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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Kelp Wrack: Hopping with Life in Santa Barbara County


The same waves that pound the shore off California also tear large amounts of seaweed from the region’s giant kelp forests and rocky reefs. Much of this drift seaweed, known as wrack, is eventually washed ashore. On many of Southern California’s beaches, tractors will remove this wrack (along with trash and litter) and rake the sand, in a process known as beach grooming.

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