Kelp Forests

Long Term Impacts of Marine Heatwave on Kelp Forests

A new study led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz, with coauthors from UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis, documents the collapse of kelp forest ecosystems off the coast of Northern California. Analyzing the contributing events, from warming oceans to the loss of sunflower sea stars, researchers used satellite imagery from over 30 years to assess historical changes and better understand the dynamics and resilience of kelp forests.

Read the study in Communications Biology

Kelp: California's Coastal Forests

Kelp: California's Coastal Forests

Written by Jane Park

Using science to inform the restoration of California’s underwater forests

Kelp forests are underwater forests that support some of the world’s most productive fisheries and unique ecosystems.  Kelp forests occur throughout the world.  California’s kelp forests are particularly unique, as our “redwood forests of the sea” are among the tallest and most productive of the world: Northern California’s “bull kelp” grow an average of 4 in./day and can reach heights over 100 ft. 

Sustainable Oceans NRT Program Participants Meet with Coastal Communities

By Eliza Oldach

In June, students in the Sustainable Oceans NRT Program journeyed across California’s North Coast, meeting with residents, scientists, and managers to learn about the issues facing coastal communities. Here, Ellie Oldach recounts an experience visiting a marine science center and speaking to Pat, a local fisherman in Fort Bragg, CA. This article is printed with Pat’s permission.

The first thing we notice on entering the Noyo Center, Fort Bragg’s marine science and community hub, is a geodesic dome installed in the back of the room.

An Undersea Forest In Decline

Envision California’s lush forests from San Francisco to the Oregon border. Now imagine that 90 percent of those forests disappear within two years. Laura Rogers-Bennett, senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says that’s exactly what happened to underwater kelp forests off Northern California’s coastline from 2014-16.

Read more & listen to the piece on Science Friday