About Our Project
Research suggests that as humans continue releasing carbon dioxide into our atmosphere our oceans are changing in ways that may drastically affect marine life. Between 1/4 and 1/3 of all the carbon dioxide released into our atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans. After it is absorbed, the CO2 goes through a series of chemical reactions, resulting in water that has a lower pH. This lower pH corresponds to increased acidity. More acidic waters have many harmful effects on marine life, including affecting their growth, development, and immune system function.
For this project, we are partnering with The Bay Foundation and a PhD student from UC Davis to monitor the restored kelp forests off the coast of Palos Verdes. The Bay Foundation has spent over 20 years researching and restoring these kelp forests, with the aim of revitalizing the area’s productivity. For the next several months, our team will be monitoring these restored forests in order to assess the feasibility of kelp forests as refuge for marine life from the harmful effects of ocean acidification.
We will be directing our efforts specifically on tracking the sea water chemistry and its changes through time. In addition, we will monitor phytoplankton to see what, if any, effect they have on productivity. Hopefully as our project progresses we will also be able to consider the sustainability, community, and policy that surrounds both Palos Verdes and these kelp forests.
Students: Kelli Wright, Rebecca Ash, Candace Chang, Kathleen Lo, Ariel Pezner, Jeric Rosas
Advisor: Robert Tripati
Client: The Bay Foundation