British Columbia Seaforestation Project
Kelp forests, the vibrant underwater ecosystems comprised of various kelp species, play a crucial role in marine biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
Kelp forests, the vibrant underwater ecosystems comprised of various kelp species, play a crucial role in marine biodiversity and carbon sequestration. These remarkable habitats exist in cool, nutrient-rich waters along the rocky coastlines of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. Much like their terrestrial counterparts, kelp forests create a three-dimensional environment that provides sanctuary and sustenance for a multitude of marine species.
The significance of kelp forests extends beyond their role as diverse ecosystems. They also have immense ecological and socio-economic value. Kelp forests support coastal fisheries by serving as nurseries and feeding grounds for commercially important species like herring, salmon, and rockfish. These underwater forests are integral to the cultural traditions and well-being of Indigenous coastal communities, where they hold deep spiritual and historical importance. Furthermore, kelp forests possess a remarkable capacity to mitigate climate change by absorbing and storing substantial amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
In British Columbia, Canada, kelp forests are critical for the survival and abundance of key species. The forests provide essential habitat for the endangered northern abalone, which relies on the kelp’s shelter and sustenance for its survival. Additionally, kelp forests support thriving salmon populations, contributing to the region’s coastal fisheries and the livelihoods of local communities.
In Chile, kelp forests dominate the coastline, shaping the marine environment and playing a fundamental role in the country’s coastal communities. Seaweed collection, deeply rooted in Chilean culture, has been practiced for centuries, providing sustenance, economic opportunities, and cultural connections to the ocean.
Despite their ecological and socio-economic importance, kelp forests have been significantly impacted in recent decades. Climate change, overexploitation, and pollution have led to the loss of over 40 percent of kelp forests worldwide. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, this project, in partnership with Ocean Wise, aims to restore kelp forests along the Pacific coasts of British Columbia, Canada, and Chile.
The restoration efforts will employ innovative techniques, such as seeding giant kelp, bull kelp, and sugar kelp, to establish thriving kelp populations. In British Columbia, the project aims to deliver at least 250,000 square meters (25 hectares) of seaforested kelp by 2027. Similarly, in Chile, the restoration initiative targets a minimum of 3,000 hectares of restored kelp forests within the same timeframe.
Your support is crucial in achieving the ambitious goals of this project. By contributing to the restoration of kelp forests, you will help preserve and enhance marine biodiversity, strengthen coastal fisheries, and protect the cultural heritage of Indigenous communities. Additionally, the reestablishment of kelp forests will contribute to mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, fostering a healthier planet for future generations.
Join us in this endeavor to restore and conserve these invaluable underwater ecosystems. Together, we can ensure the resilience and vitality of kelp forests, safeguard the livelihoods of coastal communities, and foster a more sustainable and thriving marine environment.