Kelp Forest Ecosystems

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has informative videos on a variety of topics, including kelp forests. Use this collection of video resources to dive deeper into Kelp Forest Ecosystems, restoration programs, kelp farming, and more!

kelp swaying in the waves

Kelp Forests

Did you know that there are forests beneath the waves? Check out our video to learn why kelp forests are such important habitats!

purple sea urchins coving the seafloor

Urchin Barrens in West Coast Sanctuaries

Purple sea urchins play a key role in kelp forests along the West Coast. Active grazers, these urchins feed on seaweeds, like giant kelp and bull kelp. Learn what happens when urchin populations increase in kelp forests in this video!

kelp forest

What's the difference between bull kelp and giant kelp?

Along the West Coast, lush jungles of giant kelp and bull kelp create habitat for everything from sea lions to juvenile fish. Do you know the differences between the two kelp species? Watch this video to find out the differences.

kelp forest

The Kelp Restoration Program in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

In just a few short years, 90% of the kelp forests in some regions of northern California have disappeared. In 2018, a team of scientists, managers and resource users teamed up to create a Bull Kelp Restoration Plan that outlines specific research, monitoring, restoration and community engagement strategies to address the severe kelp loss off California's Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

sea lion swimming underwater

Get Into Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

There's a lot to see and do when you visit NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary! From incredible wildlife supported by diverse ecosystems to exciting recreational opportunities, explore the California coast in this #EarthIsBlue video.

sea lions swimming in a kelp forest

360 Photography in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Learn how a 360° photo is made in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in our new video!

kelp forest

Underwater Forests

Kelp forests can be seen along much of the west coast of North America. Kelp are large brown algae that live in cool, relatively shallow waters close to the shore. They grow in dense groupings much like a forest on land. These underwater towers of kelp provide food and shelter for thousands of fish, invertebrates, and marine mammal species.

two sea otters swimming with kelp around them

Sea Otters, Kelp, and Humans

Seaweeds such as kelp are found up and down the California coastline and are vitally important to the animals that make their homes here, providing food, shelter, and protection.

kelp being pulled onto a boat

3-D Ocean Farming

Meet the ocean farmers who grow delicious food, help clean the ocean, and pull carbon from the environment with this Ocean Today video.

man cooking kelp

Cooking Kelp with an Ocean Farmer

Ocean farmer Bren Smith demonstrates an easy way to make a delicious dish featuring kelp noodles. Smith’s kelp farm, Thimble Island Ocean Farm, is located on 20 acres near the town of Branford, Connecticut.

person holding up a piece of kelp

Alaska Kelp Farming: A New Sustainable Seafood Opportunity

Along the Alaskan coast a growing number of fishermen and entrepreneurs are becoming kelp farmers. These farms supply a sustainable source of seafood, important coastal jobs, and help improve the ecosystems by buffering ocean acidification.