2020—A Healthy Ecosytem

I’m reading a book called Return of the Sea Otter by Todd McLeish that describes the importance of Sea Otters to the health of the Pacific coastal ecosystem. Sea Otters feed on sea urchins, mollusks, crabs, and other shellfish. When otter numbers diminish, the shellfish that feed on the kelp, especially sea urchins, increase to the devastation and eventual deforestation of the ecosystem. Without kelp, the coastal waters quickly become an ocean desert. The kelp forests, home to countless species in the Pacific Coastal waters, thrive because of the Sea Otters. And, Sea Otters sometimes use kelp, especially Giant Kelp, to tie themselves so they don’t float away while they’re sleeping. I’m not sure what this Sea Otter was doing with a fistful of kelp but it looks like it had some purpose in mind.