California bull kelp. (Credit: Peggy Foreman, NOAA Fisheries)
Every year, a forest of bull kelp springs up from the ocean floor along 200 miles of California coast, fostering a regenerated, thriving ecosystem each time it appears.
But starting in 2013, this kelp forest suffered hits from several disasters. First, a mysterious and lethal disease cropped up among starfish in the area. Then, a massive heat wave stunted kelp growth. In just four years, over 90 percent of this stretch of kelp