Palos Verdes
Sustainable Development Report

Palos Verdes, California, USA

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Palos Verdes

This page details the UN Sustainable Development Goals being addressed by the SeaTrees project in Palos Verdes, California.

Sustainable Development in Palos Verdes

SeaTrees has supported the regeneration of Giant Kelp forests off the Palos Verdes peninsula since our launch in 2019. Working with our local restoration partner, The Bay Foundation, out of work urchin fishermen are employed to restore this once magnificent underwater forest by culling purple sea-urchins to numbers that allow a healthy, thriving kelp forest to establish. Scientists measure and monitor the impact of the fishermen’s work, which is helping to create important habitat for more than 700 marine species.

Key Impact Metrics

- 700+ species protected

- One day of work restores 1,000 sq-ft kelp forest

- Abalone species reintroduced to kelp forest

- 1,000 sq-ft of kelp restored will sequester 1 ton of CO2 over 25 years*

- Within 5 years**, restored kelp forest ecosystems indistinguishable from healthy kelp forest ecosystem

Sustainable Development Goals addressed by the project

SeaTrees evaluates this project annually to measure its impact on all relevant Sustainable Development Goals.

The Palos Verdes project addresses five SDGs. Read below for more details.

Gender Equality

UNESCO reports women are underrepresented in marine sciences. As of 2018, men make up an estimated 75% of ocean science researchers globally.

The Bay Foundation project in Palos Verdes is moving the needle as a female-led kelp restoration project managed by Heather Burdick. They are committed to supporting women’s contributions to the sector by adhering to a 50/50 gender hiring policy.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

White Point is historically an extremely productive fishing location. The lack of healthy kelp forests in recent decades has decimated the fishing industry opportunities in the area.

Through this project, local fishermen are employed to smash urchin barrens, a critical step in clearing the way for healthy kelp forest regeneration. The Bay Foundation team has also observed an increase in fishing activity in nearby areas where kelp forests have been restored.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

The Bay Foundation’s work in Palos Verdes is on the cutting edge of kelp restoration technology. One technique that The Bay Foundation uses to ensure long-term survival of restored kelp forests is raising juvenile abalone.

Abalone, which feed on kelp, are already scarce in the wild, and their numbers have continued to decline as kelp forests diminish in Palos Verdes. The Bay Foundation team is raising abalone in their lab that will be reintroduced to the restored kelp forests, serving as competitors to urchins and keeping the kelp forests healthy.

Climate Action

Kelp forests play an important role in sequestering CO2 around the world. Globally, kelp forests sequester as much CO2 as the worlds mangrove forests.

Over the course of the project, The Bay Foundation and SeaTrees will restore 21 hectares of kelp forest off of Palos Verdes. This will permanently sequester 83 tons of CO2 every year.

Life Below Water

Coastal ecosystem restoration is critical to the long-term living conditions of Southern California. For decades, the waters of Los Angeles have been filled with pollutants, decimating marine flora and fauna.

The Bay Foundation has found a 250% increase in kelp canopy extent in the project restoration areas, protecting over 700 species in the restored kelp forest off of Palos Verdes.

Scientific References

* Krause-Jensen, D., Duarte, C. Substantial role of macroalgae in marine carbon sequestration. Nature Geosci 9, 737–742 (2016).

** Williams JP, Claisse JT, Pondella DJ II, Williams CM and others (2021) Sea urchin mass mortality rapidly restores kelp forest communities. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 664:117-131.

To read about the UN Sustainable Development Goals in detail please reference this link.