Coming soon: “Kelp Watch 2014”!

Written by on January 17, 2014 in Other News
A CSULB graduate student’s view of a kelp forest from in the water. Photo by Thomas Farrugia, courtesy of CSULB.

A CSULB graduate student’s view of a kelp forest from in the water. Photo by Thomas Farrugia, courtesy of CSULB.

Researchers from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have launched a new scientific campaign to determine the extent of radioactive contamination of the state’s kelp forests from the 2011 Fukushima disaster, called Kelp Watch 2014.

Nineteen academic and government institutions and three other organizations will participate by collecting and analyzing samples of Giant Kelp and Bull Kelp from along the California coast, from Baja California to Del Norte County. Sampling will take place several times, beginning in mid-February and ending in late winter. As soon as the samples are analyzed, the data will be posted for public access.

Kelp Watch 2014 was initiated by CSULB Biology Professor Steven L. Manley and the Berkeley Lab’s Head of Applied Nuclear Physics Kai Vetter.

“What I have attempted to do is to organize marine scientists and educators from up and down the coastline to collect a large amount of kelp several times a year so that we can ascertain the amount of radioactive material entering our kelp forests,” explained Manley in a news release.

Manley receives calls every week from concerned citizens asking about the potential effect of the Fukushima disaster on marine life. This campaign will help him better answer those questions.

“Making our results available is a critical aspect of our work as it allows us to address concerns about Fukushima radiation levels and to explain the meaning and potential impact of these levels,” Vetter said, “particularly in the context of the natural radiation background we are exposed to in our daily lives.”

For more on the impact that the Fukushima disaster had on our oceans, check out this post: Fukushima & Our Oceans – Part 1.

CSULB Biology Professor Steven Manley collects kelp sap at Eagle Rock off Catalina Island. Photo courtesy of CSULB.

CSULB Biology Professor Steven Manley collects kelp sap at Eagle Rock off Catalina Island. Photo courtesy of CSULB.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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