According to CNN, a desire to study and play a part in conserving this rich ecosystem is what drew marine scientists Mark Barron and Dylan Irion to sea forest.
The Great African Sea Forest is a thriving habitat where kelp, a remarkable seaweed, plays a vital role. Kelp provides food and shelter for marine animals, helps protect coastlines, and it also captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, says CNN.
Irion saw kelp declining largely worldwide, saying that "when that happens, it's often too late, and the effort to fix or repair that is far greater than what we're capable of".
"So the job then is to identify those tipping points before they're reached and to be vigilant. And that's what we're trying to do here," Irion adds.
CNN says that after realising it couldn't do it alone, Barron and Irion co-founded Cape Research and Diver Development — or 'Cape Radd' — an organisation dedicated to marine research that engages both biologists and citizen scientists.
"We decided we needed more people to know about this amazing area of biodiversity, this incredible, beautiful ocean that we're working in. And so we wanted to create something that allowed people accessibility and engagement in marine conservation and science without having to be a scientist," Barron concludes.
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