The red abalone is dying off as its food source—the California kelp forests—are decimated. The cause, sea stars, actually, the absence of sea stars. Kelp is a type of seaweed (or marine algae) that describes 27 genera worldwide. Editor's note: This article was updated on April 22, 2020, to correct information about the entity that released a kelp recovery plan. More than 90% of bull kelp and 96% of red abalone were lost along 217 miles of northern California coastline within just a few years. Northern California's undersea kelp forests decimated by purple sea urchins About 90 percent of the bull kelp forests, home to fish, crustaceans and … Higher sea surface temperatures in recent years have limited kelp growth, and sea star wasting disease has removed a key predator of purple sea urchins, a veracious eater of kelp. Rising sea temperatures have already wiped out 100 kilometres of kelp forest along the south coast of Western Australia – and this unprecedented loss looks set to worsen. The 2014 marine heat wave brought the highest temperatures ever recorded in the area. One third of southern California’s kelp forests are found within Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. More than 90 percent of bull kelp and 96 percent of red abalone were lost along 217 miles of northern California coastline within just a few years. Amazingly, in under five years the kelp forests off the coast of Northern California have diminished by over 90%. Though annually variable, in the past five years, California’s kelp forests have decreased by 93% of normal. 2016 Today, our kelp forests are in serious trouble. Kelp forests grows quickly, up to 2 feet per day, have existed for tens of thousands of years and seem invincible. Experts fear the die-off may be a sign of what’s to come. Some kelps form dense patches on rocky reefs resembling a forest of trees underwater and are referred to as kelp forests. But as reported in Oceans Deeply they are not. 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