Like trees in a breeze, golden forests of kelp once swayed beneath the waves off Nova Scotia’s coast. These highly productive ecosystems were both home and nursery to fish, shellfish and other ocean creatures. At the same time, they absorbed wave energy, protecting the coastline from erosion. But kelp is in steep decline in many places around the globe, including in Canadian waters. A recent Dalhousie University survey of a 100-kilometre study area on Nova Scotia’s coast documented an astonishing 85 to 99 per cent loss of kelp forests, mostly due to warming waters, which kill off the corals that kelp use as anchor points.
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