This informative video update has some surprising facts about restoring Southern California’s kelp forests.
Over the past 100 years, the Palos Verdes Peninsula has lost 75 percent of its kelp forests. Kelp can grow up to two feet a day in coastal waters, but recently these marine habitats have been disappearing due to human factors including pollution, runoff, and overfishing. In an effort to restore healthy kelp canopies in Southern California’s oceans, The Bay Foundation has implemented a five-year restoration program to cull diseased, overpopulated sea urchins — dense groupings of them referred to as urchin barrens — that are depleting this once-plentiful habitat. The barrens, where no kelp grows, can have populations of as many as ninety malnourished urchins per square meter instead of the two healthy urchins per square meter in a balanced environment. After the urchins were removed from this barren, it needed only four months for the kelp forest to begin recovery.
Take a look at Restoring Southern California’s Kelp Forests.