Lending a Kelping Hand
Kelp forests harbor incredible biodiversity, serving as shelter and providing food for a wide array of animals from fish to sea otters. However, in recent years kelp forests along the West Coast suffered a dramatic decline. Even in protected ocean spaces, such as Greater Farallones and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries, kelp forest ecosystems transitioned from algal-dominated to urchin-dominated. This shift was accompanied by a steep decline in the variety of species living in this habitat and a collapse of some recreational and commercial fisheries. In an effort to support rapid kelp recovery, the Greater Farallones Association developed the Sonoma-Mendocino Bull Kelp Recovery Plan, which outlines strategies for restoration site selection, monitoring, research, and community engagement.