April 30, 1979 There was kelp on these rocks.
The project area is in the Pacific Grove Gardens Marine Conservation Area west of Lovers Point. This site had some kelp in 2018 near shore, but the experiment area is comprised of large rocky reefs which are urchin barrens.
Current efforts are underway to determine viable target sites for urchin manipulations with our partners; The Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Abalone Company. This effort characterized 27 suitable target sites and 20 will be selected
The Lovers #3 site is subject to typical NW swell and large storms like this one on 12-17-18. Hopefully we can enter from the beach, if not it will have to be done by boat. Urchin density manipulations begin May 18.
If the experiment is successful and giant kelp returns, the next step is to apply for permission to perform large scale removal at key sites in Monterey Bay. The concept is to get an army of recreational divers to cull urchins in 20+ acre sites. The earliest possible start is spring of 2020.
The local Monterey media has sounded the alarm on this issue and produced news stories on local Channel KSBW 8 and in the Monterey County Weekly
Northern California urchin removal events are organized bi-monthly. See the Waterman's Alliance for information.
Check out this great video that Camilla Hall, a volunteer diver with Reef Check California, entered in the Monterey Shootout in 2017.
Monterey Urchin Invasion made the news on KSBW Channel 8 on February 23, 2018