A massive kelp forest once anchored the North Bay’s marine ecosystem. Here’s how scientists are trying to bring it back

1 June 2023

Sometime in the next couple of weeks, scientists will wrap specially infused twine around PVC pipes, tie them to clay bricks and toss them into Drakes Bay.

The twine will be saturated with the reproductive cells of baby kelp, and the experiment, researchers hope, will help ensure the survival of a critical cornerstone of the entire North Coast marine ecosystem.

More than 90% of a once-abundant bull kelp forest, which towered from ocean floor to the surface, has disappeared from the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts over the last decade, thanks to environmental stressors and shifting ocean ecology.

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