Sea lions (pictured) and elephant seals are sick and dying off the coast of California due to a record algae bloom. Algae produces domoic acid, which is toxic to sea mammals in large doses. “In over 22 years of marine mammal rescues, I’ve never seen such distress of marine mammals,” said Peter Wallerstein of the Whale Rescue Team, a private marine mammal rescue group. Researchers aren’t sure what caused the massive bloom, but their suspects include climate change, pollution, and shifting nutrients in the water.
For Mother Jones‘ coverage of the effects of climate change and pollution on the ocean, click here.