An onslaught of ecological impacts including sea star wasting disease and warmer waters has stressed Northern California kelp forests to the point that many invertebrates are starving, with kelpfish populations also being impacted. Significantly economic impacts to local fisheries are also being felt.
The California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is prioritizing research of the impacts of these events in order to alert the general public, policy makers, and other local stakeholders of the seriousness consequences of these ecological events. To this end, they are seeking volunteers to help with data collection and research. You can learn more and apply online here. Note that not all volunteer positions will be in research diving (boo hoo).
CDFW’s blog post on the situation can be read here.