, 2019.
Update - In the 2019 season of the Monterey Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project, kelp persisted year-to-year on only the lowest purple urchin design reef with an average purple urchin density of 0.58 urchins per square meter. We anticipated 0.6. Science Rocks! Red urchins were not manipulated, but they cannibalize and were attracted to the smashed purple urchins. The red urchins nearly quadrupled their density from 0.7 to 2.7 red urchins per square meter. In 2020 we are removing the red urchins too and we have had much more successful kelp recruitment to the patch reefs.
Part II – Keith Rootsaert’s Petition 2020-001 is being considered by the Fish and Game Commission to allow recreational divers to cull purple and red urchins along a 3.5 mile stretch of the south Monterey Bay, including kelp restoration in a State Marine Conservation Area and/or a State Marine Reserve. Supported/mandated by the local diving community, the urchin petition is currently being reviewed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. To learn more and get involved: g2kr.com