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As sea otters recolonize California estuary, they restore its degraded geology


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As sea otters recolonize a California estuary, they are restoring its degraded geology by keeping populations of overgrazing marsh crabs in check, a new study shows. The crabs' appetite for plant roots, and their tunneling behavior had caused many of the estuary's marshes and creekbanks to erode and collapse in the otters' absence. Today, erosion has slowed by up to 90% in areas with large otter populations and marshes and streambeds are restabilizing.

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