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Star pupils: student inspire key study on alarming starfish decline Environment



Five years ago, Arkansas, a sixth grade in the land-locked, heard about a mass of off-shore starfish and compelled to help.

The 11- and 12-year-olds elected a chairman to head their fundraiser. They cut out paper starfish – more formally known as sea stars – and put them up for a $ 1 donation. They are called Cherry Bomb, who is "loving hanging out on the phone", "rocks the legging style and is really smart but is a nerd". They sold T-shirts that read: "Save the Starfish."

Vickie Bailey said, "We don’t have an ocean anywhere." "The students knew that they would never go to the coast, they would probably never get it."

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When Drew Harvell, Professor of Marine Ecology and Researcher at Cornell University, Carl Stuart Middle School in Conway,

“I almost cried, I was so touched. So I matched it up with $ 400 of my own donation here.

Flash forward to today: Harvell and her co-authors are releasing their study. Cornell and University of California, Davis, are publishing their work in the journal Science Advances.

The campaign didn´t exactly save the starfish. The findings are dire. But, for the most part, we are looking for more and more offshore trawls.

Sea star wasting disease has more than 20 species from Mexico to Alaska. Some species are resistant to the disease and others have evolved to survive.

At the time of the outbreak, videos of beaches littered with the arms of dead starfish, Harvell recalled.

“This is [one of] the most extensive wildlife disease epidemic[s] we've ever recorded because it is so many species in a geographic area, ”Harvell said.

The 3-4ft-wide creature that can have as many dozen arms. The sunflower star “crawls over the seafloor like a robotic vacuum cleaner”, as described by Cornell's media team.

Sunflower sea stars, which is now only the west coast of North America, are now virtually gone from California, Oregon and Washington.

Previous research has suggested that climate change, killing sea stars faster. The New Study Finds Outbreaks Of The Virus Among Sunflower Sea Stars Coincided With Anomalously Warm Waters.

And the disappearance of the species is the cascading effects on the ecosystem.

Sunflower sea stars once on the sea sea bench them.

They're doing their best in the British Columbia and in some places in Alaska, Harvell said. Researchers will need to understand the sunflower sea.

"It's really vital," Harvell said. It is not an issue that we have been dealing with before we do it. I think that we definitely need a group of scientists and really talk about it.


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