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A Brant swims in the Morro Bay Estuary, California December 7, 2005; Brant migrate up to 11,000 miles each year. During the summer nesting season, Brant are found in the Arctic wetlands. Winters are spent in southern habitats including Morro Bay and other areas as far south as Baja California. During winter, their primary food source is eelgrass that grows only in sheltered bays and coves. The unnatural erosion and sedimentation greatly reduces the diversity of species and productivity of the area. These processes are burying sensitive riparian and wetland habitat, and are transforming the estuary's extensive eelgrass habitat to salt marsh. The continuing loss, degradation, and fragmentation of sensitive habitat in the watershed are contributors to the overall decline of California's native pecies. .Scientists say a dramatic rise in the ocean temperature led to unprecedented deaths of birds and fish this summer all along the coast from central California to British Columbia in Canada. The population of seabirds, such as Brant Geese, Cormorants, Auklets and Murres, and fish, including salmon and rockfish, fell to record lows. This ecological meltdown mirrors a similar development taking place thousands of miles away in the North Sea. Also caused by warming of the water, the increase in temperatures there has driven the plankton that form the base of the marine food chain hundreds of miles north, triggering a collapse in the number of sand eels on which many birds and large fish feed and causing a rapid decline in puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and other birds. The collapses in the Pacific are also down to the disappearance of plankton, though the immediate cause for this is different. Normally, winds blow south along the coast in spring and summer, pushing warmer surface waters away from the shore and allowing colder water that is rich in nutrients to well up from the sea bottom, feeding the microscopic plants called phytoplankton. These are eaten by zooplankton, ti