Kelp die-off?

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Posted by Frank O on September 03, 2007 at 17:49:19:

Today I got out on the water for a non-diving family cruise. Due to being out of town and other schedule factors, it was the first time I'd been on the ocean locally in six weeks.

Running from King Harbor toward Flat Rock, I noticed a lot of floating pieces of kelp in the water. We then headed down toward Palos Verdes Point to check the health of the kelp field north of it. Last winter through spring I'd noticed the kelp there expanding to cover a much larger area. Today, however, the only kelp thick enough to mat at the surface was limited to a fairly narrow band near the shore. Out a little farther, where I'd remembered heavy kelp a few months ago, I could see stalks reaching up to within a few feet of the surface, but not all the way to the surface.

I gather while I've been out of the water that there have been a lot of posts about how warm the (near-surface) water has been. Has the water temperature triggered a kelp die-off? Have others seen evidence of this?

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