It all started with a “blob.”
Remember “The Blob” that happened in the Pacific about 8 years ago? That was a devastating ecological event, and its very likely that it’s still reverberating today. ODFW has been noticing a tip in the scales for marine life off the Oregon Coast, seeing a reduction in some species and an advance in others. For instance, the multi-armed sunflower sea stars are about 90% gone. It’s the same story for bull kelp, which is essential for the survival or a number of species, but that’s likely due to the sudden spike in purple sea urchins, which feed on the kelp.
Luckily, ODFW’s Marine Resources Program has been granted $250,000 to look into the problem.