As we've blogged about before, marine biologist Nancy Caruso is doing incredible work to help restore the green abalone on our California shores. These creatures, which are absolutely vital to the health of our marine eco-system, have been hunted to near-extinction, sadly. Once a symbol of the California beach lifestyle, beautiful abalone shells were treasured and well-known by folks far and wide for over 40 years. But now, as a result of their virtual disappearance, few people even know what they are! Not only are abalone lovely to look at, but their purpose in the sea is invaluable-- they are the "gardeners" of the kelp forests, which are a major food source for a myriad of marine animals. Without the abalone, the kelp forests face destruction, as do the sea creatures that depend on the kelp for sustenance. So Nancy Caruso's work in attempting to grow 100,000 green abalone is truly heroic and is crucial to the survival of the world's oceans (with a special focus on our precious California coast).
We at Water Gallery have been tracking Nancy's Get Inspired program's progress and we are thrilled to hear that after a failed attempt to spawn abalone in September, their most recent attempt (under the November 12th "Supermoon") has been successful! Three females and one male abalone spawned and, as a result, they have millions of microscopic baby abalone who are developing and growing their first shells. This is such an exciting development in this valiant journey to restore these remarkable creatures and during a time when we worry that our natural environment is in greater peril than ever before, it's a ray of hope. We extend our deepest admiration and gratitude to Nancy Caruso and all of the folks who are helping her bring the abalone back. For us and all of our fellow ocean lovers out there, this is truly heart-warming news.