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    Seagrass Saved by Sea Otters Return

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Seagrass in a central California estuary was suffering from pollution, and was projected to become extinct. But with the reintroduction of sea otters, the health of the seagrass is improving.

    Seagrass in a central California estuary was suffering from pollution, and was projected to become extinct.

    But with the reintroduction of sea otters, the health of the sea grass is improving, which shows how different parts of an ecosystem work together to benefit each other.

    Brent Hughes, lead author of the study from the University of California in Santa Cruz, said: “This estuary is part of one of the most polluted systems in the entire world, but you can still get this healthy thriving habitat, and it's all because of the sea otters. ”

    This is significant for other estuaries that are home to suffering populations of seagrass as a potential way to fix the problem.

    Sea otters were hunted nearly to extinction during the late 19th and early 20th century, and urbanization has been polluting the water in California during the same time.

    Sea otters love crabs but too few otter’s means too many crabs eating the invertebrate populations that consume a type of algae growing on the seagrass. Too much algae in turn kills the seagrass.