Friends, otters, fans-of-Housewives: We are pleased to announce it is #SeaOtterAwarenessWeek. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m already aware of sea otters,” well good for you, cool Joe. But are you aware of the vital role that sea otters play in our ecosystem? (If the answer is still yes, allow us to congratulate you on your graduate’s degree in Marine Biology before you move on with your day.)
Now, if you’re simply aware that otters exist, but you don’t know why they’re important, allow us to enlighten you:
- Otters keep our kelp forests alive (by eating kelp-grazing urchin), which in turn protect our coastlines from storm surges while absorbing dangerous carbon dioxide.
- Otters eat much of the same seafood as humans. Their health and livelihood provide great indicators of oceanic food dangers for otters and humans alike.
- Otters fuel tourism on the California coasts.
- Otters are THE CUTEST ANIMALS ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH.
Unfortunately, sea otters are now endangered due to ocean pollution from runoff and litter, as well as literal entanglement with fisheries—which is exactly why Sea Otter Awareness Week came into existence 15 years ago.
If you’d like to make a difference in keeping these adorable creatures happy, healthy, and—most importantly—abundant, here are some organizations you can donate to, and some general rules to follow:
- When purchasing seafood, always shop sustainably. (There’s even an app for that.)
- Support (or volunteer) with Friends of the Sea Otter.
- Follow ocean conservation efforts on Facebook or Instagram to stay in the know and get involved. We love Monterey Bay Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, Oceana, and OceanConservancy.
In the meantime, please enjoy these absolutely amazing #SeaOtterAwarenessWeek photos from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which actually made us scream out loud with joy.
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