Letters to the Editor

Desperate need for sea urchins, abalone and clams in SLO County waters

In the film “Finding Dory,” the ocean was shown to be dark and trashed.

It is my opinion that Pixar alluded to a dark and trashed ocean and links the cause to the aquarium and its sister environmental groups. I believe that no red sea urchins, no abalone and no clams are on the Central Coast because of the import of the northern sea otter (an alien species).

Sea urchins, abalone and clams keep the reef clean of algae and promote abundant sea life. With these algae-eaters and filter-feeders gone, algae and micro-algae cover the rocks and the new kelp, sea urchins and clams that need a clean surface to propagate on now die because they land on algae-covered reef. These sea urchins, abalone and clams are food for people and fish.

The sea otter population is spreading down south of Santa Barbara and up north to the Mendocino County line.

My hope would be to help the kidnapped northern sea otter get back home and to replenish our reefs with sea urchins, abalone and clams — but most importantly, help spawn and replenish the kelp forest that was once abundant before the otters decimated the forest.

Mark Hamerdinger, Morro Bay

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