Who We Are
We are the 2019-2020 UCLA Ocean Undergraduate Research Team. With the help of the Bay Foundation, we will continue researching how to save the oceans and coastal communities of Santa Monica Bay from climate change!
What Your Donations Will Do
Your donations will allow us to travel out into the field to collect vital data that will give us a broader understanding of seagrass meadows in Santa Monica Bay. This includes the use of an imaging sonar attached to an Underwater ROV to visualize the extent of seagrass meadows around Catalina Island. We will be putting your donations toward both booking boats to take us to and from field sites, as well as purchasing and outfitting the sonar, ROV, and other related equipment.
It's no secret that climate change is rapidly destroying our earth, but fewer know how our oceans are affected. When we drive cars, burn waste in factories, and even take a trip on an airplane, toxic gases escape into our air, and hurt our atmosphere. This leads to the warming of our earth, hence global warming! Luckily, over 70% of our planet is here to help! The oceans absorb a lot of these harmful gases from the atmosphere, to keep us humans safe. While this sounds like a fantastic solution, there is a catch. When all these harmful gases are absorbed by the ocean, is causes complex chemical reactions that produce a harmful acid. This process is known as ocean acidification.
The increasing amount of harmful acid in the oceans is too much for many of the marine animals to handle. It damages and destroys the shells of snails, oysters, and lobsters, as well as their larvae.
These organisms live near the bottom of the food chain and are the main source of food for larger animals higher up the food chain. Therefore, this acid affects all the animals in the ocean! It also is destroying the fish's ecosystems! This doesn't only affect fish, but also their homes! Coral reefs are dying off quicker and quicker from the dangerous chemicals in our ocean. Soon, there will be nowhere for fish to protect themselves from their predators and live out their lives. Check out this picture below of a healthy coral reef and a coral reef after ocean acidification.
If you're wondering how this applies to you, this affects humans too! Many communities rely on fish as their main source of food! When fish die-off from a lack of food, this means less seafood for us to eat! The prices of seafood will increase in stores as less is available to catch, and sushi may become a delicacy of the past!
What are we going to do?
Our team will study ocean acidification in order to properly inform communities and address this threat. We are researching the possibility that marine vegetation, such as eelgrass, can help lessen the harmful effects of ocean acidification! A simple way of thinking about this is much like planting trees on land helps absorb this gas from the atmosphere, planting aquatic plants can remove the dissolved gas from the water before it turns to acid. Research by previous UCLA students has already uncovered the potential of California’s kelp forests to minimize the damage of ocean acidification. This year we, along with the Institute of Environment and Sustainability (IOES), will continue this research to help save the ocean!
We Need You!
While we would love to be able to single-handedly eliminate the threat of rising acidity from our oceans, we cannot do it alone. With your donation, you will directly help us with our research. We will use these funds to use equipment and labs on campus and at the bay foundation to do our research. Thanks to UCLA, we have our very own on-site research boat to collect water samples out in the bay. But we need your help to let us go out on the boat to save our oceans! The most valuable part of the project is the field work out in the ocean and we need all the help we can get to bring our team out into the bay. a comprehensive analysis of our coastal waters by allowing us the. Please consider donating and help us save the ocean!