Why: Kelp forests are three-dimensional underwater habitats made up of many different species of kelp that form canopies over the seafloor. Kelp forests thrive in cool, nutrient-rich waters along rocky coastlines in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. These towering underwater forests harbour thousands of marine species, providing food and shelter, much like forests on land. Kelp forests support biodiversity, coastal fisheries and livelihoods, and have the potential as a significant carbon sink. In BC, kelp forests provide important habitat for commercially and culturally valuable species such as herring, salmon and rockfish, as well as endangered northern abalone, in addition to being central to the traditions and well-being of Indigenous coastal communities. In Chile, kelp forests dominate one of the world’s longest coastlines and are of particular importance to coastal communities, where the cultural practice of collecting seaweed from the shore dates back hundreds of years ago in this region. Globally, over 40 percent of kelp forests have declined over the past five decades as a result of climate change, overexploitation, and pollution.
What: With your support, the goal of this project is to restore kelp forests in the Pacific. With our partner, Ocean Wise, we will be restoring kelp forests along the Pacific coasts of British Columbia, Canada and Chile. New and innovative techniques will be used to seed giant kelp, bull kelp, and sugar kelp. This project will deliver at least 250,000 m2 (25 ha) of seaforested kelp in BC and at least 3000 ha in Chile by 2027.
Who: Ocean Wise