Palos Verdes,

N 33.712310 W 118.318178

Giant Kelp Forest Regeneration

Kelp Ecosystems in California are in a state of crisis. In the last 10 years, more than 85% of Southern California's Giant Kelp forests have been devastated. Similarly, in Northern California, almost 95% of the Bull Kelp forests have disappeared. The primary cause behind this devastation is the overabundance of purple sea urchins - whose population has proliferated due to the disappearance of their natural predator - the sea otter. This chain of challenges serves as a concerning illustration of how human impacts and climate change can profoundly impact the health of ecosystems.

Clearing  "urchin barrens" allows rapidly growing kelp to regrow and re-establish into a healthy kelp forest - creating habitat for marine life and sequestering carbon emissions.

The latest science shows that globally, kelp forests can sequester more carbon than mangrove forests - restoring these sequoias of the sea is critical to solving climate change.

*Thanks to the support of our generous brand partners, this project has been fully funded.

Project Partner

The Bay Foundation

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Giant Kelp Restoration

White Point, Palos Verdes

In partnership with The Bay Foundation, we've restored more than 450,000sq ft of Giant Kelp forest.

Divers identify purple urchin barrens + teams are sent to clear these areas. The Bay Foundation then monitor the progress of the site as the kelp ecosystem reestablishes itself.

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Sustainable Development

This project provides long-term employment for the local community. This in turn drives other Sustainable Development benefits produced by the project.


Sequoia Forests of the Sea

Kelp forests provide habitat and food for over 700 species of algae, invertebrates, and fish. 

Climate Change

Kelp sequesters carbon

Kelp biomass often floats into the deep ocean, where it sinks. Each year, 10% of kelp primary productivity is permanently sequestered.

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The fastest growing organism

In ideal conditions, Giant Kelp grows approximately 1 foot per day - and can grow up to 2 feet per day!  Kelp forests provide habitat and food for over 700 species of algae, invertebrates, and fish. 

Video updates from the project


The Problem

Urchin Barrens

Sea urchins play a role in a healthy kelp forest, but can proliferate and create "barrens" where kelp cannot grow. These barrens are essentially permanent until they are removed.

The Solution

Divers clear urchin barrens

When the urchins are removed, kelp can quickly grow back to its prior extent. Other urchin predators (fish, lobsters) can then keep the population in control.

Long term results

Projects monitored for five years

The Bay Foundation scientists monitor pre/post conditions at every dive site. After 5 years, the site is considered restored if the kelp forest is healthy and urchins are in balance.

2018 Progress Report