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Divers fight to save California's kelp forests threatened by warming ocean waters

01:36

Divers crush purple urchins in fight to save California’s kelp forests

On the Northern California coast, volunteers swim, snorkel and dive armed with pick axes and hammers with a sole mission: To crush purple urchins.

The pilot project off the Mendocino County coast is one of many initiatives California is testing to save iconic bull kelp forests, which are declining worldwide due to climate change.

Purple urchins have largely destroyed 96 per cent of the state’s leafy marine ecosystems between 2014 and 2020, and with it harmed red abalone and other sea life they supported.

Kelp forests play an integral role in the health of the world’s oceans, and is one of the issues being discussed at the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai.

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