Sea otter return providing lifeline for dwindling seagrass in California
With the return of sea otters to a central Californian estuary, surprising improvement has been recorded in seagrass health. Research has shown that seagrass has been suffering drastic declines worldwide, with no exception to coastal California.
Urbanisation has led to a massive increase in nutrient pollution along the state’s coast, with run-off from fields treated with nitrogen-rich fertilisers being blamed for the reduction in seagrass beds in the region. However, new research has revealed that the return of sea otter populations to the area may be enabling seagrass levels to recover.
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