CA - New research to address kelp forest crisis in California
July 6, 2020 – California Sea Grant is pleased to announce six new research projects aimed at restoring California’s kelp forests.
The newly funded projects in the 2020 Kelp Recovery Research Program total $2.1 million, funded jointly by California Sea Grant and the California Ocean Protection Council, in collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
California’s northern and central coast has recently been devastated by unprecedented declines in kelp forest ecosystems. Off the northern coast, 90% of the bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) has been lost since 2014. California’s central and south coasts have also seen declines in their native giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). Kelp forest deterioration has also been observed further up the West Coast into Oregon and Washington, and even across the globe in Australia and New Zealand.
“Kelp forests are vitally important to California’s coastal environment as well as to our coastal economy. These underwater forests support wildlife, protect our coastlines, and take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,“ says California Sea Grant Director Shauna Oh.