Sea Otter Awareness Week has us Otter-ly Excited!

SCIENCE | In otter news, the final full week of September has been designated as Sea Otter Awareness Week, which will take place this year from September 18 to September 24, 2022. This week is set aside to raise awareness about the influence sea otters have on our environment and to educate the public about the necessity of preserving and safeguarding sea otter populations.

Sea otters contribute significantly to the environment by grazing on sea urchins. This is advantageous since sea urchins are known to overfeed on kelp, destroying many coastal kelps. Maintaining kelp forests is critical for mitigating the impacts of climate change and carbon dioxide.

Sea otters were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1977, but numbers have subsequently rebounded thanks to conservation groups and government action. Sea otters continue to confront several problems, most of which are man-made. These include oil spills, fishing gear entanglement, vessel hits, and habitat deterioration caused by pollution and global warming.

Defenders of Wildlife collaborated with California lawmakers in 2006 to create the California Sea Otter Fund, which funds critical scientific research, public education, and law enforcement protecting sea otters.

A respectful approach toward sea otters and animals when sharing their area has a significant influence.

According to Sea Otter Savvy, we should encourage others to think about the needs and well‐being of sea otters when viewing them— and be sea otter savvy role models. We must be proficient at handling and maneuvering our watercraft, whatever type or size of craft we are operating. First time kayaking? Ask for instructions on how to turn and stop skillfully before launching. It’s safer for you and it’s safer for wildlife!

If you are interested in checking out sea otters for yourself? View the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live camera HERE.