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SAN DIEGO – Studies of the canopies of kelp off the coast of California were spurred after may traces of radiation from the Fukashima nuclear plant were discovered, according to scientists.

Scientists said trace amounts of cesium radiation has been identified in the kelp beds linking the nuclear waste to devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

“We are more connected then we ever thought possible,” said Dr. Mathew Edwards a professor at San Diego State University.

Fifty scientists from South, Central, and North America are set to test kelp forests along coastlines of the Pacific Ocean.  The study will rely on volunteers from 20 academic and government institutions and will test 33 sites in California, including Long Beach, Malibu and Palos Verdes; two sites in Baja California and one in Washington state.

The sampling is to begin in mid-February and end in late winter.

“I don’t believe there is any health hazard to the public or the environment,” Edwards said. “I’m still eating fish and going in the ocean.”