Seven species of abalone, large mollusks also known as sea snails, occur in California and along the Pacific coast. White and black abalone are listed as endangered, while pink, pinto, and green abalone are species of conservation concern. Though adult abalone have large shells and are attached to the ocean floor, baby abalone (larvae) are free floating in ocean waters and at high risk from predation and other threats, and few survive to settle and mature.
GetInspired works with elementary schools in Southern California to establish science-based classroom programs that raise young green abalone under controlled conditions. When the juvenile abalone are old enough they are taken by divers and ‘planted’ in the kelp forests where they will hopefully mature and reproduce. The Schwemm Foundation helped fund GetInspired’s efforts to create ‘Abalone Nurseries’ that will eventually grow 100,000 green abalone while teaching students the importance of all organisms in healthy ocean systems.
(Pictures in photo directory from GetInspired except baby abalone with calipers, that is NOAA website.)