Olympic Coast


Kelp Forest

Kelp forests, like the ones found in the cold, nutrient-rich waters of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, harbor a greater variety and higher diversity of plants and animals than almost any other ocean community. Many organisms use the thick blades as a safe shelter for their young from predators or even rough storms. These underwater towers of kelp provide food, shelter, and protection for all kinds of marine life, including seals, sea lions, sea otters, invertebrates, fish, whales, birds, and more. Kelp forests also provide a variety of ecosystem services to humans and serve as habitat for a number of economically and ecologically important fish species.

Kelp forest
Photo: (c) Florian Graner