Sea otters play a critical ecological role in the marine environment as a “keystone” of the kelp ecosystem. What is the status of sea otter populations along the Pacific coast? Why are scientists concerned about kelp habitat in Oregon and beyond? How do otters enhance kelp habitat? How would sea otter reintroduction effect the shellfish industry? Learn more about sea otters and the kelp ecosystem in Oregon.
Sea otters disappeared from most of the Pacific coast by 1900, but conservation efforts have restored populations outside of Oregon.
A Keystone Predator
Explore how sea otters are a keystone species underpinning a healthy, resilient kelp ecosystem.
The Kelp Ecosystem
Learn more about the kelp ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest, concerning trends and important conservation efforts.
While protections and restoration work has recovered sea otters in some regions, new threats loom on the horizon.
Impacts of Reintroduction?
Explore a comprehensive collection of reference material covering the history, anthropology, ecology, conservation, and cultural dimensions of sea otters and the kelp ecosystem.