Citizen scientists at Elkhorn Slough Reserve have discovered that sea otters spend a surprising amount of time napping on salt marshes. Most research on southern sea otters comes from the rugged open coast of California, because they recovered from a tiny population off Big Sur. Elkhorn Slough is the first estuary to be thoroughly colonized by sea otters, and volunteer researchers found they behave quite …
Salt marsh habitat is threatened by massive algal blooms, according to a new study conducted by scientists at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR), published in the scientific journal, Biological Conservation.
The study reveals that piles of green algae form mats along bank edges that leads to dieback of the salt marsh below. When the marsh plants die, the roots no longer help to hold the bank together causing large pieces of the bank to fall into the channel in response to strong tidal currents or wind-driven waves in the slough.
Pickleweed! It’s that plant in the saltmarsh of Elkhorn Slough – and it makes a nice place for otters to rest. Find out all about it.
For immediate release: May 1, 2015 – The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has awarded nearly $3 million to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation for salt marsh restoration at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR).